Why are you wearing a gift tag? … The AE Leads Token Project

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)

AE Leads at AEthelmearc AEcademy Nov 2, 2019

AE Leads members once again supported the AEcademy and sponsored a track of well received and attended classes. As some of the token cards noted, “The generous giving of ourselves, produces a generous harvest”.

Thank you to all of the teachers and coordinators involved in the leadership track:

Chancellor of the AEcademy: Baroness Elena de Palma

Teachers: Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann (Behind the Curtain: SCA Administrative Structure ) Baroness Yvianne de Castel d’Avignon, OL (Largesse: The Nexus of Art and Service), Mistress Jenna MacPherson of Lions Tower (Service to the Arts Community)(Service to the Martial Community), THLord Arias Beltran del Valle (Modern Media and the SCA) …and a special thank you to all of those who participated in the round table discussions.

Æ Leads is currently engaged in a special project to bring attention to the vast amount of service that goes into every event. Our goal is to thank volunteers at each event during the current reign by giving them a small token. AEcademy was no exception. We were given permission by the Event Steward to set up a small table near the Tollners on which we had informational pamphlets to introduce attendees to AE Leads, service tokens, a service survey and a box in which donations of craft supplies to the token project could be made. By the end of the day, numerous tokens were seen … worn in clear display and obvious pride of having received acknowledgement of service rendered.

At the end of the day, Master Tigernach mac Cathail, and THLord Arias Beltran del Valle were graciously granted a few moments in The Court of Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle, to represent AE Leads, explain who we are, why we exist and how to become involved. The AE Lead members in attendance were asked to stand and be recognized.

All in all, it was a good day for those who came to teach and those who came to learn. Stay tuned for upcoming activities, Much is being planned. Don’t miss out!

If you were unable to attend a class and would like more information, please feel free to contact the teacher directly, or reach out to AE Leads (info@aeleads.aethelmearc.org) and let us help you get in contact. The same email address may be used to get more information about AE Leads or subscribe to the discussion group.