Chapter 4 - Acclimating the Newcomer: Getting the Newcomer Involved
|The purpose of orientation is to welcome newcomers to the SCA, the Kingdom and your local group, and provides them with the BASIC and practical information needed to get started in the SCA.|
If you are fortunate to have a fairly large number of newcomers, it may be an idea to have monthly newcomers' meetings. If not, conduct them as needed.
A central location within your local group is best. As an alternative, you may want to see where the majority of your newcomers live and adjust the location accordingly. Some groups prefer to have meetings at the home of a member, while others prefer a neutral location such as a community centre, church hall, library, scout hall, uni lecture room.
Depending on your group culture, you can conduct newcomers' meetings / orientation sessions in a variety of contexts. Some groups prefer to simply have straight forward newcomers' meetings, while others prefer to make it more of a social engagement, such as a BBQ (byo).
Remember, you want to make your newcomers feel welcome, provide them with practical information that will enable them to get started and answer any questions they may have. Be careful not to overwhelm them with too much information. Below is a suggested outline for the format of an "orientation session".
Introduction / WelcomeWelcome the Newcomers and other attendees, state your objective for he gathering and ask Officers etc., to introduce themselves (mundane name & SCA name) and give a brief explanation of what their role is. Be sure to explain that the session / meeting is intended to provide them (newcomers) with information for "getting started". It is not designed to provide them with everything they will need to know about the SCA, as it will be easier if they assimilate the bulk of that information gradually over time.
An overview of the SCA and your local Group
Who we are and what we do
Information on how to get started
|(4)||Question and answer session|
Ask each newcomer to fill out an orientation feedback form. It is important that you find out what your newcomers want from their association with the SCA. In this way, you can better meet their future needs and along the way, improve the quality of future sessions.
Who should attend?
In addition to the newcomers, some groups invite all members to attend, while others prefer to limit the attendance to newcomers, officers and selected presenters. In order to make your newcomers' meeting go more smoothly, be sure to let your members know what the format is ahead of time; solicit "presenters" well in advance and make sure they know what they are expected to cover. Additionally, you may want to remind the members of your group to engage the newcomers in conversation at appropriate times during the meeting.