Awards Policy (Househol

Jeanne C. Stapleton jstaplet at
Tue Jan 21 08:45:03 PST 1997

> Countess Berengaria exclaims:
> >I'm not sure why the emphasis on exclusion.  I like to know who's
> >"with" my household for practical reasons:  how many spaces to plan
> > for at feast table.  How many square feet to grab for a camp. 
> >Etc.
> "grab".
"grab" used euphemistically, as in "Pennsic Land Grab".

> I know this is not what you wanted to bring up, but it does touch on
> one of the reasons I am highly cautious around households and why I
> would rather they not become a big part of Ansteorra.
I can understand being cautious around households, but how can
you regulate the desire of people to gather together?

The only reason I get at all hesitant when I hear/read a phrase like
the latter part of your statement is that such a statement can be 
taken by newcomers as some kind of "official policy".  I have a long
story which I won't relate here aobut finding an extremely large
extremely strange household at an An Tir Crown who didn't come
to anything in the group they lived in because they all told me that
the Baron and Baroness had "banished" households.  Now, they
didn't particularly *approve* of them because they felt that they 
detracted from people's "loyalty" to the Barony, but then part of
the problem lay with them, etc.  However, even though I stood
there and told these people point-blank that not only had the B&B
not done that, they *couldn't* do that, they persisted in believing
what they had grown to believe.

> It really hurts to come into a hall and find that the only tables
> available are at the far reaches of the hall because at most of the
> tables are sentries from households holding the tables for their
> households. Then you notice after feast starts that many of these
> tables have empty spots because the household claimed two tables
> rather than the 10 seats they really needed. Or that some of the
> people in the household decided to sit with another.
I can understand that.  A responsible household would take only as
many spaces as they needed.  If this persisted, I think as an 
autocrat I would tend to step in and assign seating based on 
reservations.  I've never just blanketly swiped two whole tables on
the premise of who "might" show up; if you'll read my earlier 
statement, one of the things I said was that I wanted to know who was 
"with" my household so I would know *how many* places to save,
and I meant just that, no more, no less.  Also, on the occasions when 
we've had a couple of people who didn't show up--and it's 
happened--we've always invited, nay, gone and hunted for solo 
feasters to come join us.  They usually do.  Also, as far as people 
"deciding to sit somewhere else"--well, at the risk of sounding
dictatorial, that was kind of the point of the original commentary:
I'd like to know who is really *with* my household so that there 
can be planning for such occasions as feast seating and we end up 
with neither more nor less than we need.  YMMV.

> The same thing happens at sites where camping is at a premium such
> as Lionese(sp?) in Bjornsborg. I came very close to giving up on the
> SCA about six years ago when I couldn't find a spot at that event
> and got chased out of three "reserved" spots in a row.
This is truly annoying. :-)  We had this problem on a kingdom scale 
in An Tir with a number of contributing factors:  at Crown events,
the Royal Peers are supposed to have first crack at reserving eric-
side space, after the required Royal Pavilion and offices relating to
the tourney are accounted for (heralds, lists, etc.)  Well, people 
weren't turning up to events or in time and we had these great gaping 
holes in the available tourney frontage.  Once we got a Crown Event 
Coordinator, he started giving them (I think) until two weeks before 
event to reserve a specific space; after that, it was open season for
anyone with a period pavilion.  It's worked well to make people both
more timely and responsible for what they reserve.  Once again, YMMV.
I know that it's annoying to have a household or camping unit with
a number of component parts who can't all make it to the event at the 
same time of day because of work schedules, and to have someone 
take over your last space and then have your *kitcken* out in the 
north 40.  

> You almost have to form a household as a defense. Then you can
> finish teaching that class or running that tournament because you
> know there is someone else holding you a spot. Or not do that
> activity so you can be first in the rush.
I'm not sure about "defense", but as a means of maximizing available
resources, yes.  This is reflected even more strongly in the mundane
world, I might add:  ever tried travelling alone as a single woman?
With garb and gear?  Nowadays, you're not supposed to leave your
luggage unattended for even a second--this makes it difficult to
retrieve your things from the baggage carousel since you have to
turn away from your established pile of stuff.
I somehow don't think it's gotten that bad in the SCA--I've gone
and reserved a "spot for one" early in the day and been fine--
but once again, YMMV>

> If the household is not careful, it can also kill a small SCA
> group such as a shire. The household member becomes the group
> seneschal. Then over a time period, it seems that all the officers
> the incoming officers are from the household. Afterall, the
> seneschal wants people they know they can work with. The members not
> part of the household no longer feel a part of the group and drift
> away. 
This is in fact a danger; how to strike a balance between household
loyalty, that feeling of family and attachment people are searching 
and being able to be relatively free of conflicts of interest?

> Yes, there are advantages to households, particularly when there are
> few local groups. But I don't see enough advantages to outwiegh the
> disadvantages currently.
> Stefan li Rous
> Barony of Bryn Gwlad
> markh at
Well, once again, since households aren't official, I suspect that 
the status quo in your area will remain that way or change very 
slowly; they develop as they seem to be needed and they fade away
when they aren't meeting a need.

Countess Berengaria de Montfort de Carcassonne, OP
Barony of Caerthe
Kingdom of the Outlands

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