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Awards and Travel

Poster: Lance Harrop <lharrop@mrj.com>

Lord Alfredo wrote:

> Try to construct an example of an hypothetical person who has
> served his kingdom well and long. If this person does not travel
> outside the kingdom, autocrat interkingdom events, or take any
> SCA,Inc. offices, why should this person get a Pelican?

Which, is in part a response to Earl Dafydd writing that he regards 
travel as an important determinant in a candidate's suitability to 
receive an award or order.

Travel is rather weird.  It is hard to argue that it is a demonstration 
of skill, whether in fighting or the arts.  Nor is it directly tied to 
service.  It is possible, in a lot of offices for instance, to perform 
service without travelling, or even attending events.

But Travel, and attending events for that matter, is important.  For one 
thing, it is a matter of courtesy and charity.  Getting to events outside 
your local group shows that you believe other groups and other people are 
worthy to play with also.  Attending a faraway event is effectively 
thanking the autocrat and crew for creating an event which entices you 
out of the house that weekend.

Travel has another benefit for the candidate.  It allows others to see 
your skill.  It is certainly important for a fighter to attend tournies 
around the Kingdom, so that the local knights can see him.  Of course, 
knights have as much obligation to continue to travel around the kingdom 
to see the fighters on the watch list as the watch list has to travel to 
be seen.  However, sheer numbers demonstrate that unbelts need to travel 
to be seen, rather then belts need to travel to see.

Travel is of course also broadening.  Being the best fighter in a local 
fighter practice doesn't really mean all that much, if you travel one 
group over and are suddenly the low man on the totem pole.  There are two 
types of fighters I can defeat, those who do not know my style, and those 
whose style I know.  With surprise, I can defeat up to knight candidate 
level fighters with tricks and combinations.  With knowledge, there are 
certain knights I can defeat.  By traveling, I lose the surprise I can 
use to defeat opponents, this was true at Emerald joust.  But knowledge 
has allowed me to defeat better opponents and improve my skills as well.

In the end, attending events and travelling, even just to have a good 
time, is service.  You are giving other people, the ones running the 
event, encouragement, and the satisfaction of having entertained you.  
The least we demand of any Scadian is that they have a good time.

In Service
Leifr Johansson
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