Membership, Awards, Local Participation

Gunnora Hallakarva gunnora at
Wed Jan 15 18:19:51 PST 1997

Heilsa, All.

Back when I started in the SCA, our Baron urged us all to be mebers.  He
also strongly urged AGAINST publication of the Kingdom calendar anywhere
except in the Black Star, as this further encouraged folks to become members.

I certainly see that paying your membership is to the benefit of the SCA as
a whole. I feel strongly that all officers and those fighting in Crown MUST
be members, because they have the potential in some or even many instances
to find themselves representing the SCA, Inc. as an officer or as Crown.
This should include bothe Kingdom and local officers and territorial rulers.

I also believe that Peers should strive to be members, if for no other
reason than to help support the organization which we have spent so much
time as a part of.

I do not believe that anyone should be required to pay a mebership before
getting an award, however.  Why?  No one asks "Are you a paid member?" of
the person who sits all night at gate guard.  No proof of membership is
required of the gentle who volunteers their time and often materials to
teach a class.  The cooks in the kitchen, the servers in the hall, and the
weary clean-up crew aren't checked for their blue cards before reporting to
work.  And since we were none too concerned that they be members while
working their buns off, or otherwise doing whatever made them eligible for
an award, we certainly should not have the gall to say, "Gee, you've done
all this wonderful stuff.  Too darned bad you were such a deadbeat you
couldn't pay your dues.  No award for you."

I DO think that we should ENCOURAGE membership by whatever means.  Let's not
require it.

Here's another hot topic to chew on.  One gentle was fulminating about a
person who failed to support their local group.  Well, what about the
instance in which one's local group fails to support YOU?  I have seen and
heard from several folks who worked hard in and for their local barony and
who never once received recognition for it.  Some of these folks realized
that the only place that they were acknowledged or appreciated  was another
enarby SCA group, to which they transferred their allegiance, though
physically they still live in the barony that ignored them.

Or here's another scenario... I am a Bjornsborger.  Always have been, always
will be... no matter where I physically live.  During the years I have lived
outside the barony of Bjornsborg, I never missed a Bjornsborg event,
continued contributing to the newsletter, and though I could not attend
local business meetings or fighter practices, I participated fully in the
life of the barony.  Is it a bad thing that Bjornsborg has recognized my
contributions?  I do not ignore other groups when I live away from my home
in the Land of the Bear, but Bjornsborg will always be my home and will
always have my first allegiance.

In both the scenarios listed above, people who play elsewhere other than in
their local group are working for the SCA and making a difference.  Why
should they be penalized if the group they mundanely live closest to is not
where they primarily play?  No one would complain if I moved back to San
Antonio and then acted as a Bjornsborger.  Why should it be a problem that
Gunnora lives on the "extreme Northern Bjornsborg border" while Christie
actually lives on the north edge of Austin?

Another scenario for someone playing outside their group occurs to me.  What
about people who have problems with the leadership or politics of their home
groups?  Isn't it better for them to contribute in a positive way elsewhere
than engaging in backbiting and politicking at the local level with people
they don't get along with or don't like?

Some thoughts to mull over...


Gunnora Hallakarva
Ek eigi visa þik hversu oðlask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna
heldr hversu na Hersis-Aðal

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