Archive for the ‘Volunteering’ Category

SCA Resume/Curriculum Vite

Monday, January 30th, 2012


SCA Resume/Curriculum Vite (CVs) are words you may have heard floating around. What exactly are they, what are they good for, and why do I need one? Well, I’m glad you asked. First, they are the same thing. Some people call them one thing, some the other.

CVs are exactly what they sound like. They are a resume of your body of work in the SCA. Think of it as your SCA career listing.

CVs are good for many things.

  • If you want volunteer for an Office, sometimes a CV is asked for with a Letter of Intent for that post. (The Letter of Intent “how to” will be forthcoming, stay tuned.)
  • Peers may want to see it so they can boast about you to other Peers and potentially Crowns.
  • Local Leaders (Principality and Baronial) may want to look at it to see if your awards are updated, then possibly bring you up to speed on what they can bestow upon you.
  • Friends might want a copy so they can go put you in for an award they think you deserve.
  • Most importantly, so you can keep track of what you have done. This one may not seem to crucial, but if you do a lot, or don’t have the best memory, it can ber very helpful.

I like to present mine like I do my real world resume. It’s a clean concise way to get across exactly when, where, and what I have done for the SCA.

(Note: do NOT hand write your CV and do NOT use a fancy-schmancy font. Use a font that is easily readable. I have been behind the scenes when a Crown has been trying to decide between candidates for an office, and it went to the one whose CV was legible. If you use calligraphy, please include a typed, easy-to-read version.)

I am not going to post my entire CV here today, but I will give you the formula I use and some examples.

Centered at the top in bold is “SCA Resume/Curriculum Vite”
Second line in bold is my SCA name (not titles).
The next line (not bold) is my real world name.
After that comes my mailing address.
Finally my home phone number.

(skip a line)

Here’s where you get to start putting the good stuff! I have my list of Service first. Here are the first few examples from my CV. I have the most recent at the top of the page, to the least recent at the bottom of the page(s). I give the date first, then either the office or a brief description of what I did.

(Note: I do Bold all of the section headers, so they are more easily found.)


Feb 2008 – March 2009 Kingdom Signet (Scribe)

Aug 9th 2007 –  Hosted all day Scriptorium at Highlands War

Nov 2007 – Feb 2008 Acting Deputy Kingdom Signet (Scribe) under Jennifer Trethewy

Sept 2007 – Feb 2008 Co-Coordinator of Scribal Tea at Estrella War with Dame Jennifer Trethewy.

(skip a line)

This section I have the dates going to opposite way, but you can put them how you want them, just as long as they are in some sort of order and easy to read.

Classes I Teach: (as of January 2007)

 Beginning Calligraphy, hands on (since 2000)

Beginning Illumination, hands on (since 2000)

What you need to get started in Illumination (since 2003)

How to be a Lady in Waiting “Lady in Waiting 101” (since 2000)

How to Stamp/Wax Seal Scrolls, hands on (since 2000)

Color Theory for Scribes (since 2004)

SCA Artisan Portfolios (since 2007)

Kingdom Signet’s Office/What does the Kingdom Scribe Do? (2008/2009)

Playing with Paper for Illuminators (since 2008)

Color Mixing (since 2008)

White Work in 3 Easy Steps (since 2008)

Painting Jewels (since 2009)

Shading for Illuminators (since 2009)

Shading Drapery for Illuminators (since 2009)

Gold Leafing (since 2009)

Authentic Materials for Scribes (since 2010)

(skip a line)

My next two sections are kind of a specific section for artisans. If you have taught any kind of Workshops or given donations, then please list them on your CV somewhere. It just looks mighty impressive.

Scribal Workshops


Making a Scroll from Start to Finish (since 2007)

Color Theory, Color Mixing and Shading (since 2008)

I have taught all of these classes in almost every situation I can think of, including in my home, one on one on site at events, at Baronial, Tri-Baronial/Aten-Dragon, Kingdom and Known World events, including Known World Arts & Sciences Collegium in 2005 in Longmont, CO.

(skip a line)

Art Donations:

  1999 – Current                  300+ Art donations including scrolls made for Kingdom,  all of the Baronies in Atenveldt, and the gifts for Pennsic and Estrella War Crowns.

(skip a line)

If you have had anything published in any SCA newsletter, specialty publication, or have any SCA specific materials that you have had published, put it on your CV. Again, it looks mighty impressive.


 Illuminations Comic Strip in the Kingdom of the Outlands monthly newsletter, April 2010

 What Are Courtly Graces and How to Use Them (Chronous Draconum, December 2008)

Chronicler’s Office asked for an article based off of an email for the Rainbow’s Gold…  Hrefna’s Top Ten Reasons to be a Chatelaine (Chronous Draconum, August 2008)

Chronicler’s Office asked for past Chatelaines to type up short articles.

 Kingdom of Atenveldt Scribes Handbook (released November 2007)

 Helpful Hints I Have Learned as an SCA Scribe (T.I. Issue 160, Fall 2006, AS XLI)

(skip a line)

Everyone wants to know your current awards with all of your other information. These are not all of mine, but it does give you an idea of how I list them. Award, date received, Awarded By:

Current Awards:

 AoA                                                    9/21/96                        Eric & Nichelle

Honor of SunDragon                          10/28/00                      Dmitri & Tatiana

Dragon’s Scale of SunDragon            2/17/01                        Dmitri & Tatiana

(skip a line)

At the very bottom, I have listed my registered name, preferred name, and pronunciation of my preferred name. I also have listed my registered device, the date I received it, the Heraldic language used to describe it, and what it looks like in today’s English. Most Kingdom or Baronial web sites will not have this information.

Registered Name: Hrefna Karlsefni               Registered 6/2001

Preferred Name: Hrefna karsefni (pronounced: Reff-nah, Kar-seff-nee)

Registered Device:  Registered 11/2001

Per pale Or ermined purpure and purpure, a feather argent.

(Left side: yellow with purple ermine spots) (Right side: purple) (Center: One white feather or quill)

(skip a line)

At the very end, I have the date I have updated my CV. This let’s me know if/when I last was in this file updating it. I have left a few things off before, and looked at my CV and wondered why they weren’t there. This date is the confirmation that I need to update it again.

Updated: 6/29/2010

I hope your new SCA CV will help you to get the volunteer position and/or the recognition you deserve for your volunteering efforts on behalf of the SCA.

Hopefully Helpful,


Largess, What is it and Who can Give it

Monday, June 27th, 2011


I know I have spoken about largess briefly before, but I didn’t go into details about what it is ans who can give it.

Who can Give Largess?

Anyone can give a token of largess!

What is Largess?

Largess is defined as,

1. Liberal giving (of money or other valuables), something so given

2. Generosity of spirit or attitude.

Largess has been around for centuries. In feudal times it could have been a gift of land or freedom. It could have been a gift of a precious stone to a worthy subject, or an award of title.

Today in the SCA, largess can be anything from someone telling a volunteer, “Thank you for volunteering!” to a Crown giving a well deserved award.

I have spoken about my own experiences of giving largess myself. I usually give beaded jewelry that I have hand made. I have seen other give everything from hand made doilies to purchased strands of beads, and everything in between (including silver individually wrapped chocolate candies in a tear drop shape)!

The majority of largess I have seen has been at the Artisans Showcases at large events such as Pensic and Estrella Wars. The Peers (especially Laurels, but some Pelicans, and a few Knights) come around to each individual display and leave a token of appreciation or admiration. Largess at its best!

Some of these tokens of largess are handmade by the person bestowing them. Some are handmade by artisans who the giver has commissioned to have them specially made. Some are purchased from stores or on-site at merchant booths. Any of these are appropriate for largess.

Some largess is very special, indeed.

At Estrella in 2010, I had set up my little display area at the Artisans Showcase on Sunday. I was displaying my scribal arts as well as some of the porcelain Peerage pendants on hand beaded necklaces that I make, and some other SCA jewelry I had made from friends who had brought it out because they wanted me to display it (this is my friend who makes all my garb, and when she says she wants me to display something, I say O.K. and display it).

A lovely lady came in and looked at each and every individual display. On her preliminary way through, she had given me a little hand cast pewter pilgrims badge, about the size of a nickle. I thought it was really cool.

After she had made her way all the way around once, she doubled back and made a second pass through. On this second pass, she asked me for the token she had given me back. Now, before you get all up in arms and stop reading, I will tell you this story has an amazing ending that you don’t want to miss!

I said, “Certainly” and gave it back to her thinking she saw something “better” down the line and ran out of tokens, or something. I had a couple of other people at my display at the time, so I didn’t have time to analyze the situation at that moment.

After briefly speaking with the other people, I turned to see the lady who had asked for her token back was still there. She explained, “I took the little back because I wanted to give you “this”. She presented me with the most beautiful hand cast pewter pilgrim’s badge I had ever laid eyes on. It is about 2 1/2 inches in diameter with loads of punch work.

I said, “Oo! Thank you.” She then said, “Oh, your stuff is too cool, I have to give you the other one too.” and left the small badge as well. I think I was gobsmacked because I couldn’t say anything but “Thank you.” again. Before I could say anything else, she turned and said goodbye and was off.

Needless to say, I squirreled the big badge away for safe keeping, just under part of my display, and only showed people I knew really well when they came by and told them the story.

I told a friend of mine, Mistress Dairine, from Tir Ysgithr (Tucson, AZ), and she blanched. She said, “You don’t know what that is do you?” I said, “Obviously not.” She went on to explain that it was the winning entry from the Casting category in the Estrella Arts & Sciences Competition from the day before.

I was sitting right next to the Atenveldt Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences, and a very good friend of mine, and I asked him to confirm it. He said, and I quote, “Oh ya! I wondered why it looked so familiar!” (Insert eye roll here.)

I took one really hard gulp, freaked out a bit, and wanted to immediately fine the lady who had given it to me and appropriately gush, but I learned she had already left site to catch a plane back home.

This stranger had liked my work so much, she had given me a prize winning piece of art! This was certainly the best, most prized to me, piece of largess ever!

Later, I was able, through the magic of the internet and a couple of friends, to get her contact info and permission to e-mail her. I was able to get the back story on the piece, and learned she had planned on giving it at the Artisans Display. Her generosity so stunned me. I am forever grateful to her for such a wonderful piece of largess.

One need not be a King, nor a Peer, to give largess and to make someone’s day. If you can’t volunteer, please at least thank the volunteers you see. If you are able to give them a small token of largess, it goes a long way to make someone’s day.

Hopefully Helpful,

Volunteering at any Level – Be the Change You Want to See

Monday, June 20th, 2011


In the SCA there are those who think about doing, and those who do. I would like to encourage EVERYONE to “do”, to volunteer, be it at an event or in an office, locally or on the Kingdom level.

I have heard lately of Scadians who have come up with great ideas, but then instead of acting on them, they bring them up and say, “Someone should do this…”

Yes, “someone” should. The person who thought of it should do it. It is their idea. It is their input. Only thinking it and not following through does a few things.
1. Sets a poor example for newer people to the SCA who are now going to think they can get away with not following through on their ideas, and not contributing.
2. Upsets those who have been told “someone” should do it.
3. Upsets the idea originator because no one is doing it correctly.

To this end, I say, if you want something done, do it yourself! Be the change you want to see! Do not depend on others to give you or your ideas wings or merit.

I know for those of you who have yet to dip your toe into the well of volunteering, it may seem a little daunting. Believe me, once you do it and have a wonderful experience, there is nothing else like it. A couple of years ago, the Crown at the time gave me a Pelican for chronic volunteering. If it was not fun, helpful, and interesting no one would be doing it, especially not me. Give it a try! Go on, you can do it! It really is as fun as people say.

If you don’t like the first thing you try, try something else, and keep on trying things until you find what you like to do.

There is a flip side to volunteering and bringing new ideas.

Some of the more established players sometimes are a bit closed minded. (Yes, I know, big shocker there!) These people do mean well, but are afraid of change or are afraid of someone not doing it their way.

A good way of addressing them is to first, validate what they say, “I hear your concerns….”, then calmly explain to them why it is being done that way. They don’t have to like it, they just have to deal with it happening. When having these discussions, always be open minded yourself.

Another good way to deal with them is to say, “O.K.” and do it anyhow! (Unless it is against the law, or has been pointed out to you that is is against the site rules, or is a danger to yourself or others. Standard rules of common sense apply here. If you don’t have any common sense, ask a few friends in the planning stages, they will tell you if you are off base.)

To those people who have been playing SCA for a long time, I urge you to keep an open mind. Someone may come along with different ideas that might actually improve the SCA! Just because you have been playing since “before there were rocks” does not mean you have all the answers for everyone. What you have is history, and that is important. Do not stifle someone else because you see them only as brash and new. They are the future, and deserve to change the SCA and the world as you did in your time.

I would also urge you to volunteer more if you are not doing so now. You are the ones who taught us that volunteering is fun and good. So, don’t stop (unless your health prevents it)! Get out there!

If you can’t volunteer, remember to thank the volunteers!

Thank you for volunteering!

Hopefully Helpful,

Stardust *twinkle, twinkle*

Monday, April 25th, 2011


How do we get Stardust in the SCA? This is a question I have posed to many friends over the years. The general consensus is being thankful to and for the volunteers, but also in doing the little things that bring respect and courtly graces to our game, is a good place to start for Stardust to take root and flourish.

Suggestions have been as varied as to give reverence to the Crowns, Barons & Baronesses and others of distinguished rank, to calling everyone by their SCA names (especially close friends) and/or appropriate titles at events.

We were all new to the game once, we should remember how wide-eyed, excited and overwhelmed we felt, and how it felt to have someone take the time to explain things to us. We should also remember how wonderful all the pageantry, courtly graces and good manners seemed.

It seems the appreciation of volunteers and courtly graces that have made each Kingdom special have been getting away from a lot of us lately. (Me included.) We, as The Society and as A society, can and should come together and combat the “someone else will do it’s” and the “I’m on vacations” and the “Hey dudes” when we see our friends at events.

It’s quite easy to bring back the politeness, reverence and pageantry that makes the SCA as a whole a wonderful place to visit on the weekends. It seems we all have enough of the “real world” during the week, that we don’t have to bring it with us on the weekends.

Everyone can volunteer an hour or two at any event  in a myriad of positions. Just ask the Event Coordinator/Event Steward/Autocrat (all the same person) and they’ll be glad to have the help and get you to a volunteer position that really won’t take too much time and you’ll really enjoy. “What do you need?” is the best question I have ever been asked when I volunteer.

Another thing that we can all do is let others know it’s really fun to be a volunteer. I haven’t heard that said much recently and I’d like to hear it again. I have had some of the best times in the SCA by volunteering to teach a class, talk to a new person (that really puts things in perspective!), sit at Troll for an hour, or walk security/the Watch at an event. I know a lot you have had similar experiences with a volunteer position and have really loved the experience. Pass your enthusiasm along!

Here are some suggestions I have heard about getting the volunteer numbers back up and the Stardust back.

We need to combat the bullies and naysayers and respect and honor all of our volunteers.

We need to all have a good time!

We need to loudly, vocally and enthusiastically appreciate our volunteers.

We ALL need to enthusiastically become volunteers (again).

We need to take on goals and challenges and broaden our own horizons. Try new things, see if we like ’em. Just like Momma said, “How do you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it?”

We need to assist those who need a little (or big) nudge to volunteer.

We all need to promote each other, verbally and in our actions. (Put in Award Recommendations. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink.)

We all need to speak well of others, give hope to others, help others. This is the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” that all of our parents taught us.

We all need to support and be courteous to each other. Peers and non-Peers alike, need to be courteous and respectful of everyone else, no matter what awards we all have. We’re all in this game together.

We need to use our common courtesies (please and thank you go a really long way, still) and courtly graces (bowing/curtsying at the correct people/thrones/occasions and right times, using proper titles, etc…). If you don’t know them, ask someone who’s been doing this longer and they should be honestly happy to help you. (Or stay tuned for next moth, when we talk about them!)

We each need to be the change we want to see. If you want to see more volunteers, get out there and volunteer and take your friends or that new person along with you.

For all of you who have been volunteering and have been bringing your Stardust, THANK YOU!

Let’s get out there and volunteer and bring the Stardust for everyone!

Hopefully Helpful,

Be Kind to and Patient with New People

Monday, March 28th, 2011


One would think being kind and patient with new people to our groups is a given. It has come to my attention that there are some who just do not know why it is such a big deal.

First, you really don’t want to be known as the jerk of the group who doesn’t even have time to answer a quick newcomer question, or to get them to the right person who can. Not answering the question nicely only damages you, and potentially drives the new person far, far away. (I have always wondered where far, far away is located.)

Second, you never know who they will end up being in the SCA. A well respected Peer? A beloved King or Queen? A good and loyal friend for life?

Heart Warming Story Time:

A few years ago, I met a pretty young lady and her boyfriend who showed up at an event. I think it was a Coronation, but it definitely had a long Court and was indoors. During the break, I went over and talked to her and the boyfriend for a few minutes. I sat with them, answered their questions, and had a great chat that reminded me of when I first started in the SCA.

About a year later, I ran into her at another SCA event, and she ran up to me and gave me a big hug. Luckily, I did remember her. She had found a group she loved playing with, and was happily doing projects, making garb, and learning loads of new things. She was happy and told me that I was the first person in the SCA she had talked to, and had it not been for me coming over and introducing myself and seeing if they had any questions, she would have left and never looked back.

I have since gotten to know her better, and I adore her! She is still just as lovely, just as inquisitive, and sharp as a tack. Every now and again, she reminds me of that first meeting, and we both smile at each other, and giggle a bit.

To me, giving someone the tools to enjoy the SCA is fabulous!

One More:

About 6 years ago (give or take), I was teaching a class on How to be on a Court, Lady in Waiting 101. I only had one student. I sat down with her and gave the class, a bit more casually than usual. I didn’t even remember who I had given the class to, as I did not catch her name.

About a year and a half ago, she came to me and reminded me she had been the one to take that class, and she wondered if I would be okay with her photocopying my class handout from way back when. She was going to be stepping up as the Baroness of our local group.

I couldn’t believe she wanted my handout, and I couldn’t believe she has kept it for so long. I instead asked if she wanted the Word document so she could tailor it to Her Court. She was overjoyed!

When I think back over my 20+ years in the SCA, I am reminded of 2 things.
1) I was new once and someone helped me.
2) I know stuff now and I can have a positive effect of everyone around me.

So be kind to and patient with new people, you never know how they will effect you in the future.

Hopefully Helpful,

Volunteering is NOT Working! Really! It’s Not, I Promise!

Monday, January 31st, 2011


I wanted to get this posted for those of you who may be traveling to Estrella War in a couple of weeks. For those of you not going, please keep it in mind for each and every event you may attend in the future.

That’s right, volunteering is not working! Well, it technically is doing a job for any length of time (even 2 minutes), but it’s just not the work we have from 9-5 in the real world. Most volunteer positions in the SCA kick real work’s butt! You get to help out (awesome!), you get to spend time with new or old friends (awesome!), and you get to be someone’s hero for a little while (super-awesome!)

It doesn’t take a special person to volunteer, it just takes A person to volunteer! Hey! You’re a person, you can volunteer! Yippee!

When I say “volunteer”, it can mean anything from checking to see if the Event Coordinator (Autocrat) or any member of their staff needs anything, even if it take one minute to accomplish, all the way up to and including being the Event Coordinator, Baronial or Principality or Kingdom Deputy or Officer.

At several large SCA Wars, I have heard for years, “I’m not going to volunteer, I’m on vacation!” said very indignantly. Well, heck! I’m on vacation, too, and I’m having more fun than you are, guaranteed! That’s right, volunteering is way fun!

It doesn’t matter if you are on vacation or not, if someone has taken the time to actually ASK you for help, it means they need help. If they could do the job on their own, believe me, they would. It’s just a fact of life that if someone actually asks you for something it’s more than likely because they can not do it all themselves. If someone asks you for help, please at least consider pitching in. If you must decline, please do it kindly. We are all in this together, and one snippy comment can rally ruin someone’s day.

If you see a volunteer, thank them for their time or thank them for volunteering.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone at an event thanked the people who ran the event, at the event?

For just over a year, I have been thanking the volunteers at each event I go to. I sometimes have little chookies I have made that I give to them, and sometimes, I just tell them thank you and let them know I appreciate their effort. I must say, I have the same reaction with and without the chookies.

You never Know when You Might Inspire Someone to Volunteer or The Good Kind of Making a Volunteer Cry:

At the 2010 Estrella War, I went around on Friday and gave earrings, bracelets, and necklaces I had hand strung to all the volunteers I could find.

A couple of days before, I was working for Special Needs driving one of the carts. There were two gentlemen who where always happy to see me (most people are when you’re driving a golf cart for Special Needs).

On the second day of my driving, one of them asked me why I was always happy when I picked them up. They knew why they were happy to see me, but didn’t know why I was happy to see them. My answer was a simple one. “Volunteering Rocks!” I then went on to say that I have tried almost every volunteer job at Estrella since Estrella War 7, and I had to admit driving for Special Needs was the best! Everyone is always happy to see you, and are usually really nice to you. You get to help people that really need it. Best of all, you get to drive a golf cart and figure out where everything is on site.

The two gentlemen said, “Oh!” Then began quietly talking amongst themselves, and soon after I dropped them at their camp site. Their camp was one of the party camps, so I figured they would never in a million years volunteer for anything.

I was happily proven wrong! (Insert happy dance here!)

The next day was that Friday when I was thanking any volunteer I could find. I flagged down one Special Needs cart, and it was one of the gentlemen who had been getting rides all week. I said, “Thank you for volunteering!” and put a chookie in his had. He welled up with tears and said, “You were right, this is fun!” We thanked each other and I went on my way.

A few hundred feet later, I flagged down another Special Needs cart, and it was the other gentleman who I had been giving rides to. I said, “Thank you for volunteering!” and put a chookie in his had. With tears actively flowing down his cheek and said, “You were right, this is the best job ever!” He also told me that he never would have thought volunteering would have been fun if I hadn’t been so excited about it. We thanked each other and I wen on my way.

A few feet later, I realized that because I had been excited about it, someone had been inspired. That was the greatest thank you gift of the entire War!

Please, share your enthusiasm and inspire someone to volunteer.

Hopefully Helpful,