As many of you know I am a member, albeit fairly new, of the Society for Creative Anachronism. The SCA is first and foremost a group of people who enjoy playing dress up in Medieval clothing. Beyond that though there is a great deal more to the SCA.
The SCA is supposed to be a vehicle for education. The members themselves can, and sometimes do, spend huge numbers of hours researching culture, costume, fighting styles, cooking, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. The members of the SCA, or at least some groups within the SCA, also spend time every year doing School Demos where they share their knowledge with school children and adults.
Then of course there is the awards system within the SCA. This system is used to recognize those who go above and beyond in their attempts to make the game more enjoyable for everyone; present more authentic looking kit; and share their knowledge freely. Each Kingdom has its own awards system usually in three streams. Service, Arts and Sciences, and Fighting Prowess. I found out this weekend that many Baronies also have awards to give out.
This weekend was Summer Siege, an event put on by my own Canton. It is usually a pretty laid back event with fighting, equestrian, and archery. This year we also hosted the Baronial Championships in Thrown Weapons, Fencing, and Archery. During court, held after a very large potluck Feast, I was called forward before the Baron and Baroness who presented me with the award "The Hare Salient", the Baronial Service award.
I was rather shocked to say the least. I don't help people out and volunteer for positions because I want an award. I do it because it needs to be done. Turns out that is exactly why I was nominated for this award. I help out because it is the right thing to do and because the help I provide is help that all new people need. I do because I can.