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It's my opinion that the Award of Arms is the most special award of all bestowed by the Crown. The reason why it's the most important one to me is that it's recognising the participant as "one of us".

There are many beliefs around when a person is ready to receive an Award of Arms. These can vary dramatically. The following article is my opinion of what the level is and the intention is a bit of food for thought for members of the Barony.

The Crown recognises citizens of the Kingdom by receiving letters of recommendation by other members of the populace. How that is demonstrated to me is

  • Consistent participation and effort (giving back to the SCA) over a period of time. The main indicator for me is taking up responsibility and giving back to the group in some way such as:
  • 12 months or more of high intensity activity and giving back to the SCA (EG, may include: working in many kitchens or running a kitchen, taking on an office or responsibility to the local group, becoming really involved in performance or running a performance, running a couple of small events. This level of activity is not common! (or)
  • 2 years or more of consistent effort of turning up to regular events, assisting in everyday ways like setting up or breaking down. It also includes the same list of things addressed in the first dot point but spread over two or more years.
  • Turning up to regular meetings and participating and learning new skills.
  • Consistent level of dress and demeanour.
  • a person has sewn their garb to a good beginners level; or equivenlant (if they've acknowledged that they should be banned from using a sewing machine, they could possibly acquire garb through exchange.)
  • A reasonable understanding of how the SCA works, SCA etiquette and appropriate behaviour

Some people are not consistent in their efforts with the SCA. That means that they take a little longer. Some people will never really participate with the Barony and turn up to one or two events a year, not assist in anyway: that's ok. Maybe they don't deserve recognition. Some people get accidentally overlooked. If someone has been overlooked, it's generally because they've probably assumed that the person already has that award.

There are many things to consider regarding when to recommend a person to the Crown. A few things that spring to my mind are:

  • To avoid recommending too early as the person needs to understand how special the award is,
  • That sometimes this is the only award that the person will receive (and that's ok!)
  • That you can be supportive and encouraging in other ways such as giving people tokens of esteem for good works, kind words of praise for good deeds.
  • And again from the other perspective, not waiting too long or having unrealistic expectations on when to recommend. (EG 3 years of running twice a week meeting – eg fighter practice, running events, teaching, and being an officer…might be a tad too much)