[Bards] Encouraging the discouraged

jessica smith jasiwolf at gmail.com
Mon Jun 25 17:49:27 PDT 2007

You and your '*' lol!
I think thats a wonderful idea. How would you go about implementing this system in the baronies?
Adelina of the Steppes

-----Original Message-----
From: "Peter Schorn" <peterschorn at pdq.net>
To: bards at lists.ansteorra.org
Sent: 6/25/2007 7:17 PM
Subject: [Bards] Encouraging the discouraged

>Message: 1
>Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 22:20:00 GMT
>From: "willowjonbardc at juno.com" <willowjonbardc at juno.com>
>Subject: [Bards] discouraging individuals

(I've trimmed Duchess Willow's original post for brevity's sake)

>You go to an officer, noble (this including non landed, Baron/ess or 
>autocrate and suggest an idea and the person tells you without and 
>positive statement, "Put it in writing." Most of the people I talked 
>to said they would take this as a no. It is a put off. The individual 
>thinks the idea is bad and plans to axe it.  The individual does not 
>plan to present it in a way to give it a fair shake. Now if the 
>person makes some kind of personal statement that implies that it is 
>a worthwhile idea and may stand a chance then it is not a "No". If 
>the person think someone in the officialdom would be behind it they 
>are willing to write it down. Also they are happier if they have the 
>chance to present their idea to decision makers. 

Your Grace, if I understand you properly, you're saying that:

1) When newer SCA members try to get their ideas considered, they take it as
a sign of bureaucratic indifference or hostility when they're asked to go
through channels, and thus they get discouraged and their ideas don't go

2) ...BUT, if a more experienced member expresses interest and is willing to
help, these new members are less likely to be discouraged. 

I think you're right. SCA rules and regulations, as well as the
bureaucracies to administer them, have grown enormously in number and
complexity in the past two decades.  That's necessary and even good: a large
organization that handles legal issues, contracts, large sums of money and
extreme-sport safety, needs rules and people to apply them.  But this all
can be quite discouraging to newcomers, many of whom are drawn to the
Society by our sense of fun and spontaneity.

The solution you've implied is quite period: a sponsor, or better say
"patron."  When later Roman government became a mature bureaucracy it became
necessary for anyone who wanted to shepherd an issue through that
bureaucracy, to have a senior civil servant or political figure on their
side to make sure their issue didn't get lost or fall prey to hostile
parties.  As Rome was becoming Christian during this period, the concept of
patronage naturally was carried over from the secular to the sacred
sphere--thus, "Patron Saints."

But let us turn aside from Pastoralism, and _revenons à nos moutons_*...

I think it would be a good idea for each group's Hospitaller to keep an
informal list of senior members in a group able and willing to act as
sponsors officers to include, say, old Duke so-and-so, who may not hold any
official position, and may not even fight, but is still certified to marshal
and knows a number of people in the marshallate.  

So if a newbie has a bright idea for a new, fun kind of list, the
Hospitaller can say, "Hey, let's talk to His Grace: he's always interested
in new ideas!"  Of course His Grace would have agreed beforehand to hear
these ideas and give an opinion, modifying or redirecting the newcomer's
energies as he deems fit.

Anyway, that's my idea: an informal circle of informal sponsors, with the
Hospitaller (or any other dutiful party) acting as the networker.


*French, "let us return to our sheep," i.e., let's return to the matter at
**Pastoralism.  Sheep.  Get it?***
***I so amuse myself...

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