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Re: [SCA Newcomers] How to be a newcomer in the SCA

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  • Janet
    Ian the Green, Well put! I was wondering if you would mind if I forwarded this message of yours on to a new member of my shire who seems to be having issues
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 6, 2006
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      Ian the Green,
      Well put! I was wondering if you would mind if I
      forwarded this message of yours on to a new member of
      my shire who seems to be having issues figuring out
      how to fit in. You have said many of the things I've
      been trying to get across to him and I think it would
      help him greatly.
      ~Isabel

      --- David Roland <mystborne@...> wrote:

      > We are a not for profit educational organization.
      > Not some social
      > club of haughty better-than-thous. However, anyone
      > who is not used
      > to treading these trails can have problems at first.
      > After all a
      > group of friends can easily seem like an
      > impenetrable clique to the
      > outsider.
      >
      > Here are some basic underpinnings of the SCA and
      > some suggestions on
      > how to navigate these woods.
      >
      > Nobody has to earn the right to be talked to or
      > greeted in the SCA.
      > However, you also have to be willing to stick your
      > hand out and say
      > hello. The kings highway does need to be travelled
      > both ways.
      > Volunteering to help out and hanging out with
      > people, such as
      > households, guilds and other groups, is helpful to
      > making friends in
      > the SCA, but it isn't a requirement. And hanging
      > out with a
      > household or guild is different than joining it.
      >
      > Find something you think you might be interested in.
      > This could be
      > as diverse as making clothes to arts martial to
      > period painting.
      > Keep an eye out for it and when you see it, walk up
      > to the person
      > and say something similar to this:
      >
      > "Wow, that's (pretty, interesting, neat, cool,) I
      > like it a lot.
      > Did you (make, design, build, create ) that
      > yourself?
      >
      > If they answer yes you can follow it up with:
      >
      > "I really like that, can you tell me how you did it
      > sometime?"
      >
      > If they answer no you can follow it up with:
      >
      > "Well I think you made a good choice (buying,
      > trading, getting,)
      > that, I really like it. Can you tell me or show me
      > who you got it
      > from so I can talk with them about it?"
      >
      > Each and every one of us likes to be complimented in
      > a genuine
      > fashion. Some of us don't care if the compliment is
      > genuine. :-)
      > However, I recommend that you start off with genuine
      > compliments as
      > we are a chivalrous society and lying isn't really
      > all that
      > honorable.
      >
      > If you can start off that way, not only will you
      > meet more people
      > but you will also make more friends quickly AND
      > people will have a
      > higher initial opinion of you as a newcomer.
      >
      > Trying to impress people with your knowledge, vaste
      > or limited as it
      > may be, by jumping into a conversation you havn't
      > been invited into
      > can be considered rude anywhere including in the SCA
      > and should
      > likely be avoided until you know the people a little
      > better.
      >
      > If you happen to hear a conversation that you really
      > like the
      > current topic of and believe you may have something
      > to contribute to
      > it, I might recommend the following approach.
      >
      > "(You're pardon, Pardon me,)" I couldn't help but
      > overhear you were
      > talking about (making garb, how to train hawks in
      > period, board
      > games of the 12th century, Irish history, making
      > alcohol, alchemy,
      > scribing, period use of body fluids, period baking
      > etc) may I join
      > the conversation, I'm interested in that kind of
      > thing."
      >
      > This way you have politely found a way to get
      > invited/invite
      > yourself into a conversation. AND people will have a
      > higher initial
      > opinion of you.
      >
      > You have to remember something about the SCA.
      > Pretty much we're all
      > geeks in some fashion or another. We like hanging
      > out with other
      > geeks. But like most geeks we're a bit gun shy
      > about people new to
      > us. Okay some of us are extroverts to the nth
      > degree but they, like
      > in regular society, are the exception not the rule.
      > Guess which one
      > I am. :-)
      >
      > Every geek LOVES to talk about their geek subject(s)
      > and loves
      > people to complement them on their area of geekness.
      > Oh wait, that
      > is almost all people on the planet. Geeks, YES I AM
      > ONE, are just
      > more appreciative of it than most.
      >
      > I hope this social guide is somewhat helpful to
      > "breaking into,"
      > your local, and other, group(s).
      >
      > Ian the Green
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >


      __________________________________________________
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    • Judith Taylor
      *replying to Isabel s post cause I m currently at work* M lord Ian the Green, your post is a wonderful one and I was wondering if you have thought to make it
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 6, 2006
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        *replying to Isabel's post 'cause I'm currently at work*

        M'lord Ian the Green, your post is a wonderful one and I was wondering if
        you have thought to make it an actual article (if it isn't already) and if
        so, could I get your permission to post it to my Shire's website as a
        resource article for newcomers to our shire and Society?

        Fionnseach de Lochielle
        Oaken Regional Chronicler
        Dernehealde Webminister - www.dernehealde.org


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Steve Pote
        Ian has summed up my family s experience. (I especially like the geek references, geeks with armour) I have children, who are better at breaking the ice than I
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 6, 2006
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          Ian has summed up my family's experience.
          (I especially like the geek references, geeks with armour)
          I have children, who are better at breaking the ice than I (being a geek's geek). They have two *never fail* questions they ask which lead to me searching for them several hours later when they have gone missing...
          1) Can you show me how?
          2) Can I help with that?
          The first opens a floodgate of personal research (I have yet to speak with anyone who did not have encyclopedic knowlegde of at least one topic, even if only thier own persona)
          The second usually has some cool tangent - they help carry water to the archers...and someone puts a bow in their hands, half hour of instructions, 6 hrs on the range shooting...etc.

          David Roland <mystborne@...> wrote:
          We are a not for profit educational organization. Not some social
          club of haughty better-than-thous. However, anyone who is not used
          to treading these trails can have problems at first. After all a
          group of friends can easily seem like an impenetrable clique to the
          outsider.

          Here are some basic underpinnings of the SCA and some suggestions on
          how to navigate these woods.

          Nobody has to earn the right to be talked to or greeted in the SCA.
          However, you also have to be willing to stick your hand out and say
          hello. The kings highway does need to be travelled both ways.
          Volunteering to help out and hanging out with people, such as
          households, guilds and other groups, is helpful to making friends in
          the SCA, but it isn't a requirement. And hanging out with a
          household or guild is different than joining it.

          Find something you think you might be interested in. This could be
          as diverse as making clothes to arts martial to period painting.
          Keep an eye out for it and when you see it, walk up to the person
          and say something similar to this:

          "Wow, that's (pretty, interesting, neat, cool,) I like it a lot.
          Did you (make, design, build, create ) that yourself?

          If they answer yes you can follow it up with:

          "I really like that, can you tell me how you did it sometime?"

          If they answer no you can follow it up with:

          "Well I think you made a good choice (buying, trading, getting,)
          that, I really like it. Can you tell me or show me who you got it
          from so I can talk with them about it?"

          Each and every one of us likes to be complimented in a genuine
          fashion. Some of us don't care if the compliment is genuine. :-)
          However, I recommend that you start off with genuine compliments as
          we are a chivalrous society and lying isn't really all that
          honorable.

          If you can start off that way, not only will you meet more people
          but you will also make more friends quickly AND people will have a
          higher initial opinion of you as a newcomer.

          Trying to impress people with your knowledge, vaste or limited as it
          may be, by jumping into a conversation you havn't been invited into
          can be considered rude anywhere including in the SCA and should
          likely be avoided until you know the people a little better.

          If you happen to hear a conversation that you really like the
          current topic of and believe you may have something to contribute to
          it, I might recommend the following approach.

          "(You're pardon, Pardon me,)" I couldn't help but overhear you were
          talking about (making garb, how to train hawks in period, board
          games of the 12th century, Irish history, making alcohol, alchemy,
          scribing, period use of body fluids, period baking etc) may I join
          the conversation, I'm interested in that kind of thing."

          This way you have politely found a way to get invited/invite
          yourself into a conversation. AND people will have a higher initial
          opinion of you.

          You have to remember something about the SCA. Pretty much we're all
          geeks in some fashion or another. We like hanging out with other
          geeks. But like most geeks we're a bit gun shy about people new to
          us. Okay some of us are extroverts to the nth degree but they, like
          in regular society, are the exception not the rule. Guess which one
          I am. :-)

          Every geek LOVES to talk about their geek subject(s) and loves
          people to complement them on their area of geekness. Oh wait, that
          is almost all people on the planet. Geeks, YES I AM ONE, are just
          more appreciative of it than most.

          I hope this social guide is somewhat helpful to "breaking into,"
          your local, and other, group(s).

          Ian the Green






          ---------------------------------
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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • reynse_knight
          ... I am a newcomer also. I have also had the experiences of meeting those who felt they had worked hard to get where they are in organizations and that new
          Message 4 of 13 , Sep 6, 2006
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            --- In scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com, Janet <HI_it_is_me@...> wrote:
            >Hello,
            I am a newcomer also. I have also had the experiences of meeting
            those who felt they had worked hard to get where they are in
            organizations and that new people were on their own. I think it
            happens anywhere you are. Those are the people you just avoid.
            Take it all with a grain of salt. Try not to feel intimidated.
            But, may I ask what would be a good way to find people interested
            in the same craft you are if you live in an area where the local SCA
            group is small? How do you "branch out"?
            thanks
            > Ian the Green,
            > Well put! I was wondering if you would mind if I
            > forwarded this message of yours on to a new member of
            > my shire who seems to be having issues figuring out
            > how to fit in. You have said many of the things I've
            > been trying to get across to him and I think it would
            > help him greatly.
            > ~Isabel
            >
            > --- David Roland <mystborne@...> wrote:
            >
            > > We are a not for profit educational organization.
            > > Not some social
            > > club of haughty better-than-thous. However, anyone
            > > who is not used
            > > to treading these trails can have problems at first.
            > > After all a
            > > group of friends can easily seem like an
            > > impenetrable clique to the
            > > outsider.
            > >
            > > Here are some basic underpinnings of the SCA and
            > > some suggestions on
            > > how to navigate these woods.
            > >
            > > Nobody has to earn the right to be talked to or
            > > greeted in the SCA.
            > > However, you also have to be willing to stick your
            > > hand out and say
            > > hello. The kings highway does need to be travelled
            > > both ways.
            > > Volunteering to help out and hanging out with
            > > people, such as
            > > households, guilds and other groups, is helpful to
            > > making friends in
            > > the SCA, but it isn't a requirement. And hanging
            > > out with a
            > > household or guild is different than joining it.
            > >
            > > Find something you think you might be interested in.
            > > This could be
            > > as diverse as making clothes to arts martial to
            > > period painting.
            > > Keep an eye out for it and when you see it, walk up
            > > to the person
            > > and say something similar to this:
            > >
            > > "Wow, that's (pretty, interesting, neat, cool,) I
            > > like it a lot.
            > > Did you (make, design, build, create ) that
            > > yourself?
            > >
            > > If they answer yes you can follow it up with:
            > >
            > > "I really like that, can you tell me how you did it
            > > sometime?"
            > >
            > > If they answer no you can follow it up with:
            > >
            > > "Well I think you made a good choice (buying,
            > > trading, getting,)
            > > that, I really like it. Can you tell me or show me
            > > who you got it
            > > from so I can talk with them about it?"
            > >
            > > Each and every one of us likes to be complimented in
            > > a genuine
            > > fashion. Some of us don't care if the compliment is
            > > genuine. :-)
            > > However, I recommend that you start off with genuine
            > > compliments as
            > > we are a chivalrous society and lying isn't really
            > > all that
            > > honorable.
            > >
            > > If you can start off that way, not only will you
            > > meet more people
            > > but you will also make more friends quickly AND
            > > people will have a
            > > higher initial opinion of you as a newcomer.
            > >
            > > Trying to impress people with your knowledge, vaste
            > > or limited as it
            > > may be, by jumping into a conversation you havn't
            > > been invited into
            > > can be considered rude anywhere including in the SCA
            > > and should
            > > likely be avoided until you know the people a little
            > > better.
            > >
            > > If you happen to hear a conversation that you really
            > > like the
            > > current topic of and believe you may have something
            > > to contribute to
            > > it, I might recommend the following approach.
            > >
            > > "(You're pardon, Pardon me,)" I couldn't help but
            > > overhear you were
            > > talking about (making garb, how to train hawks in
            > > period, board
            > > games of the 12th century, Irish history, making
            > > alcohol, alchemy,
            > > scribing, period use of body fluids, period baking
            > > etc) may I join
            > > the conversation, I'm interested in that kind of
            > > thing."
            > >
            > > This way you have politely found a way to get
            > > invited/invite
            > > yourself into a conversation. AND people will have a
            > > higher initial
            > > opinion of you.
            > >
            > > You have to remember something about the SCA.
            > > Pretty much we're all
            > > geeks in some fashion or another. We like hanging
            > > out with other
            > > geeks. But like most geeks we're a bit gun shy
            > > about people new to
            > > us. Okay some of us are extroverts to the nth
            > > degree but they, like
            > > in regular society, are the exception not the rule.
            > > Guess which one
            > > I am. :-)
            > >
            > > Every geek LOVES to talk about their geek subject(s)
            > > and loves
            > > people to complement them on their area of geekness.
            > > Oh wait, that
            > > is almost all people on the planet. Geeks, YES I AM
            > > ONE, are just
            > > more appreciative of it than most.
            > >
            > > I hope this social guide is somewhat helpful to
            > > "breaking into,"
            > > your local, and other, group(s).
            > >
            > > Ian the Green
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            > __________________________________________________
            > Do You Yahoo!?
            > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
            > http://mail.yahoo.com
            >
          • Dianne & Greg Stucki
            ... From: Steve Pote To: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 12:31 PM Subject: Re: [SCA Newcomers] How to be a newcomer in the SCA
            Message 5 of 13 , Sep 6, 2006
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Steve Pote
              To: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 12:31 PM
              Subject: Re: [SCA Newcomers] How to be a newcomer in the SCA


              2) Can I help with that?
              The first opens a floodgate of personal research (I have yet to speak with anyone who did not have encyclopedic knowlegde of at least one topic, even if only thier own persona)
              The second usually has some cool tangent - they help carry water to the archers...and someone puts a bow in their hands, half hour of instructions, 6 hrs on the range shooting...etc.


              We had a family camping on our block at Pennsic who, I believe, were attending their very first SCA event EVER. A gentle found his way to our encampment one afternoon, singing the praises of one of the teens (a lad named Joseph) and his skills and decorum on the thrown weapons field, and begging us to get that kid armored up FAST!

              To me, this was an ideal introduction to the SCA, on both sides--the young man for finding something to be interested in, and for impressing others with his behavior. The gentle who sang his praises, for who believes that that did not make that boy's war, to be treated in such a fashion? Because a young man put in a little effort, and someone spent a little time with him, the SCA may gain a family of excited, involved people, and isn't that exactly what we want?

              Laurensa


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            • David Roland
              I thank everyone for their kind words. I seriously doubt that I am the first to give any of this advice nor likely am I the best. For those that have asked me
              Message 6 of 13 , Sep 7, 2006
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                I thank everyone for their kind words. I seriously doubt that I am
                the first to give any of this advice nor likely am I the best.

                For those that have asked me for permission to republish my comments
                and advice you have it. I simply ask that if you could, please send
                me a copy, electronic or tangible, of what is published and what what
                it is published in if possible. If it is on a website, please send
                me the link. I'd love to take a look at it.

                I'm fairly certain that there will always be something you folks have
                thought of and dealt with in a far better way than I. Perhaps you
                will have worked on something that I haven't dealt with and will have
                to in the future. Networking this kind of information is important
                so that everyone can benefit from each other's experience and
                hopefully wisdom as well as learning from other people's (read our
                own,) mistakes.

                If for some reason you feel that my words of advice would be usable
                when speaking with newcomers please feel free to relay my words of
                advice as I have relayed words of advice given to me. I feel no
                special need to be cited when helping out a newcomer. Own it
                yourself and make it a part of your repetoire if it is at all helpful.

                I imagine that much of my words can be found in the newcomer's
                resources from the SCA main website or at the very least between the
                lines of the published information. Some of the advice comes to me
                through various peers that I have had the great honor to speak with
                in the hopes of garnering wisdom and practical application from
                them. Some of it comes from my own dealings as Chatelaine and
                attempting - succeeding poorly - to distill the core issues that
                newcomers face and working to alleviate those issues before they
                become real issues to the newcomer.

                The newcomers resources can be found online at:

                http://www.sca.org/newcomers.html

                A recent, or soon to come out, Tournaments Illuminated (Illistrated?)
                is suppose to have How to be a Chatelaine or some such Chatelaining
                information in it. I do not get TI myself so I do not know if it is
                out yet.

                Ian the Green
                MKA Dave Roland
                Chatelaine - Shire of Grey Gargoyles
                Region of the Midlands
                Middle Kingdom


                --- In scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com, "Judith Taylor"
                <fionnseachdelochielle@...> wrote:
                >
                > *replying to Isabel's post 'cause I'm currently at work*
                >
                > M'lord Ian the Green, your post is a wonderful one and I was
                wondering if
                > you have thought to make it an actual article (if it isn't already)
                and if
                > so, could I get your permission to post it to my Shire's website as
                a
                > resource article for newcomers to our shire and Society?
                >
                > Fionnseach de Lochielle
                > Oaken Regional Chronicler
                > Dernehealde Webminister - www.dernehealde.org
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Judith Taylor
                Well, the one thing that comes to mind is to find out if your group has a craft night or some such activity outside of the regular meetings...You could also
                Message 7 of 13 , Sep 7, 2006
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                  Well, the one thing that comes to mind is to find out if your group has a
                  "craft night" or some such activity outside of the regular meetings...You
                  could also ask to announce that you're looking for people interested in
                  doing whatever it is you wish to pursue. With luck, there will be one or two
                  other people, who if not experienced in X are willing to learn with you.

                  Fionnseach
                  Dernehealde

                  On 9/6/06, reynse_knight <reynse_knight@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > [...]
                  > But, may I ask what would be a good way to find people interested
                  > in the same craft you are if you live in an area where the local SCA
                  > group is small? How do you "branch out"?
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Doug Petroshius
                  Go to events. There you will gradually find people (or find people who know people) who are interested in your craft. Look at the class lists and speak to the
                  Message 8 of 13 , Sep 7, 2006
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                    Go to events. There you will gradually find people (or find people who know
                    people) who are interested in your craft. Look at the class lists and speak
                    to the people there. This will require you to be outgoing, but the SCA is a
                    make-your-own-fun type of hobby.

                    Eventually, this will lead you to find the network of people that you are
                    looking for that can help you with what you need.

                    ~Gintaras~
                    (GIN'-te-ris)





                    >On 9/6/06, reynse_knight <reynse_knight@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > [...]
                    > > But, may I ask what would be a good way to find people interested
                    > > in the same craft you are if you live in an area where the local SCA
                    > > group is small? How do you "branch out"?
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Coblaith Mhuimhneach
                    ... There are personal and guild websites, mailing groups, and e-newsletters for many crafts. I d start by putting the name of the craft into my favorite
                    Message 9 of 13 , Sep 7, 2006
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                      reynse_knight wrote:
                      > what would be a good way to find people interested in the same craft
                      > you are if you live in an area where the local SCA group is small?
                      > How do you "branch out"?

                      There are personal and guild websites, mailing groups, and
                      e-newsletters for many crafts. I'd start by putting the name of the
                      craft into my favorite search engine, along with "medieval" or "SCA".
                      If those results needed narrowing, I'd add "guild" or "how to". Then
                      I'd visit the most likely sites, and check them for links to others
                      that might be useful.

                      Look for sites that cite their sources, for reliable information. And
                      pay attention to their bibliographies. The books you see mentioned
                      again and again are probably the ones you should request from your
                      library.

                      If none of the returns took me to mailing lists, I might e-mail the
                      author(s) of one or two of the better SCA-related sites I'd found to
                      ask them if they knew of any. I would also probably go to the Yahoo!
                      Groups homepage <http://groups.yahoo.com/> and input the terms with
                      which I'd started into the "Find a Yahoo! Group" search engine.

                      Once you're on the relevant mailing lists, you can ask the members
                      whether any of them are--or know anyone knowledgeable who is--in your
                      vicinity, or coming to a nearby event to teach a class. You can also
                      take questions straight to the list, if there's nobody local to ask.



                      Coblaith Mhuimhneach
                      Barony of Bryn Gwlad
                      Kingdom of Ansteorra
                      <mailto:Coblaith@...>
                    • David Roland
                      How do you branch out ? Excellent question! I generally recommend looking up the Laurels of the Kingdom, most kingdoms have a website that lists them and what
                      Message 10 of 13 , Sep 7, 2006
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                        How do you "branch out"?

                        Excellent question!

                        I generally recommend looking up the Laurels of the Kingdom, most
                        kingdoms have a website that lists them and what their specialties are.

                        Look for the specialties you are interested in and then contact the
                        appropriate Laurel. Not only are you likely to get very good advice
                        but they may be able to tell you about people vaguely in your area
                        that do what you are interested in.

                        If not you have an excellent resource that will very likely be very
                        happy to get you started. After all that is what they like to do. So
                        far I have had very good results with this approach.

                        There are of course always exceptions but remember it is the oath of
                        the Laurel to teach and expand the arts and sciences and most happily
                        do so.

                        Ian the Green
                      • Giudo di Niccolo Brunelleschi
                        ... I ve been doing a lot of my branching out online...thanks to Yahoo groups, LiveJournal, and Tribe.net.... There s an online group for just about every
                        Message 11 of 13 , Sep 8, 2006
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                          reynse_knight wrote:
                          > what would be a good way to find people interested in the same craft
                          > you are if you live in an area where the local SCA group is small?
                          > How do you "branch out"?

                          I've been doing a lot of my branching out online...thanks to Yahoo
                          groups, LiveJournal, and Tribe.net....

                          There's an online group for just about every possible interest. And
                          I've found it amazing how many people seem to frequent the same groups
                          as I do...repeatedly. I've made some wonderful (online) friends this
                          way. [[Now I've just got incentive to do more travelling
                          out-of-Kingdom to visit with them....]]

                          Other than that...I try to make it to as many events as I can get to
                          (within a 5 hour drive at least). And then I do a lot of mingling and
                          observing of what everyone else is doing. That's how I managed to pick
                          up an interest in heraldry and glasswork....

                          Giudo / Jibril (circle one)
                        • May
                          Research, research, research and then start talking. After doing alot of research in many different areas I figured I wanted to dive into something that not
                          Message 12 of 13 , Sep 11, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Research, research, research and then start talking. After doing alot
                            of research in many different areas I figured I wanted to dive into
                            something that not much of anyone had done before and picked this
                            relatively obscure topic. Then at fight practice I mentioned something
                            about it and one of the other women had encountered someone on one of
                            her discussion groups who had received their Laurel in just such an
                            area. I couldn't believe it! So she's going to hook me up! Yay! :) The
                            more you know (research) a topic, the better your chances of
                            describing what you need properly so you can start talking. Eventually
                            you will find someone who knows someone who knows someone. Heck, you
                            might even develop a following for the topic along the way! :)


                            > reynse_knight wrote:
                            > > what would be a good way to find people interested in the same
                            craft
                            > > you are if you live in an area where the local SCA group is small?
                            > > How do you "branch out"?
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