[Elfsea] Some history about our Baronial Championships

Estella Flather eflather at flash.net
Thu Aug 9 11:01:45 PDT 2007


Greetings from Mistress Stella-
	As a volunteer group, the SCA has people come and go as their
interests, jobs, family activities, etc. affect how they are able to come
out and join into our groups activities. This often leads to the phenomenon
of "Trying to reinvent the wheel", meaning that people haven't always been
present when various activities have been discussed or tried in the past.
This doesn't mean that their ideas are not wanted or appreciated, just that
there may be considerations that they are not aware of that have affected
how activities take place within our group. We all have to remember that
just because things have been discussed repeatedly doesn't mean everybody
knows about everything that has been talked about in the past. Communication
has to be extremely redundant and continue over time to keep people on the
same page in regards to how we hold events. In order to try to help with
informing people about some of the decisions that have been made in the past
regarding Baronial events I am going to review some of the concepts that
have been discussed and/or tried in the history of our Barony. These are my
personal observations, not published policies of the Barony. If you already
know all this, just ignore me.
	The Barony of Elfsea greatly respects her Champions and gives them
many benefits. One of the benefits historically given is free admission to
our events for the time that they hold a Baronial title. At one time it was
discussed that we add to our Baronial titles a Middle Eastern Dance
Championship. When this was mentioned, it was also mentioned that you can't
have Middle Eastern Dance without drummers, so the idea came up that we
should have a Middle Eastern Drumming Championship, too. Then those who
participate in Court Dance said,  if you have a Middle Eastern Dance
Champion, you need to have a Court Dance Champion as well. Then you would
have to have a Court Musician Championship and so on and so forth. Not
wanting to offend one group and not the other, it was decided that it would
not be a good idea to promote the proliferation of Baronial Championships,
especially in regard to giving free event admission to some Champions and
not others. Therefore outside our historical Championships, other
competition's winners are styled victors of the competition.
	In my oppinion, using the name of the group as part of the wording
bestowed upon the victor in a competition implies that that competition was
for a Baronial Championship. It doesn't matter where the "of" occurs. (That
is heraldically important in Baronial titles, as only the founding Baron and
Baroness of a Barony may use the title Baron/Baroness "Group name". For
example, only Baron Arthus of the Fen and Baroness Robyn Murchada may use
the title "Baron Elfsea" and "Baroness Elfsea". This is regulated by the
College of Heralds, not the Barony.) For instance, I just stepped down as
the artisan champion of the Steppes. This championship may be referred to as
"Artisan of the Steppes" but sometimes it is also referred to as "Steppes
Artisan" with no "of". It is the group name that designates it as a baronial
championship. I agree that the proposal to call the victor in Defender's
Middle Eastern Dance competition the "Jewel of  Middle Eastern Dance" is a
good solution to this problem in regard to the current discussions.
	As a reminder, I will now discuss how things get done in the Barony.
Our events have evolved a wonderful method of holding our events in such a
way that undue stress is not focused on our stewards. We have activities
that are hosted by individuals who want to sponsor that part of the event.
Usually the Baronial office holder for that area is responsible for finding
a person to host an important activity, with preference given to the current
title holder. For instance, for Elfsea Artisan, the Artisan of Elfsea is
encouraged to host the competition for their successor. They have the
support of the Minister of A&S for our group and if the current champion
were not available, the Minister of A&S should find another host or see that
the event comes off themselves. The same would hold true for our Defender
Championship. Ideally the current title holder take part in hosting the
tournament, with the help of the barony's Knight Marshal. 
	Discussions of the nuts and bolts of exactly how an event will take
place should be done at Business Meeting, which is open to everyone in the
Barony. This is to make Moot run more quickly, as we have limited time.
Decisions that were made at Business meeting or event meetings should be
presented to the populace at Moot and in the Tidings so that everyone knows
what the plans are. Trying to get permission to hold activities at an event
are best presented at business meeting. Ambushing people when they are busy
with other things, such as at Moot or an event is not the best thing to do,
as they are probably distracted and will not remember everything that people
talked to them about at the event. The people responsible for an event are
the Stewards. They have a difficult job. To make their job easier, Elfsea
has one of our Keystones assist them in making sure that all the complicated
paperwork and planning get done so that the event will conform with all the
Kingdom's requirements, which have become more and more complicated over the
years. This doesn't mean that the Stewards don't know what they are doing.
This is just a double check to make sure all the currrent P's & Q's are
completed. We don't want our Barony getting in trouble because of waivers or
not having proper adult coverage at children's activities, incomplete event
ad, etc. Ultimately, the people responsible for the success of an event are
the Stewards, the Seneschal and the Baron and Baroness. All those people
need to be consulted when events are being planned. Yeah, that's a lot of
people. That's why keeping everyone on the same page is so difficult.
	Remember the phrase "Non scriptum, non est." If it is not in writing
it does not exist. 
	Communication is a difficult process. Every time we think that
everyone surely knows how things are usually done, or what plans have been
made, there is always someone who pipes up, "I didn't know that!" ESP does
not work. Just because you tell a few people doesn't mean everyone knows. So
try not to get discouraged and don't lose patience if you have to repeat
information frequently. We all need to work together and support each other.
	In service to the Barony of Elfsea and the Kingdom of Ansteorra.
	HE Stella Silvana, Premier Artisan of Elfsea, OL, OP, CSSC, Lion

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