The SCA Board of Directors has announced that they have chosen Dale Fong-Frederick (Sir Jibril al-Dakhil) of the East Kingdom as Director-Elect.
More information is available here.
The SCA 2020 Census is now live.
This is your opportunity to give the SCA Board of Directors your feedback on what you think of the way the SCA currently operates and what kinds of changes you would like to see.
Click the link to take the survey. https://www.sca.org/news/the-2020-sca-census-is-live/
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
Milpitas, CA 95036
Or by email to email@example.com.
Greetings from Illadore –
FYI, the Board of Directors updated the bullying & harassment policy at their April 4, 2020 meeting. The updated policy is below, and is currently available in the President’s summary of the meeting (https://www.sca.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/April2020BoardMeetingPresidentsReport.pdf).
I. Bullying and Harassment
The SCA prohibits bullying and harassment of all individual and groups. Bullying is systematic and unwelcome behavior which involves the use of influence, threat, intimidation, or coercion to cause hurt or harm to another person or group of people. When the bullying behavior is based on a protected class , that behavior is defined as harassment.
Protect classes include: race, sex, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability
Bullying and Harassment may be overt, as in the following non-inclusive list of examples:
Provided that the behavior does not rise to the criteria listed above, bullying and harassment is not:
The test for bullying is the reasonableness of the behavior and the impact of that behavior on the recipient.
Participants engaging in bullying/harassment are subject to appropriate sanctions. If an individual believes they have been subjected to or have witnessed harassment, bullying, or retaliation, that person should contact a seneschal, the President of the SCA, or that kingdom’s Board Ombudsman.
To the Crowns and Kingdom Seneschals of the Known World
From the Board of Directors, Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
The Board continues to monitor the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) spread across the world. Given the suggestions by various health organizations, including the CDC and Public Health England the Board of Directors of the SCA, Inc. recommends that all Kingdoms cancel, suspend or postpone all events, practices, meetings, and other SCA sponsored in-person activities through April 30, 2020.
The SCA is a Kingdom-based organization. The various Kingdoms have state, provincial and national governments either recommending or mandating responses to COVID-19. The Board asks that the Kingdom leadership follow the recommendations of the governments of the modern areas making up that Kingdom.
The Board recognizes that many Kingdoms have their Coronations and/or Crown tournaments in April and that canceling these events may cause a hardship. The Kingdom Seneschals should discuss this with the Society Seneschal for recommendations and suggestions. In addition, with every Kingdom being affected, the other Kingdom Seneschals may have advice and recommendations for you. The SCA may need to waive part of Corpora for these suggestions and recommendations to be put into place, and the Society Seneschal stands ready to issue waivers as necessary and appropriate, recognizing that some plans may need refining before a waiver could be issued. This is an unprecedented situation. The Board continues to monitor the responses and will assist Kingdoms as it can. At this time, the Board’s closure recommendations are just that, recommendations. It may be necessary in the future for the appropriate Corporate and Society officers to require postponing all SCA functions, but we are not there, yet.
Response from Master Illadore de Bedagrayne, Æthelmearc Kingdom Seneschale:
Dear Æthelmearc –
First off, remember United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Also – Wash your hands. Be kind.
Obviously, things are moving somewhat fast. The most important thing you can do is remember to follow the guidance of your local health officials. If they tell you to stay home, then stay home. Be safe. All of you are the best part of Æthelmearc .
I have seen the missives from the Board of Directors and I am in contact with the Royalty and the Society Seneschal. We’re discussing what to do next. I am going to ask for a bit of patience while we work through a few a things. As always, if you have questions, please contact me directly and we will help you.
I am also terribly excited to see all of the online discussions, classes, get togethers. Please keep that up. We are trying to work on a few technical solutions too – but again, please give us a bit of time to get things going.
Background: The Corpora section referenced in the statement below had previously stated: “Each competitor in a Royal List must be fighting for a prospective consort of the opposite sex unless the Crown has elected to permit a competitor to fight for a prospective consort of the same sex.”
On October 20th, the SCA’s Board of Directors made the following announcement:
On June 4, 2019, the Board of Directors requested commentary regarding a change to Corpora IV.B.1. – Royalty Qualifications. On October 19, 2019, the following change to Corpora was approved:
Corpora IV.B.1. – Royalty Qualifications
Each competitor in a Royal List must be fighting for a prospective consort.
Anyone having any questions regarding this Corpora change should contact the Society Seneschal for more information.
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
Milpitas, CA 95036
You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.
I am Maestra Giata Magdalena Alberti (mka Gigi Coulson) and this past weekend I became the newest member of the Board of Directors** (Seat A) of the SCA.
I also have the honor of serving as YOUR Kingdom’s BoD ombudsperson, which is an assigned board member who acts as your representative to the board and vice versa, for matters concerning your kingdom.
As ombudsman I will serve as a sort of liaison for your Kingdom, answering questions, making sure that any business concerning your needs get on the board meeting agenda, sharing news from the meetings, etc. I am the ombudsperson for the Kingdoms of Æthelmearc, Drachenwald, Ealdormere, Lochac, and Avacal as well as for the corporate DEI Office.
For individual members, I make sure that our policies are followed in your area of the Known World. I take action when you tell me they aren’t being followed, then I and my fellow directors and corporate officers assist and/or educate the appropriate folks until they are.
If you’d like to reach me because you have questions or would like me to address something, use my email address:
If I don’t respond within a day or two, it might be because Outlook has classified your message as spam. It is never my intention to ignore an email so please follow-up if you have not gotten a response from me.
I may not be able to answer exactly the way you’d like me to, but I will give you as much assistance and information as possible, with courtesy, honor, and fairness above all.
Gigi Coulson, M. S.Ms. Coulson, M.S. worked for the federal government for over 15 years as an interdisciplinary sociologist and biologist. She has experience in both qualitative and quantitative social assessments, environmental impact statements, diversity initiatives, program management, environmental justice, conflict resolution, policy creation, and training program development. She has a passion for sociocultural anthropology, living history, learning, and teaching. She is a complete Italophile and tries to visit Italy each year.
Giata Magdalena Alberti, OL is a late 15th-century Florentine living in Venice. She passes her time spending her condottieri husbands’ money and entertaining the visitors of her father’s house in Venice by hosting weekly salons. Her hobbies include working on her herbal experiments, occasional hawking, mediating contests of skill and chance, and traveling to Mantua, Milan, and Ferrara to visit her friends at court.
P.S. **Information on the role of the BoD (outlining what we do and what we don’t do) can be found in Corpora I.C under the subheading “Role of the Board” that you can read here:
Basically, the BoD establishes the rules (policies) and administrative requirements of the SCA, its activities, officers, and Kingdoms. The BoD does not intervene in Kingdom and group affairs, except under certain circumstances that are detailed in Corpora, but we do assist by interpreting the policies we have made especially when our officers need to know how to use the authority they’ve been given.
Requests for Commentary – Corpora IV.B.A- Royalty Qualifications – Commentary Deadline October 1, 2019
The Board of Directors is currently requesting commentary regarding a proposed change to Corpora IV.B.1 – Royalty Qualifications.
Corpora IV.B.1 currently reads:
Each competitor in a Royal List must be fighting for a prospective consort of the opposite sex unless the Crown has elected to permit a competitor to fight for a prospective consort of the same sex.
The following change in language is proposed:
Each competitor in a Royal List must be fighting for a designated consort, without discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, or disability.
Please email all commentary to email@example.com.
Please use the title “Corpora IV.B.A” in the subject line.
Do not use attachments in your commentary to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attachments will cause your message to be marked as spam.
In lieu of email, commentary may be sent by US Mail, Postage-Prepaid, to:
Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
RE: Corpora IV.B.A
P.O. Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036-0789
Commentary regarding this proposed Corpora change, whether sent by email or US Mail, must be received by the Board no later than October 1, 2019.
Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on the SCA Board meeting held in the Debatable Lands on Oct. 24. This is an unofficial report; for the official report, see the Board meeting minutes that will be published at a later date on the SCA Newsletters site.
A quarterly meeting of the SCA’s Board of Directors is much like any other business meeting. The participants wear modern business clothing (some were in suits), they sit at a U-shaped table with the audience forming the fourth side of the square, and they operate under Robert’s Rules of Order with motions proposed, seconded, and approved with a rap of the chairman’s gavel.
Even the topics discussed might not seem out of place in a modern board room: finances, publications, approval of meeting minutes, and changes in procedure took up much of the day. Coffee and tea were served.
Of course, the big difference is that the topics all pertained to the SCA.
The fourth quarter 2015 BoD meeting was held at a hotel in the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands (Pittsburgh) in the Kingdom of Æthelmearc. It ran the entire day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a longish lunch break during which the directors held an executive session. As is customary, the directors had already held a lengthy executive session on Friday night as well. Like all quarterly BoD meetings, the Saturday portion was open to the public, and about 30 people attended from all over Æthelmearc as well as the Middle, East, Atlantia, and Meridies, along with the directors and corporate officers. The meeting began with everyone introducing themselves, including not only the directors and officers but also the audience. The Board members and officers in attendance were:
Scott Berk, Chairman
Lisa Czudnochowsky, Vice Chairman
David Keene, Director
John Fulton, Director
Andrew Coleman, Director
Arthur Donadio, Director
Paul Lancaster, Director
Chele Martines, Director-Elect
Leslie Vaughn, President
Therese Hofflein, Corporate Treasurer
Gloria Woodard, Publications Manager
Patrick Anderson, Legal Counsel
Renee Signorotti, Vice President of Operations
Leslie Luther-Fulton, Executive Assistant to the Board
Kathy Palmer, Society Exchequer
Alan Smith, Society Marshal
Michael Schneider, Vice President of IT
Kelly Magill, Grand Council Chair and Deputy Society Seneschale
After some routine business like the approval of the July minutes, the acceptance of some SCA branch status changes, and the establishment of future BoD meetings and conference calls, Director Lisa Czudnochowsky (Duchess Marion FitzWilliam of Ealdormere) noted that the Board currently has 42 nominees but would like more. About half of the people on their list are self-nominated, and she pointed out that you don’t need to have a business background or experience on a non-profit board to be selected. She said the Board looks for people from a wide array of disciplines and locations, and they never know what skillset they will need until they actually need it. They are particularly interested in people with a non-American viewpoint; Lisa strongly hinted to Duke Sven Gunnarsson, newly arrived in Æthelmearc from Drachenwald and a member of the audience, that he should put in a resumé. The directors also asked for comments on the nominees; Director John Fulton (Duke John the Bearkiller from Meridies) said they want both positive and negative commentary, and Director Andrew Coleman (Jarl Ailgheanan mac Sithigh, formerly of Meridies, now living in Atenveldt) explained that such comments are purged once a candidate is selected to become a director. Nominations and comments on nominees can be sent to email@example.com.
The Board members also said they are looking for SCA events where they can hold “Meet and Greet” sessions to give the SCA membership opportunities to learn more about the workings of the Board and ask questions.
50th Year Celebration
The Board members strongly encouraged members to attend the 50th Year Celebration to be held in Indianapolis, IN, in June of 2016. The Society Seneschal, A.J. Pongratz (Master Antonio Giordano da Sicilia), noted that the town around the site is “pulling out all the stops” to welcome the SCA, including offering very reasonable hotel rates. The local movie theater even plans to play medieval-themed shows ranging from Monty Python and the Holy Grail to A Lion in Winter.
PayPal Acceptance Project
The Corporate Treasurer, Therese Hofheins (Mistress Kiara Loftus) and the Society Exchequer, Kathy Palmer (Baroness Katherine Angelique d’Artois de Berry) have completed the initial trial runs of using PayPal for gentles to make event reservations online. It was piloted in Caid, Gleann Abhann, and Trimaris, as well as at Caid’s Great Western War. The results were considered good although there were some hiccups with GWW. It will be rolled out to other Kingdoms in batches, with Ansteorra, Artemisia, Atlantia, and Gulf Wars being next. Kathy said Kingdoms would need to “have their financial house in order” to be permitted to begin using the system. The procedure was explained as follows:
Director Andrew Coleman pointed out that this is an interim solution. The eventual plan is for the Society to have an “Event Module” on the Society website through which members could make event reservations with a credit card just as they now purchase SCA memberships. This project is currently in the works; a completion date was not mentioned, but the Corporate Secretary, Renee Signorotti, said it would be the one of the primary subjects of the BoD’s first quarter 2016 meeting.
John noted that the shutdown of the ACCEPS program was poorly done, and that the Board wants the new event registration system to be implemented properly to ensure a smooth transition. Regarding the PayPal program, he suggested that any policies around its implementation should be about fixing problems rather than punishing kingdoms for financial issues. Kathy and Therese said they would do what they can to assist kingdoms with financial reporting issues to resolve them so they can implement the PayPal system.
NMS Policy Change
Therese announced a slight wording change to the Non-Member Surcharge policy. It would require groups to charge the NMS for all events that appear either in their Kingdom or local newsletters, or on Kingdom or local websites, that are covered by the SCA’s insurance and charge a fee. This will close a loophole that was allowing groups to not charge the NMS by claiming their event was unofficial. Therese and Kathy also noted that a few Kingdoms had not been forwarding NMS fees to the Society, and that they had been working with those Kingdoms to resolve this issue and achieve compliance.
Kelly McGill (Lady Heather Shea of Ealdormere) reported that in the previous quarter the Board had requested that the Grand Council discuss and report on the following topic in three phases, one per quarter:
Kelly reported that phase 1 was complete. The consensus of the Grand Council (GC) was that the process took too long and the 2010 survey used as its basis may have been statistically problematic. The GC considered the exploratory committee’s scope too narrow, and then the Additional Peerage Review Committee’s scope was even narrower, with only a yes or no to the proposal being sent to the Board, so concerns expressed in that committee did not go to BOD. Kelly noted that there was a diversity of opinion on the GC, so not all members agreed on these issues, and when asked what the “takeaway points” from this exercise were, she said she felt there were none.
The GC has already moved on to Phase 2.
BOD members said they knew the rapier peerage process was flawed, painful, disconnected, and confusing, which is why they don’t want to repeat these mistakes with future peerages. John said he had read some of the GC’s online conversations, and he believed the assessments in their discussions were very accurate.
Lisa acknowledged that there were people in the audience who were present in support of the Order of Valiance omnibus martial peerage proposal. She said the BoD has not forgotten about them, but they want to make sure they do not make mistakes with any new peerages.
Director and Board Chairman Scott Berk (Master Philip the Facetious of the East) was asked if the GC project to analyze the peerage process used for the Order of Defense and then suggest a new process would affect the BoD’s schedule for looking at the Valiance or other peerage proposals. He confirmed that the Board will not take up any such proposals until the GC completes their work. The expected time from for that would be by the 2nd quarter meeting of 2016. He pointed out that while any new peerage is not going to be done in the year that the Valiance group proposed, it is also not going to take five years like the Order of Defense did. He reiterated that the Board wants to do it right.
Grand Council Members Required to be Paid SCA Members
John proposed an amendment to the GC charter requiring that GC representatives be paid SCA members. There was much discussion. Many of the BOD members spoke in favor of the motion, saying they consider the GC a useful BoD advisory committee, and while its members are not quite officers, they should still be SCA members given what the GC has evolved into over the years. A significant portion of the audience spoke against the motion, citing a variety of issues from the GC’s founding as the “loyal opposition,” to the financial concerns of some older members, to the need for the Board to receive advice from people critical of the corporate level processes, with some members of the GC deliberately choosing not to be members for philosophical reasons. Kelly, who is the Chairman of the GC, said that she supported the motion but is concerned about losing members, as it is already hard enough to get people to join the GC. John said that if the GC dies due to membership issues, the Board will help Kelly rebuild it with paid members. He also stated that he is personally willing to pay membership dues for any GC members who can’t afford it. In the end, the motion to require paid membership for GC representatives passed unanimously.
After a break for lunch with the Board holding an executive session, the Society officers presented their reports.
PA Background Checks
SCA Legal Counsel, Patrick Anderson, said that he is working with the Society’s outside legal counsel and the Society Seneschal to develop a set of guidelines pertaining to the Pennsylvania law requiring state-specific background checks for people working with children. The current policy, issued in July of 2015, will remain in place until then. Legal counsel has given Patrick a nine-page opinion that he is working through. Patrick and A.J. both noted that the PA law is poorly written and very arcane, making it difficult to determine whether it really applies to SCA youth officers and youth marshals. They both encouraged residents of PA to write to their legislators and request that the law be clarified. Patrick noted that background checks protect the organization, not the children. What protects the children is our two-deep policy and our ongoing vigilance. An audience member asked why state and FBI clearances aren’t enough, and A.J. explained that FBI checks only find federal crimes, while state checks only find crimes committed in that state, whereas the SCA’s background check covers all 50 states and Canada. When asked about Europeans or other foreign nationals entering the U.S., Patrick pointed out that people with criminal records abroad would most likely be prevented from entering the U.S. by the INS.
Summary of Decisions from Executive Sessions
Duchess Melisande de Belvoir, who was present in the audience, reported the passing of Master Galleron de Cressy (Will McLean) of the East Kingdom that morning. He had been diagnosed with cancer some months previously. The Board offered its condolences.
Since it was his last meeting as a Director, John Fulton was offered the gavel to close the meeting. Before doing so, he told a humorous story about how he started in the SCA in 1974, discovered that being good at swinging a stick meant you got lots of presents, and met and married his wife. More generally, he expressed appreciation to the SCA for the good things it had brought into his life, and to the Board for giving him its trust. Once the gavel was struck, the Board then quickly read into the record the minutes for all SCA Subsidiary groups, and there was cake in honor of Duke John’s retirement from his third stint on the SCA Board of Directors.
Due to unidentified difficulties, some e-mail messages submitted to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ after6:00am EST and before 3:00pm EST on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 were approved for release to the list, but did not make it into the list’s archive.
In order to insure that -all- missives and comments are received by the Board of Directors for due consideration in advance of this weekend’s meeting in Cincinnati, OH, we would earnestly request that all commenters who sent messages during the window of time identified above to please resubmit their communications to the list. We apologize for any inconvenience this request may present.
Webministers and Social Media deputies are requested to distribute this un-edited message widely.
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
Milpitas, CA 95036
You may also email email@example.com.
This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.
Many SCA members were concerned when the Society’s Board of Directors decided at their January meeting not to create the Rapier Peerage that so many people were expecting. A lot of letters were written and many discussions were held on social media about what people thought the BoD should do going forward. One of the options a fair number of gentles suggested was an omnibus martial peerage to cover all of the non-rattan martial arts.
When the BoD surprised everyone by reversing course at their Feb. 2nd meeting and creating the Order of Defence, many people in the other non-rattan martial arts communities, while happy for their friends in rapier, were deeply disappointed that they were once again left out. A few decided to take action, and formed the Martial Peerage Facebook group as a way to organize support for an omnibus martial peerage. The leader in this effort is Æthelmearc’s Earl Marshal, Duchess Tessa the Huntress.
Duchess Tessa joined the SCA in the Canton of Cydllain Downs (Columbia, SC), in the Kingdom of Atlantia, in 1983. She said, “Combat archery and history are what drew me in. I’ve done heavy fighting, helped to start target archery in the southern part of Atlantia, and participated in the first equestrian games in Atlantia in 1985.” She moved to Æthelmearc in A.S. XXXII (1998).
In 2002, Her Grace became the first Society Deputy Earl Marshal for Combat Archery. In that position, Duchess Tessa reached out to all of the Kingdoms’ archery communities, working with them to create testing procedures, spread the practice of Combat Archery throughout the kingdoms, and standardized combat archery rules across the society. Her Grace was elevated to the Pelican for that work in A.S. XLII. She became Earl Marshal of Æthelmearc in January of A.S. XLVI.
Interspersed with her work in Combat Archery, Her Grace managed to find time to reign as Queen of Æthelmearc three times with her husband, Duke Malcolm Duncan MacEoghainn. She remembers, “When I was Queen last time, there were people in our kingdom who I felt were peers, but because their martial skill was not a rattan weapons form, they didn’t fit in the Chivalry. We tried to see if they could fit in the Laurel. and it became clear that they could for their research, but not for martial skill alone. This meant we had people in several martial communities who we couldn’t recognize [with a peerage]. I felt that was wrong. Since then, I have talked to a lot of people and realized that many people in those communities felt that their activities weren’t as appreciated as others, since their best couldn’t be recognized as peers.”
Her Grace pointed out that the idea for an omnibus peerage is not new. She explained, “Sir Jon FitzRauf [of the West Kingdom], former Archery Marshal of the Society, wrote the first proposal for an omnibus martial peerage back in 1999. He formed a group to work with him on it, open to anyone. It started with combat archery and target archery, but as he talked to people he realized there were other communities in the same boat, so his proposal grew to include all non-rattan martial activities. That proposal got no response from the BoD, but he has continued working on it and refining it, resubmitting new proposals four more times.”
After the BoD’s announcement of the new Order of Defence, Duchess Tessa said, “When I read the letter from the BOD, it upset me a great deal. I had hoped they would see the big picture and create something that included all martial activities. The part about other martial areas not having the community the fencers did – I believe they could have chosen their words more carefully, and perhaps they didn’t understand how it would affect those of us who do those other martial activities. In my opinion, it said that we weren’t worthy, that we didn’t have the numbers or the community to deserve equal recognition. That disappointed me.”
Her Grace said that, after sleeping on it, “I decided that it was time that I stepped up and helped to make the change that I wanted to see. So, I made a post on my Facebook page and tried to reach out to people in each martial community and across the Society. One of the first people I reached out to was Sir Jon. He started this movement and I wanted him to work with me, if he could. I’ve gotten to meet him, he’s an awesome person. He was thrilled that I had picked up the banner and was running with it. He thanked me for inviting him.”
Tessa decided to create a Facebook group.
She started with Sir Jon and about a dozen people in Æthelmearc, and then reached out to 20 more people in other kingdoms. She still has connections throughout the Society in the archery and CA communities, and others in the initial group had connections with equestrian, thrown weapons, and siege. Her Grace tagged someone in each kingdom, told them what she was doing and why, and asked them to spread the word. Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin set up a link for people to join the group, which the initial members shared. “The first day we had over 100 people. It spread so much quicker than I anticipated, because so many people helped.”
By the third day, the group had members in all 19 Kingdoms of the Society, and it has continued to grow from there. As of the writing of this article, the Martial Peerage Facebook group has over 780 members.
With such a large group, how does Tessa keep the discussions organized and productive? “We have a set mission: an omnibus peerage. We told everyone to keep it polite. At about 400 members we hit growing pains and I couldn’t keep up with all of the different threads, so I asked for suggestions and decided to make topic threads. It made a huge difference, helping to organize the conversations.”
Early on, Mistress Tiercelin created the group’s symbol, a Gothic capital “O” for Omnibus in gold on a purple background. Tessa said it’s been a big hit, noting that “People rally to symbols.” Tiercelin commented, “People were asking for something they could use to show support for the omnibus peerage – not the heraldic badge that will eventually be approved, but just a symbol to show that they are in favor of the creation of the new peerage. It started with a simple O, but then I added symbols for each of our activities. We have a horse for the equestrians, an arrow for the archers, arrow/horse combo for mounted archery, catapult for siege, and axe for thrown weapons.” A few of those symbols are shown here:
Tiercelin notes, “So far we have seen the O being used as a Facebook profile picture, a smaller PicBadge on a regular profile picture, and in many forms of belt favors, tokens, brooches, and even earrings. The King and Queen of the East sported arm favors with the O at a recent event. We will have wooden pins available at Ice Dragon [in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael on March 21st] with the various versions; stop by the Equestrian Encampment to pick one up.”
When asked how the group plans to make its case to the Board, Duchess Tessa said, “[One of the things] we have focused on is participation numbers and collecting data on existing awards for our martial activities, trying to show depth and breath.” Master Dirk Edward of Frisia from the Middle Kingdom helped compile the following statistics on current participation among all martial arts in the Society across all of the kingdoms:
This comes to a total of 13,998 participants in the martial areas that would be covered by the omnibus peerage. Her Grace admits that there is some overlap in people who participate in more than one area, but said these are conservative numbers for target and thrown weapons, and there are still three kingdoms that haven’t reported.
She also noted that “In the past 5 years, all of our martial activities have gained people [except] the heavy community, which has lost participants.” When asked if she thought this is because the Society is aging and heavy weapons combat is hard on the body, Tessa agreed that was possible. She also thinks that in the past few years movies [like Brave and The Hunger Games] have greatly boosted archery numbers.
When asked what she thought the primary objections to an omnibus martial peerage are, Tessa said, “A lot of people mistakenly believe this is about people wanting to get a peerage for themselves. I think at least 3/4 of the people who are in the Martial Peerage Facebook group either don’t want a peerage for themselves or think they will never reach that level, but want to see those they respect and look up to recognized. In my opinion, it’s more about equal acceptance.”
As a result of the group’s discussions, a proposal is being crafted that will be sent to the Board in early March for consideration at their April meeting. While it is still a work in progress that is being developed by a steering committee comprised of people from each kingdom, here are some of its key elements:
Duchess Tessa plans to attend the April BoD meeting, which will be held in Covington, KY on April 18, and says she will do her best to get other members of the group to go, too. She knows this issue is not likely to be decided quickly, but says, “My plan is to present our proposal to the BOD and see what feedback we get from them. I believe the BOD would like to get this resolved, and if they don’t like part of the proposal, they will let us know and may create a committee to look into it. Several kingdoms already have omnibus Grant or AoA level awards for martial activities [like Æthelmearc’s Golden Alce], and I see this following a similar path.”
Her Grace says she has been impressed with how well the group has been working together. “Sir Jon has worked with dozens of people on this for years. He should be recognized for his vision and hard work. The Facebook group has the numbers and growth it has because of the people like him who are part of it. They have inspired me. This effort would have no chance of success if we weren’t all working together. I have also been touched by those people who don’t do these activities but have stepped forward to support us. I just want to thank them, too.”
In closing, Duchess Tessa said, “I think it’s important that everyone feels they are welcome in the SCA and that their work and their activity is appreciated. As a Society, we need to make certain those members who have mastered the skills in these martial activities and are peers in every other way can be recognized appropriately as the peers that they are.”
From Sir Jon FitzRauf:
“I first started working on the idea of peerage recognition for the non-rattan martial activities (NRMA) back in 1999. I formed a Yahoo group of like-minded Society members and we put together the first proposal to create a new peerage that would allow recognition of those that excel in the martial activities that were not covered by the Chivalry, the Laurel, or the Pelican. That was presented to the BoD in 2000 and turned down by them.
I have continued working toward this idea for the last fifteen years. Because I believed that there are outstanding individuals that excel in the skills of these activities and who have the required peerage level qualifications who are unable to be recognized for these skills by the Crowns that would wish to do so. Since there is no current peerage that is open to them this excellence, the Crowns are unable to recognize them properly.
The BoD’s recent creation of the Order of the Masters of Defence finally allows the Crowns to recognize the outstanding rapier and cut and thrust participants. Nevertheless, it still left the other non-rattan martial activities without a deserved means of peerage level recognition. However, the discussion brought about by its creation did create further interest and support in the recognition of the NRMA across the Society.
The current Omnibus Peerage Proposal being put forth by Duchess Tessa and our group is based in part on my previous submissions to the BoD. If accepted, it will allow the Crowns to recognize those that are deserving. It will also allow the recognition of any future martial activities that would be recognized by the Marshalate without the BoD having to repeat this entire process again for each new activity.
I strongly suggest that everyone read the Omnibus Proposal and send a letter of support to the BoD.
I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have worked so hard toward obtaining peerage recognition for the NRMA for the last fifteen years. Their efforts and your support may finally make this possible.
Sir Jon FitzRauf, West. OL, OP.