Populace Minutes

From the meeting 7-3-12

Shire of Adlersruhe Populace Meeting

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

7:00 - 8:00 PM

Seneschal's Residence

New Seneschal Salvador Ordonez (Derek Harris) called the meeting to order promptly at 7 PM. 16 attended.

First item on the meeting agenda was whether or not everyone had had a chance to receive the agenda by email. In the future, the seneschal intends to try and get the published populace meeting agendas out a week ahead of time or at the very least by the Monday before each meeting. Expediting general populace monthly meetings is the goal.

Regarding the general populace survey posted by the new seneschal, only five responses thus far have been received. The survey will be reposted again later for those who did not yet respond.

Preliminary numbers from the Lady of the Lake event held over June 29, – July 1, 2012 were as follows: 52 adults, 4 kids attended; 42 at feast, 20 NMS. A total of 59 were present at the event.

Following the meeting agenda to go over and analyze the event and where the shire might improve events in the future, regarding event planning as a whole, as difficult as it is for event autocrats sometimes to delegate responsibilities, that might perhaps spread the workload in such a way as to keep autocrats from being overwhelmed. As related to communication within the shire regarding the event(s), much better communication was recommended, with perhaps weekly or biweekly updates. Communication within the kingdom also needs to be stepped up to promote events, especially the month before, by way of emails primarily, either personal or by group or lists.

In the matter of setting the event up on Fridays, physical sign up volunteer sheets were suggested to pin down and organize who would do what, when and where. Having physical sheets might also help in referencing and keeping things organized, while being accessible to event organizers. Marshals, or their representatives, need to set up their fields on Friday instead of hoping others will be there to do so. More people are needed to haul shire equipment to event sites, instead of assuming those who have always done it will continue to do so. The possibility of renting trailers so that other members could help with the hauling of equipment was briefly brought up, as was perhaps in the future having the shire consider buying one for shire use. Another point that was stressed was if someone says or volunteers to do something, then they need to commit and follow through with that. Regarding running the event gate, record keeping needs work, though the finances all came out all right. More volunteers would free the exchequer to enjoy other parts of the event. With regards to arriving on Friday at the event instead of waiting until Saturday morning, the general rumor out is that being there on Fridays “wasn’t fun”. To help address this issue, adding one or two short, fun, brief planned activities for Friday nights at events might help turn that around for the better.

The next item on the agenda was examining Saturday schedule issues. The event schedule for Saturday wasn’t on time, but event schedules rarely are. The lack of adherence to the expected schedule did not drastically alter or ruin the day’s events. There was some discussion about when events are overlapped as they were at this event, it makes things difficult with regards to participating in everything some people want to do, as well as get to watch everything. Regarding the heavy tournament, it was suggested that rules written out ahead of time would make things more clear and uniform for both participants as well as marshals. The rotations needed work and there were miscommunications in understanding. However, the challenge fights, the gypsy knife fight portion and the betting on fighters were very popular and successful.

It was at this point in the meeting that the suggestion of having, or printing up, a sitebook or map of the physical layout and facilities might be helpful in the future. The event autocrat also strongly recommended that if the shire continues to use the Old Mobeetie site for events, that all arrangements be made with Melba in that office as she works to make sure the shire gets a discount.

Regarding the rapier tournament, it was also suggested that having rules written out ahead of time would help the participants, as well as the marshals. With regards to the archery tournament, more shade was needed and it was suggested that an earlier start might help finish the tournament before 2 PM when the heat of the day becomes too oppressive and potentially dangerous. The noon break was helpful though. Volunteers are needed for the next archery tournament so that, when the tournament officially ends and others want to shoot for fun, they can be monitored for safety reasons.

With regards to the growing number of children attending shire functions, it might be time again to ask for an unofficial Minister of Children to have some structured activities for set periods of time, though not to act as a babysitting service.

In examining how kingdom dignitaries were treated at the event, there was a noticeable lack in noticing or addressing such in the proper and expected manners. The visiting dignitaries themselves did not seem offended, but this might be a matter for review and work before any future events as it concerns training and practicing bowing to the Crown or its representatives, and acknowledging nobility. Interaction between members of the shire indicated no obvious strife and was appreciated. Interaction with visitors resulted in no negative feedback and a general good job was done so that visitors were welcomed and made comfortable. But further discussion highlighted the fact and stressed that newcomers or visitors need not to be overwhelmed with too much information or latched onto and not let go of. They need to be made to feel welcome in a relaxed atmosphere that encourages questions as they have them. When members are in doubt or not as comfortable interacting with visitors, then simply escort and introduce them to the seneschal who is more than happy to see to them.

As it came to downtime during the event, a little is always appreciated and even necessary, but it was suggested that we strive for less of it even so. The need for security patrols was on the agenda but tabled due to lack of time. Regarding feast, more help is needed afterwards to pitch in and clean up afterwards at night. In the matter of court, the flow and ambiance need further work in the future. Issues regarding Saturday night revelry and camping was such that keeping the party and/or drumming in a separate location from those camping and sleeping is strongly suggested and appreciated. Site clean up on Sunday went well and most everyone had left the site by 11:30 am, but physical sign up sheets for volunteers to commit to site clean up on Sunday mornings is suggested for future events.

In new general business, the seneschal suggested looking at the membership roster and contacting inactive members in effort to encourage them to participate once more. If anyone has thoughts, comments, complaints, suggestions, they are encouraged to contact the seneschal privately. The shire’s next focus will be on the upcoming demo at Fannin Middle School, more details will be forthcoming. July A&S nights will be on Tues. July 10th and Tues. July 24th at House le Fleming, TX at 7 PM. Topics for future A&S nights were an armor work night and a courtly graces night.

The next general populace meeting with be Tues, Aug. 7th at the Seneschal’s house and will begin promptly at 7 PM.

Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Catherine Lee, Secretary.