Your job as Shire Seneshal
The Seneschal is effectively the chairperson of the group, the task really is one of overseeing the shire. This doesn’t mean you need to run everything all by yourself!! You need to consider yourself more in a guidance role, taking note of how the Shire is doing and nudging it along when things seem stalled or when a problem is developing.
You’ve got this. Just think, you’ve been elected, so your local group are already behind you.
Tasks of a seneschal
Try to keep your branch focused on having fun. Keep successes in mind and work on problems in as up-beat a way as possible. Knocking disgruntlement on the head early will save everyone a lot of heartache in the long run. If you get the impression people are nothaving fun that’s when you need to start thinking of things to counter the trend.
Try and get your shire together, fact to face, from time to time. Just about all the good things in the SCA some from people talking, getting enthused, and making things happen. Is much easier for things to stagnate when shires don’t get together socially and rely on e-mail or Facebook. Don’t allow the only reasons for the your Shire to get together to be just work. It’ll be easier for you as seneschal if your Shire is enthused and active.
Try to defuse any conflicts in your shire as they form. From time to time minor disagreements can flair into nasty faction forming. Keep an eye out for it. Few things drive away new members like a feeling of internal scheming and back biting. If a problem can’t be resolved locally feel free to ask the Insulae Draconis Seneschal for a list of potential mediators to sit down with the offended parties. Often an outside person willing to listen and help clear the air can help a lot.
Send in a report once every three months. Ask for extra time or help with any part of it if you want. Reports need to be submitted to the Principality Seneschal by the 15th of January, April, July and October.
Seriously, we mean it about the not panicing.
Try to have fun. Often having a deputy to assist in the office can help with this.
Tools of the trade
As a shire seneschal you have access to the Insulae Draconis Seneschal’s e-mail list. It’s a good place to discuss any seneschal issues you have, and it’s where a lot of information relevant to your office will be posted.
The Bealfyr (the Principality newsletter) is happy to carry details of any events and practices you are holding. Just send details to the Insulae Draconis Chronicler. The officers of the Principality and Kingdom are there to support you. Exploit them.
Things to do as you settle in to office
Remind the regional seneschal to send the updates of your contact details to the Kingdom and Regional newsletters, and websites. Have your shire website updated with you contact details. It’s recommended you post a brief mail introducing yourself on the Seneschal’s mailing list so that the other seneschal know that you’ve taken up the office.