Monday, December 31, 2012

Awards in the SCA

Crowns and Glory

Symbolic Awards and Intangible Rewards in the Atenveldt and the SCA

The values of the Society for Creative Anachronism include courtesy and service - two important areas of life often overlooked in modern society.  Those who play for the purpose of receiving awards often end up bitter and disappointed, but those who "live the dream" for the joy of it find their lives immeasurably enriched as creative endeavor, courtesy and service become part of their daily lives.  Simply put, the SCA is a way of life, and it's a great way to live.

So, with that said, we are a group of people who earn and give rewards.  Sometimes, the recognition is informal - a token given from an individual with a word of encouragement for helping out.  My lord and I have many little thank-you gifts from friends, event stewards, barons and baronesses, or Bards of the Sun for service ranging from site set-up and clean-up to serving as a lady in waiting or performing music at an SCA event.  We've received hand-made soaps, food, jewelry - lots of cool stuff.  However, the real value is that our contributions have been noticed and appreciated, and that encouragement goes a long way toward keeping us involved.

Other awards or recognitions are more formal, and include titles and certificates known as scrolls.  There may be a medallion, award cord or other token associated with the award which you are now entitled to wear to events.

Why are these formal awards given?  For consistent and excellent "participation, marshal endeavor ([such as] fighting or archery, arts and sciences endeavor, and service" as a means of "showing respect for the hard work and efforts of individuals" (Baron Modar Neznanich, "Awards of Calontir").  Such awards may be "local" awards from your own barony or shire, and others may be "kingdom-level awards" from your king and/or queen.

For a list of awards in the SCA by kingdom, visit

Recommending Hard-Working, Courteous People for Awards - Just Do It!

If you think someone is worthy of an award, here's how you can help them be recognized.

Look at the list of local and kingdom awards; make a note of which award(s) which might be suitable for this person.

Go to the OP (the Order of Precedence) and see what awards this person has already received, along with the date the award was given.
  • Atenveldt OP
  • (For the OP of another kingdom, visit that kingdom's website and find the appropriate link.)

Write an award recommendation.

Follow through and send the award recommendation. 
  • If you are recommending someone for a local award, and there is no specific form on the group's website, address the letter of recommendation to your local Baron and Baroness; cc yourself the Seneschal as well.  
  • For a kingdom award, use the kingdom form and cc your local Baron and Baroness so that they can respond knowledgeably if contacted by the crown.
  • Atenveldt Award Recommendation Form 

And don't forget, whatever awards you or your friends do (or do not) receive, there's more to the SCA than awards.  To quote Tom Cruise:

Awards are wonderful. I've been nominated many times 
and I've won many awards. 
But my journey is not towards that. 
If it happens it will be a blast. If it doesn't, it's still been a blast.

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