There are many ways to volunteer within the SCA. It is important to remember that all of the activities that go on are done so on a volunteer basis. Your Royal Majesties (King and Queen) are not paid to do this very time consuming role. They do this because they love the SCA and want to make 'the game' enjoyable for everyone. There is always a collection of people working in the background that run your Barony or Canton (local group). There officers who volunteer time and effort to allow us to enjoy 'the game'. This website is an example. Autocrats coordinate the Events people attend and who spend a significant amount of time preparing for that day and making sure everything goes smoothly.
Each individual has his/her own level of comfort with volunteering. Maybe running an event or being an Officer is too much? If so, think about how you can help out in someway? Maybe you can volunteer to help prepare feast? Perhaps you can be a server for feast? Maybe you can just help peel carrots for half an hour. If you just go up and ask a person in charge if you can help, they will find a task for you to do.
If you see their Excellencies (Baron and Baroness) setting up their high seats, offer to help. Often their Excellencies like to have entourage. Basically you just follow them around, and perhaps stand behind the high seats while court is in progress. This is a great way to see what really goes on behind the scenes and helps you meet people.
If you look close, you will see that those who volunteer in the SCA, tend to be those who are happy in the SCA. The more you volunteer, the more you will feel like you belong. You can either 'watch the game from a distance', or 'play the game'. It is much more fun to play!
In order to successfully operate a Kingdom, Barony or Canton within the SCA, a group of officers is put in place to handle the administrative aspects of running that group. A big part of an officer's job is creating reports, which are then sent to the next level of officers for review and forwarding. The goal of the reports is to capture a history of activity within the group and produce a census. Officers normally have a term of two years and are usually voted on by the members of the group.
The role of an Officer is very important, and these reports are very important. For example, when Court is held and individuals are given awards, these are then recorded by the Herald and sent in as a report. The granting of these awards is then recorded in the Ealdormere Order of Precedence (this is the record of who has been given what). Years may pass between awards for individuals, so it is important that what was given is recorded so that the same award is not granted twice at a later date. If the Herald fails to submit this report, all that information is lost.
Reports are easy to do so long as the officer keeps on top of things. Typically it is best to keep a running list of activities between reporting periods. A basic description of the officer duties are:
Seneschal (Every group requires one)
The seneschal acts as the administrative head of the group and ensures activities fall within the guidelines of the Kingdom Laws. This person has signing authority on financial matters and produces a yearly census. Baronial Seneschals have the additional role of helping new local groups get started.
The Exchequer (Every group requires one)
Basically handles the financial matters of the group. This person has signing authority on financial matters.
These people act as a 'combat' supervisor of activities for the group. A group is required to have a Marshal in order to host combat activities of that particular type. There are Rapier, Heavy Combat, Thrown Weapons and Archery marshals.
Minister of Arts and Sciences
This office coordinates arts and sciences activities for the group, arranging classes and demonstrations, and leading participants to others who work in fields of their interest.
The Herald is in charge of heraldic activities, such as the creation and registration of names and arms. They also produce Court Reports.
In charge of welcoming and facilitating new participants into the SCA. This includes recruiting and transitioning members from other branches.
This officer is in charge of maintaining the Internet presence of the group.
Baron and Baroness
The Baron and Baroness are not actually officers. They serve as the representative of the Crown, which allows them to hold Court and give non-armigerous awards (cannot give Kingdom level awards). They act as the representative of the Barony. The Baron and Baroness will ususally hold "officer meetings" to keep in touch with activities within the Barony, discuss any concerns, as well as plan for Baronial activites and projects such as Baronial BBQ's, Demonstrations, and items to be made or purchased for improvements that benefit the Barony.