Commons minutes for May 2021

May 2021 Minutes • Østgarðr Commons

The May commons meeting was held May 19. Here are the minutes/notes as recorded by Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin and edited by Alienor Salton. The officers’ reports are attached at the end.


7:33 called to order

# Congrats:

– Drasma for AoA
– Perez’s cooking videos are being recognized across kingdoms
– New Brokenbridge A&S minister 
– Albrecht has been busy
– Anne is moving away, thanks for their work as webminister, good look on their next adventure

# Reopening Guidelines

– Valgard will join at 8:00 to discuss

# Calontir Trim

– Lada: You may have seen Calontir Trim merchanting at events. They do custom trim for branches, orders, kingdoms. In order to make an order, we need 300 yards minimum at $3/yard, or $2.50 at 500.
We would do the provincial badge, a blue heraldic seahorse (aka hippocampus) on a white background.
Settmour did an order and are fans.
Could place it on gold-key garb.
Lada will take point on assembling orders, starting in June.

Jenna: maybe put one repeat of this inside the neckline of gold key, in a way that would distinguish it from someone who’d put it on their hem.
Jenna: a yard for a neckline, two yards for arm-holes.

We’ll try to put together a minimum order in the next month or two.

# Court Square Park
– City is planning on doing contruction there, but it’s not going on now.
– Albrecht: lots of parking. There’s good light 
GEM7, F is a bit further a way


– Ryu asked about practice — wanted to do something once a month in Forest Park
 – Albrecht: basically only accessible via Car
 – Drasma: it’s a 30-minute walk from the L.

– Albrecht: maybe we wouldn’t hold all of our practices there, but it’s attractive as a site at which we could do all-interest martial + A&S + other 

– Helga mentioned wanting to start practices in Lions End, accessible via LIRR but a bit of a walk

– Albrecht: McCarren is convenient for fighters, would be good 

# Whyt Whey
– Vika: Cantons require three officers. I am seneschal, Ibrahim is Exchequer. I am term-limited out in January, and am looking at moving out of the city. Ibrahim is ready to take a break. We’re looking for new candidates but haven’t had any volunteers. We had a conversation at a recent commons and noted that the primary activity of the canton is the festival which is province-wide, and the solars, which are also province-wide, 
– I also talked to Bhakail folks, and other city-based groups. Several of them have also had inner-city cantons go dormant because people have been participating at the baronial level.
– We’re planning on having a “town hall” in June. We only have 20 paid members in WW. If anyone wants to serve but has membership fees as a barrier, there are options for payment.

– Berakha: I like my job, and I don’t want it to go away, but I know that’s selfish because I moved out of thec city during the pandemic. I would like to know what’s happening.

– Multiple people: if the canton folds, we’ll ask you to do A&S.

– Lada: the province will back you.

– Mathghamhain: why do that in six weeks rather than six months?
– Vika: we might move. Thorfinn is my deputy, so we could get him to do it. Other officers feel like it’s a fait acompli, so why drag it out? Nobody’s stepped forward. I’ve first mooted in 2019 that we were halfway through my term.
– Mathghamhain: I’m optimistic that we can find someone.
– Uji: Jenna is very good at recruiting

# Opening Guidelines
– Valgard: Since Ervald is on a plane, I’ll talk about fighter practice.
– After talking with Ervald, he wants to reopen at McCarren. He will be Marshal in Charge, i’m backup.
– Guidelines from Society and Sir Vissevald Selkirksson, Earl Marshal:
 – 25 people max
 – masked at all times, but you can step to the side to snack or drink
 – contact tracing — we already have a signup sheet for practice; we either have contact information, or collect it from newcomers. (In November someone attended a regional practice, a family member was exposed, fighters were notified.)

– Alienor: is there a pre-registration process?
– Valgard: Hawthorne, Middletown use online signin practices; Midland Vale doesn’t because their numbers are low. We’ll discuss whether we need it.

We used to have Sunday night BAT practice

– Alec: We’re looking at this for fencing. Groups in Nassau/Suffolk are starting. Unclear if people are using masks. 
– Valgard: Public practices I’ve seen are using masks, except for some private household gatherings.
– Albrecht: you can use a rubber band to attach mask behind your head.

Alienor: I want to make sure you’re not feeling pressured to resume.

What about Court Square?
– Alec: my concern is about lighting.

– Alec: there’s a state guideline about sports. 
– Alienor: I’d like to post a set of links to relevant rules.
– Valgard: it’s difficult to find the rules, because they’re in a series of releases over the last six months. I’ve confirmed the defaults with Cedric and Vissevald. I can write up an explanation of the current rules, which are set by Corporate. Vissevald had left things up to Cedric and local marshals. Cedric had gone through every few weeks looking at sports openings. Cedric decided that the comparble was full-contact sports like wrestling and football; if high schools are allowing wrestling, that’s the trigger. Around March, the city allowed wrestling and football.
Only additional requirements are masking (corporate) + local rules.
– Ragnarr: other practices don’t have foot traffic. What if soomeone stops and chats with us, do we need to contact trace? 
– Valgard: that would be awkward.
– Ragnarr: worth thinking about how we manage when people stop by to chat.

– Perez: At society level there’s no verification of vaccination status. Have local sports leagues been requiring vaccinations. Is that a fair comparison.
– Valgard: We don’t know if that’s a fair comparison.
– Kunigunde: Football was allowed starting in March, without vaccination requirement. Students have to do a covid screen, temperature check, no spectators.

– Catelin: we could put up sandwich boards, with flyers.

Friderich: if we do combined practices, it would be great to have a chatelaine on
– Lada: the sandwich boards really should have a second coat of chalboard paint

– Alienor: The society seneschal clarified that homeowners could require vaccinations.

– Friderich: I won’t be able to do archery up here until the end of the school year. For personal reasons won’t do indoor practices. I will investigate practices at Peekskill outdoor archery.

– Catelin: I have a car now and would be able ride-share.

– Stephen: I’m working from home these days, would be interested in helping with a northern archery practice.

– Reopening for non-martial activities
 – Basic rules set by society, city, state, CDC.
 – Start thinking about: would you be comfortable attending an event at which people were not wearing masks? Would you be comfortable attending an event at which masks were required?
 – Perez: I’m comfortable with masks, but would be dependent on the activity. If a homeowner had a cooking event which required vaccinations but no masks, that would make sense for period cooking. For other things, not a huge benefit over video meetings.
 – Alienor: is that also a preference for outdoor events? I’m seeing some nods.
 – Catelin: We’re doing a virtual demo for an internet show. Homeowner is encouraging vaccinations. I’ll be avoiding kingdom events.
 – Friderich: should unofficial activities not be publicized 
 – Me: There’s no such thing as an unofficial SCA event — it’s either an SCA event or not.
 – Ragnarr: we’re planning a small virtual demo. I’m the homeowner. I want to show that the SCA is forward-looking. We’ll be asking people to wear masks, follow SCA’s eight rules. I have an unvaccinated child. 

– Alienor: Lada says Viking day could be back on the menu.
– Ragnarr: our previous seneschal pulled out
– Lada: it was rescheduled until June 19. I can introduce you to Victoria, our contact there.
– Alienor: would you be interested?
– Ragnarr: I’ll think about it. Upcoming event is a dozen people, under managed circumstances. Viking Day would be less controlled. Our demo is that week and our folks would be stretched thin.
– Alienor: sounds like we’re going to push off until next year.

– Alienor: check out court square. 
– Mathghamhain: I’d be up for a social picnic.
– Alec: I could park there and go to work in Brooklyn.
– Lada: My understanding is that for all new events, we need to have an plan covering how you’re going to meet requirements.
– Alienor: yes, that’s a requirement. We’ve been assembling notes about requirements 
– People who are hosting events will be on the leading edge of this
– Valgard: I scan waiver forms and email to the waiver secretary.

– Alienor: should we have a form.
– Valgard: there’s a blanket waiver form, and I’m writing in cell phone numbers on the side next to existing spaces for wallet name and signature.
– Albrecht: I could modify that form to include.
– Alec: (shares link)

# Discord
– Albrecht: We’ll still be doing things online for a while. Discord is a chat service that was originally intended for gamers. It has text channels. If you’re new to it, try the SCA Known World Discord. KW Discord only has groupings by kingdom level, so it doesn’t feel appropriate for local organization. We could set up a Discord for our local group, allows photos, easy to do screen sharing, less demanding than Zoom, it’s free (with bonus paid features). We could develop bots to help organize things. Could use it to stay in touch. I’ll set up a beta test. It’s an experiment, if it doesn’t work out we can bail.

– Drasma: it’s a good platform, but it’s hard to discover it. I didn’t even know the KW discord existed. Even if you’re on Discord it can be hard to find the groups. On Facebook it’s easy to discover new groups, but on Discord you have go looking for them.
– Albrecht: Yes, it requires people to share the links to find people. It can be overwhelming. But it’s an attractive platform. I don’t think we’ll need a lot of moderation.
– Hanya: one attractive thing about Discord is that there are a lot of younger people there. There are a lot of people who avoid Facebook but they do go to Discord.
– Randve: Discord doesn’t have algorithms controlling which things you see. You can choose which channels you monitor. Easy to block people. You can set up roles that allow notifications to everyone in a group. Visual layout is simple. I miss things that are announced on Facebook, but Discord feels more efficient. 
– Catelin: Wearing my Community Manager hat, more communication is better. Cross-posting is a thing, because there are different people on different platforms. Discord is a replacement for IRC chat. Seeing a Discord channel as another “burden” isn’t the right framework, but it’s a useful instant messaging service. We should default to overcommunicating.
– Perez: my concern is that the more platforms we have, the more scattered our populace is. Don’t want to have a multi-tier in-group / out-group situation. Call me a luddite, but what happened to using a mailing list. The more services we have, the more burden there is on officers to post everywhere. Would be awkward if we set up a Discord and then it faded away and we lost people. 
– Drasma: The problem is that people have already scattered themselves. You can post everything to the website, but who goes looking for things there?

– Kunigunde: Everyone has an email address. Email announcements are the most reliable way of getting news out. Right now the idea of adding another platform seems daunting. 
– Alienor: Our official communications channels are mailing list and web site; Facebook comes after that. 
– Mathghamhain: there’s already a two-tier world: Facebook is active, the mailing list isn’t; if you’re not on Facebook, you’re out of the bustle. Richard is the only one sending stuff to the mailing list other than officers announcemenets.
– Friderich: Would be useful to write up a summary of all of the platofmrs we’re on and what purpose they have. I already use Discord. We need to make sure that announcements / top-level messaging gets out to all of our platforms. Some social platforms are mostly for outreach.

– Lada: As far as cross-posting to everything, can we have a bot that blog posts get automatically posted to a Discord channel?
– Albrecht: Yes. Also there are already a bunch of cantons that are using Discord, and I’ll reach out to them for info about how that’s going. You can use Hoot Suite to schedule announcements to multiple channels. Link Tree is tools that creates links to a whole bunch of services.
– Alienor: Friderich’s point is good. We 
– Albrecht: I’d be up for doing a Google Meet, and/or recording a video about how to get started. KW Discord would benefit from that as well. I use Discord for work. It doesn’t need to be intrusive, you can just go look when you’re interested. Facebook’s algorithm gives you less control. 

– There’s a new Society social media policy. It would be useful to add some new people to our social media committee.

– We need a new webminister.

– Mythic challenge, submissions due in November.

– Ragnarr: Beyond Screens is a Twitch show for gamers that looks at in-person activities. One of their hosts lives in Booklyn and reached out to us. Brokenbridge is organizing this as a curated virtual demo for them. We have some volunteers already. We’ll be talking about this more in the next week or two. Twitch is a video streaming service originally for gaming but now being used for other kinds of events. I’ve talked with the kingdom’s media officer and got some tips about how to present the SCA as an inclusive, partipatory, educational group. We have a few fighters coming, and some A&S presentations.

– Alienor: We’ve been doing social-only commons alternating with business meetings months. Should we have business meetings more often as activities pick up? June 16 and July 21 will both be business meetings. August 18 will be a  social. 
– Perez: Based on tonight, there’s more business happening, so more regular meetings seem warranted.

– Ragnarr: June 6 is BB commons

9:30 meeting closed.

# Post Meeting

Albrecht: Østgarðr Seaguard
Østgarðr is a powerful force as individual fighters and A&S and bardic. We have heroes but we need an army to follow them. An army is not just individual fighters, it’s a whole team. Would be good to get some practice as a squad. 

Hanya has access to academic resources through her school. Or just ask the authors to send you a copy!

# Links contributed in chat
The Welsh Viking:
In Search of Beowulf by Michael Wood –
Cool book: “The Light Ages” by Seb Falk. Science in the late 1300s….

May 2021 Reports • Østgarðr Commons 

Viceregents • Suuder Saran & Lada Monguligin

No report submitted.

Seneschal • Alienor Salton

Populace, *please* consider joining us for this call.  We have many exciting things to talk about, and we value your input.

Among our topics, we will cover:

• re-opening guidelines

• Court Square park as an everything practice location

• future of Whyt Whey

• new corporate social media policy

• Discord channel

• webminister position!

Exchequer • Francisco de Braga

Q1 was submitted at the end of April and accepted by Kingdom with minor edits.

Storage of Equipment for Northpass is paid through June 22nd.

Herald • Drasma Dragomira

I’m happy to officially announce that the new badge for the Order of the Sea-Urchin of Østgarðr was successfully registered in April.

Herald’s Q2 report was submitted as required.

Otherwise, things are going as normal, and as always, if you want to work on some heraldry items, reach out to me.

Chatelaine • Laila al-Sanna’ al-Andalusiyya

No report submitted.

Chancellor Minor • Kunigunde Wedemann

No report submitted.

Arts & Sciences • Randve L’il Hammar

The work of Perez Ben Meir Gershon has been recognized all the way in Carolingia for his cook-along videos. They are bringing encouragement and enrichment to the SCA! Fantastic work, Perez!

We have a new Minister of Arts and Sciences for Broken Bridge! Please welcome Hanya Vladimirovna Polotskaya

Albrecht Anker has been working on an Ethereal BrokeBridge project, and has embarked on an Ethereal Ostgardr Pennsic Encampment as well. 

Our resident blacksmith continues to toil on his 13th century master work candle stand.

I am planning on organizing a virtual “meet an archeologist” class to share our love of history and to get some insight as re-enactors from an academic. 

Mythic challenge issued by Catelin Straquhin (Webminister) on May 5th. Submissions due by November 30th.  Submissions will be featured on the canton site.   Announcement link: 

Armored Combat • Ervald LaCoudre

No report submitted.

Archery • Arnbiorg Helga Niálsdóttir

No report submitted.

Fencing • Alec MacLachlan

The virtual fencing practice has been occurring pretty regularly on Thursday nights.  I usually get one to two people to participate.

Catelin has suggested going back to McCarren Park in Brooklyn.  I’m open to a regular in-person practice, but I’d like to hear how we can do this without violating mundane law.

Youth Combat • Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin

No youth combat activity has occurred in recent months.

While many forms of martial practice are resuming, the fact that most children remain unvaccinated means that we probably will not see youth combat pick up until the end of summer.

Minister of Lists • Marion of York

No report submitted.

Webminister • Anne of Østgarðr 

It has been a pleasure to serve as webminister, but I’m leaving the East next month and so I’m stepping down. I’m happy to work with a successor on getting set up, and I’m sure the entirety of the East Kingdom Webministry will support as well. My deputy Mathghamhain will also be available in the interim to support.

I’ll likely be unable to attend this month’s Commons meeting, as I’ll be traveling/apartment hunting. Wishing you all all the best, don’t be a stranger!

Chronicler • Zahra al-Andalusiyya

The next issue of the E-Horse will be published on June 1. Please send me any art, articles, info, examples, or contributions of any sort before then, preferably by Friday, May 28.

Chamberlain • Ian of Clan Mitchell

No report submitted.

Historian • Sofya Gianetta di Trieste

No report submitted.

Whyt Whey • Vika Grigina z Prahy

The canton is at something of a nexus point.  I will need a replacement as Seneschal, and we have no volunteers.  (Similarly, Ibrahim is looking towards needing relief as Exchequer, and we have no volunteers for that, either; though the time pressure is less for him.)  At our quarterly Commons last month, we mooted the question of going dormant.  Our proposal is to discuss that in this month’s Provincial Commons, and then hold a canton town-hall in June to make a final determination on where we go from here.

Lions End • Nagashima Ichiro Ujimichi

No report submitted.

Brokenbridge • Ragnarr bláskegg

We have two events being planned right now.  The first is in a demo for a twitch show called Beyond Screens.  It will be a small in person demo live on twitch.  We have several volunteers to help and will be following the SCA guidelines.  

Also Randve Litle Hammar is looking into a candle light event for Brokenbridge.  We hope to have more information soon. 

We also have Brokenbridge’s Knight Marshall Sir Valgard Stonecleaver restarting practices on the 25th of May. 

Lastly, Catelin Straquhin has challenged the Canton to make A&S projects based on Myths (but period and modern). She has posted details on the Brokenbridge site and FB group if any one would like to join in.