Hamlets - questions and answers
Does a hamlet have to have a village leader?
It's a really, really good idea to have a designated single point of contact for arranging things with the parent group. You will almost certainly need someone to be the communications hub for the group, making sure everyone knows what's going on.
Can anyone announce they are a hamlet?
No, because you need the Crown or their representative (ie, a Baron and Baroness) to register the populace badge. And if you try to set up a new hamlet in, say, downtown Sydney or Melbourne, there is a distinct chance that the Baron and Baroness will decline the request.
Why can't hamlets have a laurel wreath on their badges?
Because they aren't registered SCA Groups, in the same sense as a Canton or a Shire would be. If you want a wreath on your device, or a bank account, or the right to run your own events, then you have to appoint officers, report regularly, and become a Shire or Canton.
We're having trouble finding a replacement reeve/seneschal for my group - can we become a hamlet?
Maybe, but don't rush into it. Remember that going from being a Shire or Canton to being a hamlet does amount to closing the group. The name will live on, and you may have the option to register a populace badge which looks like the group device without the wreath, but you still have to go through the process of closing the group as a Shire or Canton. When you want to restart, you will probably have to go through probation again as an incipient group. Discuss the alternative of being in suspension, if you think you can get things back on track within six months.
Do you need to poll the local populace before forming a hamlet?
We're going to need to do something. A lot of the time, a new group will be setting up in a remote area, and they will probably collectively submit a petition to the B&B or Crown, seeking endorsement. When everyone in the area has already signed the letter, you don't need a poll. But if the proposal comes from some
of the people in the area, the Crown will want to check to make sure the rest of the locals are happy about the idea.
Surely you don't want people creating hamlets inside Shires or Cantons?
That would depend on the area covered, and would be a judgement call for the Crown. There is some very, very remote countryside which is nominally inside a Shire or Canton, although there are currently no actual members within a hundred kilometers. If people start playing in those remote areas, it would be nice for them to have the option. So we can't say there will never be hamlet inside a Shire - but if someone proposes creating a hamlet too close to any existing Group, then it is likely to be more divisive than constructive. That would be something the Baron and Baroness would take into consideration.
Is a hamlet obliged to accept people into their group, if they live in the area?
You're obliged to accept that those people may adopt the badge of the hamlet, and refer to themselves as living within the hamlet. Upholding the values of the Society means you should always attempt to be courteous to everyone (and are entitled to expect them to be courteous to you). When you hold a society-sponsored event, it should be open to all members of the populace. But events within the hamlet are exactly like events within a household - private affairs, usually in somone's home. The Society has no say in who you invite to dinner in your house.
Got another question, or a comment?
Send it to the Kingdom Seneschal.