Greetings to all from Nordenhal’s Chancellor Minor!
In the SCA, I am known as Marajil bint Haroun ibn Ahmad ad-Dimashquiyyah, a lady who originally hails from the Holy Land; in my mundane life, I am a former teacher who has worked with children of all ages. Teaching is a passion of mine, and I am excited to work with the youth of the SCA.
The East Kingdom Office of the Chancellor of Minors has recently released a document to clarify its policies and regulations regarding the youth of our kingdom. As we have many children who live within our shire’s borders, I wanted to bring this information to everyone’s attention. The guidelines are fairly straightforward and the original document can be read HERE, but in summary:
- “Official” SCA Events & Practices are defined as those that are officially recognized and sponsored by a local SCA group. Any official event must be publicly advertised in advance of the date, through the East Kingdom’s Website or Newsletter or a Local Newsletter/Newsgroup/E-Group. Youth activities and meetings are considered to be official if they are announced and held at an officially sanctioned SCA event or fighter practice or meeting.
- “Unofficial” events are NOT covered by SCA waivers or policies. While not explicitly against kingdom or corporate law, unofficial youth activities are STRONGLY discouraged.
- Any unannounced event/practice held on an individual’s private property or in a private residence is not considered to be official and can not be portrayed as such. Such a meeting can only be called “official” if it has been appropriately published and approved by the necessary officers.
- When an official SCA gathering or group event is held in a private residence, a parent or legally authorized adult is REQUIRED to attend the activity with any children under the age of 12. With children over 12 years of age, attendance is at the parents’ discretion.
- According to SCA law, an official youth activity can only take place when two unrelated adults are present for supervision. This is called the “Two-Deep” model. While this is the minimum requirement, the East Kingdom strongly recommends a “Three-Deep” model where there are three adults to supervise and lead any youth activity. All designated supervisors must be over the age of 21, and at least one must be a paid member of the SCA.
- If the designated Youth Officer/Chancellor Minor leaves a youth activity for any reason and there are no other warranted youth officers present, the class or activity must stop immediately.
- If at any point the adult supervision of a youth activity drops below the “Two-Deep” ratio– in other words, if only one adult remains as a leader– even if said adult is a warranted youth officer, the activity must stop immediately.
- If there is not enough adult leadership for a youth activity, it is the right and responsibility of the designated youth officer to cancel said activity.
- No adult supervising a youth activity has the authority to restrain or correct the conduct of a child, unless said child is in immediate danger of hurting their own self or others. None of the youth officers or activity supervisors can be held responsible for the location of a child or for correcting conduct. The Chancellor Minor/Youth Officer has the right to request that the parent or guardian remove a child from an activity, should that child’s conduct be potentially harmful.
- At an SCA event or meeting, the parents/guardians are responsible for knowing where their children are and what their children are doing at all times. Youth officers and other adults can not be expected to supervise, monitor, or control a child who is wandering unaccompanied. While a minor’s parents/guardians are ultimately responsible for their own child’s care, arrangements can be made for a responsible adult or older teenager to be a designated (albeit temporary) caregiver.
- Children under five years of age should be under parental/guardian/designated caregiver supervision at all time. Children between the ages of five and twelve should be within sight and sound range of their parent/guardian/responsible caregiver at all times. Bathroom supervision and assistance can only be provided by a child’s parent/guardian/designated caregiver.
- While a warranted youth officer is considered to be the leader for an official children’s activity, no activity or event for minors can be used as a “babysitting” service. Parents and caregivers are ultimately responsible for their own children.
Even though there are a lot of rules and regulations for youth activities in the SCA, I am excited– and honored– to work with the children of Nordenhal. I look forward to engaging in many fun activities with all of you.
Yours in service to the children~