The An Tir Handbook, 3rd Edition, May XXXIII/1998
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Starting A New Branch
Establishing a New Branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism in the Kingdom of An Tir(Revised 2/97)
The Knowne World is the area inhabited by members of the S.C.A. (which is now almost the same as the modern globe). It is divided into areas called Kingdoms. These Kingdoms administer the local branches. If you want to establish an S.C.A. Branch in your area, first read through the list of branches in your kingdom newsletter. Write to the person listed as Kingdom Seneschal(e) (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out if you live in an existing branch.
If you live in unclaimed land, you may start your own branch. This involves some work and a little time. When starting a branch in unclaimed territory, you should work with the nearest branch. By attending its events and learning from its populace how the S.C.A. works, you will be on the way to establishing an S.C.A. branch.
When there is an established branch that covers a large area (a branch within the US portion of the Kingdom of An Tir might serve a county or several counties) it may be advantageous to start a subsidiary branch. To do this, you must contact the branch that exists in the area and get permission. Then you will work closely with them as your parent branch and they will assist you with what you need to do.
Basic Requirements for Incipient BranchesIncipient Branches are groups which have expressed a desire to become a recognized branch of the S.C.A. They are allowed a period of time in which to demonstrate their ability to function as a full branch. During this formative period, they are responsible to a Kingdom-approved sponsoring branch and must meet the following requirements:
Types of Branches
New Branch Application
When a new group makes a decision about the branch type and the territory involved, a New Branch Application Form must be completed. The Regional or Principality Seneschal(e) should review it for completeness and forward it to the Kingdom Seneschal(e) or the designated Deputy. Job Acceptance Forms and proof of membership for the required officers must accompany the application. Proof of membership may be either a copy of a current membership card, a return postcard from the Office of the Registrar showing that a membership application has been received or a current mailing label from the Kingdom newsletter showing that the expiration date has not lapsed.
A map defining the proposed boundaries and a list of the zipcodes within the proposed boundaries should be included. If the proposed branch boundaries lie within (an) existing branch(es), the application should include an official letter from the existing branch(es) indicating it's/their acceptance of the new branch.
All forms are found in this handbook, or may be obtained from Kingdom, Principality or Regional Seneschal(e)s.
After the New Branch Application Form is submitted, the Kingdom Seneschal(e) will probably grant the new group Incipient status (occasionally there are problems that may keep this from happening). With Incipient status, the new branch will be listed with the other branches in the Kingdom newsletter.
Incipient Branches may not hold S.C.A. events individually, but must have them sponsored by a "sponsoring branch", usually a neighboring branch. Should the Incipient Branch acquire monies, these are to be held by the sponsoring branch in an S.C.A. bank account. (Any specific questions about this should be directed to the Kingdom Exchequer.)
It takes at least one year from official recognition before the Kingdom Seneschal(e)'s staff reviews an Incipient Branch's file for its readiness to become a full branch. The Kingdom Seneschal(e)'s staff will check to see how your branch has been functioning. This will include the officers' reporting records and officer turnover, evaluation of how events have gone, problems that have occurred and how they were handled. The Kingdom Seneschal(e)'s staff will ask the sponsoring branch, other neighboring branches and the Regional/Principality Seneschal(e) for their observations about the Incipient branch. This review evaluates the progress the Incipient Branch has made. If things are favorable, full branch status will be recommended. If there is a concern noted, the branch will be given time to address the concern.
Be patient and keep working. The Kingdom of An Tir gives a total of three years to get any problems or concerns worked out. If the Kingdom Seneschal(e) does not recommend full status at the end of three years, the Incipient Branch will be dissolved. All Branch possessions revert to a designated holder; that is, the sponsoring branch or the dissolved branches choice of another branch.
Once the Incipient Branch has a favorable review, the Kingdom Seneschal(e) will forward this information with his recommendations to the Crown. The Incipient Branch is notified of the review's findings. If the Incipient Branch is deemed ready, it will be invited to make a formal presentation at a local event. The branch Seneschal(e), officers, members and associated folks can present a calligraphed petition for full Branch Status to the Crown and full Branch status will be granted then.
There are changes that occur when a branch becomes fully functional. It can hold its own events without a sponsor. It will be able to open its own bank account (there are specific instructions to be followed for this from the Kingdom Exchequer). Full status branches must continue to report regularly, but they will report to their direct superior officer as designated by each officer's Kingdom superior. A full-status branch may also sponsor an incipient branch. To maintain their status as a branch of the S.C.A., all branches must maintain the minimum membership numbers and officers.
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