How We Do Things...
The Conegochege Ranging Company is a progressive historical interpretative unit. While many living history units tend to be “family oriented”, we are not. We make no apologies for this fact: it is our intent to portray the lifestyle and operations of a provincial ranging company on active service, or other activities in an 18th century frontier context. It is important, however, to convey that we would not discourage or prevent females, or even children from becoming members, so long as they are willing to participate in a role consistent with situations in which they would have been found historically, and to accept the same expectations held for troops in regard to authenticity and lifestyle.
At any given event, it is our intent to immerse ourselves as deeply as possible in the 18th century, and strive to put forth our best efforts in appearance and actions. Countless hours of research and labor have gone into the effort to insure that our members are clothed and equipped as accurately as possible, and that an appropriate appearance is maintained. In our research we rely heavily on firsthand accounts, gleaned from journals, military records and so on. Where this is lacking, we resort to the works of reputable historians, then finally, tie it all together with trial and error and practical experience.
With few exceptions, when we don our clothes and equipment at the start of a weekend, we remain in that posture until the end of the event. Our camp is sparse; we often sleep on the ground around a fire, with little or no shelter. We eat foods appropriate for the period, and carry it in cloth sacks; plastic wrap or aluminum foil has no place here. We live out of our packs and bedrolls. We make every attempt and strive through research, study and event participation to wear accurate clothing and carry equipment appropriate for our chosen period, and observe, as close as reasonably possible, the styles, manners and customs of the 18th century in our appearance and actions. One of our major endeavors is to try to maintain this atmosphere throughout an event. We know it is nearly impossible to spend an entire weekend without conversation turning to modern day topics; work, sports, politics, families, etc. However, we also know that by staying in kit that we work hard at getting right, and keeping any or as much modern gear as possible out of our kits, or at the very least out of sight, we can achieve some of those “golden moments”, when you actually almost get the feeling of “being there”. We engage in 18thC. woodscraft skills; fire making, shelter building, stealthy movement, tracking, escape and evasion, and many others. When required, while in the field we attempt to maintain the bearing and attitude of the "citizen" soldiers, to act as though our lives depend on the action in which we are involved. There are times as well when we do find time to relax, at least to some degree, as in a hunting camp, or during living history.
By working diligently to achieve these aforementioned goals, we from the very beginning have developed a reputation for excellence that we jealously guard. We also work just as diligently to ensure that this attitude does not become an obstacle to sharing knowledge, maintaining old relationships, and forging new ones. We remain humble with the realization that we can never know all there is to know about 18thC. life, but we will continue to try, and we will never cease to learn new things.