|Frequently Asked Questions:
What the heck IS the A&S 50 Challenge?
The A&S 50 Challenge involves doing 50 things in the Arts and Sciences between May 1st AS 42/2007 and May 1st AS 50/2015, in honor of the SCA's 50th Birthday . The Challenge is a chance to develop skills and learn more about what interests you in a non-competitive, community-based environment. YOU decide what you want to do over the eight year span, and get encouragement from the Challenge Community along the way. There are three types of Challenges, outlined below. You can do one or several, alone or in groups - it is all up to you!
The Three Kinds of Challenges:
The Depth Challenge -
*50 of any one type of thing, in order to push your skills and knowlege to new levels (how broadly you define this is up to you)
The Breadth Challenge -
*do/make/learn 50 new and different things (how new, and how different is up to you/your group), or,
The Persona Challenge -
*making/learning 50 different things that your persona would know, have, or know how to do
The Challenge started a while ago. Can I still join?
Of course! Depending on when you find us, the scope of your 50 things might have to be smaller, since you won't have as much time to finish, but you are most welcome to join us!
How do I sign up for the Challenge?
You sign up for the Challenge by having your Contact Information entered in the database on our Yahoo site, found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AandS50ChallengeCommunity, where you can also participate in our Community, ask questions, and keep up to date with what is going on with the Challenge throughout the Knowne World. (If you want to sign up, but NOT participate in the day to day workings of the Community, you can either have someone else enter your Contact Info in the database for you, or you can enter your data yourself, but opt out of receiving email from the group.)
Why *should* I sign up officially or join the yahoo group?
If you choose not to receive email from the Challenge Community on our yahoo site, signing up (by entering your Contact Info in the database on the yahoo site) lets us know you are out there; it lets us know who and where you are, what you already know and do, and what you WANT to do for your Challenge. That way, when another member of the Community has links or resources that might be of interest, they can be sent to you directly, and those of us running the Challenge will have a better idea of how to help you meet your goals. Also, in order to take part in our exhibitions or A&S 50 Challenger-Only events, you MUST be officially signed-up for the Challenge so we can be able to plan them!
If you DO choose to receive email from the listserve (or to read messages on the web regularly), you can be an active part of the Challenge Community and share joys and difficulties, ask and answer questions, and help to shape the way the Challenge works, and how our Community grows. No one HAS to be part of the Community, but it is a fun, supportive, and motivating group of folks, and we'd love to have you join us!
I’m new to the SCA. Am I allowed to join?
Of course you are! Finding 50 new things (Breadth Challenge) ought to be easy for you, or you could work on your brand new persona (Persona Challenge). If you DO have something you want to jump into with both feet, go for the Depth Challenge! Either way, Join our yahoogroup to meet new folks who can help you get off to a good start, and to officially sign up for the Challenge. Welcome!
I am Mistress Hassenfeffer, member of the Order of the Laurel. How may I participate in the Challenge?
You have a wealth of knowledge about your particular A&S subject, as well as an understanding of how documentation works, how to find source materials, and how to teach and enter work in competitions and exhibitions. You can take the Challenge yourself, encourage others in their work, lend your experience to the your Kingdom Team, or help me run the Challenge on an administrative level. The other big thing that you can do is explain A&S 50 to other members of your Order, so they understand what we are all about.
Can kids do the Challenge?
Of course! Kids of all ages can do their own Challenges, join in on Group Challenges, and even teach and help their Kingdom Teams to run A&S 50 events in their local areas. Even little kids can explore and discover the world of A&S with a helpful adult to find resources for them. Kids can grow up in the Challenge – eight years is a big chunk of one’s childhood – and watch their skills and knowledge grow along the way. There are no ‘scores’ in A&S 50, just ones own personal growth and satisfaction; having fun, learning new things, meeting new people, and feeling good about one’s experience with the Challenge are the overarching goals not just for kids, but for all of us!
My friends and I want to do the Challenge as a group. Is that ok?
There are two ways to do the Challenge as a group; either you can each do your own individual Challenges and be each other’s main support team, or you can take on a Group Challenge with one goal that everyone works on together (host 50 classes in your Shire, make 50 pieces of loaner garb, make 50 banners to dress up your Baronial camp at War). Either way, you are sure to have lots of fun sharing the load with faces you get to see regularly.
I can’t make up my mind. Can I do more than one Challenge?
Ah, yes; it CAN be hard to narrow it down! You most certainly can take on more than one Challenge, but be sure that your goals are realistic based on what else you have going on in your life in the next eight years; it sounds like a big enough timeframe to get *anything* done, but life has a way of creeping up on you! Figure that you need to do one thing from each Challenge approximately every two months (if you start in AS 42/43); if that sounds unrealistic, you may want to rein it back a bit. If that DOES work for you though, go for it!
I have lots of projects that I have started over the years. Can I finish those for the Challenge?
The UFO (un-finished object) is common in SCA life, especially among us curious A&S folks! The only rule for the Challenge is that all work must have been started after May 1, AS 42 (2007). That said, if you made the body of a 14th Century gown ten years ago and stopped at the sleeves because you had never done them before, you are now doing the Breadth Challenge, and finally want to try your hand at 14th Century sleeves, then your sleeves could be one of your 50 new things. If you were doing 50 pieces of garb for your Depth Challenge though, then using the mostly completed gown you started ten years ago would NOT count.
Who decides if my 50 things are ok?
As long as your 50 things were started after May 1, AS 42 (2007), YOU DO. There are no ‘points’ or ‘judging’ integral to the A&S 50 Challenge – only YOU decide if you have met your goals.
I can do 50 things *easy,* so why would I want to do the Challenge?
The Challenge offers an opportunity to *take your work to the next level* in a supportive environment. Sure, you could rattle off 50 things just to say you did the Challenge, but you would be shortchanging yourself! Pick a real CHALLENGE, and go for it; take your work up a notch at a time, and see how far 50 projects takes you.
Do I * have* to do documentation? It scares me!
Documentation is strongly supported, but is NOT required. Learning how to find and write good documentation is something that many people struggle with, and, as many competitions and exhibitions DO require it, one of the goals for the Challenge Community is to help each other learn to do this better. There are guidelines for writing documentation on our Resources page, and there are folks on the Yahoo group who would be happy to help you with the finer details. Note: it is always easier to make something that you have already found documentation for, than to make something and *then* try to find examples of it in period!
Even if you choose NOT to document your work, you should still write a project description for it: what it is, and what you did. This can be as brief as a photo caption, or as lengthy as you want to make it. Doing this is not only good for your own record keeping, but it will also make getting ready for our exhibitions that much easier!
Do I need to make *every* part of my project myself?
Absolutely not; just say what parts you DID do in your project description (I made the belt from purchased leather). If you DO make every material used in your project (sheep to shawl, for example) then be sure to say that, too. You could even team up with another artist (or a whole team!) and do a group project, each person doing a step towards the finished product; just say who did what in your project description.
What happens in AS 50 (2015)?
A lot of that depends on how big the Challenge Community grows in that time. At a minimum, there will be an online exhibition of our finished work, showing who we are and what we’ve accomplished. There will hopefully be exhibitions of our work in each of our home Kingdoms, and at our Inter-Kingdom Wars. There will probably be a photo-book about the project, and maybe even some A&S 50 dedicated events where we can get together and celebrate. If you want to see these things happen, talk to your Kingdom Coordinator or Albreda about helping make them a reality!
I have other questions about A&S 50; who do I ask?
You can jump into our yahoogroup at http://group.yahoo.com/group/AandS50ChallengeCommunity and ask there, or you can ask your Kingdom Coordinator (see contact info on our Challenge Contact Info page), or you can email Albreda, the Knowne World Coordinator, at AlbredaA@aol.com Keep in mind that no question is a dumb question - if you have it, others will too!
I want to help; what can I do?
First of all, thank you! There are lots of different ways you can get involved, based on your skills, interests and time available. You can talk to your Kingdom Coordinator about helping to promote and support A&S 50 in your area by working on websites or listserves, planning events, collecting resources and running Sessions, or just bringing fliers to events you are going to anyway. You can also just tell folks you think might be interested what you are doing for your Challenges, and be a resource for interested folks in your Shire or Barony, encouraging a A&S philosophy of collaboration, discovery, and non-competitiveness.
Or, you can help Albreda run the Challenge itself - planning our exhibitions, liasoning with guilds, working on our website, and just keeping up with it all! Mention your interests to either your Kingdom Coordinator or Albreda, and, trust me, we'll put you to work! >;)