Cathlinette Prairie Citizen Camp
Email your applications Here.
The ANNUAL SPIRIT OF VINCENNES RENDEZVOUS and NWTA Encampment will be held on Memorial Day Weekend. The event will be conducted upon the French Commons, a fenced area across the street from the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park. Set up begins at 1 PM on Thursday. There is an admission fee for visitors.
All Participants are asked to pre-register by sending the completed application blank. This is for Camping only; no selling. You will be assigned to a “Campers Area”.
Download the 2023 Application.
The Spirit of Vincennes, Inc. has defined the historical period of the Rendezvous as the 18th and early 19th Century, 1700 – 1815. In keeping with this definition, only those campsites and products that were used, made, or sold during the 1700 – 1815 era will be allowed. The organization reserves the right to inspect campsites and to request that any item which does not meet specifications be removed. Help keep the Rendezvous authentic!
ALL PEOPLE, those who are in your campsite (Sitting or standing as members of your campsite) are required to be in period clothing.
If you are a first time camper, we would appreciate a picture of you and your family in your period clothing and your campsite.
Reenactors are discouraged from bringing pets to the event if however, you must bring one with you it must be on a leash and away from the public at all times. Event visitors will be allowed to have only Service Animals with them during the Rendezvous hours.
FIREWOOD & WATER will be provided.
Citizens Camp, Spirit of Vincennes, Inc, P.O. Box 1816, Vincennes, IN 47591
Guidelines for Citizen Participants
1. Your appearance, camp, accouterments, food, etc., will be inspected for authenticity.
2. Once on Rendezvous grounds, you are in the 18th or early 19th century (time period is 1750 to 1815, pre-statehood for Indiana). All items are to reflect this philosophy. While the Rendezvous has closed hours (after 6:00 p.m.), citizens are strongly encouraged to remain in period clothing at all times.
3. All items used by citizens at the Rendezvous will be authentic to 1750 to 1815. This includes clothing, furnishings, firearms, knives, footwear, hats, eating or cooking utensils, etc.
4. Any citizen wishing to do blanket trading or provide other sales must be registered with the Merchants Committee and will be subject to all the rules and fees of that committee.
5. Only 18th century eyewear, 18th century style reproductions, or contact lenses. No modern eyewear.
6. Men’s clothing allowed include typical colonial apparel. The following are not allowed: Modern calico print shirts, long fringed buckskins, “Mountain Man” apparel, western clothing or western capotes.
7. Women’s clothing allowed include typical colonial apparel. Simple petticoats, shifts or chemise, short gowns or bed jackets. Hair should be worn off the face. White or off-white caps are recommended for ladies 15 years of age or older. Women dressed to reflect the early 19th century may wear empire waist dresses or other appropriate clothing. Jewelry must be appropriate to the period portrayed. Makeup should be kept to a minimum. No modern style printed fabrics (example: fabrics for both periods should never contain roses.)
8. Footwear allowed includes 18th century style shoes, moccasins and shoe packs. The following are not allowed: Dyer footwear, Poppen moccasins, “Mary Jane’s” or Chinese slippers.
9. All shelters must reflect both the time period and locale. Acceptable tents includes simple lean-to’s, wedge, marquee, or wall tents. Native shelters should be dome-shaped shelters of the area. The following are not allowed: teepees, “lean-pi’s,” baker lean-to’s, one-pole hunter tents, or other modern tents.
10. All coolers and other non-period items must be out of sight during hours when the Rendezvous is open to the public.
11. Alcohol use on grounds is discouraged and any groups causing problems will be removed from the grounds. Absolutely NO alcohol use by minors will be tolerated!
12. If you purchase food or drink from one of the vendors we suggest you use your period dishes and drinkware.
13. No cigarettes, brown cigar-like cigarettes, or cigars are allowed at any time while you are in period attire.
14. Pets are not allowed on the Rendezvous grounds. Service animals are, of course, permitted.
15. Minor children are the sole responsibility of their parents.
16. We will not prohibit picture taking but ask that cameras be kept basically out of sight. (i.e. don’t wear it around your neck while in period clothing.)
Tents often are one of the most visible things brought to an event. The ocean of white canvas set a scene that quickly and easily transports the mind 200 years or more into the past. Re-enactors and visitors are becoming increasingly knowledgeable and expect our event to do the same. The History Channel, historic novels, and historic movies are a part of everyday life and more than an “old timey” look now is necessary. Events throughout the nation are looking more and more toward authenticity. A good period impression begins with the tent and camp appearance.
The Spirit of Vincennes Inc. Rendezvous centers on the time of 1700 – 1815. To fit into this time frame requires limiting the type of shelters used.
ALL tentage from this era MUST be white!
Marquees are the larger, usually rectangular tents used by merchants and others needing larger space. These should not be used for a civilian impression unless you are portraying a wealthier individual or using the shelter for demonstrations etc.
The name is confusing as the frame really is not an A. This is the typical military style tent looking like an upside down V or an A. This type of tent is the most appropriate for the time period of the Rendezvous. Tents may be open at both ends or may have a bell back making more room at the rear of the tent for storage of all your stuff.
Wall tents are appropriate for the later part of the time period involved. While they are acceptable your camp and clothing should represent the later part of the 18th century or early part of 19th century. Wall tents of this period use external poles-tents with internal poles are not allowed.
(as seen attached to wall tent in picture on right) Many reenactors use flies for shade and for a sheltered dining area etc. While this is acceptable keep in mind that this is not the period norm. Flies were rare in historical drawings and descriptions and were typically used for special uses, field hospitals etc. They would have been very rare among citizens. The spirit of Vincennes recognizes the need for shade and cover and thus will allow the use of flies, if you can share or keep the use of flies to a minimum it is appreciated.
Diamond Shelters or Lean-to
These shelters were typically used by hunters and frontier travelers. There are a variety of methods for setting these up and most anything you can contrive would probably be OK so long as natural or available materials are used (i.e. no aluminum poles.) These also may not be white but probably came in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes.
Native style shelters
Native Style Shelter tents: not only are they correct, they are encouraged by anyone doing a native impression. They typically are created by tying willow sticks together to create a frame and covering it with canvas, bark, reed mats, hides, or other natural material.
ALL OTHER TENT STYLES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE
If you don’t see it pictured above it probably is not allowed.
The following types of shelters will NOT be allowed at the Spirit of Vincennes, Rendezvous.
One pole shelters or Pyramid tents
There are a variety of one-pole shelters the most common is the miners tent which was popular in the gold fields of California (obviously not our period or area.). These tents are easy to erect simply stake the corners and put in one pole and you are done. These tents are NOT allowed at Vincennes.
Basically resembles a lean-to shelter with sides and often with a front. These are a later western frontier design.
Tipis or Teepees
These tents are STRICTLY AND STRINGENTLY banned. While these shelters were used during this period there is no evidence of them east of the Mississippi and the native peoples of the Illinois Country did not use them.
Anything made from material other than canvas
No nylon, polyester, or other modern material will be allowed. While these materials simply do not present the correct image more importantly they are a safety hazard being easily flammable and melting rather than simply burning.