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The Fourth Peerage - from a Newbie Archer

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  • sibeal_o_lahbrada
    I am writing in response to the post by Master Jean Paul Pierrepont OL OP, that is currently circulating encouraging us to make our opinions heard regarding
    Message 1 of 224 , Feb 15, 2012
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      I am writing in response to the post by Master Jean Paul Pierrepont OL OP, that is currently circulating encouraging us to make our opinions heard regarding the "Fourth Peerage".

      I am a fairly new member of SCA, having just had my 1 year anniversary in the Society. I can't say that I understand well what the plan for the Fourth Peerage is, but I think I can give you a helpful opinion and suggestions.

      My Background:
      I joined a year ago after going to an archery practice to which my two adult children dragged me. I had been curious about the Society since I saw a demo in junior college some 30 odd years before, but didn't know how to get involved, ... not being fighter-material and not being the lady of a fighter. I instantly fell in love with the wonderful people, the camaraderie, the pageantry, historic research, the game and the fun. Finally, some 30 years after that first demo, I joined SCA. My two kids, husband and I are now all Archers.

      Why Promote Archery?:
      In the year I have been in SCA I have seen more people join as archers than in any other area. That might just be because of my position, but it may also be because Archery is the most accessible way to enter SCA. It costs a lot less and takes less skill than getting armor, getting into A&S, equestrian, rapier, and etc. Anyone off the street can get a tunic, borrow a bow and be a full fledged, functioning SCA member in the shortest time at the lowest cost by becoming an archer. It's a "gate-way" SCA-profession.

      As with most organizations, we need new members, we need young members. Most young people can't afford the cost of armor, etc. Most older people don't want to lay out the cash until they know if they will like it. Not so with archer. Archery should be encouraged as a starting point. Once we get them hooked through archery, new members are more likely to spend the big bucks to build/buy armor or learn the skills for other areas. As such we should do everything possible to attract archers and make SCA archery as fun as other areas of SCA.

      My Observations:
      I recently attended my second Twelfth Night Crown Event. At my first I was in awe and a bit clueless as to the substance of the ceremonies. This year, I had a more firm understanding of the proceedings. As an archer, I felt very left out. I wanted to take a knee and swear my fealty to the new King and Queen, like the fighters did. I wanted to see members of our group elevated and recognized for their contributions and accomplishments like the Knights, Pelicans and the Laurels. I wanted accolades to aspire too. I wanted elite members, publicly recognized by some distinction to revere (like the white belts, and the pelican medallions).

      This year at Twelfth Night, one member of my Archery Company was acknowledged as Kingdom Archer, having won the Kingdom tournament. The outgoing Kingdom Archer went back to citizen-at-large, no lasting membership in an elite society, just a "has-been". The other archers wanted to be a part of presenting our champion to Their Majesties in someway. but there was no provision for that. As I sat through court hearing award after recognition being given out, I realized there was no hope for me, as an archer, to ever be a part of this. It was and is discouraging. I looked around the court and realize that almost everyone there who had been in SCA for a couple of years or more was either getting something or already was a peer, except the archers. The archers had nothing to aspire to, no way to participate in court, other than a 1 year reign as Kingdom Archer for winning a tournament that happens once a year.

      Archers are Peasants:
      Now, I realize that historically the archers were the peasantry, and we embrace and acknowledge our place in history. But, historically, I do not believe there were Pelicans or a peerage for Arts and Sciences either. The archers want to be included and have fun like other groups. We want to have an elite level and/or society to aspire to that is awarded publicly like knights and pelicans. We want to have students or apprentices (or whatever words are chosen) that are under Master archers like Knights have. We want to have elite societies that one can become a member by service and/or skill. We want to look up to our elite members and recognize them by something they wear that is publicly recognizable, similar to the Knights' white belt or the Pelican medallion. We know we are peasants but we want to be full participants of the SCA Game.

      No Group Left Behind:
      As much as I would advocate for full SCA citizenship for archers, I cannot in good conscious leave out any group. The same kinds of awards, accolades, special societies, pageantry and recognitions should be accessible for all SCA professions: equestrians, rapier, siege, whatever. The names and manner of the awards, special societies and pageantry may change by group but roughly equivalent systems should be obtainable by all SCA members who earn and deserve it.

      Suggestions and Help:
      Now, I thoroughly believe that one should not criticize without offering useful suggestions and help. One idea that we have for archer recognition is a belt flash, an embroidered or painted cloth rectangle that hangs from the belt that shows the rank. This would be designed such that as an archer moves up the levels (novice, archer...), parts are filled in or added, so the same flash can be used for one person and just modified as he or she moves up. The Barony of Darkwood has a society of the "Hood". Archers are inducted, at court, based on earning the high score at designated tournaments. The members of the "Hood" are given a half black/white hood that they wear to distinguish them. Something similar to this could be formalized for all archers. A formalized way to set-up and operate Archery Companies would be nice too. I have more ideas and would be willing to put in time to help work out the details if my services were desired.

      I am still learning how this all works, but this is my take on it.

      Your humble servant,

      Sibéal Ó Labhradha
      Odd Bodkins
      Shire of Caldarium, West Kingdom
    • Mark Cipra
      Well, let us agree to disagree on this issue. Llywelyn Glyndyverdwy (Mark Cipra) __ When in doubt, end with a jig - Robin McCauley From:
      Message 224 of 224 , Mar 9, 2012
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        Well, let us agree to disagree on this issue.


        Llywelyn Glyndyverdwy (Mark Cipra)


        "When in doubt, end with a jig" - Robin McCauley



        From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Oblio of Abertwidr
        Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 10:37 PM
        To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: The Fourth Peerage Apples Versus Oranges?



        On 09/03/2012, Mark Cipra <cipram@...> wrote:

        > My dear Oblio:
        > I realize you are a heretic, but does that heresy extend to the belief that
        > *every* representative form of government is inherently anti-democratic? Of
        > course this is true, but only by the very narrowest definition of democracy.
        > Even *within* the small elected council of my small city there are
        > committees to hash out the details of legislation. There may be some pure
        > democracies out there, but the reason we don't know anything about them is
        > that they are completely ineffective.
        > Whether or not a committee for a cross-border archery GOA agreement is
        > *inherently* democratic will depend on its charter. I hope that charter
        > includes provisions for frequent reporting back to (and soliciting opinion
        > from) the archery community at large.

        The word "heretic" means a person who chooses for himself/herself,.

        As (only one of many) an example, at
        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/heretic , is

        1300–50; Middle English heretik < Middle French heretique < Late Latin
        haereticus < Greek hairetikós able to choose (Late Greek: heretical),
        equivalent to hairet(ós) that may be taken (verbal adjective of
        haireîn to choose) + -ikos -ic

        I think it unfortunate to have a closed mind;

        There may be some pure
        > democracies out there, but the reason we don't know anything about them is
        > that they are completely ineffective.

        So, what do you know of participatory budgeting, such as implemented
        at the town/city of Scarborough, where the people determine on which
        projects, council funds are budgeted to be spent? Just because you may
        not be aware of it, does not mean it does not work. I was not aware of
        it, until I saw a television documentary about it.

        Many people in the world, are not aware of electricity. Does that mean
        that it does not work?

        Many people in the world, are probably unaware of photovoltaic
        electricity generation, that could probably be of great assistance to
        them, Does that mean that photovoltaic electricity generation is of no
        benefit, simply because some people are unaware of it?

        Many people in the world, are probably unaware of archery, or, of
        archery as an activity that exists; does that mean that archery is not
        an activity worth doing?

        Many (possibly most) of the archers "in the knowned worlde" are
        probably not aware of this mailing list (I only found out about it,
        through my own efforts, and, I think, thence, by accident) - does that
        mean that this list is of no benefit?

        Just because a person may be unaware of something, does not mean that
        that thing of which the person is unaware, is of no benefit.

        Hence, a difference between bigotry and heresy; the first, being the
        refusal to accept opinions different to the opinions of the bigot,
        and, the second, whee the person chooses for himself/herself, and,
        employs the freedom to choose.

        Oblio the Unregistered,
        Heretic of Abertwidr
        of the Western Shores
        In the Kingdom of Lochac

        Per fructu, non folii

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