The King and Queen are always on the lookout for members of Their populace who are doing good, helpful and valuable work. In the Outlands, ANY person can recommend ANY other person for ANY award no matter how great the award is. You do not need to be a knight to recommend others for the accolade of knighthood, for example. Their Majesties have stated that recommendations from new members carry a lot of weight because new folks have "fresh eyes."
The SCA is an all volunteer organization-- we all pay a lot, one way or another, to serve what we call “The Dream.” The only recompense anyone receives for their materials and labors comes in the form of our heartfelt gratitude and in awards/titles.
So, all of the members of the populace of the Kingdom are charged by the King and Queen to keep an eye open for folks who deserve recognition for their good works, deeds and other efforts. When you see someone that you believe has contributed in a worthwhile manner over a period of time, you point it out to Their Royal Majesties (TRMs). They take all recommendations under advisement, and determine whether of not to give out an award.
Our job: point out who among us is doing good works. Their job: listen to our recommendations, determine if recognition is warranted and then ensure that recognition is given.
To begin with, making award recommendations in the SCA seems daunting, but here in the Kingdom of the Outlands, it couldn't be easier. Just follow a few simple steps below:
Step 1- Who do you wish to recommend?
Think about who you know, and what they have done, or are doing that you think is deserving of recognition from the Crowns of the Outlands.
Within the SCA people are generally recognized for outstanding or consistent accomplishments in three areas:
In order to receive an award, a person MUST BE A CURRENTLY PAID MEMBER of the SCA! The word "currently" means: at the time of your recommendation, AND at the time the Crowns present the award. That is the rule, but I don't waste too much time checking into that. I always give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to keeping their membership current. The Crowns have heralds to keep track of this stuff, and they do a great job.
Step 2- What award do you feel they should receive?
The best thing to do first is figure out if the person already has the award you are contemplating for your recommendation. Go to the Office of the Wimble Herald to see a roster of everyone that is living, or has lived in Aarquelle, and what awards they have been given. The list is regularly updated and checked for accuracy, so it's useful.
Next, go to the Outlands Awards Page for a complete list of what awards our Kingdom has, and a brief description of them. This page really helps with understanding the possible awards. I recommend it highly.
As stated above, in the Outlands, any person, can recommend any PAID MEMBER for any award at any time. However, check the Outlands page to make sure the award you plan to recommend someone for is appropriate. We are independent of any Barony, and not eligible for their awards. Having said that, you should know that the awards open to Shirefolk are Kingdom Level and carry more weight in determining Order of Precedence in most cases, which hopefully takes the sting out of it! You can send a baronial award recommendation in for a member of that Barony if they did a great job and you want to acknowledge it. Consider both new and old members as well. Some people have been known to go a very long time without any recognition just because everyone assumed awards had already been granted.
It is customary for the Crown to present awards in a specific order of progression:
Step 3- Where do I go to make the recommendation?
To make your recommendation, you must be able to sign into the Kingdom of the Outlands Online. Go to Outlands Online to join the site -- it's quick and easy, and your information is kept private.
Next, you will need some basic information about the person when filling out the form:
The form will ask you to describe why you think this person deserves an award-- specifically the award you are recommending. Remember earlier when you decided to recommend someone for something in the first place? This is where you tell that person's story to the Crowns. The higher the level of award you are recommending, the more you should write. Be specific about the activity level of the person, including what they did, when and where. A few sentences about what the persons has done is good for Awards of Arms and Trefoils (service, arts etc.). For kingdom awards, a paragraph is better. For higher awards more description is needed. I know a man who wrote a lengthy poem to recommend his friend for a Flower of the Outlands Award-- it worked!
The form will ask some questions about you. Fill this out just in case the Crowns, or heralds wish more information from you.
Go to the Outlands Award Recommendation Form and remember to login first.
I also maintain a list of who is currently playing with us, and their vital SCA information. Contact me through email, or our FaceBook page for access to that roster to get the information for step 3.
YOU ARE DONE! So, Now What?
At this point it is out of your hands. The Crowns of the Outlands will consider your words; the words of Their other subjects; any other recommendations They have received concerning that person; and make Their decision. They will consult Their heralds to set the wheels in motion on the award if They deem the person worthy. All you can do is keep encouraging the person to attend events where the Crowns are also in attendance. Generally, it is a good idea to be present to receive your awards. Consult the Outlands Event Calendar to check on the Royal Progress.
Loving the Dream, En Service,
Syr Gerwyn y' Teigr THL Audrey la Solitaire
Seneschal of the Shire of Aarquelle