To Whom It May Concern,
I am Lord Cameron de Grey of Atlantia, with distant roots in An Tir. I write to you now to make a humble request. Following a meeting regarding the Valiance Proposal at Pennsic 47, it came to light that there are some local groups and or Kingdoms that are not recording attendance at martial, and potentially other, activities. I write now in reference to the former. My words are of a concerned individual, and represent no group or body. My words may not be poetic or even complete, with are sincere in spirit, and written while the iron is hot.
What are the potential benefits?
Numbers. Many people show up at practices and events, but we don’t always know how many. If we start tracking and gauging, our marshals can make more informed decisions about creating space for that martial activity. We can track year over year growth or shrinkage. Are people migrating from one martial activity to another? Picking up a second or third? Is there a new activity that needs local group support due to growth?
Autocrats can benefit. We can take numbers to autocrats and make a case as to expected numbers, and space requirements. In some cases there may not be a push to have a particular activity. One can make the case that a budding Barony needs to promote a martial skill because there are a few participants, but could grow if assisted. The more we talk to autocrats and communities, the better we represent our communities, and the staff recognize and respect same.
We can map and gauge activities across the known world. Is there thrown weapons in Lochac? Darts in Artemisia? If not, why not? Are there emissaries in one Kingdom that can reach out and assist another? In this way I hope it will open lines of communications across sympathetic disciplines.
What will it require from marshals and staff?
- Each event or practice will require a sign in sheet.
- At the end of each practice or event, the ‘scores’ will need to be entered.
If there is a Royal Round, or other kind of competition, of course the scores would need to be entered, but for general participation, the ‘score’ would be zero. It may even require the creation of recording methods. These are not insurmountable issues by any stretch. Yes this creates more ‘paperwork’. I think the amount of work is minimal compared to the benefits, but the final decision of course, is yours. Though I cannot promise the work of others, a solution already exists, and could well be modified to suit.
In closing, the benefits listed above may or may not impact you depending on how you currently track, and the level of participation. What it will do is allow the Society, and martial activities to see across the known world, in one place, who is doing what, and where. I cannot take credit for the idea, but I deeply believe in the benefits. Whatever form this takes, at the end of the year, you will have substantive numbers to reflect on, and share. This is not a solution for promoting specific martial activities, but by tracking, we can make informed decisions, and better promote the things we love.
It is my sincere hope this letter starts a conversation, with a productive end. Lets get, and share these numbers!
Update: a short 8 question poll has been added to help shape the scope of the conversation.
Lord Cameron de Grey
Or, on a bend purpure between a wheel of cheese and a squirrel sable, three pheons palewise Or