Seneschal’s Spotlight: Business Meetings

I wanted to cast a spotlight on our Business Meetings because there are some misconceptions as to their purpose and who is “allowed” to attend. In order to address some of this, I had started including the following paragraph at the end of the information about the next Business Meeting:

The Officers of the Debatable Lands are elected by the membership and is made up of members of the populace, just like you. The Officers are responsible for ensuring that the policies of the Kingdom and Barony are followed and are accountable to the populace of the Debatable Lands. The Business meeting is open to everyone in the Barony and attendance by the populace is encouraged. Have a thought you’d like to share with the Officers? Email seneschal@debatablelands.org.

This is absolutely true. Everyone is invited to attend Business Meetings and everyone is encouraged to do so. Attending gives you the opportunity to understand more about the non-profit business side of the organization and an opportunity for the populace to hold us accountable as Officers.

To give you an idea of what happens at an Officer’s Meeting, here is an annotated version of the general Agenda that we follow for each meeting:

Meeting opens at 8:00 p.m
The Seneschal announces that we are going to get started. This is done as close to 8:00 p.m. as possible. Prior to the Seneschal starting the meeting, they will have already checked off who is in attendance and listed who else is attending the meeting. This is to create a record of which officers have attended, if there are any proxies (which I will explain in a moment), who those proxies are, and to ensure that the record of who attended the meeting is as accurate as possible.

Proxies are someone that is representing the officer for the purpose of the meeting. They would also carry the vote of that officer and cast it appropriately for any known business.

This is a copy of the attendance record for a recent Business Meeting. As you can see, we have run remote sessions in the past, but we have not done that for a while. Look for an announcement about that coming up soon.

Approve Minutes
The Officers of the Barony are responsible for reading the minutes of the previous meeting prior to the next meeting. The minutes are made available prior to the following meeting, at least three days before the meeting. They are posted again the day of the meeting. Anyone attending the Business Meeting should also take the time to review the minutes. This will help give you a sense of context to some of the discussion and will also allow you the ability to ask any specific questions that you may have about what was done in the previous meeting.

Officer’s Reports
Each officer of the Barony then gives a report that is recorded into the minutes. Often when an officer is unable to attend, they will send a pre-written report that is then either read into the minutes or included in the minutes as a cut/paste of what was sent by the officer. This is where we talk about what we’re doing, what plans are coming up, events that have just happened or may be coming up. Anything that pertains to the officer’s area of responsibility.

What about Guilds?
Guilds are defined in Corpora as:
E. Unofficial Entities
In many kingdoms, there are groups in which many people participate but which are not formally recognized by the Society. These can range from highly structured guilds to loosely associated camping groups. Entities that fall into this category can have many names, including but not limited to households, guilds, ships, and clans. Although these entities are not recognized by the Society in any formal way, some kingdoms have awards that can be given to these groups. Because they are not official Society groups, unofficial entities cannot sponsor Society events.

This does not mean that guilds are not important, because they are. This means that guilds are free to structure themselves in any way and are free to engage the populace in whatever way that they believe best serves the populace. It also means that guilds can dissolve or create themselves as needed without paperwork or any official intervention. People who are not members of a guild are in no way restricted from doing any art or science for which there may or may not be a guild for. It’s a learning opportunity like so many things in the SCA. We encourage guilds to report at the Business Meeting, but they must contact the Seneschal prior to the meeting to be placed on the Agenda.

What about Baronial Positions?
These positions include Gold Key, Iron Key, Steward, Signet, Dark Pages Editor, Historian, and Minister of Youth. These are also unofficial positions, some of whom report into the Exchequer because they have Baronial property that must be accounted for and reported on yearly. We also encourage Baronial Positions to report at Business Meeting, but also must contact the Seneschal prior to the meeting to be placed on the Agenda

After Officer’s Reports a number of things may be on the Agenda:
Reports from Guilds and/or Positions
Event Reports – Income generated (or not generated) by any events held since the last Business Meeting. Given by the Exchequer.

Letters of Intent – We choose our Officers by vote. The way to get on the ballot is to send in a letter of intent to the Office you wish to volunteer for, copying the Seneschal. The Seneschal’s office requires a letter to the Seneschal with a copy sent to the Baronage. ANYONE may vote in an election for any position as long as an officer does not call for an Officers Only vote.

Event Bids – Any event bids that you have to bring before the Officers. It is preferred to have event bids at least two weeks prior to the Business meeting so everyone has time to review it and include a link to it in the published agenda. Only members of the Financial committee may vote on the final approval of funding for any event.

Budget Meeting – We hold our annual budget meeting in April of each year and everyone is invited to come and discuss how we are planning to spend money in the barony in the upcoming year. This is also a great place to discuss what kind of fundraisers can be done for the Barony prior to clearing it with the Kingdom Exchequer. Only members of the Financial committee may vote on the final passage (or not) of the budget. BUT everyone may put in a funding request and may engage in the discussion about how Baronial funds are to be spent to ensure that their opinions are heard.

How to know what to vote on?
Our Baronial Policy states:
Unless otherwise stated, decisions of the officers are by consensus of the people attending a scheduled officers meeting at which a majority of the Officers are present. An individual may cast only one vote. Officers may be represented by proxy.  Only the members of the Financial Committee may vote on financial decisions.  Any Officer may call for an Officer Only vote, in which case each Office gets one vote, with a simple majority of the votes cast deciding the issue.

Close Meeting
To close the meeting, someone must move that we vote on closing the meeting, then second it. Then a vote of simple majority is taken and the meeting is adjourned if the majority agrees to it.

So, while this is very long and digs a lot into how we as an organization structure things down to the Baronial level, I hope that I have answered most questions that people may have about attending the Business Meeting. It is a completely open meeting that anyone may attend and you are encouraged to participate in this part of the organization just as you are welcome to participate in any other aspect of the organization.

If you have any questions, or need more information, please contact me, Odriana vander Brugghe at seneschal (at) debatablelands (dot) org.

Chronicler position

My term is coming to an end and I am looking for a replacement when I step down. I’d like to hear from anyone interested in the position.

Email me at Chronicler@debatablelands.org, or contact me on Facebook, if you have interest in the job yourself or if there’s anyone else you believe would do well at it please have them contact me.

Drottin Skjoldrbjorn
Chronicler

Agincourt XIII and Queen’s Rapier Championship


Nobles! Join Us! The feast of St. Crispin is upon us and the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands wishes you to celebrate with us at the Thirteenth Agincourt event and Queen’s Rapier Championship!

This year, due to site availability, Agincourt will be held at the Monroeville-Pitcairn Sportsmen’s Club, 505 Mosside Blvd, North Versailles, PA, 15137. The site will open at 9:00 a.m. Saturday 19 October 2019 and close at 9:00 p.m.

For our Queen and Her Kingdom we proudly announce the 43rd Queen’s Rapier Championship. To all who stand ready with the sword. To all those that would represent our Queen upon the lists of Her Kingdom. The Rapier Championship of Her Majesty Gabrielle will be held upon the field of honor and Her Majesty does encourage any and all to come test themselves upon Her lists.

Heavy Weapons Combatants and Fencers! Take the field and fight the battles as your ancestors did on this day. Noble combat shall rule the day until your arms ache from your weapons. What would Agincourt be without archery? Combat and target archers, get your bows, we have plans, just for you too! Scenarios will include historic battles based on Agincourt.

There will also be a “Taker Of Souls” Tournament that is open to Heavy Weapons, Fencing, AND THE SPECTATORS!!

  • The format is a Ribbon Tournament
  • The buy-in is a toy for the children’s toy chest

We will also be having the traditional Tavern Brawl, so plan your parrying weapons accordingly!

There will also be a Youth Fighting space available!

Due to size restrictions this year, we will not be having classes, however we will be having an Artisans play time space. Come and display your art, discuss your art, bring your current projects to work on! We’ll do our best to have good lighting and outlets available.

The food, as always, will be delicious and plentiful. The Head Cook is Maighster Liam mac an tSoir and your lunch cook will be Lady Alethea Cowle. If you have dietary needs/concerns, please contact the histocrat, Mistress Constance at (aechirurgeon@gmail.com). Menus will be published soon, so keep an eye out for those!

For more details, including where to send your preregistrations, visit the event announcement – http://aethelmearc.org/event/agincourt/ – don’t forget to preregister or respond to the Facebook Event [https://www.facebook.com/events/490718301753605/] so we know that you’re coming! Schedule to be published soon so you know when everything will be happening.

~Odriana, Autocrat for Agincourt



A&S in October

There are a wealth of opportunities to explore A&S this month with folks from the barony! See below for announcements and teasers of fun things to come:

Sewing circle: Thursday October 3rd at 1105 Shady Ave starting at 7:30. There will be scroll case construction, but feel free to bring other things, if you don’t want to work on scroll cases. Donations of medium sized material scraps or precut cardboard are appreciated; we already have a nice supply to start. If you wish to donate items for scroll cases, but don’t plan to attend, please email sewing at debatablelands dot org to arrange to hand-off.

Scribal opportunities in Bellevue: Mistress Graidhne continues to host scribal gatherings on Wednesdays weekly from 6-9pm. Address is available in the Dark Pages. There is talk of a special meeting at the Cathedral of Learning on Thursday, October 10th!

Brewing Guild: Please note that the October Brewers Guild meeting is being moved from Wednesday, October 9th to *Saturday* October 12th! We will be having a marathon session of wine racking and/or bottling at not one but *two* houses! Jorundr & Muirgheal and Alaric & Elsbeth will be hosting throughout the day. Details to come. Hope to see you there!

Artisans Play Time at Agincourt: October 19th at the Monroeville-Pitcairn Sportsmen’s Club, 505 Mosside Blvd, North Versailles, PA, 15137. The site will open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m. Come and display your art, discuss your art, bring your current projects to work on! We’ll do our best to have good lighting and outlets available.

Fiber Guild: Two fun adventures this month! Explore Russian Distaff Spinning at the regular meeting of the fiber guild, tentative date of October 15th. Then, later in the month, the fiber guild takes a trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art! Tentative date: October 20th. Keep watching for more info!

Woodworking Guild: October 24th: Planning Meeting: These meetings are weeknight evening meetings, for the purpose of deciding what we want to work on next and when we’re going to do it. 7pm to 8:30pm at the Panera in Oakland. October 27th: Workshop Days: These meetings are on weekend days, for the purpose of making things. Sunday, from 10am to 2pm, in Ishiyama’s shop (1105 Shady Avenue, 15232).

Social event shared to the group hosted by Gardner of Elygh and THLady Bugga Bilibit: October 26th: Pittsburgh Pennsic Pile Pick-up Practice and Potluck Picnic. Hurdy Gurdy, recorder, shawms, sackbuts and crumhorns? Bring an instrument, we’ll read through the Pennsic Pile in an ad hoc manner. There will be a couple copies of the music available but bring your own if you have it.

Scribal East: October 31st meeting will be held at the home of Lady Ceindrech and Lady Libby in Monroeville, starting at 7:00 pm. Their address is available in the Dark Pages. Disclaimer: The ghouls and goblins may spook the scribes! If the date changes, there will be another post!

AEthelmearc AEcademy: November 2nd. This is a great opportunity to travel and learn so many new things from around the Kingdom! More info at AEcademy.net

June Aestel: By the Numbers

Greetings, Good Barony and beyond, from Gwendolyn the Graceful!

The June issue of the Aestel has arrived on the membership portal, so it’s time for a few fun notes. This is part of my continuing series of newsletter spotlights.

JUNE AESTEL: BY THE NUMBERS

2: Board of Directors nominees from AEthelmearc (Vivant!)

2: Important activities at Pennsic which were announced in TRMs’ letter to the populace (Party on!)

1: The number of officers who had reported rules revisions to the kingdom Seneschal as of publication  (Affectionate side-eye)

9: Events listed in the calendar for June (Wow!)

7: Events with announcements included in the newsletter  (Woo!)

And 2: Kingdom arms featured on the cover!  (Vivat, Eastrealm)

 

Members, check out this month’s information at the SCA website. Thanks as always to our Kingdom Chronicler, THL Aine, who labors each month to assemble this publication.

Until next time, I remain,

Ever in Service,

Gwen

Baron Leonard Memorial Article

Mistress Arianna has written a very lovely memorial article for our Baron Leonard for the AEthelmearc Gazette. I encourage everyone to read it, even if you never met him. Len is a very big part of why our Barony is the way we are. He and his Baroness are missed.

In Memoriam: Baron Leonard the Younger, OL

In Levitate et Caritate,
Baroness Hilda

Newsletter Quiz!

From Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres, Greetings!

In this digital age, it is relatively easy to find out about upcoming events, deadlines, and other important activities, without reading our newsletters. But sometimes, information in the publications is not easily found elsewhere. And even if it is, the newsletter is a handy way to quickly catch up on the important notices and happenings in our lands.

For example, did you know that recently, His Grace, Duke Christopher, posted information  about the Board soliciting feedback on new policies regarding hate speech? Did you know that AEthelmearc was well-represented in the Blackfox Award nominations? You would if you’d read the newsletter!

To encourage us all (me included!) to remember to check out our Kingdom and Baronial newsletters, I am going to try to post shortly after their publication dates with fun challenges. They may be treasure hunts, quizzes, or other kinds of reports. Some will be interactive and some may be notices of tidbits that might be of interest. Both the AEstel and the Althing will be included as they come out.

These games are for glory, amusement, and absolutely no prizes whatsoever! There are no losers! The fun is in finding the answers for yourselves.

So, here is the first installment: a trivia quiz on the most recent AEstel (May 2018):

  1. What is depicted in the cover photo? (Bonus: which gentle took the photo?)
  2. There is an officer accepting letters of interest for a deputy position, which are due on May 1. Which Great Officer is it, what is the position being sought, and who is the person holding that post now?
  3. When will the Kingdom Youth Championship tourney be held?
  4. How many event announcements are posted in the May AEstel? (Bonus: How many of them are *not* Royal Progress events?)
  5. How many events are listed on the At-a-Glance page?

My hope is that these questions pique curiosity and foster discussion, particularly of events we might not be aware of because they are not RP’s or they are out of region, or both!

Most importantly, I hope these little teasers inspire y’all to check out the newsletters and keep current!

We’ll do this again soon!

Pie! (Mmm, Pie)

Greetings, gentles all!

I hope you are all staying warm and dry this season. We are most definitely rounding the horn of winter, but I suspect that there is still come cold weather to endure before we well and truly emerge into spring.

And what could keep a body warmer than some hearty PIE? Beef and bacon pie, to be precise.

Posted here for the benefit of all, with permission from the cook, is a link to the recipe for the 16th-C beef and bacon pie, prepared by the Honorable Lady Astridr vigaskegg:

Beef and Bacon Pie

This might be a good time to practice for A&S competition season…or the autumn Barony Meeting pie contest….

Ever in Service,

Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres, OL