[Elfsea] Baronial bid for Caelin and Pyro

Richard Threlkeld rjt at softwareinnovation.com
Sun Jul 6 10:58:12 PDT 2003

Here is a copy of the bid Pyro and I submitted to the Crown and Coronet.
The original was nicely formatted, but that is not possible in this
list. If you wish to have a copy of the formatted document, email us. If
you read the "Plan for Elfsea" you will see the highlights of what we
would plan to do and to continue doing. If you have specific questions,
feel free to ask. I have never been accused of not having an opinion on
something or not sharing that opinion. 

I believe the Crown and the populace of Elfsea will have a difficult
choice to make among several couples who could do a good job. We believe
we have the best combination of leadership and skills needed to help
this Barony become what its people want it to be. However, if the
Crown's decision is for another couple, we will support them with the
same dedication you would see if we had won.

In service to Ansteorra and her Crown,
HL Caelin on Andrede
Ldy Ker Megan of Taransay (Pyro)


To Your Stellar Majesties and Stellar Highnesses,

Honorable Lord Caelin on Andrede and Lady Ker Megan of Taransay (known
as Pyro) 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 Baroness and served several since then. She is a holder of the
Ant of Elfsea (Shire service award), the Portcullis of Elfsea, the
Keystone of Elfsea, an Award of Arms, and the Sable Crane. She has been
active in the Shire and Barony for fifteen years. Her primary interests
have been service and a wide variety of arts. She creates jewelry and
has a complete commercial shop at our home. She spins thread and weaves
regalia. She has done calligraphy professionally. 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 service. He is a chivalric fighter, a rapier
fighter, an archer (both combat and target), and is an active
authorizing marshal in every fighting skill except rapier (only an
inspection marshal there). He is also a Youth Chivalric and Youth Rapier
marshal. He dabbles in various arts, is one of six Heralds at Large in
the Kingdom at the time of this writing, has been an autocrat for
several large events, and has been feastocrat for a Coronation, Queens,
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 and 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), travel 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 populace in our bid to become the next Baron
and Baroness.

If you should honor us with the position of Baron and Baroness, we would
continue and extend our efforts to make all the Barony thrive by
recruiting new members, retaining experienced members, attending
meetings, representing the Barony at events local and distant, and
helping the people of Elfsea achieve 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
opportunities and no single plan we propose now will be appropriate for
that whole period. But we have definite ideas about where the Barony is
and where it should go. These have been developed over the last few
years in active discussion with other leaders in the Barony, new
members, members of our Cantons and College, and others throughout the

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

First, we need to do a better job of recruiting new members. Growth is
required 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't. Our Canton of Loch Ruadh has been very
effective at recruiting new members and Elfsea as a whole can learn from

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 people 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 friendly with experienced members making sure new people are
welcomed and made a part of the family. We need to make sure new people
camping at events are helped and integrated into the group. We often
have couples who share the cooking, 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
for a while. We commonly lose members either soon after recruiting or
after very seasoned members "burn out". These require different

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 couple. 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 culture where mentoring is considered part of the
fun of being in Elfsea. Clearly, not everyone will enjoy mentoring or do
it well, but many will. New members of the group will find several
different personalities and can chose 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
them 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 the Barony that don't appear any other way. You might also
be able to correct problems and get them back. After all, you clearly
care about them. 

We lose experienced members because the move away, because their jobs
now require weekend work, because their kids get into Scouts, and
because they "burn out". We cannot do much about moving or work, except
to include those 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/parent activities and make the environment
friendly for kids. Our active support for all the children's martial
activities is a big help here. 

And finally, we need to help our experienced members meter their SCA
activities to a level they can sustain. Having new members to train
instead of doing everything will help. Getting people to try more of the
many interesting 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

Officer Training
After some of our recent troubles, our population in a business meeting
suggested we begin training our officers. Clearly, the appropriate
Regional and Kingdom officers are responsible for training their
officers to be a good Rapier Marshal or Chirurgeon or Exchequer, but the
Barony is responsible for telling our officers what we expect of them as
officers in the Barony. This is pretty much the same for all Baronial
officers. We want them to report 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 required. We want them to sponsor local
events or competitions in their area. We want them to train the rest of
us in their area. And we want them to watch over us and each other to
prevent burn out, heat or cold problems, dehydration, 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 officers might be required to attend as a condition of getting the

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 we can. We have good financial policies and are following them
closely. Everyone is becoming aware of what is required to do the
finances correctly. Caelin 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 accounting.

Pyro and Caelin would not change any of that. We would look at doing a
better job of budgeting, monitoring expenditures against the budget, and
holding 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 that soon). When our Crown asks us to help them, we do
whatever we can and with the skills of our populace, that is
considerable. We have world class feastocrats, top-notch autocrats,
wonderful and winning artisans, equestrians, chirurgeons, marshals, and

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

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

We have an active program in chivalric fighting, rapier fighting, and
archery (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 to do so. We would attend at least one of the Canton's
practices every month to support their efforts. 

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

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 and could not afford it and expects to continue doing so. When we
needed more siege crews, Caelin found the biggest stopping point was the
lack of inexpensive 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 buy them at cost, if they wished.

Elfsea has been the group providing the most service hours for the last
four 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 Chirurgeon 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 these activities.

Resume for Caelin on Andrede

Caelin on Andrede is mundanely Richard Threlkeld, who is a business and
computer consultant, a certified public accountant (CPA), and an
emergency medical technician (EMT) with advanced cardiac life support
(ACLS) and pre-hospital trauma life support (PHTLS) certifications. He
is an instructor and trainer for BLS CPR and first aid and an instructor
for PHTLS. He has been the owner of Software Innovation, a small
consulting firm,  for the last twenty four years.

He holds a BA in Computer Sciences from UT Austin and a Master of Public
Accounting 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 rife and shotgun instructor. He was a rappelling and rock
climbing instructor for them. He was also an instructor for Challenging
Outdoor Personal Experiences (COPE) which is a team building program for
adults and scouts using problem solving and high wire experiences. He
held a number of training positions ending with overall Training
Chairman for the Longhorn Council. That job coordinated a team of 15
leaders who each ran a district training of 15-20 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
Seneschal, deputy Kingdom Chirurgeon, Kingdom Chirurgeon, Elfsea
Seneschal again, and Southern Regional Exchequer. Along the way, he has
been an autocrat for various local and calendar events, feastocrat for
local and Kingdom events, Waterbearer, and many unofficial jobs. He
travels throughout the Kingdom.

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

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

>From 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)
joined the SCA in 1988, in an effort to escape comic/sci-fi fandom. Many
new friends 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 pursuing 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 the 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 (Nautilus).

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

Her philosophy about running a group is when you find yourself saying
"somebody needs to.." is best replaced by "I better."

As Baroness I would mostly concentrate on supporting the interest
groups, and building a sense of unity and group cohesiveness, so
everyone can see that "Life is good in Elfsea".

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