Look around your Shire, do you notice that:
- There is no Chatelaine and your Seneschal is looking increasingly harassed?
- You have been seized by an evangelising fever and wish to tell the whole world how wonderful the SCA is?
- You want to help out your shire by becoming an officer?
A Chatelaine (or Castellan if you happen to be a gentleman, or even Hospitaller) is one of the minor officers within a group or Shire and is not a mandatory position in order for the Shire to be allowed to function, it can however provide a very important service to the group. The role reports locally to the Shire’s Seneschal and regionally to the area Chatelaine. The list of duties can be as long or as short as desired.
A Chatelaine is basically the meet & greet person; the first point of contact for enquiries from potential new recruits and/or members moving into the Shire’s territory. Duties may or may not include the following depending on the level of dedication, free time and creativity of the Chatelaine, and how much of this type of work is kept within the remit of the local Seneschal:
- Responding appropriately and in a timely fashion to all enquiries from newcomers, providing a welcome, making them feel at home and introducing them to other members, activities and events.
- Sourcing and making provision of loaner garb, if requested, for new people wishing to attend an event, who don’t have the time or ability to make their own garb. Being the Shire ‘Gold Key’.
- Helping newcomers through the process of registering and travelling to their first events, guiding them through what they need to bring with them and what to expect – helping to make it a positive experience for them (incl. Encouraging them to take part in event activities like classes, dancing or even helping out.)
- Ensuring the availability of appropriate flyers to distribute among the general public at events which are held at public venues. (Flyers available to download from the ID website Chatelaine’s page)
- Sourcing advertising and PR opportunities such as placing flyers in Gaming shops or placing ads in history magazines etc.
- Sourcing exposure possibilities such as putting on demos at historical fairs or gaming conventions as agreed by local officers.
- Finding ways to target potential SCA-friendly groups such as Student Associations or LARP societies.
- Devising and suggesting activities that would attract newcomers such as a fighter-practice in a park or evening medieval revel.
- Work with other Shire officers to help newcomers finds areas of interest to them within the SCA.
- Taking on-board and developing any ideas from other members. Anyone can make helpful suggestions, which should be encouraged.
- Keep a Shire list of officers, Peers, artisans etc who can offer help and answer questions you can’t.
- Keep a Shire list of good local sources for fabric, feast gear, books, art resources and other necessities.
- Any other activity designed to publicise the Society and attract new recruits.
- To provide a quarterly report to the Principality chatelaine outlining the recruitment-oriented activities and listing any newcomers over the previous quarter. A report template is available.
- Appoint and supervise any deputies you might need to fulfil the above.
- If you have any problems you can’t handle, ask for help. How do you qualify for the job?
- You need to be a fully paid-up member of the SCA – in return you are covered by the Society’s liability insurance.
- You do not need to be an expert on the SCA, but you will need to feel confident enough in your knowledge to advise newcomers. Information and material that will help you is provided across several websites including the ID website and the Chatelaine Resources page of the sca.org website.
Like the sound of this? Here’s what to do next:
- Discuss the matter with your Seneschal and the members of your Shire.
- If all are in favour, contact the Regional Chatelaine (by email is fine)
- Provide your SCA name, Legal name, address and contact details, membership No. and expiry date and indicate your wish to take on the role.
- Your details will be ratified by roster by Their Highnesses of ID. Once this has been done you will be fully warranted and covered by the SCA’s insurance.
- You should also request the Regional Chatelaine to add you to any appropriate officer emailing lists.
The term of office is 2 years and you can opt/request to stay for a further term, making a total of 4 years. At least a year before your stepping down date, it is advisable to find a deputy who you can train up ready to take on the role after you depart.
Once in office, should you have any need of anything be it advice, help or information, your Principality Chatelaine will always be available to call upon.