New Branch Information
CONTACT THE NEW BRANCHES DEPUTY AT
new-branches [at] antir.sca.org
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE STARTING A NEW BRANCH
Why do you want to start a branch?
-I don’t play with the local SCA group; I like to be with my friends.
Then what you want is to form a household. An SCA branch is geographically based and has to include everyone who lives within its borders. Households are informal groups not recognized by the SCA-You can have heraldry, but you do not need to do reports to the Kingdom.
-I’m actually in the geographical boundaries of an SCA branch but am isolated by distance from the population center.
Are you isolated by choice or other reasons? Try and talk to the branch about it. Approach the seneschal (if it is a shire) or the coronets if it is a barony. Possibly a new branch is the answer but maybe not. Is the area where you want to locate your group unclaimed? (ie King’s Land) If you are not sure contact the Kingdom reporting deputy (listed in the Crier) with a list of zip codes the group would like to claim. If all or a large part of the zip codes are already assigned you’ll need to rethink the process.
-I’m not within the geographical area of an SCA branch.
Then a new branch might be in order.Are there other SCA members in your area or people who are interested in the SCA?
Are there facilities available in the area that you can use for meetings and events?
Is there a branch close enough sponsor your group while it is in process of becoming a full branch? During the process of the group becoming a full branch you will not only need assistance and funds but a recognized SCA branch that will take formal responsibility when you run events.
Contact the New Branches officer and let them know what you want to do. Review pertinent Corpora, Kingdom and Principality laws as applicable.
ONCE YOU HAVE ADVISED THE NEW BRANCHES OFFICER OF THE PROPOSED NEW BRANCH:
- Start reading all the applicable Corpora and Kingdom publications necessary for the branch officers
- Contact the sponsoring branch officers to arrange training sessions, attend sponsoring branch business meetings
- Report quarterly to the New Branch officer about your progress (reporting schedule is found under Seneschal resources on the Kingdom Website)Ensure your proposed officers are reporting to their sponsoring branch equivalents.
What should the quarterly report contain? Progress of the group towards your next phase (incipient, full branch or change of status) If you are not sure, ask your sponsoring branch officers and the New Branch officer.
APPLICATION STEPS FOR ADVANCEMENT OR CHANGE OF STATUS (to incipient Shire or Canton)
- Review Kingdom Law ART VI. B. and D.
- Paperwork-2 packets containing New branch application (See ‘Forms’ section on Kingdom web page) These can be scan documents.
a. Letter of petition from the members of the proposed branch
b. Letter from your sponsoring branch stating it will act as sponsor signed by the branch seneschal#
c. List of proposed zip/postal codes and map of the area claimed.
d. Letter from the branch that is releasing those zip/postal codes (if applicable)signed by the branch seneschal
e. Copies of proposed branch officers membership cards & driver license (or State ID if no license)
f. A list of the populace with membership numbers*
g. Completed Job acceptance/Change of officer form for the proposed seneschal (See Forms section)
# Attach a letter signed by the sponsoring branch seneschal and the proposed incipient branch seneschal stating that each group understands their responsibilities during the sponsorship period.
* At least 5 people must have Sustaining memberships for US States and territories. 5 International memberships in Canada.
Send the packets to the New Branch officer. (See Crier listings)
Incipient status is granted by the Kingdom Seneschal, usually informally (via electronic message or phone call) and reported
TRANSITION PERIOD BETWEEN BECOMING AN INCIPIENT BRANCH AND ACHIEVING FULL BRANCH STATUS
- If not already in place-A written agreement between the incipient branch and the sponsoring branch outlining each group’s responsibilities.
- Conflict check the proposed group name and device thru the sponsoring branch herald. If both the name and device appear clear of conflicts submit it to Laurel. (Anyone in the group can do this-preferably someone who is an officer) Keep in mind this is a lengthy process.
- Each incipient branch officer (and others who are interested) must train w/the sponsor officers. Become familiar with all Kingdom requisites for that particular office. This includes writing reports, whom to submit reports and when.
- If you have not already done so arrange with the sponsoring branch for the incipient group to assist with various aspects of their events. Learn all aspects of running events, demos, and classes.
- Start taking on autocrat responsibilities. Work with the sponsoring branch to reserve dates on Kingdom calendar, reviewing contracts and receiving funds.
- The incipient group seneschal should check that proposed marshals (if applicable) are on track to become authorized in their discipline.
- Obtain all necessary references i.e. copies of Corpora, Kingdom Laws, ABCs, Heraldic references.
- Prepare a governing document and a financial policy.
CHANGE OF STATUS FROM INCIPIENT TO FULL BRANCH (Shire, Canton)
- Review Kingdom Law Article VI.C
- Prepare your packet (5 copies*) includes the following:
a. Paperwork-containing New branch application (See ‘Forms’ section on Kingdom web page)
b. Letters of support from the sponsoring seneschal, coronets (if applicable) greater officers and peers in the area
c. Documents from Laurel showing the branch name and heraldry
d. Map of the proposed boundaries, list of zip/postal codes
e. List of population #’s (Contact the Kingdom reporting deputy for this information)
f. Copies of financial policy, governing document.
Packet is submitted to the following: (1) New Branches deputy, (1) Crown, (* if applicable include a copy to the prince/princess & principality seneschal of the principality or Kingdom (2) Kingdom Seneschal (1 copy is retained by the submitting branch)
The Kingdom seneschal reviews and forwards to the Society Seneschal for final approval.
While you are waiting final approval from Society-
- Each proposed officer prepares a change of officer form to their Kingdom superior to become warranted in that office (ideally this should happen about the time you expect the group will become a full branch)
- Prepare a charter for the Crown’s signature. (Info on how to prepare the charter is in process)and request time at the next Kingdom event court.
- Prepare your populace to be present at the event the Crown announces the group’s full status.
IS THE BRANCH READY TO ADVANCE TO BARONIAL STATUS?
Before beginning any paperwork consider the following:
- Do you have 25 subscribing members (or international in Canada)?
- Do you have enough members willing to step into the required baronial offices? (Add deputy positions for the most important: Seneschal, exchequer and marshal or arts & sciences minister)
- Are there enough couples for a choice of baron and baroness?
- Does the branch have the funds to purchase the regalia for the new baron and baroness?
- What does an informal polling of the branch members indicate?
If the branch can answer yes to all the above then proceed with the following-
APPLICATION STEPS FOR ADVANCEMENT OR CHANGE OF STATUS (From Shire to Barony)
- Review Kingdom Law ART VI A3, C and D, Corpora III.C.5
- Paper work 4 packets-Crown, Kingdom Seneschal, New Branch officer and the applying branch which include:
a. New branch application (See ‘Forms’ section on Kingdom web page)The results of a consensus polling supporting the change of status. (Contact the Kingdom Seneschal for urther instructions)
b. Letter of petition from the members of the proposed branch to the Crown and Kingdom seneschal
c. List of zip/postal codes and map of the area claimed.
d. Copies of proposed branch officers membership cards & driver license (or state ID if no license)
e. Change of officer forms for all required offices
f. Copies of current financial policy and governing document
h. Letters from the Kingdom Exchequer and Kingdom Reporting deputy stating the current group has no recent issues with reporting.
Additional ‘nice to have’: Letters of support from the neighboring branches, area peers
THE APPROVAL FOR ADVANCEMENT TO BARONIAL STATUS LIES WITH THE SOCIETY SENESCHAL. (Corpora, Oct 2007 III D. 7)
Once the Society Seneschal has approved advancement to baronial status the following must occur-
- The branch seneschal will review and follow the requirements stated in Kingdom Law ART VI.3d. (Baronial Selection polling)
- Once the polling is completed:
a) The Crown makes their decision concerning the baron and baroness.
b) The branch is then elevated at the next Crown event.