Your intrepid Kingdom Seneschal is capable of doing many things at once, but there are times when it’s not possible to do everything. Having recently become a father for the first time, there has been little time, leading up to the birth and after, to update this blog. This does not mean he’s not doing the job of Kingdom Seneschal! It just means updates here will be sparse until a new normal settles into place. You can always email if you need to know what’s going on (in the Kingdom, that is).
Thank you for your indulgence at this time.
Wow, what a month.
I’d like to start by congratulating and thanking the members of the SCAA & SCANZ committees along with our Khagan & Yeke Khatun for their prompt, clear and decisive statements reaffirming our Kingdom’s commitment to inclusivity in response to overseas events.
Let me also take a moment to thank my entire Kingdom, we’re a disparate and evolving bunch, perhaps a tad shy of perfect, but I’m very appreciative that those most divisive events have all come from other shores.
This seems like a timely opportunity to raise a small point, talk abounds of calling out behaviours – to which I will add a word of caution: the way we address an issue is critical to the outcome and getting that wrong can derail the best of intentions.
If you’re unsure how to proceed, chat with your local seneschal – they will not only point you in the right direction, but also advise on what support mechanisms we can make available. We’ve made some good progress on this and there’s more work underway.
Speaking of making some progress, once reports are in (about when you’ll be reading this) we hope to start pushing out the updated officer recruiting guide, just a few steps to help keep everyone informed and to help ensure the right steps are taken.
Also coming very soon is a DISCORD discourse channel, designed to be a safe environment open to all in Lochac for chats exploring topics of interest. One of the key differences of this space compared to the usual social media options is that our moderator will undertake to compile takeaways from the chat and provide them to the relevant bodies (Crown, Boards, officers etc) for their consideration.
To keep up to date on these developments, make sure you are subscribed to announce. Then make sure your compatriots are as well.
Greetings to everyone whose SCA experience relies on volunteer offices…
During July we are trialing a slight change to the Call for Commentary process:
Where possible, calls for commentary for Seneschals & Kingdom officers will be put out with a shortlist of candidates rather than a predetermined nominee.
That this is not a popularity contest, primarily the change we are testing is about collecting relevant information before making decisions. Please treat the shortlist as two separate considerations and if you wish to provide commentary please do so but avoid engaging in comparisons. Once feedback is received and selection is complete, the confirmed appointment will be announced.
We anticipate this being trialled throughout July and if the feedback is positive will look to roll it out to all offices. If you would like to provide feedback on this potential change, please email seneschal@Locac.sca.org with the word Commentary included in your subject line.
This seems like a reasonable time for that reminder: ALL our officers are volunteers who give of their time and resources, most have Jobs and Lives, so please conduct queries with respect and courtesy. Remember also that many officers use their inbox to filter applications, bookings etc, so a FB message at 1am may miss the mark.
In most cases the person sitting at the desk or responding to your initial request is operating within a set of established guidelines which they didn’t write so by all means ask & learn but if you want to query something about best practice, maybe send them a quick email they can share with their appropriate upline.
Finally, a clarification of my previous statement about Discord and council meetings:
“The Discord team have a Lochac server working nicely, I strongly recommend checking it out as I’m sure it will be useful in many ways (note, Discord is not intended as a replacement for council meetings). ”
I am very pleased that we have Discord available to assist with facilitating access to council meetings, AGMs, Kingdom-wide singing etc. Audio conferencing is a good communication tool, especially for geographical challenges however it still lacks the personal/community component of face to face discussions and that community is a crucial part of our game.
Seneschals – Discord is available to help your group communicate but it’s not a complete replacement for face to face meetings.
Unto the wise and well-travelled people of Lochac,
So that’s what reporting season looks like from this side – wow – Thanks to all officers for putting together some very insightful reports about their local groups.
While reading reports from across the land it was apparent that many of the routine activities we take for granted are done in vastly different ways across Lochac. In many cases that’s perfectly fine, as all our groups have unique identities which will continue to be the essence of Lochac.
In other cases, it’s less straightforward – such as when we fail to correctly advertise events or process insurance fees. Certainly, in most cases this has been a misunderstanding of the requirements, so allow me to share some of the progress we are making on providing better answers:
Your Exchequer is presently working on a draft proposal exploring the possibility of groups choosing to cover the 5 Gold insurance day membership, whilst ensuring we abide by our legal financial requirements.
Your Constable will soon release updated sign in forms as well as instructions for displaying Lochac’s new Code of Conduct (release imminent) at all SCA events.
Speaking of SCA events, your Seneschal’s office is compiling notes on helping to prevent events being incorrectly published, because we all like seeing our friends able to be recognised when Their Majesties come to town. Amongst a number of smaller projects underway we are looking for ways to improve access to statistical data for groups and officers across the Kingdom.
Rowany Festival is indeed just…a number of weeks away and I’m certainly looking forward to it.
I’m packing light this year – Just the essential supplies and a whole bunch of questions for you – so if you have ideas, queries or concerns, I plan to be onsite from Friday morning to Monday morning and I look forward to exploring your ideas.
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen – Leonardo da Vinci.
What does that have to do with this month’s article? It’s tenuous really, but read on…
This month is a reminder, that as Lochac matures, we are also becoming more diverse and encountering new challenges accommodating that evolution.
Our Heralds are faced with not just a broader timeframe but now a genuine Eastern Heritage to facilitate, oh and heralding in silence – that’s new.
The Constabulary are actively reviewing sign-in forms and processes to include new mundane and society requirements. List keepers are, well I can’t explain, but they’re writing it down.
Updated websites are popping up across the kingdom. The masonry team, in addition to building our new server, are establishing our online conferencing services.
We have a brand new Lochac Arts & Sciences competition format, with another movie star debut.
The Kingdom’s Reeves are being trained like never before – and seriously, if you’re not the Exchequer, please let them do their thing!
The war field has always been a place for bravery, and if there’s one office more daunting to me than all others it’s being Marshal in charge of revising rules, truly a trial by mixed combat.
We are a Kingdom of Word-fame Wednesday, Webwright Wednesday and Favourites Friday, (bring on Toast-your-local-seneschal Tuesday and Siesta Saturday).
Lochac’s Crowns (the shiny pointy type) need filing and our dropbox is filling with records.
Amongst all that change the undeniable identity remains, we are the people of Lochac and while we will meet each other on the war field at the drop of a coif, what sets us apart from other medieval games is balance of tradition, interpretation of history and support of each other’s interests.
How does that relate to Leo? Officers within Lochac are volunteers who have stood up and said, I will. Their efforts are often most successful when they are neither seen or felt, unlike painting or poetry, purely function.
I did say it was tenuous, so let me close with this gem from the sagest of the four masters: “A wise man said, forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for a late pizza”- Michelangelo
Look at yourselves. Go on, take a look around, chances are you or someone dear to you came to the SCA via a college! People of Lochac, you’ve been had! Hoodwinked! Bamboozled. Run amuck! Collegians aren’t just our future, they make up a significant part of our officer core, Barons and Baronesses and even Peers of the Realm right now.
While colleges have been a key recruitment tool throughout Lochac for many years they also build up their own unique culture along with an odd habit of worshiping vegetables. Also unique to colleges is that they are often just a bad recruitment year or two away from being unsustainable as the study/graduation cycle progresses.
This is where we get to give back.
O-Week season is fast upon us and if your group has a college there’s a good chance they are gathering their forces and mustering their artisans – or something like that – for the primary college recruiting day of the year.
How can you help? The most sought-after assistance is usually people in garb or armour, on the day available to talk about the activities we run and show off their handiwork, though this can vary from group to group so contact your local college seneschal today and volunteer.
Can’t make it on the day? How about stewarding a tourney day or newcomers feast or putting together a group to do so? If teaching is your thing, there’s bound to be a bunch of excited but nervous newcomers needing their first Tudor Garb and eager to begin wailing upon each other with a length of rattan or thrusting tip.
Will you sign up a future King or Queen of Lochac?
Greetings to Lochac , from Lachlahn, Seneschal.
At the wonderful event that was November Crown, I stepped up as Lochac Seneschal. It quickly became apparent how well Baron Nicodemus has executed this office and how well he has been supported. I would like to thank His Excellency for his dedication to Lochac and for the continued support that he offers as I step into the office.
I’m sure it will come as no surprise that almost every congratulation I received on taking this role was accompanied by tongue in cheek commiserations — but while there can be no denying Seneschal includes a daunting array of activities, I’m excited to be in the job and I hope to live up to the lofty standards set by my predecessors.
In times of peace and prosperity we find opportunity for review and I’m excited to hear your thoughts and ideas. In addition to the excitement of developing our game in China, some suggested topics for consideration include:
- Using technology to streamline mundane activities
- Enabling & supporting event stewards!
- Clarifying & potentially streamlining reporting paths
- Balancing recruitment with retention & enjoyment
- Can we do more to assist families staying active?
- Are we ensuring that our society feels inclusive?
- As our game expands are our institutions keeping pace?
Now I’m not nearly foolish enough to think that I can drive all of these ideas, so if any of these topics pique your interest then please let me know that you’d like to be involved!
Finally (for now) I would like to hear from you on what would you most like to see on the list or what ideas would you like to share?
Yours in service,
Baron Lachlahn Dunbar