Present (via Zoom): Thomas, Guðrún, Marieke, Dafydd, Aethelwulf, Leo, Dietrich, Stefania, Rudth, Sean, Cat, Lily, Alaxandr
* Cat and Lily have received confirmation of passing their Background Checks, yay!
* Thomas will contact Panther Vale to inquire about the plans for our traditional joint Yule Feast, since it’s their turn to host.
* We’ve done a lot of demos this year, and Leo is proud of, and grateful for, the shire’s participation. Our efforts have resulted in potential new members, and community-building as well.
* The next Winter Renfaire will be at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds, Feb. 3-4. The Summer Renfaire will move from Stowe to the Fairgrounds as well. We had an agreement that PV would take the lead on the summer demo (and we’d help, of course) and likewise Freehold would handle the winter one, with PV’s assistance. Leo said PV is willing to continue leading the summer demo, but since it’s now in our territory, a written agreement will need to be arranged. Thomas said he’d handle that.
*Leo said, keep an eye out for other opportunities to make our activities known to the public. Cat cautioned against burnout and spreading ourselves too thin. Dietrich commented that demos can be small and tightly focused – we don’t need all hands on deck for every demo occasion. For example, next year at Carnage (a board-game convention), maybe we could just set up a table with a few medieval board games.
* Leo would like to run for another term as Chatelain.
* Aethelwulf reports we have several new heavy-list fighters as a result of the summer RenFaire, the Gathering of the Realms, and some former fighters returning. He had 7 fighters in armor at the last practice. It’s been a bit harder without an indoor practice site.
School Situation, and other meeting locations
* Cat and Lily explained that we haven’t been able to use the Browns River Middle School lately because the school is revising their security procedures for outside groups. We should be allowed back in soon. When that happens, there will be stricter rules to follow: how to get into the building, which bathrooms to use, what footwear is allowed on the gym floor, etc. The school has generally been pleased with our behavior, and this change is due to problems with other groups, not with us.
* Outdoor practices have been held recently at Sandhill Park in Essex. Those bathrooms are now closed for the season.
* Dafydd reports he’s had no response from his request to use unused space at the University Mall.
* Cat said Tir Asleen sometimes uses an indoor martial arts space, and Nikolai suggested that maybe we could join with them. Aethelwulf says it’s tricky to combine practices with overlapping participants using different rules systems and armor standards.
* Would people be willing to pay a small fee to attend a practice at a site that charges for use? Dietrich suggested that site rental is a legitimate expense for the Shire treasury, and perhaps a pass-the-hat for the attendees could offset those costs while keeping things affordable for participants.
* Dietrich also suggested we could find a school to partner with – perhaps offering to help them put on a medieval fair for the kids, and then in exchange we’d get permission to use their indoor space.
* Dafydd says that heraldic interest continues, and several devices are in various stages of processing. Marieke has made six new canvas shield blanks for our heraldic display collection, which can be painted as we get formal approval from the College of Arms.
* Dietrich has a report due soon. He is thinking this quarter might be a good time to switch our bank account over to the TD Bank.
* Marieke says there’s nothing to report. Further discussion resulted in a suggestion to make a new page for “The Freehold Experience at Pennsic” bringing together various information that’s now scattered. Photos can also be posted there. Marieke will work on this.
Minister of Lists
* Alaxandr had nothing to report, MOL-wise.
* Alaxandr said the Freehold-Coldwood camp at Pennsic was a fun and friendly place. The shared common-space tent rental with Coldwood went well, and we informally agreed that the pavilion cost-share between the two shires should continue. Currently, we have to vote on this expense every year. We could make it automatic if the Finance Committee constructs new wording in our Financial Policies, and the shire could then vote on this change.
* Stefania is a fully authorized Thrown Weapons Marshal, and she worked with Gotar on the range at Birthday Bash. She secured a donation to the shire of a large number of spears, knives and axes. She will provide an inventory to the Exchequer.
* We could use some kid-size thrown weapons. Dietrich suggested that we order them from Karl von Sussen, who has a shop in India where such things can be made at low cost.
* We have weapons, a marshal, and the appropriate paperwork – all we need is space! Keep an eye out for opportunities to make space for this activity at events and practices. It’s harder now that winter’s here. Leo said the Burly Axe, a throwing range in Burlington, tends to be crowded, noisy, and expensive.
Arts and Sciences
* Guðrún said the shire’s judging rubric worked well at Birthday Bash as we chose our new Shire A&S Champion, Eseld. She adjusted the rubric on the fly so that the theme of “Anachronism” wasn’t penalized in scoring. There were many impressive entries. The judging part was a bit time-consuming. Further tweaks to the process are under consideration.
* Watch for Kingdom opportunities to display your work, which Guðrún posts to the lists. There is currently a challenge to post beginner-level work, since every artist starts somewhere. There have been discussions at the Kingdom level about the importance of various venues and styles of display and competition. Some folk don’t want to be judged and just want to display (which is perfectly fine!). Others want consultation and guidance rather than scoring. If Freeholders want to weigh in on these discussions, please feel free to contact Guðrún.
* Local A&S classes will resume when we get an indoor site. Lily volunteered to teach an Illumination class.
* Leo entered his first A&S competition at Stonemarche recently. Thomas enjoyed participating in the Bloodfeud challenges. Lily showed a spooky illumination that she’s working on. Kastana did a great job organizing A&S opportunities at the Gathering of the Realms.
* Shire Elections are coming up! Thomas will send out a notice soon. The offices coming up are: Exchequer, Web Minister, Chatelaine, Archery Marshal, Chancellor Minor, and Minister of Lists.
* We briefly discussed making Thrown Weapons Marshal an elected office, or combining Archery, Thrown Weapons, and possibly Siege as well, into one shire office (Marshal of Aerial Tactics or some such.) We didn’t come to a clear consensus. Since we already have a thrown weapons marshal, the activity can continue whether there’s a shire officer or not.
* Marieke is sending out feelers for Mimir’s Well, possibly early February, possibly at the St. James Episcopal Church in Essex.
The meeting ended after an hour and a bit. Notes by Marieke.