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 Trooping 101

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Havelock


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Trooping 101
« on: May 14, 2018, 06:32 PM »
Trooping 101
Lead Author: Ace Mor'Dare
Edited by: MMCC Education Team


This guide is intended to serve as a primer for attending events known as troops or invasions.  This material does not supersede the MMCC  Code of Honor, Mandalore The Uniter, the MMCC Council, your current Clan Command staff or just plain common sense!



Welcome Vod.

So your kit has been approved, you have your stripes…what’s next?  It’s time to troop!  Attending an event, be it private or public also known as Trooping, is the final product of our business.  It represents the culmination of all your hard work and all the hard work that others have put forth before you.  You are the point man/woman entrusted with bringing “The MMCC interpretation” of Star Wars to the masses, as well as the charities, families, and organizations that requested us to booster their events. These clients that have requested our presence, their support and donations are the lifeblood of the MMCC.  Without it, we have no Club.
Make no mistake Vod, you have work to do.
 
Color coded hints have been provided to assist you in maximizing your trooping experience. Key Examples: a health hint will be written in red like the one below.
 
  • Health Hint:  Tips on experiencing a healthier troop.
  • Ace Hint:  Tips for a higher level of success and achievement.
  • SOLO Hint:  Tips to consider when completing a troop by yourself.
  • Mishakitty Hint:  Tips regarding points of etiquette.

Getting started

Trooping is physically demanding.  As with any other type of exercise please make sure you are healthy enough to participate. Always consult a physician before undergoing any type of exercise. Get a good night’s sleep the night before a troop.  Hydrate with water and listen to your body before, during and after a troop. 


 
Preparation is the key to success.
A self-reliant Mando is always prepared.
 
Consider serving as a handler first, particularly while you’re still a UM.  Serving as a handler is a great way to meet people from your clan, while getting a firsthand look at how trooping is accomplished.  Handlers are usually a teammate not in costume, or a teammate’s family member volunteering for support.  They can also be someone assigned by the event staff to assist an OM during an event, to help take pics, or govern crowd control.
 
There is nothing more appreciated than having an extra pair of hands to help out or an extra pair of eyes to watch your back. 

If you’re interested in being a Handler, check out this great guide here: Link here to the Handler Guide

Transporting your kit

Consider what type of device you'll use to transport your newly approved kit as you travel back and forth to events. Make sure the trunk or case you choose is large enough to hold your whole kit comfortably. Will it fit in your car? Will it hold your weaponry? Your trunk should be water and heat proof, as well as sturdy enough to protect your kit.  You will be trooping in various locations, weather, and at different levels of security, each with its own challenges. Consider how you’re going to pack your kit. “Weight dispersal is important.  Pack your kit so heavier items are on the bottom and don’t damage lighter items.  Make sure all items are secured properly and do not shift during transport’.  Jamal Smith

Silica gel-packs placed in a kit trunk can absorb moisture, and dryer sheets fight odor.

Your trunk should be able to be secured, so you can safely store your personal belongings while trooping.

Air your trunk out between troops; remove all items and allow them to dry.  This will prevent mold and/or fungus from growing in your trunk or on your kit.




Protect your bucket. Consider using a helmet bag.





Consider packing a crash cart for emergency repairs.  Having some repair equipment handy can be very useful when trooping

Some crash cart items for metal


Some crash cart items for leather


Some crash cart items for paint


Some crash cart items for soft parts


A “crash cart” for emergency repairs can consist of numerous items that can be helpful such as, but not limited to:

  • Super glue
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Duct tape
  • Touch up paint
  • Bandaids
  • Sharpie
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Shoelaces
  • Anti-fog spray
  • Merc swag
  • Velcro - both sew-on and stick on
  • Extra trading cards
If diabetic this might be a great spot to pack an extra glucose stick.

Choose a troop type
There are many types of troops to be had out there, and each one is different. Troops might include, but not be limited to:

  • Conventions
  • Walks for a cause
  • Hospital visits
  • Private birthday parties
  • High School and College events
  • Amusement park events
  • Sporting events

Each type of troop may present different challenges to an OM. We will explore these troop types in more detail later on in this guide.

Locate the troop
Is the troop within your clan's territory, or outside? Make sure you sign up for the troop on the proper forum board. With the proper permission you can troop anywhere you please, any country, any state, any city, and at any event the MMCC is invited to or open to the public.  You can troop with other clubs like the 501st, Rebel Legion and the Dark Empire.

Map the address of the troop online. What is your intended driving route for the best results?  You certainly don’t want to be late.

Consider the drive after a troop; you will be tired.  Rest might be needed before a long drive home. 

Check and see if any other troops are near or close to your intended troop & double check start and end times; maybe you can get a double troop that day.

Research some landmarks like the closest parking garage close to the event location.  Some troops may require “kitting up “in said parking lot and may require a walk to get to the actual location of the event; knowing how far that walk ( in kit ) is, can be very useful information.

Sign up for your troop
Sign up early for your troop.
This is a very important step.  First of all, it’s required.  Next, by signing up early for the troop you’ll give the clan command staff an idea of how many characters will be attending the event.  They can then report this to the event contact person (Event Coordinator).  If no one signs up, the client will not be expecting you. Some troops may have a limit on how many OM’s and handlers can attend, and if you don’t sign up early you may not be able to attend. Signing up early also allows you to keep up with the chatter on the forum boards about the troop. Chat with your clan mates & command staff, ask questions, review the troop info, and see if there are any hot points about the troop like “no weapons”, start times, group photo times, meeting places, as well as the general scope of the troop.  Many of your clan mates may have trooped this event before and can give you an idea of what to expect. Additionally, events can change or be cancelled at the last minute, so up to date intel is imperative.

Some troops listed on the forum may be listed as a “crosspost”.  This means that the MMCC is an invited guest to this event, via the host club. Trooping with other clubs like the 501st Legion is a common and welcome occurrence. The more Star Wars characters at an event the better!

When trooping with a host club, be mindful of the host club's lead.  Different clubs have different rules.  Observe how they do that event and abide by their rules and proceedures.  For example, the 501st Legion (during certain troops) will not remove their helmets to maintain the illusion of authenticity.  It is expected that we, as guests, will follow suit.

We have great relations with the other clubs, and want that fellowship to continue to grow and prosper. Do not disrespect other clubs or their members.  This is absolutely critical to your longevity with this club!

Going on vacation? Reach out to the command staff near your destination, see if there is an event to attend, and take your gear with you.

Kit prep
Physically inspect your kit prior to your troop date.  Look for damage, worn straps, worn glue and loose electrical connections on any wiring, loose Velcro or harnessing.

Are your soft parts clean and fresh smelling?  Don’t let your odor be the first weapon in your arsenal!  Silica gel packs in your kit trunk can absorb moisture and dryer sheets fight odor.

Perform a pre-troop kit up the day before; walk around in your kit.  How does everything feel?  How does it look?  Are your boots supportive?  Does your kit breathe well?  Is there anything in need of repair?  Better to know now than later.  Pack your kit the night before the troop. Recheck the forum for any new updates on the troop.

Don’t forget your “crash kit.”

Don’t forget to bring trading cards for the kids & MMCC cards for parents.

Troop Day: Hydrate with water

Upon arrival and prior to unloading your gear, take a moment to reflect on your surroundings. In this day and age take no chances on safety.  The public may not be aware that your presence was requested, and wonder why you’re there and why you're unloading a very menacing weapon or costume from your car.

If there 's a police presence, it's a good idea to check in with them and let them know your intention. “Hi I’m Ace Mor’Dare of the MMCC Star Wars Costume Club.  I’m an invited guest.  Can you please tell me where I can find the event coordinator?  And by the way, I’ll be dressing in a costume which has a prop weapon; is there any issue with this?”

Being mindful of your surroundings can save your life.  At the very least, it could save you a lot of legal headaches.

Have the event coordinator info handy when arriving at a troop; this will allow you to overcome any question of your presence and intention at the event.

When speaking to the coordinator of an event that was cross posted, be sure to mention the host club’s name upon introduction; not everyone is familiar with the MMCC.

If you don’t have the event coordinator’s information, be sure, before you arrive, that you have the contact information for someone else who’ll be attending the event, ideally a Clan Officer, or a member of the host club if it’s a cross-posted event.

At a convention there will always be a security checkpoint - check and tag your weapons!

Time to kit up! Stay hydrated
The first order of business is to find out where you’re changing.  Is there a designated change room?  Is there a restroom close by?  Always try to change in private, away from the public if possible, especially away from children.

In the changing room, be respectful.  Although this club is co-ed, use common sense, and respect other team members.  If you need to change beyond your skivvies, do so in the restroom; nobody wants to see your junk.

Be mindful of the placement of your gear when trooping with other team members; you don’t want to damage someone else’s gear.

Create a routine for kitting and dekitting.  The forming of this habit will help you save time. Many MMCC members keep a written schematic on kitting and de-kitting in their trunk.

Working the event.  Stay hydrated

At the event you'll experience a myriad of reactions to your awesome kit.  Some people might be afraid or intimidated, while others will be overjoyed and excited by your presence.  Remember that you’re there to entertain, take pictures, interact, and mingle. Be personable and polite to all you come in contact with.  As the ambassador of our club at this event remember that all eyes and ears are on you.  Don’t be unapproachable.  At large troops, do not simply stand around and talk with others in kit while not paying attention to the patrons that requested our presence.

Don't attempt to intimidate or scare anyone, in any way. Although we’re playing characters who might be bad guys and gals, we do not want to overdo it and ruin someone's interaction with us.

Learn when to retreat

When trooping, one of the best things to know is when to retreat. Crowds can be overzealous; adults and children alike tend to be handsy or curious with your gear.  It can be overwhelming.  Others may even look for confrontation because of the character you portray or the setting you’re in. As previously stated, some people might even be intimidated or scared by your awesome kit. The answer here is the same for all these situations – retreat.  Disengage.

Although defending yourself is a right by law, fighting in kit is against Club rules and carries serious consequences.  Be smart, retreat, and utilize law enforcement or security.

Always remember: Cosplay is not consent - during any event, remember to utilize common courtesy and respect. State law defines “Battery” as any touching of another person without consent.  Although a person is willing to take a photo with you does not imply consent to place your hands on any part of their body including their waist or shoulder. Ask first!

In summary

Trooping is an absolute blast.  It’s the payoff for all the hard work we put into creating our kits.  Seeing the smiles on kids’ faces, hearing them correct their parents when we all get called “Boba Fett,” being asked to pose for pictures…it’s why most of us do this. 

We all need to keep in mind, though, as members of a club, particularly as members of a club that exists with the blessing and support of LFL, we have a responsibility - to ourselves, to our Clans, to our Club, and to the public - to always remember that along with the enjoyment of trooping is the responsibility to conduct ourselves in a respectful manner. 

So have fun, behave, hydrate, and be respectful of the event attendees, and each other.

--MMCC Education Team--

« Last Edit: Dec 16, 2019, 12:05 PM by Havelock » Logged
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