Greetings from your Kingdom Chatelaine, Mistress Giovanna Adimari!
Hello! I wanted to take a moment to talk about being a Chatelaine and why having this position within your group matters. Noticed I didn’t say Office. Sure, it is fantastic if you have a designated officer who is your Chatelaine, and if you don’t have one – I entirely encourage you to do so!
But what I am talking about here is having someone, or some people, who take up the mantle of being a Chatelaine for your local group, and are actively working to help bring in newcomers and KEEP THEM!
I probably shouldn’t have to say this, but having Newcomers is vital to the health and longevity of a group. Newcomers add to your membership. Newcomers bring in new thoughts and ideas and can help freshen up an existing group. Newcomers are extremely helpful in keeping existing members engaged. Many times I have gotten completely excited again about the SCA through the eyes of a Newcomer! Newcomers, when properly empowered, can also help local groups run events, demos and activities more effectively. Do I have your attention yet? Having one person, or a group of like-minded individuals, work actively to recruit newcomers to your local group is very important. Chatelaines are the first contact Newcomers have with the SCA. They help newcomers orient themselves in the SCA, give them direction, help them get started, answer questions that they may have, and make connections with other members who might have particular skill sets that newcomers are interested in. They are extremely important!
What is Giovanna trying to say or encourage you to do?
Well, if your local group does not have a Chatelaine Officer, then I highly recommend that you find someone. Anyone can contact me if they have questions and I am happy to help! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you do not want to delve into the role of official Officer, see if you can find a few people who are motivated and excited about helping your local group expand and flourish. I can also provide materials and assistance, as can all of my fantastic Regionals! Those people can be the goto members for Newcomers and help direct them and retain them within their local groups.
I would like to state something I am sure that everyone has heard — everyone is a Chatelaine! I firmly believe this. We are all Ambassadors for the Society, and are able to reach out to the public, to friends and family—to promote the mission of the SCA and hopefully get other people excited. We also are able to make (or break!) a Newcomer’s experience with the SCA by our behavior. Please always try to be welcoming and warm to people you don’t know.
Thank you for listening!
Please feel free to reach out to me with questions, thoughts and concerns.