ANST - Educational view

stddly at stddly at
Fri Nov 7 11:11:57 PST 1997

/>>> I have seen several people writing about the Ren Fairs drawing new
/>members.  This accounts for a great deal here in the Western Region.  We
/>have had 3 major weekend demos in our Region over the last > non - profit
/>>N, these take precedence over traveling to events.  As an educator, I feel
/>my primary place is educating students and public to what we are and what> 
/>>> Ulrica
/>>Since we are a EDUCATIONAL HISTORICAL recreation group, I say
/>>ditto. Events are fun, but if you are not sharing the wealth of know-
/>>ledge, how else are we to grow? 
/What you say about drawing new members is very true, *however*, I'd much
/rather do it as a demo in the park or at a school.  I have a real problem
/with helping people like George just get richer at our expense--granted, we
/do get money for our groups, but...  Not to mention the fact that Ren Fairs,
/at least the Texas one often get people off to a questionable start
/regarding accuracy, authenticity, etc. as concerns the SCA.  Jes' call me
/picky ;^>

George is going to get rich whether we are there or not. In fact if we were
not occupying the area we do George would be several thousands of dollars
richer each weekend. We do not at this time get money for our groups at all for
particpating. (That fell by the wayside several years back). School demos
are nice to convey our legitamacy but do little with drawing in membership.
Demos at parks only get passing fancies of few. TRF draws in several HUNDRED
Thousand Persons a Year (not to the SCA but as a Demo) with at least 
a passing interest in "historical" stuff. 

I donot feel that External Education should be our primary focus but should
be an ongoing part of what we do. Renfair (besides drawing LOTS of people
in to the SCA -- especially in the Greater LochRaven'sGate on the Marsh area)
is a "neutral" positive PR format for people to approach us and see that we
 are not "a religion"(or whateverelse they THINK we are). We reach people
not only in that region but we have had LOTS of people from Meridies and 
Calontir inquire.

As far as questionable start... this is one of my sore points...
I feel that local groups should serve as a buffer/enculturation point
for newcomers as a whole. Not exclusively--because owing to personalities
and the openness we profess it would be impossible. At least at TRF we are
passing out sheets with local to the potential participant hospitialar info
even if the Fair is not wholy authentic (But definitely moreso than
the Fantasy Fairs popping up all over the place) at least they have a
relatively good place to start. Now, how the group in their area interacts 
with these people will determine whether they will "follow party line" and
at least adhere to a modicum of "periodness" and seek more OR go screaming
into the night because those people were SO RUDE -- OR hang on the edge and
be "fringe members" for most of all of their SCA career because the only
other people who cared to relate to them were other fringe types 

For it to rub off on others WE have to be enthused about and spread the fun
of the things WE do that are MORE "PERIOD", and MORE "HONOURABLE" etc...

This is kind of wierd for me to say because I have been on a long slow
burn the past couple of years, but looking through NEWCOMERS eyes (like
looking through childrens eyes) is sometimes the only way I can remember
-amongst the political/social strife- the manifestations of the ideals that
got me to stay in this group and choose it as my "village to raise my child in"

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