The Norwescon Shire

Welcome to the Shire!

My name is Jennifer “Jenn” Baker, and with Caryn Meyer and Donna Polling, we are the three wise women (aka Elders) who are taking on this new program. We want to give the tweens/teens some guidance as they find their own way within Norwescon (think of a D&D character sheet meets SCA structure and names). This is our first year and we will have “freshman” activities. 2025 will be our second year with both freshman and sophomore tracks, and in 2026/2027 we will roll out junior and senior tracks as the program grows. We are running this as low-tech as possible, knowing that not everyone has a smartphone or tablet.

Learning and participatory activities are planned over a several year period. The first year we focus on learning to tie knots, time management, and the concepts of supply and demand. We will have a book with examples, written directions, and QR codes showing short videos on how to make the knots. As participants learn the knots, they will be rewarded with “coins”. These coins can be used to purchase goods from the Shire’s largesse/bank. The goods will include food, toys, and cool accessories. Other concepts will be taught through attending panels, doing two hours of volunteering (only two hours will be required), and moving outside of their comfort zone in a controlled environment.

Year two (sophomore) we will work on sewing and hand stitching and also have adventure challenges. This needlework will be survival sewing (e.g., buttons, hems, basic embroidery). Think, what do I need to be able to sew when I’m away from my hobbit hole, hiking and camping out in the Shire like Frodo and his friends?

Now that you have an overview of the rollout, we can get to the meat of what resources we might need. We need your donations! Given the broad strokes of the program, we would be happy to take anything that would work within these objectives. Some materials we are looking for include: fleece, muslin, 100% cotton/linen/flax/silk, 100% polyester/acetate/spandex, 50/50 blends, iron-on interfacing, sewing tools (e.g., seam rippers, hand needles, thread). Please contact us at

Calling all adults who want to assist in leading teens and tweens (ages 13-18) at the Norwescon Shire!

Who are we, you ask? Norwescon Shire is an engagement program focused on integrating teens into the fiber of our rich Norwescon family, alongside but separate from current programming and special events. The Shire’s goal is to help these valuable young people find their voice within the convention.

Is “The Shire” and the Teen Lounge the same thing? Yes and no. The Teen Lounge is a space for the teens and tweens to hang and laze with their friends. The Shire is a list of new adventures for the age group to participate in over the weekend.

Why are we doing this? In the past we have had suggestions asking for more interaction with our tweens and teens. This builds that bridge until younglings to Shirelings become active convention adults!

When are we doing this? All four days of Norwescon and into the future

What do we need? See below for a list of donation items for The Shire. We are looking for craft items, decorations, and prizes. More details will be forthcoming.

How can I help if I am not a teen? We are looking for responsible Shire elders. Your job is to be around and help answer questions which the Shireling may have as they adventure. Elders will be a support system leaned upon to help Shirelings complete their set achievements. Please contact us at ( if you would like more details or to volunteer.

Donation request list

  • ½ yard/fat quarter fabrics. Prefer cotton, cotton blend, fleece, flannel, felt
  • Stamping sets with ink pads
  • Thread: sewing thread, embroidery floss
  • Buttons: 2-hole, 4-hole, shank. No smaller than a shirt button (smallest needed 9MM, 11/32″, Ligne size 14)
  • Safety pins, all sizes
  • Rhinestones, all sized and colors
  • Patches (woven, embroidered)
  • Needles: hand sewing all sizes
  • Lace and brick-a-brack (ribbon)
  • Hook and eyes, all sizes and colors
  • Crochet needles, all sizes
  • Yarn
  • Batting/stuffing
  • Plastic canvas (10 and 14 mesh)
  • Sandwich bags with zip top

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