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17255A&S and Kids' Activities (Was: Hello!, from LishLish)

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  • D'vorah bint Da'ud
    Feb 28, 2014
      Lish — First of all, is it okay to call you that, or do you prefer LishLish, or some other name to start with? A lot of SCAdians will pick a nickname to go by, even sometimes after they’ve got nice long, officially registered, names. :)

      Second of all, I love how much enthusiasm and interest you have! Wanting to learn is pretty much the best quality a person can have in the SCA, and is one of the best reasons to participate. Even a chivalrous code of behavior stems from wanting to learn how to treat people and be treated, so this is a wonderful trait that you possess. :)

      Now, “what to do.” I’d encourage you first to join your barony and kingdom email lists and Facebook groups, then find and talk to your local chatelaine/hospitaller/newcomer guide and see if there’s a local Gold Key (stash of loaner garb, and the person who takes charge of that). He or she can get you started with things to wear to your first few events. When you’ve sewn together your own first set of garb for each family member — just one outfit, say — you can give the loaners back.

      A&S (arts & sciences):

      Ask in the groups and lists who’s doing what. Find out if there are any A&S meetings. Sometimes those are for people to teach other people how to do this or that; sometimes it’s more about everyone bringing their own project to work on while they socialize. If something is happening at a time you can go, go. Doesn’t even matter what it is. Just go so you can meet people in person, and if they’re doing something that doesn’t interest you at all, do it anyway. You might find that it’s more fun that you’d have thought. Even if it turns out you were right and you don’t care for it, you’ll KNOW you don’t care for it, and you’ll have shown you’re willing to try new things.

      If there aren’t any A&S meetings taking place actively, ask your local A&S officer(s) if there are plans to start/reactivate them. If they seem hesitant or stressed by the question, they probably have a lot on their plates right at that time, so just ask if they’d mind if you started an A&S night for the group. Don’t step on their toes or come in, guns blazing, to overturn and take over everything — just say “I’m setting aside every Tuesday night from 5 to 9:30 (or Sundays from noon to 4pm, or whatever) to do A&S in my home, and anyone who wants to bring a project to work on and chat is welcome. Bring a snack or a bottle of soda to share, if you like.”

      If that eventually grows and gets to be too big for your home, see if a nearby library, church, or school might let you use a room once a week for your activity. Many places permit community members to use facilities for free.

      If you’re meeting once a week or once a fortnight, you can also say, “The first Tuesday of each month, I’m asking a person to teach everyone something. This month, Lady So-And-So has generously offered to teach everyone how to make their own period shoes! Bring about a square yard of leather, or talk to Lady So-And-So about the cost of her providing it for you, and by the end of the night you should have your own pair of turnshoes. Those who don’t want to learn this can bring their own projects instead, as always. If you have a skill you could teach next month, contact me off-list and we’ll work out details."

      Kids’ Activities:

      The same way you started asking about A&S activities, ask about kid activities. Ask if there are warranted Children’s Ministers, and if not, ask how you could get warranted and become one. Take your children to anything that the local group offers, even if you or the kids think they won’t be interested. Again, it’s about making those in-person connections.

      Find out if there are awards within your canton or barony that are specifically geared to children. If there aren’t, suggest them. This isn’t meant to say that the children should only be doing things in case they get a prize. It’s really more about making the barony think about providing activities and opportunities for children to participate (because after all, no child can win an award for combat or sportsmanship if there’s no youth combat; no child can win an award for learning or teaching or serving if there are no classes and activities that welcome children’s participation). These kids are the next generation of SCAdians, and they need to be included. Children can learn to spin on a drop spindle, do card weaving and inkle weaving, make kumihimo and other braided cording, string beads as necklaces. Children can learn to sew their own coifs, make their own tiny leather belt pouches (with pre-punched holes in the leather, probably), even design heraldic badges that they’d like to wear (registered to you, of course, so that they can be identified as your kids). They can play period games such as bocce, nine men’s morris, chess. They can learn period dances and songs. Children can color and write, and some can paint, which means they could even be making their peers’ award scrolls.
      D'vorah bint Da'ud
      Protégé to Meister Albrecht Waldfurster, OP
      Gyldenholt, Caid (Orange, CA)
      Twitter: @DvorahSCA
      Facebook: D'vorah bint Da'ud

      "Purpure, in chief three bees Or marked purpure and on a point pointed Or a bee purpure marked Or."
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