From the Kingdom Seneschal
Warm Greetings to all of Lochac, from Catherine de Arc, Lochac Seneschal!
Australian memberships are up 6% from 1358 in December to 1437 in March. That rate has slowed from what is has been but we are still growing.
NZ memberships are up from 130 (the lowest since February 2009) in December to 144 in March (13%).
Overall that's a 6% increase for the Kingdom from 1488 in December to 1581 in March.
We have two groups over 150 – Rowany and Politarchopolis – with River Haven and Stormhold both over 100.
Fun Stats for the Quarter:
Since November Crown 2010 (not including the Crown held at Festival) attendance at Crown events has ranged from 96 to 201 with an average of 132 people. Profit from these events has ranged from $1,093 to $4,090 with an average of $2,697 (of which half goes to the Kingdom and half to the hosting group).
Crown Event Bids
Several groups are planning bids for November Crown 2014. This is excellent. We love to have a choice. So far there are no bids for May Crown 2014 and no plans that I know of for Midwinter 2014.
In spite of my best efforts to thwart the seneschal's with password changes, a new reporting schedule for shires and a short month, almost all managed to report on time this quarter. I'm impressed.
Good Things That Happened:
- We've had some very good media coverage. The Age covered Coronation, that led to a radio interview for the Queen on Melbourne radio, that led to an interview for Aneala on Perth radio, that led to an interview for an online article on WA Today.
- The seneschallate database has now been updated to a new framework. Huge thanks are due to Lord Edmund Kerr for a lot of late nights and to the original developer Master Delbert von Strassburg who created an excellent site that served us well for many years.
- Group seneschal's now have the ability to create firstname.lastname@example.org addresses for their officers which they can manage through the seneschallate database. This has been an ongoing project involving several of the masonry team. Several groups are taking advantage of it.
- The Stronger Kingdom Fund has been altered to cover travel expenses for visiting experts rather than the event loss arising from paying for such travel, increased to $1,500 and publicised more widely. We have still not been inundated with requests but those groups that have availed themselves of the Fund have benefited greatly from the visits.
Good Ideas and Things to Try
- A&S projects for men and kids. Apparently ladies have no trouble finding things to work on at A&S nights but men and kids are a problem. Suggestions welcome.
- A new way of classifying A&S competition entrants :– 0-2 years in the SCA, 2-10 years and 10+ years. It's a variation on the novice vs experienced categories.
- Themed A&S nights seem popular. Perhaps this is a parallel of the success of structured combat classes. It seems people would like more structure in their lives.
- Giving out newcomer packs on USB sticks or CDs.
- More officers-at-large are always a good thing. Try to get everyone trained in (and if necessary rostered for) at least one office. It's an excellent training ground for future group officers and we all need more of those and these people can share the load making the group officer's job easier.
- I've heard that some meetings get out of hand with the vocal few shouting down the others. That tends to put people off meetings. So here are some things to try:
- Raise your hands. It usually only takes one or two people doing this to snap everyone else right back into school mode and they all do it. It makes for a quieter and more orderly meeting.
- Go round the room. If the discussion is going round in circles anyway or getting heated then call a hold and go round the room asking each person in turn to speak on the subject. No-one interrupts. Everyone gets a say, including the quiet people who otherwise would not speak and often have useful insights. By the time you get back to the beginning no-one
can say they weren't heard and everyone has a pretty good idea about how the room feels.
- Get a gavel. It's fun and fun takes the edge off more than yelling at people does. Just beware of the temptation to hit the more annoying people with it.
Catherine de Arc
Pelican, Baroness, Cockatrice, Prometheus, Taillefer, Rose Leaf, AoA
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