Your post was very well written and you seem to feel quite strongly
about this. However, it seems that you have read an intent into it that
is not there. Perhaps I did not make myself as clear as should have in
the draft. I will try to do so.
D Humberson wrote:
> Greetings to the list,
> Since Sir Jon specifically asked for comments about the usefulness of
> idea, I wish to address the general question of whether such a
> should be created, rather than to address only issues of specific
> The idea of a Society-wide Grand Fellowship, with accompanying
> insignia or
> regalia, struck an odd note with me from day one. A conversation
> night, on an archery line, crystallized that unease and has led to
> SCA archery has not, until now, been about anything but the activities
> archers and those who support them. This Grand Fellowship seems more
> calling attention to archers in circumstances where their sport is not
> immediately obvious, up to and including providing recognitions not
> sanctioned by the various Laurel Kingdoms.
I am sorry but I do not follow what you are referring to as "recognitons
not sanctioned by the various laurel Kingdoms." The Fellowship only
gives a badge which may or may not be worn by those that qualify for it.
I believe that badges, if they are passed by the heralds, are
sanctioned by the heralds in all the kingdoms.
> Please note the phrase '...archers and those who support them', as
> specifically includes everyone from the fletchers and bowyers who make
> equipment to the range designers and marshals who make our sport
> enjoyable and safe. They and the archers they serve know one another,
> both local repute and the fruits of their various labors. Good
> bowyers and
> good fletchers are known as such, becoming better known as they make
> and higher quality products. Range designers here in Aethelmearc
> incredible field and woods shoots, challenging to the best shots yet
> fun for tyros. Our marshalate gives time, energy and attention to the
> minutiae of running both practices and archery at events. Tying all
> arts and services together are the archers, from champions to
> newcomers, who
> are the focus of the exercise: they more often than not also
> contribute in
> one or more supporting roles as well.
> As a friend said to me tonight "If you see me in vambrace and glove,
> a quiver, bow in hand, headed for a line, you know I'm an archer". To
> I'd add, "And if I'm not tacked up and headed to( or from) a range,
> difference does the fact I'm an archer make?"
> Much discussion has centered on regalia which would identify archers
> of a
> given skill to one another. With all respect, I must again ask why?
> If I
> go to a strange place, get my gear inspected, and step up to a
> line, we'll all know rather quickly what kind of day I'm having. In
> how I
> deal with whatever happens on the line I'll also show some of my
> as an archer, and my level of awareness and responsibility. IMHO,
> is quintessentially a participant's activity, finding its highest
> in the moment when all that exists is the arrow, the target, and the
> invisible curve that joins them. The nature of such activity is
> and variable, sliding from focused peak to distracted trough or rising
> a slump to find new heights of achievement.
> I have come to believe that one of the strongest forces binding our
> community is that participation, and the associated sense of
> >From the rawest newcomer to the archer dinosaur who has held every
> post in the SCA we are all already part of a fellowship both rich and
> varied, whose sole criteria is essentially "...Want to shoot today?".
> our actions we declare ourselves archers, and by our actions we define
> kind of archers we are today. Our actions speak for us, identifying
> us to
> one another irrespective of regalia.
Not all events have archery taking place. Even when they do, an archer
is not always carrying their bow and arrows to identify them as an
> This proposal has the two stated intents of providing ready
> for members and promoting greater fellowship among members. In both
> the danger lies within the concept of membership. By its existence,
> such group will divide the archery community into an 'in' group and an
> group, and then operate primarily to benefit the 'in' group.
No more so than the kingdom orders already do in the kingdoms. I do not
see how a Fellowship with no central organization could operate to
benefit a "in" group.
> question such divisions already exist in most archery communities, but
> suggest that their demarcations are far more fluid and in that
> fluidity far
> less damaging to real fellowship among archers.
The membership of the Fellowship would also be constantly increasing
with new members as new archers are given awards in their kingdoms. It
would be as fluid as the archery orders in the kingdoms.
> To whatever extent a formal
> Grand Fellowship ossifies those lines of demarcation, it poses an
> additional threat to the real fellowship enjoyed among archers today.
You have not shown that the Fellowship would ossify those supposed
> benefits accrue to the archery community if the cost of this threat is
Nor have you shown that the Fellowship poses any threat.
> An archer identifies himself on the line by his actions and by his
> Away from the line, how much additional benefit will be gained from
> uniform bit of identifying regalia? The kingdom award necessary to
> for the Grand Fellowship already speaks to those of his home kingdom,
> so the
> identifying benefit of this regalia is actually limited to citizens of
> kingdoms who need to see this archer as someone skilled in some aspect
> archery. How much benefit is this to most archers, most of the time?
The benefit is when they are not in their own kingdom. The benefit is
when they are elsewhere and could have additional opportunities to talk
archery with archers and others not of their own kingdom. I think that
many archers are happy to stop and talk shop and meet new people
anywhere, not just on the archery range. I know I am.
> This proposal states, in an early paragraph, "...But there is no
> wide order or group recognizing outstanding skill in archery as the
> of Chivalry does tourney combat, the Order of the Laurel excellence in
> and Sciences, or the Order of the Pelican rewards service".
> While not mentioned explicitly under the numbered intents, a clear and
> repeated theme here is the mention of the Grand Fellowship in the
> context of
> the Chivalry, Laurel and Pelican.
Because members of those groups can be identified as such even when not
in their own kingdoms.
> Indeed, the only SCA-wide goal the
> proposal mentions is, "Perhaps, one of those goals might be to work
> peerage level recognition for archery and other related skills.".
This was only mentioned as a possible example of how the Fellowship
might act together, because that had been a topic of interest recently.
There is no way of predicting what goals, if any, members of the
Fellowship might have in the future.
> While the desirability of an archery peerage is beyond the scope of
> response, the effects of this focus within the current proposal are
> within that scope. The BOD has considered and rejected, for now, the
> of a fourth peerage.
True, but efforts could be made to encourage the Laurels to consider
allowing archers in the O.L. for their skill in archery rather than just
their craft or research skills.
> This proposal carries a substantial focus on peerage
> orders, and explicitly sets out to create an SCA-wide vehicle for
> recognition equivalent to them. As such, this proposal may be
> viewed as an attempt to begin to create a shadow peerage ala the White
If I had intended to make this a proposal for creating a peerage order
for archery, it would clearly say so in no uncertain terms and would not
be some attempt at a "shadow peerage ala the White Scarf." I have
proposed an archery peerage before and that is not what this is.
> Again, what impacts would such a movement have on local archers, and
> what benefits would accrue to them? If such a Fellowship produced
> to conform, as it surely would, to a single standard for equipment,
> styles and courses of fire, a rich source of innovation would be
> impeded if
> not stifled.
Why would the Fellowship produce any pressure to conform as you say it
would? Why would its members want a single standard for equipment,
shooting styles or courses of fire? I do not believe that the members
would have a single standard of equipment or style, but would use
everything from modern recurves to period bows and crossbows as well as
having a great variety of shooting styles and opinions on shooting and
> If the Fellowship is seen as another quasi-peerage, what
> impacts would that perception have on potential archery Laurel and
> archery Pelican candidates?
> There is no real reason to see it as a quasi-peerage or any other
> attempt at a peerage.
I know what I intended when I wrote this and there was no intention of
some form of attempt at some kind of peerage. The intent was as stated.
To provide a means of visual identification and to help encourage
greater fellowship between archers. Since you were able to misconstrue
the proposal, then it would seem that I need to make parts of it more
Thank you for your comments they have pointed out where I need to make
it more clear so that others will not misinterpret its intent. .
> Lastly, I take issue with the proposal's implication that 'local
> is somehow inferior to or subordinate to SCA-wide interest. All
> archery is
> local, in the last analysis, and it is the local archery group whose
> interests are least served by this proposal. Pennsic archery is as
> close as
> we get to an SCA-wide shoot, but it is still archers straddling a
> line on one hill in western Pennsylvania. Again, archery is
> fundamentally a
> grassroots activity, and any proposal which ignores or minimizes that
> is unlikely to benefit the sport. On balance, I suggest that the
> proposal offers insufficient benefit for the potential costs.
> Ragnar Ketilsson
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