By Marilyn Hess
Editor's Note: The Loyal Irish Volunteers were a group of Boston Merchants who offered their assistance to the British to guard the businesses and warehouses of Boston -- more for self-interest than out of loyality to the crown. The NWTA's recruiting program adopted this impression for our "newbies" -- outfitting interested parties as civilians and encouraging them to mingle among the varuious camps to find a place where they fit in.
Author's note: The following is taken from a letter sent to 3rd New York members by Bob Phelps. I want to thank Bob for letting me use his publication. I didn't follow it exactly but used his ideas and hints to his unit as a set of guidelines. These are appropriate to everyone involved in the LIV program. -- Marilyn
The first contact a unit has with the prospect is calling in advance, getting clothes sizes, finding out about camp equipment, and how to get to the site. Do not be afraid to ask them to contribute to the weekend camp food stock. It makes them feel more involved by contributing.
Since Friday night is spent setting up the camp, you should warn the LIV as to what to expect and invite them to join in and help out. It's your chance to see how well they cooperate and handle a new situation.
Also, trying on their clothes is a good idea to make sure everything fits. Bob also suggests a host/guide from the unit to help the LIV along and introduce him to other members. The unit should plan in advance what activities the LIV might participate in (most event schedules are basically the same) and different members can take different activities to show the LIV. A good explanation of clothing and uniforms is foremost, so try to make sure they don't go out and start buying things right away. Perhaps someone could go with them on a shopping trip. Explain that the LIV clothing they were given is usually things that did not pass inspection or were made from a less expensive material.
Men and women can both learn battlefield safety and men could participate in drill with the unit. Women could help with the cooking, dishes, and if there are games for women, make sure they participate.
Everyone should attend the morning and evening colors ceremonies with someone explaining what is going on. For the very first time out LIV should act as rope line watchers for the battles -- preferably with help. There can also be an introduction of the musket/rifle/cannon for the men and teaching or giving your LIV words to our songs (Chester, Parting Glass, God Save) would be most helpful.
Someone from the unit could also walk the LIV around and introduce them to other units and where people are from and also to the various officers of the NWTA. Much of the LIVŐs time should be taken up with planned activities, but be flexible to allow the LIV some free time so they don't get overwhelmed. Please answer any of their questions and if you don't know the answer seek out someone who does. If this is their first time out, find out if they would like to do it again, and if so, with what unit (you will have to let me know if they want to continue and what unit I should contact). At this time I will send them a form to fill out for LIV membership and collect their dues so they will start getting The Courier and maps or directions to all of the events.
Lastly, make sure you collect the clothes and camping gear that was borrowed so you have it for next time!
If you or your unit is interested in getting involved in the LIV program, please contact me:
Marilyn Hess, LIV Commander
2088 South Linden
Palatine, IL 60067-7406