Chatelain (masculine), Chatelaine (feminine), Hospitaller (neuter)
Duties of the Office
The Chatelaine is a deputy to the Seneschal who welcomes newcomers into the group and helps them get oriented to the SCA, introduces them to the various local and regional officers, and helps them get started on their journey in the SCA. The Chatelaine may run a Gold Key for loaner garb, armor, and feast gear for newcomers to borrow, or may appoint a Gold Key deputy to serve this duty. The Chatelaine should have a working knowledge of all local offices and of local and SCA customs. In the Far West, local Chatelaines may be working side-by-side with a Consul, who is there to orient non-English-speaking newcomers. The local Chatelaine makes monthly reports at Populace meetings and makes quarterly and annual reports in writing to the Baronial Chatelaine, who in turn makes quarterly and annual reports to the Kingdom Chatelaine. Quarterly reports are due the first of March, June, September and December, and annual reports are due by the end of December.
West Kingdom Law (Article III, Section 4)
The Chatelaine should be the initial point of contact for newcomers to the local group. The Chatelaine should be able to exchange contact information with new contacts, provide flyers or pamphlets briefly introducing the SCA to new contacts, direct newcomers to other officers as needed, help new members find a suitable role to fit into the group, and help newcomers find their way around. It might be a good idea for the local Chatelaine to carry business cards introducing themselves and the group, as well as a few flyers or pamphlets. These may be bilingual, or non-English materials may be developed as necessary. Be sure to put non-English-speaking newcomers directly in touch with the Consul – immediately if at all possible – do NOT just give them the Consul's phone number or e-mail address. Be familiar with other officers and what roles they play, put newcomers in touch with them as needed, and always be sure to follow up with the newcomer and make sure their questions are answered. Know whom to report to and make sure you submit your reports on time.
The local Chatelaine should make a monthly report to the local populace at each Populace meeting, as well as quarterly and annual reports made in writing to the Baronial Chatelaine, who in turn makes quarterly and annual reports to the Kingdom Chatelaine. The quarterly and annual reports should include the office held (local/baronial/etc), legal name, SCA name, mailing address, other contact info., as well as status reports such as how many newcomers have joined the group in the past quarter/year, what events or projects have contributed to the Gold Key, and the status and condition of any property of the Gold Key. The Seneschal may also ask to receive a copy of your reports.
When Things Go Wrong
Things can get frustrating for anyone in any position in the SCA, even for a local Chatelaine. People are volunteering their spare time to run other offices when they can get around to it, which sometimes leaves new members in the lurch for an uncomfortably long period of time. People borrow things from the Gold Key with every intention of fixing them up and returning them in even better condition, but sometimes things get lost, and in the Far West, sometimes people move out of the area with very little notice. When things go missing, notify the local Seneschal and the Baronial Chatelaine and be sure to include it in your quarterly report. If things are going terribly wrong and you see a new member feeling excluded or expressing dissatisfaction with the group, talk to that member one-on-one and listen to their complaints without judgment. Take their complaints to others as necessary and advocate on their behalf, and be sure to include the Seneschal. If you ever need help executing the duties of your office, ask the Baronial Chatelaine for help. Your superior officers are there to help you when you need it, so if you ask the Baronial Chatelaine for help and no help comes, go to the Kingdom Chatelaine. Remember that the Seneschal's main task is to keep the local branch running smoothly, so you should always involve the Seneschal if you are having problems.