[DFT] Bid for Baron and Baroness of Elfsea

Richard Threlkeld rjt at acm.org
Mon Jul 7 10:36:49 PDT 2003

I appologize for not including Dragonsfire Tor in my initial posting, but I=
 was not a member of your mailing list until today. That shows I need to ge=
t much more involved with your Canton if I am to be an effective Baron. 

Here is the document in plain text and I have attached an MS Word document =
which is formatted better. Pyro (betsy at softwareinnovation.com) and I (rjt at s=
oftwareinnovation.com) are available for comments, questions, or requests a=
nd welcome your input.

In service,
HL Caelin on Andrede
Kingdom Chirurgeon, Ansteorra
Southern Regional Exchequer


To Your Stellar Majesties and Stellar Highnesses,

Honorable Lord Caelin on Andrede and Lady Ker Megan of Taransay (known as P=
yro) do present themselves to Your Majesties in the matter of the selection=
 of a new Baron and Baroness for your Barony of Elfsea. 

Ker Megan has been a member of your Barony of Elfsea since it was a Shire. =
She has been A&S Minister and Herald, Lady in waiting to the founding Baron=
ess and served several since then. She is a holder of the Ant of Elfsea (Sh=
ire service award), the Portcullis of Elfsea, the Keystone of Elfsea, an Aw=
ard of Arms, and the Sable Crane. She has been active in the Shire and Baro=
ny for fifteen years. Her primary interests have been service and a wide va=
riety of arts. She creates jewelry and has a complete commercial shop at ou=
r home. She spins thread and weaves regalia. She has done calligraphy profe=
ssionally. She works gate, helps in the kitchen, sets up tents, serves the =
nobles, helps with tear-down, works as list mistress, is a Waterbearer, and=
 generally does whatever needs doing.

Caelin has been a member of the Barony of Elfsea for six years. He has been=
 Seneschal twice and Deputy Herald. He is currently the Kingdom Chirurgeon =
and the Southern Regional Exchequer. He holds the Portcullis of Elfsea, the=
 Keystone of Elfsea, an Award of Arms, a Sable Crane, and a Star of Merit. =
His primary interests have been Chirurgeoning, training, leadership, and se=
rvice. He is a chivalric fighter, a rapier fighter, an archer (both combat =
and target), and is an active authorizing marshal in every fighting skill e=
xcept rapier (only an inspection marshal there). He is also a Youth Chivalr=
ic and Youth Rapier marshal. He dabbles in various arts, is one of six Hera=
lds at Large in the Kingdom at the time of this writing, has been an autocr=
at for several large events, and has been feastocrat for a Coronation, Quee=
ns, Baronial College and other events.

Our home has been a center of activity in the Barony with business meetings=
, Middle Eastern dance practice, and cooking guild meeting here regularly a=
nd various ad hoc meetings and parties happening from time to time. We have=
 attended the last five Gulf Wars (Caelin is the next War Chirurgeon), trav=
el to events around the Kingdom, rarely miss a fighter practice, never miss=
 a Moot or business meeting, and frequently attend populace meetings of our=
 Canton of Loch Ruadh. We believe we have the support of a many of the popu=
lace in our bid to become the next Baron and Baroness.

If you should honor us with the position of Baron and Baroness, we would co=
ntinue and extend our efforts to make all the Barony thrive by recruiting n=
ew members, retaining experienced members, attending meetings, representing=
 the Barony at events local and distant, and helping the people of Elfsea a=
chieve what they desire both individually and as a group.

In service to Ansteorra and Her Crown,
HL Caelin on Andrede
Ker Megan of Taransay
A Plan for Elfsea

We know the next Baron and Baroness will have several years of opportunitie=
s and no single plan we propose now will be appropriate for that whole peri=
od. But we have definite ideas about where the Barony is and where it shoul=
d go. These have been developed over the last few years in active discussio=
n with other leaders in the Barony, new members, members of our Cantons and=
 College, and others throughout the Kingdom. 

Pyro and Caelin believe completely that those areas which receive the atten=
tion of the Baron and Baroness are successful and those areas that do not h=
ave to struggle. We would be active in events, meetings, guilds, fighting, =
Gulf War, our Cantons and College, and every aspect of the Barony.

First, we need to do a better job of recruiting new members. Growth is requ=
ired to get new ideas, to have people to teach what we have learned, and to=
 have people for whom doing the simple things if fun and different. We have=
 learned many ways that work to recruit new members and many ways that don=
=92t. Our Canton of Loch Ruadh has been very effective at recruiting new me=
mbers and Elfsea as a whole can learn from them. 

Specifically, we need to use sign-in sheets at all our events and follow up=
 on new people. Find out what they like initially and connect them with peo=
ple who will mentor them in those areas and generally. We need to call them=
 before meetings to see if they need a ride. We need to send them specific =
invitations to attend local events and meetings. Meetings should be friendl=
y with experienced members making sure new people are welcomed and made a p=
art of the family. We need to make sure new people camping at events are he=
lped and integrated into the group. We often have couples who share the coo=
king, for instance. New members should be invited to join and treated like =
the new friends they are.

We also need to do a better job of retaining those who have been members fo=
r a while. We commonly lose members either soon after recruiting or after v=
ery seasoned members =93burn out=94. These require different solutions. 

The Barony often recruits people just to have them disappear after a month =
or two. Some of the things we mentioned above will help this, but we can go=
 further. The group has tried assigning a mentor to each new person or coup=
le. This has had some success, but it depends greatly on the mentor meshing=
 well with the new person. A better method, in our opinion, is creating a c=
ulture where mentoring is considered part of the fun of being in Elfsea. Cl=
early, not everyone will enjoy mentoring or do it well, but many will. New =
members of the group will find several different personalities and can chos=
e one or more as their new friends in the group. 

We also need to follow up on those new people who leave. Call them, tell th=
em we are trying to improve our welcoming of new members, and ask them why =
they left. Sometimes it takes a bit of work, but you can find problems in t=
he Barony that don=92t appear any other way. You might also be able to corr=
ect problems and get them back. After all, you clearly care about them. 

We lose experienced members because the move away, because their jobs now r=
equire weekend work, because their kids get into Scouts, and because they =
=93burn out=94. We cannot do much about moving or work, except to include t=
hose who want to be included in our email lists and non-weekend activities.=
 We need to continue and extend our welcome to families. Have children/pare=
nt activities and make the environment friendly for kids. Our active suppor=
t for all the children=92s martial activities is a big help here. 

And finally, we need to help our experienced members meter their SCA activi=
ties to a level they can sustain. Having new members to train instead of do=
ing everything will help. Getting people to try more of the many interestin=
g areas in the SCA prevents burnout. Training leaders in the group to watch=
 for signs of burn out and how to help is a major move forward. 

Officer Training
After some of our recent troubles, our population in a business meeting sug=
gested we begin training our officers. Clearly, the appropriate Regional an=
d Kingdom officers are responsible for training their officers to be a good=
 Rapier Marshal or Chirurgeon or Exchequer, but the Barony is responsible f=
or telling our officers what we expect of them as officers in the Barony. T=
his is pretty much the same for all Baronial officers. We want them to repo=
rt correctly and on time. We want them to be leaders in the Barony. We want=
 them recruit and train a deputy or two and then use that deputy to spread =
the burden of office and to ensure they can take over the office if require=
d. We want them to sponsor local events or competitions in their area. We w=
ant them to train the rest of us in their area. And we want them to watch o=
ver us and each other to prevent burn out, heat or cold problems, dehydrati=
on, and anything else that makes sense.

Caelin has volunteered with Raimond and Ameline to create and teach such a =
course, but we have not yet started this. We need to get this done and the =
training accomplished. Anyone who wanted to attend would be welcome, but of=
ficers might be required to attend as a condition of getting the office.

We have had some problems with reporting and financial controls in the past=
. We, as a Barony, have agreed to follow the strictest financial policies w=
e can. We have good financial policies and are following them closely. Ever=
yone is becoming aware of what is required to do the finances correctly. Ca=
elin is mundanely a CPA and has been the Southern Regional Exchequer, so he=
 knows what should be done and has many examples of both good and bad SCA a=

Pyro and Caelin would not change any of that. We would look at doing a bett=
er job of budgeting, monitoring expenditures against the budget, and holdin=
g people accountable for meeting their budgets where appropriate. We would =
ask event stewards to not only provide reasonable budgets based on previous=
 such events, but also to provide contingency plans for reasonably possible=
 outcomes. What happens if threatened storms keep people away? What happens=
 if there is a fire ban in the area?

Elfsea has always been a service Barony. Our members provide a large amount=
 of service to the Group, to other Baronies and Shires, and to the Kingdom.=
 In one 12 month period we hosted 11 calendar events (we will not repeat th=
at soon). When our Crown asks us to help them, we do whatever we can and wi=
th the skills of our populace, that is considerable. We have world class fe=
astocrats, top-notch autocrats, wonderful and winning artisans, equestrians=
, chirurgeons, marshals, and more.

When new members are recruited, they are quickly brought into our service m=
entality. We invite them to help us do any of the many tasks that must be d=
one: gate, security, waterbearing, entourage for the Baron and Baroness, et=
c. If that is not their desire, it is not required, but most really enjoy i=

Pyro and Caelin would continue this while making sure those for whom servic=
e is not an interest can find a place in the Barony. 

We have an active program in chivalric fighting, rapier fighting, and arche=
ry (both target and combat). We have provided the majority of siege engines=
 used in the Gulf Wars. We have an active live steel group in our Canton of=
 Dragonsfire Tor. Caelin engages in all these and is a marshal in all these=
 areas. We attend nearly every Elfsea fighter practice and would continue t=
o do so. We would attend at least one of the Canton=92s practices every mon=
th to support their efforts. 

We have a fighting company known as the Arthurian Company which generally p=
rovides 10-20 fighters each year at Gulf War. We practice for about six mon=
ths of the year under the guidance of a Captain. Our Canton of Loch Ruadh h=
as its own fighting company, the Finan Ruadh. A household in our group, Fal=
conrose, provides additional fighters and they arrange, in conjunction with=
 Caelin and other members of the Barony to provide mercenary fighters (in t=
he past it has been the Iron Lance). We expect to heavily support all of th=

Gulf Wars
Elfsea has always encouraged her members to go to the Gulf Wars and we have=
 been successful. Caelin has provided camperships to those who want to go a=
nd could not afford it and expects to continue doing so. When we needed mor=
e siege crews, Caelin found the biggest stopping point was the lack of inex=
pensive helms. He purchased twenty of them at a large quantity discount and=
 loaned them at no cost to those who would become siege crew. They could bu=
y them at cost, if they wished.

Elfsea has been the group providing the most service hours for the last fou=
r or five years and Caelin has provided about a third of that amount. Last =
year he was turned in the second highest hour count. He will be the War Chi=
rurgeon next year and cannot log hours, however. Pyro has been part of the =
trademarked Ansteorran Inspection station every year. She does all the jobs=
 that fighters cannot do and still fight. As Baroness, she would organize t=
hese activities.

Resume for Caelin on Andrede

Caelin on Andrede is mundanely Richard Threlkeld, who is a business and com=
puter consultant, a certified public accountant (CPA), and an emergency med=
ical technician (EMT) with advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and pre-hos=
pital trauma life support (PHTLS) certifications. He is an instructor and t=
rainer for BLS CPR and first aid and an instructor for PHTLS. He has been t=
he owner of Software Innovation, a small consulting firm,  for the last twe=
nty four years.

He holds a BA in Computer Sciences from UT Austin and a Master of Public Ac=
counting from UT Arlington. 

He has been a Boy Scout leader for over 15 years in both Cub Scouts and Boy=
 Scouts. He was a Cubmaster for a Pack of 120 boys for 6 years and a Troop =
Committee member for 5 years. For the Boy Scouts he became and is an NRA ri=
fe and shotgun instructor. He was a rappelling and rock climbing instructor=
 for them. He was also an instructor for Challenging Outdoor Personal Exper=
iences (COPE) which is a team building program for adults and scouts using =
problem solving and high wire experiences. He held a number of training pos=
itions ending with overall Training Chairman for the Longhorn Council. That=
 job coordinated a team of 15 leaders who each ran a district training of 1=
5-20 leaders. He was responsible for all the training for 3000+ adults and =
advanced training for the boys. His sons are in college, but he still does =
merit badges from time to time. Much of the time formerly devoted to scouts=
 is currently used for the SCA.

In the SCA he has been a local Chirurgeon, Elfsea deputy Herald, Elfsea Sen=
eschal, deputy Kingdom Chirurgeon, Kingdom Chirurgeon, Elfsea Seneschal aga=
in, and Southern Regional Exchequer. Along the way, he has been an autocrat=
 for various local and calendar events, feastocrat for local and Kingdom ev=
ents, Waterbearer, and many unofficial jobs. He travels throughout the King=

He has helped build the Ansteorran Chirurgeonate from 6 Chirurgeons when he=
 joined to 75 currently. He built the current Kingdom Chirurgeon web pages =
which provide online reporting, forms, and contact/certification informatio=

When he determined a major roadblock to getting new Chirurgeons certified a=
nd keeping Journeyman and Masters recertified was the availability of train=
ing programs, he established a training center, trained instructors and tra=
iners (with much help from Arkell vom Cophous), and began putting on traini=
ng programs. The programs are listed on the web page with online registrati=
on and aids for the instructors.

> the Barony he holds the Portcullis of Elfsea and the Keystone of Elfsea. =
>From the Kingdom, he holds an Award of Arms, the Sable Crane, and the Star =
of Merit. 

Resume for Ker Megan of Taransay

Betsy Marshall (most frequently known as Pyro- whole story on request) join=
ed the SCA in 1988, in an effort to escape comic/sci-fi fandom. Many new fr=
iends and many new interests and skills were quickly acquired.

She has also received a BS in Physics from UDallas, an MS in Physics with a=
 specialization in High energy particles from UTDallas, and is currently pu=
rsuing a PhD at UTArlington, with an interest in Astrophysics. To fund this=
 she spent 10 years on 3rd shift, working nights and studying days.

She spent a season early on as A&S minister in Elfsea, was co-autocrat of t=
he Elevation to Barony at the then Yule revel, served as Lady in waiting to=
 Baroness Robin, and more recently held down the office of Baronial Herald =

Mostly she is known for being a willing pair of hands when something needs =
doing- list mistress for king=92s champion, 3am gate shift at Spring faire,=
 scullery maid at 12th Night, set-up, take-down and transport for many loca=
l and not so local events.

Her philosophy about running a group is when you find yourself saying =93so=
mebody needs to..=94 is best replaced by =93I better=85=94

As Baroness I would mostly concentrate on supporting the interest groups, a=
nd building a sense of unity and group cohesiveness, so everyone can see th=
at =93Life is good in Elfsea=94.

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