BARONY OF TWIN MOONS, ATENVELDT — The Kingdom of Atenveldt has ground to standstill today as the Order of the Pelican, along with the Orders of the Beacon of the Desert and Light of Atenveldt, went on strike, an action described by the Kingdom Royalty as “a co-ordinated Denial of Service attack.”
Royal Chamberlain Maximillian von Siddown addressed the crisis. “With the service orders on strike, Atenveldt is operating on an extremely limited basis. While the strikers have pledged to file their next quarterly reports to prevent the Kingdom falling out of compliance at the Board level, events more complex than backyard practices have stopped almost completely. Representatives of the Crown and Territorial Nobility will be meeting with the head of the striking orders, James deHoffa, to try to resolve the issues.
Master deHoffa released a list of the complaints of the service orders to TheSCAllion, and we presume, other media outlets. The strikers complaints include some health and safety concerns:
Muddy boots in the hall making floors slippery and adding to clean-up time
Mockery of mask enforcement both as in “making a mockery of” and “mocking those who mask”
Lack of first aid care for those who cross the picket line to the kitchen (even scabs deserve health care)
Among other things, the strikers are asking for:
Some attempt by the Royalty to keep to the schedule
The fighters and fencers, too, they always run late
A commitment to starting feasts on time
Severe punishments for those who volunteer to help and then don’t
Master deHoffa clarified that he is referring in the last point to actual cookies, not the colloquial “cookies meaning awards,” although that would be fine, too.
The call to start feasts on time has drawn support from some members of the Orders of the Laurel, Flower of the Desert, and Fleur de Soleil. One member of the Fleur, speaking on condition of anonymity, asked how they were supposed to be recognised for their cooking skills if all the hot dishes had gone cold by the time they were served. Adding, “Lukewarm pottage? Blech!”
BARONY BEYOND THE MOUNTAIN, THE EAST – The AS LVII Knowne World Exchequer Symposium at The Meadows Casino, Resort, and Spa, recently became a week-long vacation for the SCA’s hardest-working, longest-suffering volunteers was held at a casino in Connecticut that caters specifically to people in positions that are not appreciated enough. Reporting from the resort is our embedded journalist, who is also an exchequer for a barony in a midwestern kingdom.
“We checked in on a Saturday and the first thing scheduled was a sauna, followed by a massage. They gave us drinks of our choice, so I had about a gallon of Pamplemousse La Croix in the sauna. I could feel the stress of 15 years in the exchequer job start to melt away. The crook in my back started to release during my massage and I felt the strain of staring at Excel spreadsheets leave my eyes.
“On Saturday night, we all hit the casino and we realized that several of us were quite talented in blackjack and poker. By the first night, they had won over a thousand dollars. Sunday morning we realized that the Society Exchequer and Treasurer had both forgotten about the symposium and we were on our own without an itinerary. When we checked on the reservations, we realized we were at an all-inclusive resort so our days were a whirlwind of spa treatments and our nights were spent in the casino. By Tuesday, we started pooling our casino winnings. On Wednesday, an Exchequer from Starkhafn met the resort owner who was having financial difficulties and looking to sell off the property. One of the Kingdom Exchequers was a paralegal at a tax firm and offered to set up an LLC. By Friday, we had a bank account in the Bahamas, an LLC, and a dream.”
The reporter and the rest of the Exchequers have all decided to quit their Society positions and dayjobs and work at the resort where they are treated better by their clients than they ever were by the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Do you have a burning question about a situation that happened in the SCA and want to ask Goody? You can write to Goody at this form. Questions may be truncated for publication, and submitted questions may not be answered.
Dear Goody, I’m a brand new SCAdian, and I want to help out as much as I can. The only problem is that people in my local group and my kingdom won’t let me help. I volunteered to embroider the new royal pillows, and I was told no, even though I’m an award-winning embroiderer outside of the SCA. I asked if I could help in the kitchen for events, but I got turned away. I promise that I’m just really excited to get in and help, but no one is letting me do it. What do I do? -Excited to Assist!
First, let’s take a nice deep breath. Being new is hard! You are working to break in to a fairly tight knit community and sometimes if you lead with your arts and offers swinging, it will scare the hell out of people. You see, no one is supposed to be that excited to do an onerous project or hard work so you might want to start by dialing down the volume on your enthusiasm just a wee bit until you get your feet wet in this new community. First you have to meet people and let them know that you are A) sane B) pleasant or kind or interesting to work with C) competent in the arena where you have offered your help and D) someone they want to work with and E) not going to make them completely nuts with drama.
Have you ever been part of a group and someone new has showed up with a really big personality or a scary amount of enthusiasm and everyone shies back from the new waves in the pond? You may seem a bit like a boulder tossed in to placid waters if you come off to strongly. So, back up a few paces and wade in a little slower.
If you want to embroider, put together a photo portfolio of your work and start meeting the string people on a local and kingdom level. Show them what you can do and volunteer for a small task first. Complete that task in a timely manner with high quality results and play well with the rest of the community. If this is within your capabilities, they will want you back. Instead of showing up and trying to get deep into a kitchen with what is probably a very tight knit crew making feast, instead start by offering to do simpler tasks that make their lives easier. Offer to help with dishes, vegetable chopping and other entry level tasks.
Show people that you are reasonable and able to perform the service you have offered by your deeds, not just your excitement. Each time you come back and help, your word fame will grow and people will learn to trust you when you make an offer of assistance. With trust comes acceptance and greater responsibility. Just ease in and you will find your welcome once you prove that you can live up to your offers.
Hope this helps,
Dear Goody, I’m really worried about my friend. I think she’s an Awardaholic. She volunteers a ton, which is just part of why she’s fantastic, but if her contributions aren’t formally recognized in court with a scroll, it really seems to take a toll on her mental health. I want to help her get back to enjoying the SCA for more than just getting gold stars. Do you have any suggestions? -Concerned
Well, this one is a bit tough, because everyone has their own language in which they best give and receive appreciation. Some volunteers best thrive on public thanks and rewards for their work. It’s just how our weird brains are wired. This is one you need to address directly, as a friend. Gently, so gently, let your friend know why you are concerned, how much you respect and appreciate them, and offer to help them find a way to reward themselves because you want them to stay for the long journey.
A service or project scrapbook or blog can help document projects or achievements and help your friend build a body of work portfolio. This is something that they can look back on later and remember all of their hard work and successes and record who thanked them, gave them a token, or if they received an award for their efforts. Even just a journal or photo gallery that can be kept on a digital photo frame at home can serve as an incredible reminder of the difference on person has made and how they have been appreciated already. When you have this to look upon all the time, it’s easier to see how you are being thanked without awards and what difference you have made.
Hope this helps,
Dear Goody, I tried to propose a US Board of Directors Meeting drinking game, but people told me I might die of alcohol poisoning. How do I tell them I’m not an alcoholic, just Australian? – Mulling over my cider
In Australia specifically, play this drinking game with a Coopers Pale Ale and not an espresso martini, even if you live in Melbourne, because you will die. Get your cappuccino in the morning to save yourself some hangovers and regrets.
As for your reasons, you don’t need to explain. We understand all too well.
BARONY OF STORVIK, KINGDOM OF ATLANTIA – It has been revealed through a Freedom of Information Act request that the IRS embedded an agent in the Society for Creative Anachronism from 2018 to 2020 to determine if it should retain its not-for-profit tax status. After realizing it had received over 12 complaints in its 50-year history, an agent was chosen from the ranks based on a past history of infiltration of similar groups. According to the FOIA, the agent had previously spent six months in the Knights of Columbus and it was deemed ‘close enough for government work.’ All agents’ names were redacted in the report.
In an interagency investigation, a Department of the Treasury agent was also assigned to the Society in response to the network of bank accounts it controls. The two agents were embedded first at Gulf Wars as two wandering bards, but were so uncomfortable with the amount of hostility at their filk of The Village People’s song “YMCA” that they decided to go as something they knew, and infiltrated the Knowne World Exchequer’s party at Pennsic War. They were accepted as new exchequers by the group and were quickly taught the exchequer policy by people in the Kingdom of Atlantia, where they both legally resided.
After six months, the IRS agent was serving his first term as baronial exchequer, while the Treasury agent was a deputy Kingdom Exchequer. According to the report, it was “such a natural fit that we decided to go where we could do the most good.” After serving most of a two-year term the IRS agent felt that they had gathered enough information to write their report. With COVID shutdowns starting, they both quietly slipped away from the Society.
In their final report, the agents noted that while the Society for Creative Anachronism did not perfectly live up to the rules of a 501(c)(3) organization, they were far better at it than the average evangelical charity. There was also a personal note from the Department of the Treasury agent that “The members of the Exchequer community are the hardest working people in the SCA. We should look at recruiting those with professional certifications into appropriate positions, as long as there would not be a conflict of interest with their SCA work.”
BARONY OF RAVEN’S FORT ANSTEORRA – Noted service martyr, Lady Beatrice Millerchip, went up in flames on Sunday, following a closing court in which she was, yet again, not put on vigil to join the Order of the Pelican.
Witnesses report that she quickly exited court and immediately began gathering assorted pieces of wood around the site. Lady Beatrice is said to have expressed shock at the general lack of gratitude. “The least Their Majesties could have done was call me up and recognize me personally for my contributions as part of the gate crew and serving staff. I’ve been stuck volunteering in those roles off-and-on for the last five years,” Lady Beatrice was heard to say, as she began creating a small, raised platform.
Members of Lady Beatrice’s home barony note that in addition to her service as part of event teams, she was renowned for organizing and undertaking service initiatives at local events without informing event stewards. Lady Beatrice reportedly remarked, “I knew the event stewards didn’t want me to pester them with silly details, even if my initiatives did end up conflicting with official event volunteers.”
Witnesses say Lady Beatrice added kerosene to the wooden platform she had built before adding, “Every Pelican-level volunteer such as myself knows to do what needs to be done. If I needed to ask for permission, I wouldn’t be as selfless a volunteer as I am. Take, for instance, this pyre. I built this pyre for the use of the barony! Nobody asked me to do it, but I saw a need and went ahead with it, fire regulations be damned!”
There was a minor scuffle as passers-by attempted to prevent Lady Beatrice from climbing to the top of her pyre. Onlookers were horrified to see that she carried a box of matches. It is reported that she then lit a match and threw it onto the pyre beneath her. As the ignited pyre began to burn, witnesses heard her scream, “I GIVE AND I GIVE AND NONE OF YOU RECOGNIZE MY SERVICE! ALTHOUGH I’VE BEEN GENERALLY THANKED EVERY TIME I SERVE, I KNOW THAT NONE OF YOU ACTUALLY MEANT IT, SINCE THANKS ONLY COUNTS WHEN THEIR MAJESTIES GIVE IT INDIVIDUALLY! I COULD BE HAVING FUN AT EVENTS LIKE THE REST OF YOU, BUT INSTEAD I CHOOSE TO BE MISERABLE AND I DO IT ALL FOR YOU! ”
Gunnar Magnusson is credited with marshaling firefighting efforts and saving the site. Sources say that, although new to the society, his actions have gotten the attention of certain notable Pelicans who are currently fighting over who gets to take him as protégé. The Order of the Pelican has not immediately responded to requests for comment.
SHIRE OF SIGELHUNDAS – KINGDOM OF AVACAL In a bold move to advance recruitment, the Shire of Sigelhundas has voted to elect one of the Shire’s dogs, a 90-lb golden retriever named Rex, as its new Chatelaine. Rex, outfitted with a collar that reads “Bark if you like history!” wagged happily when The SCAllion interviewed his owner, Lady Edith Milner, who is also the Shire’s Chronicler. “Everybody loves Rex,” she explained. “When Rex comes with me to rapier practice in the park, people stop, pet him, and then start asking questions. He is enthusiastic to meet everyone, including children holding ice cream.” Rex’s interview with The SCAllion was cut short as the golden retriever abruptly left to attempt to recruit two squirrels, a disinterested cat, and a raccoon who expressed interest in helping with the feast.
Lord Benedict de Castellione, the Shire’s Seneschal, denied that the election of the shire’s goodest boi was an attempt to fill a required position in order to keep their standing as a shire. “What? Oh no! We have plenty of volunteers here. This is a serious attempt to make newcomers feel welcome.”
Rex’s recruitment efforts, leaving pee mail on the rhododendrons and the jack pines, appears to be working. Two chihuahuas and a husky have barked that they intend to come to next week’s practice.
Although The SCAllion is not the serious journalism site We Rate Dogs, we would give Rex 14/10, a perfect score.
PRINCIPALITY OF THE SUMMITS, AN TIR – The Principality of the Summits has announced it will be hosting the first-in-the-SCA “Known World Symposium on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.” All are welcome.
KWSDEI will be held Tuesday through Thursday, June 20-22, at a former private home converted into a conference center, just a 90-minute drive or Uber from the Portland International Airport. The conference facilities are located on the second and third floors of the medieval-inspired Victorian building just outside Detroit, OR. Unfortunately, there is no public transportation access to the site.
“We chose this location because it really represents the best of both worlds for us,” said Stefan Weaver, the Event Steward for KWSDEI. “Because the building hasn’t had any significant updates in the past 60 years, it gives every SCAdian who can afford it a place to talk about our DEI successes in a medieval-ish environment. Once you arrive from the airport, there is space for up to a dozen people to stay on-site in charming, originally-furnished bedrooms, sharing the original bathing facilities, including a beautiful clawfoot tub for cleaning up.”
The reception desk is at the top of a stone staircase leading up from the small gravel parking area at the top of the drive. Check-in for KWSDEI will be located at the top of the spiral staircase that is the access point to the third floor. The site has no elevator.
The available rooms are on the second and third floors in the former servants quarters, with charming period-appropriate double and single beds. Rooms start at $170/night as their mid-week conference rate.
“We’re really excited,” Stefan told The SCAllion. “Known World officer symposia are often targeted specifically at the officers named, but DEI is such an important topic that we wanted to create an event that everyone could attend in person, in this beautiful, remote location.”
Registration will be open beginning on May 1 and will be online only. All SCAdians with reliable internet capabilities can register for in-person activities at that time. Priority for the on-site rooms will be given to sitting Royalty and members of the BoD. Once the rooms are filled, other attendees are welcome to utilize the site’s primitive camping areas for $30 a night, or drive in from the closest hotel, just 25 minutes away. Campsites are located across the creek in the surrounding woodlands and can be accessed from the grounds by several footpaths. The site does not permit any cars on the grounds except on the drive and in the parking area. There are no plans for virtual attendance, and the site has a strict no-animals policy, including service animals.
Professional DEI advocates, including several kingdom DEI officers, have expressed serious concerns over the choice of inaccessible location and facilities, the lack of ADA-mandated accommodations planned, and the discriminatory history of the town, but have been told that this was the preferred site for reasons that have not been explained.
BARONY OF AL-BARRAN, THE OUTLANDS – At a recent event in the Barony of al-Barran, The SCAllion had the opportunity to have a brief discussion with a local member of the Order of the Pelican regarding the difficulty the Society has recently been having with member retention.
While fulfilling the roles of Event Steward, Feastocrat, Head of Gate, Marshal in Charge, Minister of the Lists, Reservations Clerk, Archery Marshal, and Royal Liaison all simultaneously, Mistress Bethshua Warbleton lamented: “I really don’t know what’s been going on with the SCA not being able to keep good people! There are so many incredible opportunities to pitch in and help. People could be cooking, running the list table, taking reservations, all these things! I just don’t get why more people aren’t volunteering!” Mistress Warbleton was continually interrupted during our conversation, dealing with multiple issues in the kitchen and on the list field, all while personally ensuring Their Majesties royal room was fully stocked with the requested refreshments. “I just don’t understand it! So many things to do, and chances to volunteer. Where is the BoD in all this, and why aren’t they doing something about retention?”
The SCAllion was able to speak with a few other event attendees, and while none wished to be identified, the consensus opinion was one of “I WANTED to volunteer for this event, even tried. But everything was already taken months ago, and the person in charge never got back to me when I contacted them….”
BARONY OF SMALL GREY BEAR, GLEANN ABHANN. A baronial meeting in the Barony of Small Grey Bear turned into an outright brawl last night as a local polling order discussed if passive aggressive behavior was more of an art or a service.
“I hoped for better from the Pelicans in this barony,” said Mistress Sara von Schueffln, “but they don’t understand the beauty of a well placed comment.”
Master Charles D’Arcy responded, “It’s not that we don’t appreciate the beauty of a fantastic underhanded comment,” he said, “but it’s giving someone the opportunity to learn better behavior if they’re actually listening. That sort of instruction is a service!”
This discussion came about due to simultaneous submissions of a gentle for the baronial awards for service and for A&S, triggered by the same comment at fighter practice.
When asked for comment, the President of the SCA claimed, “it’s more of a combat sport than thrown weapons or archery, but, sure, it’s fine if they think that way.”