[Elfsea] things for thought

Sluggy slugmusk at linuxlegend.com
Wed Oct 30 23:11:18 PST 2002

Richard Threlkeld wrote:

> In the past we have done this by asking a large group of us,
> "What event, demo, fighter practice, whatever was your introduction
> to the SCA?" It is interesting to see the results.

In my personal experience, it was indeed a fighter practice that
"recruited" me. It was at a fighter practice I attended while visiting
Abilene in the summer of 1994. It was largely Elfsea people, not the
least of which were Baron Arthur and Duke Inman, though I obviously
didn't have a clue who they were. By the grace of an unidentified lady
from Bonwicke, I was immediately hooked on combat archery, having hit a
shield at about 20 yards three out of three shots taken.

There was an A&S display

I got back to Fort Worth, went to a fighter practice at Randol Mill Park
and was pretty much ignored. If not for my own outgoing personality, I
might still be standing there. Even with this experience, I was
fascinated and sent off my boxtops for a membership.

I knew several SCA people (Conal, Magdalea, Sean, Dighe, Eirik, etc.)
through a BBS, though it never was an issue. It was really Dighe who
convinced me to attend a particular coronation, where I was introduced
to Dana, and that pretty much sealed my fate. :)

In an earlier thread, Caelin wrote:

>> We have not been as successful at recruiting over the last few years as
>> before. Interest in the middle ages comes in cycles, so we can expect some
>> ups and downs from that. After looking at other groups both in the SCA and
>> outside, I believe some of this is generic trends, some of it is the
>> appearance of many other organizations competing for our time, and some of
>> it is ineffective recruiting.

An important part of effective recruiting is effective retention.

When someone gets hooked on the SCA and realizes, like I did, that they
have been SCA for the entire life but didn't know it, they tend to want
to do *everything*. No, I'm not just picking on Maria :) We, as more or
less seasoned SCA folk, need to learn to help newcomers say "no"
occasionally and perhaps even more importantly, we need to learn when to
stop asking for more. I don't want to list a bunch of names because
revisiting the specifics of any given situation is not appropriate here,
but I know of several people who were introduced to the SCA in Elfsea,
played for a while then made the grave error of showing an aptitude or
skill combined with the enthusiasm for some particular duty that needed
doing. Then another. Then another. Pretty soon, they reached a point
where they dreaded playing.

Most of us have reached such a point, perhaps several times, and we've
learned when we need to say "uncle", but we need to learn to tell when
our enthusiastic newcomers need to.



I don't care about what anything was DESIGNED to do,
I care about what it CAN do!

                                Gene Kranz

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