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,