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Sofie - Base CO Answers

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Freq (Erich Shafer)
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Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 2577
Location: Waltham, MA
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:21 pm    Post subject: Sofie - Base CO Answers Reply with quote

This thread is for Sofie's answers to Base Member questions. Only they may post in it. Other candidates wishing to respond to answers need to copy and paste from this thread into their own thread.
"Baron" Erich Shafer - IC/RC/IG/TI²/TK/CC-6124
Admin, Jolly Roger Squadron

"Do they teach you to throw?"
"No, they teach us to cheat!"
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Sofie ()
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Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 278

Medals: None

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of questions, I'm glad to see them Smile fist of all, I'm in bed with fever (again) so never mind if I'm hallucinating Wink

An answer or rather explanation to Puck's and Fabrice's question:

Active membership had been and still is indeed a major issue. Stijn and I tried several methods, but none seemed to be really working - yet.

What is really the problem? It's not just the distance, this wouldn't keep everyone away. It's the commitment and alternatives as well. 501st is active in both Netherlands and Wallonia. A lot of our members are 501st there and prefer trooping and putting energy in the 501st than in RL. This is no problem to me and only logical, but it makes it harder for RLB to break trough and find active and commiting members.

We also are a big community that consists of a lot of different members with different backgrounds. The situation in Flanders is very different of that of Netherlands and Wallony. Since RLB was founded in flanders, the crew is still located here and for some reason this core seems to be going fine. Shortly after the founding of the Belgian base, we allianced with Fanwars, sharing members. This went well for a long time, but we noticed these bonds could not be made that strong as between the original crew members. Distance, other clubs etc plays its role.
The landscape in the Netherlands is a bit more complicated. A lot of our members have or had an affiliation to a costume club. First we had a lot of active members from the Kamino club, but they all lost interest the last 2 years. Then we had a lot of our dutch members becoming 501st members, becoming more active there. We also have and had members that were not welcome in 501st, making it an issue to manage the whole bunch.

Keeping the leash tight didn't get us further, because Stijn and I don't know much about the Netherlands. It's also not our way of working anyway.
That's where the State Captains came in. The point of electing state caps is that they manage their own region so local interest is created. We tried giving the state captains more authority, so we could create some kind of self supporting sub-communities. We noticed the state caps didn't jump onto the idea. Actually, we've been dissappointed in the state captains we elected and we are constantly searching for a suitable and active member to fullfill this task. Lately, Fabrice became SC Wallonia and he is trying hard to keep the members active. He shows us that this method is truly possible.
That's why I was lately hearing if no member from the 501st DG was interested to pick up the task. Binding the clubs this way might create a win-win situation. The RLB will be partly 501st that way, creating a tighter bond.

Now I'm already aiming at the question of Acturnus:
As Base with our feet in Flanders region, we have to be careful with 501st contacts. If there was no 501st flanders garrison, I think the coöperation between clubs would be more tight. Unfortunately, we have this situation created from past rows between leading people, rendering RLB unable to make friendship with 501st flanders garrison.
I think members who were confronted with these problems know that the crew did his best to be as open as possible to the garrison.

Because we don't want any trouble, we have a code of conduct between DG (501st Netherlands) and RLB. In this code is clearly described what can be done on dutch territory by RLB and what not. These rules mainly consist to protect DG from any other 501st troubles.

Now, the question of ki-djowac:
We've had several plans before. We even have the full plans to build up a prop from Hoth, but this never got trough due to lighting problems.
Another problem with props is the funding, the keeping and the transport. Even now, with the booth material we have, transport is sometimes a problem. If you got any idea for a mini-prop, just let us know!

Jeffrey's question: RLB is for me: being together with friends and be creative. I am CO to keep us all together and to serve the people with the need of costuming information. Events are an important aspect of this.
Less important and maybe a working point are the international connections. I simply am more busy with the base itself than with the international community.

And last but surely not least, the questions from Stijn:
What's on my mind?
- have fun with the members: celebrate our 5th birthday (still thinks this is going on much longer) with a general event, but also with a great public troop
- have a more coördinated approach on events: maybe one event manager that keeps everything clear?
- try to tighten the bond between affiliated clubs more.
- the newsletter was doing good but we started to get out of the routine. We have to keep pushing eachother to keep the base workings running at a decent pace!

If I'm CO no more, I'd like to take on some more 'functional' role, as a costume judge and giving tips, maybe I'll take up some designing stuff then.

So...those were my first answers. If you got any more questions, let us know!
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Sofie ()
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Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 278

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK... I'm still Ill, so excuse me for the blabber, but since I don't have much time to answer any more, here are my thoughts on the new questions:

- what kind of events do you want to focus on?
Like mentioned in our base introduction powerpoint, we have several categories of events. We have the official ones, the convention (big) ones, the small ones to do with Star Wars (like releases) and the other non-official ones where we're entertaining people.

I think we need a sufficient amount of all of them, because we have so many different members that like so many different events.
I'm personally not a fan of one-event-per-week, so I'd like to focus on 1 event/month or 1 event per 2 months.
Why not more? Because I think this is a nice pace to get more members to an event but still keep de bonds strong. It's also giving us some space to work on costumes and props.

I'd like to see our event calendar like this:
- at least 2 conventions/year, nicely spread (ex: FACTS & FedCon)
- at least one charity event (hopefully with some sponsors that we can give to the charity)
- at least one non-costumed in- or inter-club event (like the diner we are working on for the winter)
- some smaller events like shops, parades, ...

- when we get an invitation for an event, how will you handle it? for example, what are the criteria to accept it, who will do the communications with the event?

I think I'll do it just like now, only a bit more structured and less chaotic (but isn't that always a dream?): discuss the event in the crew team, assess whether there will be interest in it, propose the event on the forum and newsletter to see if there are reactions, mail the organisation and make further arrangements.
What we do miss now, although it's getting better than previous year, is that we're not giving each other enough backup on event handling. Although we need one person to settle the event, the others must be able to access all mailing etc to provide backup when something would happen. It is good to know what is going to happen, for example when the organiser comes too late.

The discussion that we need a separate event manager or not is still open. I think it's good to have one person handling it all but on the other hand you have the backup problem again.
In practice, most of the events are handled by the XO anyway, keeping me up to date so I won't fall into some black hole and can take over whenever it's necessary. I like to have this background as well for decision making.

Why do you think you would be a really good CO? What can you personnally bring compared to the other years?

I don't know if I have to answer this question but I'll give it a try anyway.
I'm not going to talk about my qualities, more about my working points. The biggest one is time and effort. I always feel I need to do more, but on the other hand I don't want that RLB eats up all my free time. Having other hobbies and now having a house to buy/renovate/live, it's not like I have much spare time to spend on the legion.
I used to be a forum checker and chatter, but lately I care more about the real-time stuff, which is not the best thing to do as CO. I should have more contact with RL and the members. I'm glad my XO Stijn was always there to fullfill this role.
If I'd spend more time with RLB, things I should do are:
- keeping more structure: we have this file system, the mailings, the site, the codes of conduct for other clubs, the logo's & merchandise, ... everything should be in one place and obvious to everyone. The site, banners, ... should be finished by now.
- follow up more the event managing
- have more contact with the members
- be more like a diplomat: have contacts with other clubs and strengthen the bonds.
- give handholds, give structure, be a leader and be the strength of the group
- like I mentioned in the previous topics the relationship with our Dutch members need to be augmented.
- .....

the work of a CO is never done!
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