Well, you see, it all started at Pennsic …

Æ Leads had a meeting to discuss ideas and projects to encourage and support service within the Kingdom. Having attended Gulf Wars twice, I remarked on how different the two wars approach service. (I don’t know whether it’s southern hospitality or what, but they sure do elevate service to a whole different level down there.) It is such a popular activity for attendees that I would describe it as competitive. There is a huge tent and numerous volunteers that manage other volunteers. There are sign up sheets, rosters, points, tickets, tokens and PRIZES for doing service.

We soon realized that something so large and with a hefty budget was a bit out of reach for the newly formed AE Leads, but we still wanted to do something to bring attention to how much volunteerism happens at events. Attendees pay a fee to enter and enjoy the event, but then spend time doing work that benefits others. We decided to shine a spotlight on the hidden gems of AEthelmearc. Those who serve, not just as a member of the event staff, but as they are able to, when they see a need, without expectation of notice or reward. And that is how AE Leads started a special project to bring attention to the vast amount of service that goes into every event.

Now there’s a little problem that sometimes comes with new projects that seemingly appear out of nowhere. There can be a bit of confusion over what it is, who is in charge, who can participate … and how. I hope by now you understand what AE Leads is doing and why we feel that every endeavor is worthy of notice.

Who is in charge?

Actually, we don’t have any one person. It is truly a GROUP project. To kick things off, one of our members volunteered to make tokens and distribute them at Coronation … thus creating the misperception that they were her personal tokens. In fact, there have been several different token creators, couriers, coordinators and distributors and many more to come since we hope to continue this project for the duration of the current reign.

Who can participate… and how?

We hope everyone takes part. Our goal is to thank volunteers at each event during the current reign by giving them a small token attached to a tag that lets them know it’s from AE Leads. Barring unforeseen circumstances, tokens will be available at all Royal Progress events. No matter how large or small the service is, we would like everyone who does service at an event to take a token. If you see someone who is doing service and not wearing a token, please give them one. Collect and display tokens you have received to not only show that you have volunteered time and effort, but to acknowledge others who perform service at events.

There is no fee solicited or accepted in exchange for tokens. We would be happy to receive donations of random bits of craft supplies that can be used to defray the cost of creating tokens (beads, baubles, charms, buttons, ribbon, etc.) but there is no requirement or even an expectation.

If you would like to more actively participate with AE Leads in this project or any of our upcoming endeavors, have ideas to promote and support volunteerism in AEthelmearc, or have questions about AE Leads in general … please contact us (info@aeleads.aethelmearc.org)