· Reach out to someone in your Shire, Canton, or Barony
· Cook a medieval recipe SCA Cooks on the Book of Faces
· Find your favorite SCA youtubers! Kingdom of Æthelmearc Virtual Resources, including populace YouTube channels
· Shop or leave a review for an SCA merchant that you like SCA Merchant Relief on the Book of Faces as well as the Æthelmearc Gazette archives for recently published articles on populace merchants
· Write an award recommendation for someone either in at local or Kingdom level Sylvan Kingdom of Æthelmearc Award Recommendation Form
· Reach out to that mundane friend that keeps posting “Cool!” on your SCA pictures and see if they are interested in learning more SCA Newcomer’s Portal
· Participate in one of the local, Kingdom or Society challenges (two birds with one stone on this option) Pandemic Portraits, an SCA photography challenge; also on the Book of Faces (and when you happen to come across one, please share with the Æthelmearc Arts & Sciences Book of Faces page!)
the possibilities are endless…
This 15 minutes is whatever you have the energy for – the only requirement is that you do something, anything! Complete 30 days (does not have to be consecutive) and you will earn a ‘war pay’ against the Plague.
Hashtag #15forSCA to show what you are doing today! (Set your social media settings to global so that your hashtag can be shared.)
As the Kingdom Seneschal for Æthelmearc, let me say this unequivocally – racism and prejudice have no place here.
This is a rough period across the country and across our lands. I love how much we have pulled together in this time of the plague and been kind to each other, reaching across the void to be with each other, teaching each other things virtually, etc. There is much joy and goodness in Æthelmearc.
However, we are not perfect. So, let me say it again, in this time of difficulty, and loudly so it will be heard in the back – racism and prejudice have no place in Æthelmearc. While that is an obvious statement to make for when we have events, I want to be clear that it also means virtually and on social media too.
I remind everyone of the SCA’s code of conduct which include the following tenets: to “act in accordance with the chivalric virtues of honor and service”, to “value and respect the worth and dignity of all individuals”, and to “practice inclusiveness and respect pluralism and diversity”.
I ask that you look deep within yourselves, all of us, Peers, Populace, Royalty, Officers, every last one of us, to think about we can do, individually, to make Æthelmearc an even greater and safer Kingdom for all people.
Æthelmearc Royal encampment, a few years past. Photo by Aoife
Greetings unto the populace of Æthelmearc!
Our names are Dubheasa inghean Dubgaill and Lasairfhiona inghean Aindriasa, and we have been asked by Their Royal Majesties to take charge of coordinating hospitality at the Æthelmearc Royal encampment for Pennsic XLV.
For those not in the know, hospitality is in charge of the populace pavilion at the AE Royal Encampment where we provide anyone who would like a place to sit, cool/dry off, hydrate, and socialize. We make sure people get answers to their questions, are directed to wherever they need to go in the Royal Encampment, have messages taken, and we accept gifts to the crown.
Due to the popularity, we will be able to recharge small electronics. These are open to anyone who is in the populace pavilion, in a meeting or other business in the encampment, guarding the gate, or working hospitality. You are, of course, responsible for your own devices.
We are looking for volunteers to fill shifts throughout the war. We like to have two people manning the desk during open hours. We always make sure to schedule at least one experienced person in a shift, so if you’re new to hospitality, feel free to sign up, and we’ll get you up to speed in no time.The first day of hospitality is on Sunday, July 30 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., during which time we will finish setup.
Peace Week shifts are from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday, July 31 through Friday, August 4.
War Week shifts are from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday, August 5 through Thursday, August 10. We have two shifts in the morning of August 11 to pack up prior to tearing down the royal encampment.Shifts are two hours long.
Hospitality will be closed during Kingdom Court, and adjustments will be made for other activities taking place in the royal encampment or as demand requires it.
If possible, please sign up in advance! We have a total of 108 slots to fill throughout Pennsic to provide the level of hospitality and service we have become known for.
By Lady Elena de la Palma, Head Retainer to Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle.
Have you ever attended an event with royalty and noticed someone standing behind or beside Them? Perhaps holding a cup, perhaps taking notes? Those people are not there by accident – they are retainers, and Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle invite you to try something new and be one yourself.
Lady Catherine O’Herlihy demonstrates experienced retaining at Ice Dragon, balancing a cup, a snack, a basket, a bag, and the Crown of the East Kingdom. Photo by Baron Steffan Wolfgang von Ravensburg.
What is a retainer?
Retaining is an incredibly important part of The Dream. Retainers ensure that Their Majesties (and Their Highnesses) are kept comfortable and supplied with what They need so that They can keep their focus on the populace. The retainer attends to all the details: ensuring that Their Majesties are supplied with food and drink; carrying gifts and other important items; and helping Their Majesties stay on schedule during the day of the event. They may also be called on to seek out gentles with whom Their Majesties would speak, or even to maintain a perimeter of silence should Their Majesties need to have a private conversation.
Retainers wearing baldrics attend Their Highnesses during the procession at Queen’s Rapier Championships. Photo by Hersir Torvaldr.
What do retainers do during Court?
Retaining during Court is a little different from retaining during the day. The basics are the same – you ensure that Their Majesties’ cups are full and take any gifts that might be received – but the way it happens is a little different. Before Court, all of the retainers will gather with the Queen’s Guard, the Kingdom Champions, Their Majesties, and Their Herald, and process into Court with the group. Then, the retainers will take shifts standing by Their Majesties during Court. The Head Retainer coordinates the shifts, switching retainers out at regular intervals so that no one stands for more than a few minutes.
Retaining during Court is a really unique experience. You’re looking out at the populace from behind the royalty and very close to those receiving awards – not a view you usually get every day!
Retainers attending Their Majesties and Their Highnesses at Ice Dragon Court. Photo by That Guy Phil, Unsung Hero of Miscreants and Other Tourists.
But…that doesn’t seem so hard!
These duties may sound simple, and they are – but that’s the beauty of it: anyone can retain! It doesn’t matter whether you are new to the society or have been here for years. I did my first retaining shift at the first event I attended that had royalty present. I barely even knew what a King or a Queen was! I volunteered that morning, and after a few hours and a quick introduction to retaining I found myself watching a tournament with the Queen, her goblet in my hands.
The real skill of retaining comes from learning how to anticipate the needs of Their Majesties before they ask. One can retain perfectly well without this ability, but it’s one that all great retainers master.
Do I need to prepare to retain?
You don’t have to do anything, but it is very important look to your own comfort. Wear comfortable shoes and comfortable clothing that will let you move around, hold goblets, carry gifts, and otherwise move without hindrance. Make sure that you’ve eaten before your retaining shift starts. Make sure that all your own needs are taken care of so that you’re free to focus on attending to the needs of Their Majesties.
Can I try retaining?
Absolutely! Their Majesties love to meet new people, and it’ll be my pleasure to ensure that you’re completely comfortable with your duties as a retainer before your first shift. Just get in touch with me and we’ll get everything set up.
Their Majesties will need retainers at every Royal Progress event during Their Reign, starting with the A&S Faire in Nithgaard this weekend and including Pennsic and Æthelmearc War Practice. It’s very easy to dip a toe in the retaining waters – shifts are usually an hour long and cover either His Majesty or Her Majesty, not both. We’re happy to schedule you around any other commitments you might have at the event – just let us know! Even if you’re busy all day, having another retainer for Court is always lovely.
Everyone is welcome. Whether you’re a brand new retainer or an old hand, Their Majesties welcome your service and thank you for it – and they’d love to meet you!
If you’d like to learn more, contact me or find me at an event. I’d love to talk with you about retaining and answer any questions you have.