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 eventĀ  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,