Without recommendations, there are no awards. Without awards, there are no scrolls. Without scrolls, there are bored scribes.
Don't contribute to the boredom of the scribes of Æthelmearc. Write in someone for an award today.
There have been many times during conversations with friends and acquaintances about someone with striking talent or commitment and often the discussion turns to musings of why so-and-so is not yet a member of a certain order.
The answer has several elements to it and I will disregard, at this time, that politics can and do sometimes come into play here. (One can only do so much about interpersonal workings or quabbles, so I am not going to go into my thoughts on that particular matter - it is life, it happens, lol). I guess, really, it is also a very period practice if one wanted to be technical about it.
Often someone will be given an award because they are known by the right people, and are at the right events to be noticed and recognized. (Note, I am not saying that one has to curry favor, it is merely a fact that if one is more visible, than and order is more likely to take note of their work, skills or service.) Even then, someone can fly under the radar and be missed by those who have the ability to grant those awards.
Kingdom level awards are given by the King and Queen and typically, for the higher orders, they poll or consult members of an order about individuals that are brought to their attention. Remember though, Royals are busy people, and do not have time to meet or see every member of the populace, and even those who do impress them may not be known enough to them to make them a consideration for an award.
So if you have ever wondered why a friend or a teacher or other member of the SCA does not have the accolades they deserve, consider writing a recommendation for that individual. Yes, anyone can do this! Has someone gone to great lengths to help you out? Let the Kingdom know! Has someone constantly produced tasty feasts? Let others know about it! Who always fights fearlessly on the field of battle, but rarely makes it to a tournament (where it is easier to recognize one's prowess)? Write a letter to make it known! If you truly think someone is deserving, it is up to you to make sure that the folks higher up know about them. Sometimes it will happen on its own, but often even the best among us can still be overlooked.
If you are unsure of someone's current awards, most Kingdoms have an Order of Precedence listing online. You can often look up an individual (by their SCA name) and find out what awards they have already received.
Be thoughtful though, when making recommendations to the Crown. A person does not deserve an award for just showing up (or for being your bestie).
It also surprises me to discover that there are long time members of the SCA who have never before written a letter of recommendation. In many kingdoms it is very simple, and there is often an online form that can be filled out. Links are below for the various Kingdoms so that the next time you wonder why so-and-so isn't a Pelican, you can make sure that your voice on the matter is heard.
- Æthelmearc - http://www.aethelmearc.org/onlineaward/
- Ansteorra (will take you to an external link) - http://www.ansteorra.org/forms/award.php
- An Tir - http://www.antir.sca.org/recommendations.php
- Artemisia - http://www.artemisia.sca.org/order-of-precedence/award-recommendation/
- Atenveldt - http://www.atenveldt.org/People/AwardRecommendations
- Atlantia - http://award.atlantia.sca.org/
- Caid - http://royals.sca-caid.org/awards/recs.php
- Calontir - http://awardrec.calontir.org/
- Drachenwald - http://op.drachenwald.sca.org/recommendation.html
- Ealdormere - http://www.ealdormere.ca/index.php/award-recomendatins
- East - http://accessibleek.eastkingdom.org/RecommendAward.html
- Gleann Abhann (I can find no form for this Kingdom, but their Awards page is as follows) - http://www.kingdomofgleannabhann.org/awards/awards.html
- Lochac - http://royal.lochac.sca.org/recommendation/
- Meridies - http://www.meridies.org/olawards/
- Middle - http://www.midrealm.org/op/recommend/login.php?from=/op/recommend/
- Northshield (you have to sign in as a member of the populace, perhaps if you are out-of-Kingdom you would direct your recommendation directly to the crown via email) - http://www.northshield.org/orderofprecedence/Recommendation.aspx?Officers/Herald
- Outlands - http://www.outlands.org/Default.aspx?tabid=683
- Trimaris - http://www.trimaris.org/recommend
- West - http://heralds.westkingdom.org/AwardRecommend.htm