College-based groups recruiting locals

Deborah Sweet dssweet at
Fri Feb 24 15:52:08 PST 1995

     Fionna writes of many problems a college based group has.
     Mikjal Annarbjorn writes a lengthy *wonderful* reply.
     >prepare yourself for a multi-year project which will require a 
     >lot of time and effort.
     >First, you need to develop a presence in the local community that
     >is something other than that of "another campus student group".
     >This means educational demos.  Volunteer to do fighting, crafts,
     >history, etc. demos for various Scout groups, school classes, 
     >community centers, etc. 
     I would like to relate the experience of Mooneschadowe within the 
     past year (1994).
     We have had a demo around Valentine's Day for several years now, 
and we would get periodic press on it. Apparently the curator of a 
local museum saw us and wanted us to do a display. The exhibit took 
almost a year of planning (or at least it was a year before the stuff 
was actually *in* the museum). We did an opening day demo of our non- 
static arts (fighting, dancing, juggling). We had around 30 townspeople 
come out to see us which totally astounded the curator because it was a 
totally miserable cold & wet day in January. The exhibit was up for 3 
weeks. Around four groups from the local area schools toured the 
exhibit (the first one learned about it from a small 4 person demo for 
the 2nd grade held at the school). Two of our members met with each 
group of students to help explain things. We also had a large article 
in the newspaper about the sca. Wonderful PR!
     In February we had a fundraising feast/demo just before 
Valentine's that was designed to entertain the moderns. SCA folk were 
the entertainment for them. Also in Feb. we did a small demo at the 
local Leisure Arts Fair on the same day we sponsored the feast at the 
Northern Salute to Ansteorra.

     March had one demo at the "Oh to be in England!" Sheerar Museum 
Fund Raising meeting. We provided atmosphere.

     In April we journeyed up to Ponca City (45 miles away) and 
participated in the Ponca City Culture Fest. And we also had a small 
demo at the local Junior High School.

     In May we did an all day demo at the Special Olympics. They 
*really* enjoyed "Killing the Knight". [Done this for two years now.]

     In July we participated at the opening night gala for the 
Stillwater Community Center (where we have weekly meetings) and the 
Town & Gown production of Camelot!. We cooked and served a finger food 
feast (for 400) and helped decorate the hall. [This year they're doing 
Man of La Mancha!] At the end of July we did a demo at our normal 
fighter practice time for the Talented and Challenged Students of 
Stillwater. We had demonstrations of a lot of other things than just 
fighting, and the kids and their parents really enjoyed it.

     In August we did a demo on campus during Alpha Week (when the 
freshmen come in early). And we sponsored Bison Run's first event.

     In September we had our normally scheduled Guardian Tourney, and 
we did another demo for the 2nd grade class at a different elementary 

     In December 2 members did a demo for a BoyScout Pack meeting. 
Later this month a large group of us serenaded 3 nursing homes & 
Wal-mart with Christmas carols.

     This January we had a demo for the Lahoma Club (Faculty wives & 
women from the university) and a large group of us helped with the 
Gnomedal group (around 17 of us).

     This February we've done the Valentine's feast/fund raiser again, 
we had a demo with the Morning Kiwanis, a CubScout Pack, and the Middle 
School (150 students). We're sponsoring the dancing at the Northern 

     And in March we have the Kingdom Dance Symposium.

     [In the future I see the possibility of at least 3 demos (one each 
in March, April & May) plus we are hosting INTERKINGDOM in July.]

>and don't just stick to the immediate town where the campus is 
>located, also try to get them in similar places in the other towns 
>within about a 30-45 minute driving radius from the campus (or 
>wherever you group holds it's meetings.  

Currently Mooneschadoweshire is pulling members from the surrounding 
small towns: Glenco, Perry, Perkins, Ponca City, Ripley, and Cushing.
We really only started getting the out-of-towners when the meetings 
moved off campus.

>The next part is very important.  Your PR efforts will almost certainly
>start bringing folks.  You MUST have activities that they can get 
>involved in _immediately_.  Be prepared to quickly help new folk

Mooneschadowe made this mistake once several years ago. We had done a 
valentine's demo and then at our meeting the next week there were over
30 people who showed up interested. At the time we only had around 15 
people actively playing. We were totally overwhelmed and lost almost 
all of them.

>As I said at the beginning, this is a multi-year effort, and requires
>a lot of hard work and dedication by a lot of folks in the group.  
>Don't discouraged if there doesn't seem to be any immediate effects.  
>But the long-term rewards are a stable and vibrant group, well prepared 
>to support the high turnover rates from the campus recruits and to meet
>the challenges of the future.

Another important thing as mentioned by H.L. Gunhilda in a different post
is to have a good meeting site. Don't meet in people's homes. Don't meet 
on campus. Those are death knells to growth. Mooneschadowe is still working 
on getting *adult* members of the local communities as opposed to the 
teenagers and young adults that are everywhere you look up here.

Thank you Mikjal for a very informative post! I think Mooneschadowe may 
begin employing some of these ideas.

Estrill Swet
Stillwater, OK 
dssweet at

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