|A (Different) View on Goldenvale
[09/04/2002] [Baronet Greywind]
What I am writing is not meant to be argumentative, nor is it meant to mock any other kingdoms. I personally think every kingdom is great in its own way; each is unique, grand and adds its own creative influence mixed with its geography and cultures. Yes, it's one country, but every state in the United States has its own ways and so do the kingdoms in these states. It is this mix of ideas and friendship that progress the game even further.
This article is written about one of these kingdoms. The most northern of them: the kingdom of Goldenvale. The kingdom of Goldenvale is located in Nashua, New Hampshire and is the 3rd youngest kingdom. To me, Goldenvale's biggest asset is its will to help, its kindness and its good nature, which they show to themselves and their sponsored groups.
I shall use our group for an example. I come from the Duchy of the Wolven Fang, in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. I'll give you a little run-through of our history. When we first began playing we were in a group that treated us poorly. We were not allowed to vote, run for positions, roleplay or give ideas, because we came from outside the city. (We came from a smaller town 20 minutes away to play, called Valley East.) The leaders of the group were determined to keep it "their Amtgard".
Finally, after many attempts to talk to these people and try and resolve these issues, we had enough and decided to form our own group; a group that would allow equality and on the basis of having fun. We formed the group in June of '97 with a population of 6. No kingdom would sponsor us because of the difficulties between our rivaling groups. At the same time, we were being threatened by lawsuits from the other group: that if we didn't get sponsorship they would see to legal action against us.
Finally, one young kingdom gave us a chance; it was the same kingdom that the other group was under. The other group gave an ultimatum to the kingdom, "them or us". After much discussion and debating, Goldenvale took a bold chance and went with us. And the other group fled to another kingdom.
To complete my history example, we are the largest group in Canada and the other group that gave us all that trouble no longer exists today. Many of their members are now part of Wolven Fang.
Ever since then, the Kingdom of Goldenvale has been our guardian angel. They help us with any problems, keeping weekly (if not daily) contact with us. Any help we needed, they were able and willing to give. We have grown in members in the past 5 years, too, from our humble shire of 6 to (our average as of August 24) 50+ every week. On top of that, we are now springing off other shires around Canada.
We would have never have been able to attain what we have done without the aid of our Goldenvale friends and their generosity. As well, imagine this: four 17 and 16 year old kids get into a van and drive from Sudbury, Ontario to Nashua, New Hampshire. Can you imagine how nervous we were on that trip? We were going to meet some people we had only met through the internet and briefly on the phone. They didn't really know us. We could have been crazy canuck serial killers. But we were greeted at the door by Sir Blackhawk and Sir Liz as if we were family. That bond has stuck with us ever since and past on to all of our other members. Every event we go to, it's like going to a family reunion... with foam weapons and garb.
They also take good care of their own, acknowledging good deeds and hard work. I truly don't think that "too many awards" have been awarded. I, for one, have been part of Amtgard for 6 years, and I just recently acquired a Man-at-Arms belt. The same goes for other members of Wolven Fang. We understand that friends and fun come above awards, and that hard work should be rewarded. We learned this from Goldenvale.
Visit Goldenvale's events and you'll find good-natured people who care for one another, people excited to be there and ready to have fun. And there are a million other good traits that this kingdom has, including amazing fighters and kick-ass garbers. My group and several other Canadians look up to Goldenvale as the kingdom that motivates its people. They are one of the very few (if not the only) kingdoms who acknowledges, respects and represents us foreigners. It is no coincidence that the majority of the groups in Canada, present or future, are sponsored or looking for sponsorship from Goldenvale.
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