April 15th, 2007

Viking Spongebob

SCA Background Checks for People doing Kid Activities

There's been a firefight on the subject everywhere I look since it was announced (or leaked). So I may as well weight in myself.

Don't have kids. Don't want kids. Don't plan to have kids. I'm just too damn selfish, and I pplaud those folk who have the patience to be parents. I realize my limitations and wish that a lot of Scadian parents did as well.

The SCA's proposed new background check for kid care volunteers does affect me though. Any attempt to manage kids at an event is beneficial since I run events, and despite drawbacks, I see any effort toward this a good and welcomed thing.

This wouldn't be put into place if everyone was a responsible parent. However, too many Scadian parents come to events and dump their kids anywhere so they can go have fun. They didn't want to take any responsibility for their progeny. Two years ago at Maidens, we had packs of kids roaming the halls unattended. Last year, we got stricter and held the kids in one place while we contacted the family (and when there are lots of misbehaving kids, some of them go "My dad is a duke(or whatever), so you can't do anything to me" and some of the parents get in a huff that we dare to discipline sonny). That's why we use ID bands on below-13s (arbitrary age, since some kids below 13 are better behaved than some adults in their 30s)

I view the background check and the rules for kid activities and much else as elements of a solution (or perhaps not really a solution, but a reaction to the problem). It all boils down to whether the parents take responsibility. Unfortunately, a few people who bend or break the rules spoil everything or everyone else. I like the protection these rules provide me when I run an event. True, the rules have cut down on kid activities at Maidens. More rules tend to do that. Each year, we ask who is willing to abide by these rules and run kid activities; the last few years, no one has. Not the parents; not "lay folk" interested in kid activities. That saddens me and, in fact, makes my job more difficult. I applaud any effort to make the parents more responsible, even if it is only increasing their awareness of problems.

I don't particularly want to make "no kids" events a routine thing. Don't think it's fair, but then I don't think abrogating responsibility is fair either. If the background check weeds out only a few bad apples, it's done its job. If it causes parents to rethink their responsibilities, it more than paid for itself!

As to whether the move was to protect the SCA Inc's ass...so many people view that as a bad thing, a selfish thing. Hell, I identify with that. If Micel Folcland Inc. gets big enough we need to start worrying about the same situation, you can bet that this would be one of the moves I'd suggest to the Board!
Viking Spongebob

Those Inconsiderate Vikings

Why wasn't there one--one!--fearless Norse explorer who went so far beyond the pale that he went on an ice floe, slipped and was flash frozen with all his gear? If he wanted to have a sleigh full of personal goods, all the better. Boy, those Vikings were sure selfish.

Note, I'm not asking for a full family of hapless stumblebums, or even someone in suspended animation who might come back to life a la Captain America. Just one little misstep and...

But suspended animation? Wow. the ultimate AO...

I'll be quiet now.