I belong to an organization called the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) which is a world wide medieval re-enactment organization. Within The Society we have a formal system for recognizing the achievements and contributions that individuals make to their various local (Baronial) groups and to their larger (Kingdom) groups. These awards are bestowed at the hands of the Crown and Their local representatives (Baron and Baronesses) to recongize excellence in arts and sciences, martial pursuits and services to the various groups and Kingdoms. The awards themselves vary from Kingdom to Kingdom, Principality to Principality, and Barony to Barony.
More often than not, awards stem from recommendations that have been written to the Crown, from members of the populace who are best placed to see the contributions of the individual in question – the Crown can not be everywhere, and will not necessarily know personally of the individual’s works and achievements. It is for this reason, that it is really important for all members of the populace to take the time to write recommendations for the people they deem most worthy of recognition.
Writing a recommendation is simple and can be done from any member of the populace, from the newest of newcomers, to the longest standing peers of the Realm. I have devised an easy proforma that can be used as a guide. However, try to make your letters to your Crown, personal and detailed where ever possible. If you are writing recommendations for multiple individuals, write a separate letter for each person – the Crown may give out awards to some, or all of the individuals that you are recommending, or they may choose to pass the recommendations to Their successors to peruse and possibly act upon.
Unto Their Royal Majesties, the Most Gracious <insert King’s name> and <Queen’s name>, of the fair Kingdom of <insert Kingdom name>, does your affectionate servant <insert your name>, send warmest Greetings.
I am writing to You this day, to bring to Your attention, a member of Your populace whom I believe is most deserving of recognition from the Crown for their exceptional <works of service/proficiency in the arts and sciences/prowess of the field etc,.>.
This good gentle’s name is <insert person’s SCA name> (mundanely known as: <his/her modern name>), who resides in Your fair Barony of <insert local group name>. I would thereby recommend him/her unto Your consideration as a worth recipient of <insert name of award*>.
I believe this fine gentle to be deserving of the <name of award> because <give information on why you believe this person deserves the award you are recommending them for; be specific and detailed and give examples. If you are recommending the individual for an arts and sciences award – include information on the degree of the person’s skill, if they teach in their particular field of endeavour, and mention any articles or websites they may have published. If a service award – include information on officer positions held, event participation, works completed etc,. If a martial award – mention the skill level and/or presentation of the intended recipient. Be sure to include the personal qualities that you feel the individual possess that enrich the Society as well>.
This good gentle, <insert first name>, has been active in The Society for <insert length of person’s time in the SCA> and demonstrates the type of activity/qualities deserving of Your Majesties attention and recognition.
I believe <insert first name> will be attending the following upcoming Crown events <list upcoming events the individual may be attending>. I thank You for considering my recommendation.
Yours in service to the Crown of <insert Kingdom name>
<Your full SCA Name>
<Your SCA group’s name>
<Your modern name, phone number & e-mail address (if applicable)>
So look around you and observe who you believe is contributing to the Society and making it a better, prettier, stronger place for everyone.. then put pen to paper to ensure that they receive the recognition that you believe they deserve. Remember that making people feel appreciated for their efforts is a big part of what makes the Society such a wonderful place to be.
* Be really specific about which award you are recommending the individual fore – look them up on your Kingdom’s Order of Precedence, see what awards they may already have and decide which award best matches the the acts/works that you have observed.