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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

So you want to be a camp follower... (Contest!)



First, congratulations to the winners of the previous two contests! Cathy won the Colonial stoneware candle holder from Rogers Island (Ranger Island), and Ellory won the DVD of Last of the Mohicans. I've already heard from Ellory, but not from Cathy.

Cathy, please send your mailing address to my email at [myname]@earthlink.net so I can get your prize to you.

If you didn't win, dinnae despair! I've got a couple more contests to go.

Today's contest is no ordinary contest. To win this contest you must be willing to work. Hard. See the "Help Wanted" ad below for details.

Wanted: Camp followers

Must be passing fayre in appearance and be free of sickness with sound teeth and bodye. Will wash and cooke for MacKinnon's companie of Rangers encamped at Fort Elizabeth, seeing to all such needs as are common for soldiers. Pay at one schilling per week. Assemble one week hence at the northern stockade gate for the journye to Fort Elizabeth. Those who hope to receive the King's schilling will be examined by a surgeon for sickness and the & etc.


Now, I know the economy is bad these days, and lots of us are unhappy with our jobs. But before any of you rush off to apply for a job as a camp follower, allow me to tell you what your life will be like.

You will live year round in a canvas tent or, if you're lucky, a small cabin that shares its two side walls with other cabins, standing in a long row.

You will be responsible for making and repairing your own clothing which will includes: a linen shift that also serves as a nightdress, woolen stockings, moccasins, a woolen underpetticoat, a plain linen pocket, a linen petticoat, a linen cap for modesty's sake, a linen short gown, a linen apron, a linen kerchief, and a straw hat if you had one. You would wear these items until they wore out and could not longer be patched, stitched or otherwise repaired.

You will cook each morning, noon and night for one-hundred twenty hungry Rangers: cornmeal mush with salt port, ash cakes, biscuits, and soups and stews made from vegetables grown at the fort, as well as roasted fish, venison, rabbit, goose, duck and such other game as the Rangers provide.

You will wash the Rangers' clothing, stirring it in large, steaming kettles and hanging it to dry in the open air.

You will work in the Kings's garden and grow such vegetables in your own kitchen garden as you can, eating what is left after feeding the men and what you can make for yourself.

You will tend wounded Rangers both at the fort and on the march, tending their smaller hurts.

If the Rangers decamp and march into battle with the army, you will go with them keeping to the rear of the army. You will walk the entire distance, carrying your own belongings and everything you need to serve the men. The wagons are needed for food, weapons, powder, shot and other stores.

And at night, after the Rangers have had their ration of rum, there may be those who visit your tent in search of pleasurable company. It will be up to you to decide whether you'll trade a bit of time in your bed for extra rations or cloth or trinkets from the sutler's store or perhaps even a coin or two.

So, now who wants to be a camp follower and serve MacKinnon's Rangers?

One lucky person will win a one-year membership at the Camp Follower level to the Friends of Rogers Island, the organization that works to protect, fund and research Rogers Island, which is Ranger Island in my books and is where Iain, Morgan, Connor and the other Rangers live. The winner will also received a signed copy of Untamed.

UPDATE:

So that there's no confusion, let me clarify. There's no real laundry or whoring involved, or work of any kind for that matter. I was just sharing the life of a Colonial camp follower with y'all. The prize is a membership to The Friends of Rogers Island at the "camp follower" level and a signed copy of Untamed.

26 comments:

Debbie H said...

I would like to be a camp follower. I can cook, clean, do laundry (do it at work, at least the folding part, LOL), tend wounds with a gentle hand and prayer. I walk a lot during my present job, not afraid of a load to carry, love getting my hands dirty in a garden and wouldn't be opposed to a highlander in my bed. It is a lonely place, this world, and we must find our comfort where we may.

Judy said...

I think I am going to have to pass on this contest. After talking it over with my family they said "no deal". Thank heavens. I thought I did a lot just taking care of my family, I can't imagine working under a camp followers circumstances.

Ronlyn said...

Thinking about this:
I cook. A lot. all the time. I actually enjoy cooking.
I love to garden.
I sew, have for years.
I do laundry...it's not my favorite thing in the world to do, but it
needs to be done, so I do it.
I walk. A lot. I'm always running around somewhere.
Not afraid of blood & guts. Thank goodness since I have boys.
I can fix myself up to be passing fair if I set my mind to it.

BUT

I have a sexy Englishmon in my bed already, so this Scottish lass
will have to pass on this kind offer. :)

ALTHOUGH, if he's a Ranger...maybe I could be a full service Rangerette...er...camp follower. ;-)

Lori said...

LOL - Not so sure about the job description, but if it gets me a sexy Ranger at the other end? I just might be up for the task.

And congrats to Cathy, who doesn't need to be a camp follower. Lucky lady!

Cathy said...

Thanks so much for the candle holder, Pamela. I just sent off an email to you.

Raven99 said...

Wow, what a job description! I had never really considered what being a camp follower entailed. I don't think I would be a good camp follower. I hate doing laundry and I am only a passable cook. Although, the thought of a Ranger in my bed at night is a nice incentive.

Hi, Debbie — I can so totally see you with a Ranger, feedin' him biscuits and... things. LOL! And I totally agree with that last sentiment.

Hi,Judy — OK, but there's no real work required. I was just being creative.

Hi, Ronlyn — A Rangerette? LOL! Fun idea! Maybe Scott could be an honorary Ranger or maybe you're one of the camp followers who joined as a married woman and only pleasurable company to your good man. See, history provides a way around everything. :-)

Hey, Lori — That's the spirit! That's why I signed up. I'll see you 'round the cauldron. :-)

Hi, Cathy! Congrats.I got it. I'll get your prize in the mail as soon as I can get to the post office. I hope you enjoy both the book and the candle holder. It comes from a very special place — special to me, at least.

Raven, you're a woman after my own heart. Can we skip the laundry and biscuits and go straight to the horizontal work? LOL! :-)

Ellory said...

No need to add me to the contest. :) I'd be a camp follower if I got to follow your men. Not sure I'd like living in a tent day in and out. Hate tenting in the rain and cold.

Tena said...

Oh wow it would be cool to help the rangers feed them and all but I wouldnt spend my time in the bed though unless it was one of the MacKinnons brothers well the ones not married that is lol it would be nice to help the rangers putting their life on the line for us

shirley said...

my granddad was in the army and it would be nice to help anyone fighting for us I like camping, cooking, and I do cloths all the time when the baby is asleep that is i cant wait to read your new book

Amanda said...

Well it would have its perks, while doing all the work you could slowly dream about the ranger that has been coming to see you each night.......

On second thoughts don't think that would allow me to do much work, daydreams can be very distracting!!

I wouldn't mind the work so much I think but I think some parts of the life would get to me!

Nice description though Pamela!

Joan said...

Ok, hmmmm...

Well I have a very sore toe right now which would make it difficult to march but...

I can not only cook well I can BAKE too! Maybe I could entice a few Rangers with my chocolate chip cookies :-)

As to the visits.....what's Conner up too? :-) (Though I'm still grieving losing Morgan)

Leslie said...

I swear sometimes I feel like I am a camp follower. lol The laundry is the part I would hate. I don't like doing it now and can't imagine washing all of it by hand.

OT ~ Just finished and loved Surrender. Over half way through Untamed and loving it!

Zeek said...

Sure why not. What else is there for a single woman to do? :P

Margay said...

I think I was a camp follower in another life - this sounds like what I do already! The ironic thing is, my grandmother was a camp follower - mine camps, that is. Her husband was a miner, so they went where the work was and she cooked for all of the miners - about 125 total.

Hi, Ellory — I'm not much for camping either. Anything that lacks indoor plumbing really isn't for me. I'd only be doing this for the fringe benefits of, um, entertaining my Rangers. :-)

Hi, Tena — I completely understand. Although I love Iain and Morgan dearly, I wouldn't want to encroach on Annie or Amalie. Besides, I think Iain and Morgan are too besotted with their wives to give me a second glance.

Hi, Shirley — Interesting about your grandfather. You'd probably find that life as a camp follower wouldn't be very different than life your life, except it would be in the 18th century, of course, and the camp followers of that time mostly delivered one another's babies. Can't imagine it was much fun having babies back then... Of course, it isn't much fun now either without an epidural. :-)

Thanks, Amanda. Yeah, you wouldn't want to be so distracted that you caught your hems on fire or anything like that. I'm sure that would be a problem for me, too, if the men looked like the man on the cover of this book! I'd be so hot I wouldn't know my dress was on fire till later. LOL!

Hi, Joan — Well, Connor is still a bit of a wild man. And I'm sure he'd love your cookies. (I would, too, as I'm a CCC fanatic.) As for the sore toe... Maybe Connor could carry you for a while.

Hi, Leslie — It is NEVER OT to tell me you read and loved one of my stories. Thank so much! I'm so glad you liked SURRENDER and that UNTAMED is good so far. Keep me posted! Yes, doing laundry by hand would be a major drag. Back then they didn't have tampons, so imagine the kinds of laundry you'd be doing. Aren't these details so romantic?

Zeek! Hi! So you're single, too, huh? Do you ever feel in the romance community that we are in the MINORITY? Everyone else has a DH. I have DB — a dear bunny. Well, I also have two dear sons. But no DH. Can't tell if that's a GOOD thing or not. We should commiserate some time, start a group blog for the five single women in all of romance novel-dom. LOL! OK, off to Rogers Island for the single women. :-)

Margay, that is so fascinating about your grandmother. What state/territory was this in? Did she ever share any of her recollections with you from the mining camps? That can't have been an easy life. Good to see you here! Thanks for stopping by. Did you find the downloadable wallpaper on my Web site?

Margay said...

Pamela, my grandmother was from Virginia and I heard the stories from my father. My grandmother was a very private person. She didn't talk about herself much.

And the winner is... ZEEK!

You win the one-year membership to The Friends of Rogers Island at the "camp follower" level, together with a signed copy of UNTAMED. Please send me a mailing address so I can get this in the mail to you. The membership will come from Rogers Island itself (::sniff::) and will take a few weeks to reach you. I'm calling it in to them and they'll mail you your membership card. You trollop, you! ;-)

Margay said...

Congratulations Zeek!

Judy said...

Congratulations Zeek! I just got a delivery from Barnes and Noble today with my copy of Untamed and also Sweet Release, Carnal Gift and Ride the Fire!!!! I am going to read Untamed first.

Tena said...

Hello hey if someone would want to order a membership to The Friends of Rogers Island how would someone do it??? oh and wow Id be in for the blog for singles I have been for 3 years, the romance books keep my very happy but it would be so nice to come home to open arms :)

Zeek said...

OMG THAT IS SO AWESOME!

You know I love this setting AND the books, I'm uber excited to be a camp follower- and you know I would've been too, tramp that I am!

THANK YOU PAMELA!


Running over to send you my email!

(wait til I tel my brother this- maybe I can get him to read another of your books! LOL!)

Zeek said...

... would've been a camp follower that is! :P

Zeek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zeek said...

That was me deleting the previous comment- I couldn't find your email address but I found it!

Amanda said...

Congratulations Zeek!! I'm sure you'll LOVE it!!

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