Lochac is growing. In formal membership terms, by about 30% last year. Although harder to measure, I fondly hope that this level of growth is also reflected in the populace as a whole.
This welcome trend is partly the result of significant membership changes which were introduced in 2008-9 by SCANZ Inc. and SCAA Ltd. But perhaps the main effect comes from the "Recruitment and Retention" drive launched by Their (then) Majesties Theuderic and Engelin a year ago. That call was heeded by officers and populace right across Kingdom, at every level, and will continue to bear fruit for a long time to come.
Why does this matter? Simply put, Newcomers are Good.
Newcomers provide fresh ideas and enthusiasm aplenty. They provide a focus for older hands who love to teach and who, in the process, will often absorb that enthusiasm and reflect it back. Groups that are growing find it easier to stage a variety of events, support a full range of activities, and find keen replacement officers -- even deputies.
Finances get easier, physical resources improve, skills broaden and events get bigger and more interesting. It's more fun!
It's not about numbers vs. quality -- it's both. Our approach to promotion and recruiting needs to first attract, then engage, then fully empower those who are most likely to find our world appealing, and to add value to it themselves. Bring them in, train them up, and give them responsibility - along with a clear mandate to do the same thing for new generations of newcomers.
You'll know if you've been in a group which has been actively recruiting, and you'll have some idea of what worked for you and what didn't. Whatever efforts you collectively put into fostering growth last year, please keep it up! And also share the best successes with fellow officers and groups so the whole Kingdom can benefit from your experience.
And what, pray, will more experienced folk do with all the time freed up by a horde of rampant new group officers?
Your Kingdom Needs You!
I'm privileged to work with a very dedicated group of Kingdom and corporate officers, and even have great pleasure in welcoming two new deputies to the Seneschal - Lord Domhnall na Moicheirghe (Cartography Deputy) and Lord Llwyd ap Madog (Masonry Deputy).
However, Kingdom Officers are not forever. As I write this, at least two Kingdom positions and several corporate roles are being advertised. In coming months it will become a steady stream. Not only that -- many officers would benefit from deputies who can provide not just "drop dead" backup, but also technical, administrative or editorial support of one kind or another.
This could be you! If you're reading this, and you're a recent group officer or deputy, or someone with specialised skills to offer, it probably IS you. Even if you don't see a role advertised at present, choose an area that interests you, talk to the current Kingdom officer and by all means offer your help.
In short: successful recruiting means more newcomers means stronger groups and more fun and a stronger Kingdom and local Societies. These in turn can help foster better recruiting, and so the virtuous circle turns.
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