Peer Fear: A public service announcement

Mistress Eleanor, President of the Hug-a-Peer Foundation, has offered a few words of advice on the gentle art of caring for SCA Peers.


Peer Fear is a terrible affliction in this club and so unnecessary! Getting to know Peers in their natural habitat, like on the list field, is fine, but there are other ways. Peers can be anywhere and everywhere, so when approaching an unfamiliar Peer it is best to keep a few general rules in mind. Remember they may be more afraid of you than you are of them! Although frightening from a distance, these magnificent creatures domesticate easily and can make very rewarding companions.

1) When approaching a Peer, do so from the front. Walk slowly. Peers startle easily, particularly Roses, and you don't want to set them to flight.

2) Distract them. It may help more skittish Peers, like Laurels, if you begin by letting them examine a sleeve hem or a work in progress. Show a Knight a new weapon or anything shiny.

3) Speak softly and use encouraging language and flattery. They may not understand everything you say, but they will respond to the tone of your voice. Avoid excessive bragging or arm waving. Rarer Peers, like Pelicans, can be easily intimidated by overt displays of passion. Laurels or Knights can become competitive or agitated and may charge.

4) Offer them food or drink. Many Peers can become cranky when sitting through long meetings, Courts or performing arduous tasks of A&S or service. Food or alcoholic beverages will often make them more placid and with a little work many Peers can become tame enough to take food directly from your hand. Remember to keep the food soft and easy to chew. Many Peers are old and dependant on Squires or Apprentices to cut their meat.

5) Approach them in groups. Peers tend to travel in clusters and can become anxious when cut from their herd. When approaching a flock of Pelicans or a pride of Knights, be careful to include all the Peers generally. Avoid singling out one Peer with direct eye contact and never turn your back on the rest of the group. While not meant maliciously, many separated and started Peers can accidentally trample you in an effort to rejoin their fellows.

6) Wear your Apprentice, Protégé or Squires belt. Let the Peer examine the belt or touch it. Many Peers feel more comfortable knowing another Peer has been there before them.

If you follow all these guidelines, anyone can form a lasting and meaningful relationship with a Peer. With proper maintenance, a Peer can be a faithful and loving companion and friend.

Fight the fear. Hug a Peer!

President of the Hug-a-Peer Foundation

Greetings,I am the Eleano


I am the Eleanor who wrote the Peer Fear post. It does seem to be making the rounds! I have no objection to anyone cross posting it to any list they like. Enjoy and spead the word.

Fight the Fear. Hug a Peer!

Dame Eleanor Cadfan

Does anyone have contact info

Does anyone have contact information for Mistress Eleanor? I have at least two different chroniclers asking for contact information regarding obtaining permission to reprint this for their various newsletters.

Thanks in advance!
Giudo di Niccolo
Shire of Deodar
Kingdom of Calontir

Dame Eleanor's email address

Dame Eleanor's email address is


Friar Galen of Ockham, MC, OP

Wrong Eleanor

Milica says it's not that Eleanor. She's planning to contact Eleanor to see if it's okay to give out her address for those interested in republishing the article.

(To protect privacy, at we don't give out personal information without the permission of the author. Generally, if person A contacts us to ask for contact information for B, we will contact B on A's behalf and ask B to contact A back.)

If Eleanor says it's okay, then Milica will add her contact info into the article. If not, then we'll try to do the A-B-A contact thing (see previous paragraph) on an individual basis. Email if you want her to forward the message to Eleanor.


My fits her style.

My fits her style. Feel free to delete my comment then.

The heat must be getting to me.