So here’s an interesting question that a comment on the maunche list got me thinking about. Yet again, the various lists are getting "begging" notes from the royals for the big events, because groups aren’t offering to host the kingdom-level events. Yet I remember that when I started, groups actually *competed* with each other to host things like Coronation, 12th Night, or Crown – or at least that was my perception. Now, if the crown can get one viable bid, they’re thrilled. So what happened?
- More to the point, how do we fix it?
- Do we expect more from these events than we did when I started, therefore making them more complex, more labor-intensive, and therefore more burdensome on the hosting group? My newbie memories are so ignorant and shiny that I don’t know how things compare.
- Are there just so many more kingdom level events that group-burnout has accelerated, and now here we lay in a state of exhaustion? Flopping like a landed fish... Every time someone decides that in order to make our monarchy more inclusive we need to add another pair of champions, we also add another major event to the rotation. If I read kingdom law correctly, there are currently twelve kingdom-level events every year. Even if you assume that things are rotating evenly among the regions (which they are not), that would require each region to host three kingdom level events Every Damn Year. Northern Shores is generally so far away that it scares royals, so that’s a greater load on the territorial US groups.
- Is it just another facet of the much-hashed-over problem of membership? Groups are smaller because they’re losing membership and not attracting replacements, and therefore don’t feel up to running a large event?
- Is it that we are no longer raising our new members in a culture of service? When I started it was "come help in the kitchen – it’s fun, and I’ll introduce you." Now many new people seem to only want to rub elbows with the shiny belts and hats, and the existing membership seems afraid to suggest that if they want the group to function, everyone has to chip in. They want to GO to Coronation, not work at it, and we’re so desperate to keep membership that no one wants to scare them off by handing them a broom or a dishtowel.
Is it all of these things? None of them? Some insidious combination?