This is the Minimal Officer’s Manual for officers in baronies, shires, cantons and colleges in the SCA in Lochac. Regardless of the office, to be an officer in a barony, shire, canton or college, you must:
At all times while you’re an officer
Maintain your SCA membership. It costs $35 per year, and can now be paid by direct deposit, credit card or PayPal.
Have an email address by which you can be contacted. It doesn’t need to be your own personal email — perhaps you share with your spouse, perhaps you rarely use email so don’t bother looking at the one you have — but it should be accessible to someone close to you so that information can reach you when it has to.
When you step up
Be 18 or older. You can’t be an officer if you’re not an adult.
Provide your email address to your Seneschal. All groups in Lochac have the option to create email aliases in the form firstname.lastname@example.org. The Seneschal will arrange for the appropriate alias to be redirected to your personal email. This means you don’t need to worry about people seeing your real email address, if that’s a worry; they will only see the @group.lochac.sca.org address that goes to you.
Read through the procedures manual (PDF), which basically the MOM plus a lot of extraneous detail and minus a lot of useful bits. It will tell you what you need to know, and then the MOM will remind you when you forget.
Every SCA event you attend
Keep records of what you do. Just jot down in a notebook any awards you present (as Herald), knees you apply bandaids to (as Chirurgeon), tournaments you run (as Marshal or Lists), and so on. This will be useful for your reports. Try not to lose the notebook. Keep it professional (ie no personal comments on the cuteness of the knees) and you can pass it on to your successor.
Every meeting (monthly or bi-monthly)
Attend meetings or send apologies. Groups generally hold meetings monthly, or perhaps every two months in the case of cantons and colleges. Officers are expected to attend if they can, either in person or (in the case of wide-spread groups like River Haven or Ynys Fawr) online. If you can’t attend, you should send your apology to the Seneschal before the meeting starts.
Report to the meeting. Write a report of what’s been happening in your office since the last meeting. Email it to the Seneschal. If nothing is happening, it’s OK to say that, but only if that’s really true.
Report to your upline. Your upline is the person holding your office at the next-higher level. For cantons and colleges, it’s the baronial officer. For shires and baronies, it’s the kingdom officer. Many of these have templates you can use to make reporting easy. As long as you kept good notes and did your meeting reports, you will be fine. Email the report to your upline, and CC your seneschal.
The reporting schedule is here. It tells you when to report, based on what kind of group you’re in.
After a year in the office
Find a deputy. Typically, offices last for two years. More than that, experience shows, leads to diminishing returns. So after a year in the office, you should look around for someone to take over. Start training them so that when you step down the office passes smoothly.
After two years in the office
Step down and let someone else do the job. Don’t keep at it and burn out. Really! You don’t want to become a cautionary tale. Many officer positions don’t define a term limit, but I consider that a flaw in the position description. Two years is enough; regardless of what the specific job descriptions say, you ignore this at your peril.