- This post struck a very well known chord with me. I come from a
geographically diverse Barony with a well known reputation for
contentiousness. My geographic area formed an incipient Canton in order
to give our local people a way to play on an administrative level.
Needless to say, our motives were suspect by those in power. After a
particularly unsettled period and a charismatic leader, I was asked to
become seneschal. I agreed and began sheparding our group toward full
recognition. It took me 2 years of constant work to finally convince the
powers that be that we could do the job repeatedly and were not planning
a break away group, that our intent was to work within the existing
structure. I wanted very much to be the seneschal to lead us to full
recognition but such was not to be, that fell to my successor. We are
now a full Canton in our Barony and helping to lead our Barony to greater
acheivements. This may be a long winded introduction to a basic point
but I think it has relevance.
Today, the archery community is in a position of supporting the SCA
heavily. However, because of many things which have been said over the
years, a distrust of the motives of the archers exists in many minds.
Just as I had to watch a frustrated populus deal with what seemed to many
a conspiracy to deny us our rightful recognition, we will, as a
collective, have to deal with similar frustrations. We must avoid, at
all costs, ANY appearance of creating a "shadow peerage" or an ettempt at
an end run around the existing power structure. We must work with and
within this structure to attain our ends. We must demonstrate a
willingness to work within the structure that currently exists. The
first step is to accept the BOD's 4th peerage ruling. Whether there is
eventually a 4th peerage to recognize aspects of the SCA experience not
currently recognized or whether those aspects are recognized within the
existing structure is yet to be seen.
One of the first things we can do is to cultivate relationships with
Laurels and Pelicans in our own kingdoms. Find out exactly how they
judge candidates. For instance, here in Caid, a Laurel candidate must
demonstrate mastery of one art and high competance in at least one other.
A Pelican cnadidate must show a broad base of service is several areas
(i.e. running archery events and programs only won't make it). The
Chivalry was built on, and maintains, a tradition of being based on use
of "tournament" weapons and conduct. Here, that means that the war only
fighter is excluded. Cultivate your contacts and show them where the
archery activities fit in their own scheme of things. Show them that
participation in archery is a multi-faceted and complex activity. Help
them play our game a little so that they understand the challenges
presented. With time and understanding they will decide among themselves
whether we should be included in their ranks or whether we need a
recognition path of our own.
Do not expect this to be easy or quick. Expect to get flak from both
sides as there will be resistance from without and distrust from within
the archery community. Expect this to take five to ten years to begin to
make an inroad and start out on this road with that knowledge. If it
takes less, rejoice. The SCA power structure is conservative and
self-perpetuating -- accept it and work with it, don't fight it. It
changes because it wants to. Plant the seed, nurture it, watch it grow.
Let the powers that be take the credit for making the change. They will
be quicker to act if they think it is their own idea. I have seen how
many things have been accomplished by applying a constant but subtle
pressure and letting someone else take the credit.
But above all, we must decide what our goal is and unfailingly work
toward it even when the path seems to go in the opposite direction. In
the course of advancing my Canton I had to swallow a great many things I
disliked but I knew that doing so would get me closer to my utimate goal
and the pleasure in that success more than outweighed what I had to go
through. As many in the mundane world say "Think Globally and Work
Locally". This will get us what we want SCA wide.
In service to the dream,
Carolus von Eulenhorst
On Thu, 01 Feb 2001 21:33:34 -0600 "Chris Nogy" <cnogy@...>
>Speaking from one who is a peer (Laurel) for archery and archery________________________________________________________________
>related arts and sciences
>(as the scroll says - 'the research, construction, and use of archery
>In the end, you have to work to get anything. The amount of work you
>have to do is not always decided by you - often your obstacles have
>been determined, built, and reinforced by others well beyond what you
>find reasonable. That is not always fair, but it is the way it is.
>And you won't change it merely by trying to point out how unfair it is
>- you must accomplish in spite of the inequities. But if you really
>want something, you just get down to work and do it. Because you
>can't get to the end of the quest without starting on it and working
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> > It's called the "Laurel." =)No, I'm deadly serious.
> (I'M ASSUMING YOU SAID LAUREL =) TONGUE IN CHEEK)
> No!!! There is no peerage for these fighting techniques. They areI disagree. Read the definition of the Laurel in Corpora. Arcehry
and Rapier fit into it with no trouble whatsoever.
> calling the these martial techniques an art and giving them a Laurel.Call them an art or not (they are, but that's not even necessary)
they are undoubtedly "skills" and that's what the Laurel is
supposed to recognize.
> Not the same thing. Archers were just as much of a part of the battleThat has nothing to do with it. Knighthood isn't awarded for
> as were the knights and the only difference is the social class.
"battle." It's awarded for rattan tourney fighting.
> I don't think that a peer level award for archery (or rapier) isNot a specialized one, no. Hopefully they will continue to gain
> coming in the near future. A kingdom might never reconize archery. I
acceptance among the Laurelate but I don't see any new specialty
peerages coming any time soon. (Personally, I'm one of those who
finds that to be a Good Thing(tm).)
> have also noticed that archery is probably the best organized of theI don't know about archers being any better "organized." Up until
> fighting arts within the SCA. SCA Archers for the most part are far
> more organized, friendlier, less political than any group I've seen in
> the SCA (coming from me that's a major compliment).
last year there was no such thing as a Society Archery Policy yet
the fighters have had a standard set of Society rules for at *least*
20 years that I know of...
> At this point in the game it would be WONDERFUL to have the awardsYou still haven't answered *why* it would be so wonderful? What's
> somewhat similar. A Grant level award would mean something similar to
> a Grant level award somewhere else. So would an AoA level award.
bad about variety? Why is bland better?
> Make the non-AoA awards either minor kingdom or baronial awards. If IWouldn't you get to know far more simply by "spend[ing] time with
> travel to another kingdom for an event and have the oppertunity to
> spend time with another archer I know what he did to earn his award.
another archer" then you would by just knowing that someone had
a "standard" award?
> In the karate community there are numerous styles and style varientsDo they? I've been in three different systems and about the only
> but everybody reconizes the term "Black Belt", "Brown Belt", "White
> Belt". To have a inherit mutal understanding of an award, regardless
> of name or how it was presented would sure be great.
thing that was consistent was the black belt. And even that varies
enormously by school. Below that every other color was just
something less than a black belt -- you wouldn't know how *much*
less unless you knew the system OR spent time with whoever was
> other than Latin. I'm sure glad these traditions were changed.Great. But you still haven't offered any substantial benefit inherent
in changing this particular set of traditions.
> The tradition of having a major class distinction between archers,Okay. So how does standardizing archery awards across
> rapier fighters and the heavies is one tradition I would like to see
> go away. I would rather see one big community than several small
kingdoms help meet that objective?
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- I want to thank both Ragnar and Kaz for their respective and thoughtful
posts. They each raised a number of concerns that we need to take into
consideration. I particularly found Kaz's analysis of the peerage issue of
interest. That was a perspective I will need to think on. I have often
thought of the Laurel in terms of period chivalry with the area of prowess
being one or another art rather than the chivalry as a Laurel with the
form being heavy weapons. Kaz has probably been aware that I have had,
for years, strong philosophical convictions that both the Laurel and the
Pelican circles need to recommend to the Crown the elevation of archers
when the work falls within their scope. Perhaps we need to better
articulate what sort of archery artistry and service is appropriate for
such recognition. This will make both members of the orders and the crowns
more comfortable when considering such peerages.
I think that the entire discussion on either the guild or fellowship (and
the distinction is not always clear) needs to not only establish solid and
agreed upon goals, but we need to be sure that the means towards those
goals are the best to achieve them. I fear that some of the things
proposed will have serious negative effects. While there are many ways in
place already to achieve some of the goals discussed. We should never
create bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy.
Finally, I am concerned that seldom in our discussions has the question
been asked: what did they do in period? I would be much more comfortable
with a discussion at this point of the royally chartered company of
archers under Henry VIII or the Schutzenguilds in the Holy Roman Empire.
But this would possibility lead us back to local solutions to local
situations. There were differences between realms (and over time) in
period that far exceeds even the considerable differences between kingdoms
in our Society.