Shayk Tariq, Baron of the Citadel of the Southern Pass
The Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) is an international re-enactment organization focused on the re-creation of the middle ages whose pillars are Honor, Chivalry and Service. Those who live up to the standards set by the organization and its members are distinguished as such through a formal system for recognizing the achievements and contributions that these individuals make to both their local groups as well as their Kingdoms. These awards are given by the hand of the Crown or their Barons and Baronesses to recognize excellence in arts and sciences, martial activities and service to the organization and its members. In addition to recognition, some of these awards also bestow a higher rank or title to the person being recognized.
How does the Crown or the Landed Nobility know who has achieved a level of deserving the recognition through receiving an award? In many cases, the sovereign or landed noble learns of a person’s service through the direct observation of that person’s actions followed by making strategic inquiries about said person to people who know him or her. This method works in cases where people travel to events where the Crown or Baronet are present or if the person belongs to the same group at the ruling nobility. More often than not, however, much of the service that many people perform is not necessarily noticed because it is not done at events or it is done beyond the eye of the Nobility.
In order to be able to help the Nobility to be able to recognize those members whose level of service is admirable enough for a person to achieve recognition, the populace are encouraged to give recommendations, either in the form of a letter or in the case of a Kingdom-level award, by using the Kingdom’s electronic Awards Recommendation System. Recommendations that have been written from members of the populace who are best placed to see the contributions of the individual in question are super important to help the Nobility to be able to recognize those gentles who really deserve it because the Crown cannot be everywhere, and will not necessarily know personally of the individual’s works and achievements. It is for this reason that it is of the utmost importance for all members of the populace to take the time to write recommendations for the people they deem most worthy of recognition.
Writing a recommendation is simple and can be done from any member of the populace, no matter what their rank is within the organization. In the case of making a recommendation to the Baron and Baroness, a simple email, text or letter can be sent, detailing the person’s service to the Barony, the award which they should be given and why they should be recognized with the award in question. The recommendation needs to include,
- SCA Name
- Mundane Name (if known)
- Group that they belong to (Shire, College, Barony, etc.)
- Name of the Award
- Membership Number
- Membership Expiration Date
- Details as to why they should be recognized with the award being recommended.
It is very important to insure that the person in question is in-fact a formal member of the SCA, one of the requirements to be recognized with an award. If the person is not a member, he or she cannot be recognized formally.
Writing a letter for a Kingdom-level award is also very easy to do. The Outlands has an easy to use online recommendation system that can be accessed via the Kingdom Website. TO access it, one only has to go to the Homepage and follow the link provided there. There is a login required to use the system, but once logged in the system simple to use. The Kingdom’s system requires some of the same information that is required for a Baronial Recommendation so a membership number will need to be acquired. This information can be requested from the seneschal of that person’s local group.
It is important to use the Kingdom’s electronic system because once a recommendation is uploaded; it will stay there until the Crown actively removes it. This is important because Crowns change every six months but an award recommendation will stay in the system so if the current Crown is unable to recognize an individual then the following Crown will have access to the same recommendation.
One final important detail to remember. Once the nobility decides to recognize a member of the populace with an award there is some lead-time necessary in order for a scroll to be commissioned and created. With that in mind, make sure that you submit a recommendation with enough time ahead of the event that you feel would be the best opportunity for the award to be given (normally a month out is a fair amount of time). That way the person will be able to receive their recognition and their scroll at the same time. It will also give the Nobility a chance to make their own inquiries about the person so that they can more fully understand the level of service that the person in question has been giving to the organization.
So look around and observe those whom you believe are contributing to the Society and making it better, prettier, stronger, and more fun for everyone. Once you identify these people, take the time to recommend them for awards to ensure that they receive the recognition that you believe they deserve. Remember that making people feel appreciated for their efforts is a big part of what makes The Dream so special and helps to set the SCA apart from other groups.