Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"...A Little Better All the Time"

Welcome back Auxiliary members!

We apologize for the Holiday Hiatus but we are back and ready to go!

If you missed our last post, we briefly shared with you, Dearest Reader, some of the details that have led to this journey of ours in forming an Auxiliary to the HMS Acasta crew. We also promised more information regarding implementation, standards, and expectations that the Auxiliary will uphold and maintain. We shall endeavor to cover those items in a manner that is succinct, sincere, and forthright; a manner we feel is deserving of our members (current and future) and which conveys the intent and reasoning for our choices. To lighten things up and add some eye candy we're also going to further illustrate some of our points with cat pictures. So stick with us 'til the end, feel free to post any questions you have after reading in the comments section, and most importantly: enjoy!

On the Subject of Standards... 
We all know that standards are important. We all also acknowledge that not everyone in the world of living history and interpretation have the same standards, and that is OK. We all play at our own levels of comfort and we wouldn't want anyone to step into something they aren't ready for or wouldn't enjoy. For this reason, we aim to be exceptionally clear regarding the standards we have laid out for the Auxiliary. This just makes things easier for everyone involved. Sharing our standards with potential members only helps us in the long run and we feel that transparency in this area is of utmost importance to make sure that new members know what to strive for but also to make sure that we all hold ourselves accountable for our commitment to our mission 
Unlike our Royal Navy counterparts, there is much more potential for variety in the Auxiliary. This makes it extra important that we adhere to specific standards of interpretation to provide the most cohesive and accurate experience as possible to both our members and the public.
We will be using a "Good/Better/Best" model for all material culture in the Auxiliary, and since clothing tends to be one of the "big topics" for many, we will start with specific details in relation to G/B/B for this topic first. However, we will also be adding G/B/B for other material culture areas such as tentage, kitchenware, pottery, food, etc. as we progress (conveniently housed on our Standards and Expectations page.) Ultimately, all of these things make up small pieces of a larger whole, that when put together have the ability to create something very special for ourselves and our guests. If you haven't heard of G/B/B, don't worry. We've got a post in the works as you read to help answer any potential questions you might have.

And remember, this probably sounds way scarier than it actually is,
 so hang in there and keep reading! (Yes, I'm talking to you-
you know who you are!)

With these Standards in mind it is the Expectation... 
 ...that all Auxiliary members will attain at minimum a "Good" rating on all clothing items by one year from their date of acceptance into the unit and on all other material culture by two. Members will attain a "Better" rating on all clothing items by year three and all other material culture by year four. Members will stay in first person during public hours and will maintain an accurate environment until the close of the last day of the event. For more detailed explanations of these expectations, see the Standards and Expectations page.
Sounds too hard to be doable? The good news is, you've got a team of people who are rooting for you to succeed and are ready to help. (We're not monsters, y'all). Don't know where to find good shoes at an affordable price? We've got your back. Need help draping a gown? No worries. Want to practice your first person without feeling like a goofball? Let's practice together! A big part of the Auxiliary is to be there with the assist when you need it. We want the best membership possible, and if you're willing to work for it then so are we. 
Together we can do it! 

 With regards to Implementation... 
...We know that change and progress takes time. That's why we're here to help you and have given what we feel are realistic and attainable time tables for improvements. It's also important to keep in mind that while we'd love to have everyone function at the "Best" level all the time, in reality "Best" is probably a place most of us won't live in, but will visit sometimes. We might have some items or objects that are "Best" while at the same time have a items that are "Better" or even "Good" mixed in. And that's OK! Just remember:

Do you think that Kitten started out good at billiards?
 NO. He had to work for it!

All that being said, we're excited to finally get started and have some really great things in the works for the coming year. If you're interested in what we're doing, stay tuned. We are seeking a small number of committed individuals to start with and have plans to grow the unit organically and intentionally by selecting individuals with a commitment to improvement and a positive attitude. Who knows? Perhaps by this time year next you might count yourself among our number.