Another good reason to pre-register is that you do get a discount. It is only $10 but still, it's like getting the 10¢ for bringing a reuseable bag at the grocery store. You get money back for not being forgetful. ;-)
What is the entire two weeks on Pennsic like? Fun! It really is a vacation for me. Of course, since I have this:
I don't have to worry about tent poles and leaky tents anymore. I get to stay inside my nice comfortable tiny house when it rains and not worry about things like flooding as well. Wind really isn't an issue anymore either. Yeah, I know.
But for the first er...seven Pennsics? I went to, I did have to worry about those things. I used pallets to raise the tent floor off the ground. Throw a couple of boards down and some rugs on top of that? You have a fabulous comfortable floor that is just high enough that water isn't an issue. If your tent falling down has been an issue (it wasn't with an easy up and the cover I made for it), check your ropes daily. Tighten them as much as you can. The rain and sun can cause the ropes to lengthen a bit.
The very first night of Pennsic - appropriately called First Night- looks like this:
You might recognize the battlefield if you've ever been to Pennsic before. Everyone who is a land agent camps out on the field Friday night. For me, it's easy. I just go and sleep in the trailer. Some people put up "earth pimples", some sleep in their cars on top of their stuff, others stay up all night. If you actually have the other land agents on your land show up Friday night, you can do a quick registration, get everyone to agree on who goes where, and then drive to your space that night - but some people can't get there on Friday with very good reasons.
Being a land agent and registering your space can be easy or difficult depending on the other land agents, If you aren't down in the Serengeti or the Bog, you'll probably have an easier time than if you are. Because land is at a premium in those locations, some people might get a bit upset if their "traditional" lines are messed with. What it all comes down to though is who has the most people pre-registered. This is why pre-registration is so important. If you have 25 people pre-registered, then you get to mark off 6250sq of space. If the other land agent has only 7 but thinks as many as 12 people are coming, well, guess what happens? The group that has the most pre-registered gets the most land. If there suddenly isn't enough space for those extra people, there is little you can do.
Each land agent is given a map of their slotted land. You draw boundary lines on the map for each group that will be camping in that location. The finished map with all the lines and group names gets handed in as land registration. You are then given a plastic baggy and a piece of paper that shows your group is registered to be on that land. This piece of paper is vital. You need to have it displayed in a conspicuous manner. Most people have it attached to their gates some how.
Once all that is done, you get to set up camp! Some camps are WAY more elaborate than others. No matter what, if you are the land agent, you'll probably be in charge of setting up the basics yourself or with whomever you managed to bring with you. Basics as in a shower tent, a kitchen tent, a fire pit, ect. Not everyone will have a kitchen tent - there are plenty of places to eat at Pennsic- but most will have a shower tent and a fire pit. Whatever the basics are for your camp, you'll probably have to at least lay the foundation for them.
Once that's done, take a walk around Pennsic. See if anyone else needs help. If you are too tired, just sit back and relax for a couple of days until some of the rest of your camp comes in. A lot of people come in either the Friday or Saturday of Peace week (the first full week of Pennsic).
Although a land agent must be "in charge" of their encampment 24/7 at Pennsic that doesn't mean you can't leave the grounds. You are free to go grocery shopping, to the laundry, or just to Walmart. Home Depot is also good depending on what you might have forgotten. I also go to Church down the road on Sundays...followed by going to Aldi's because they have those cookies I love. As long as you can get back to the site in a reasonable amount of time should an emergency occur, you're fine.
Clean up once everyone heads home is also your responsibility. The doesn't mean that your campmates get to trash the place and leave you to clean up - everyone should be helping - but if the Coopers have anything to say about the state you left the place in, they'll contact you.
Let me know if you have any questions about Pennsic or if you are planning on going! I'd love to see some of you there!