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Cross-Country Beltlines
[04/03/2006] [Arminius]

Whether it is because of mundane reasons, or just because the event is over, many times belt lines get scattered across the country. When this occurs, either the belt line can remain strong and united, or just become someone claiming a belt from a person they haven’t spoken to in months, even years. So how do you keep people like the latter from degrading the your belt line? Primarily through communication, but also assigned tasks and going to the same events will strengthen beltlines.

I am going to give my own beltline as an example of what can happen when people get scattered. My knight, Duke Sir Vagabond, still lives in Lubbock, TX, where we met and I became his squire. His page, Vlad, lived in Peoria, IL, and has recently rejoined the Army and is currently stationed in Augusta, GA, with pending orders to transfer to Hawaii. My page, Kaio, and one Man-at-Arms, Simon, both live 3 hours from me in opposite directions. My other Man-at-Arms, Teishi, lives in the same town I do. Ours is definitely not one of the largest beltlines around, but large enough to illustrate the point. For around a year, I had only sparse communication with Sir Vagabond due to mundane reasons. During that time, the beltline really wasn’t very strong and we did very little. In the last year, all of us have re-established a weekly communication basis, which has led to new goals for all of us.

With such a widely separated beltline, we maintain a very strong relationship via regular communication. We exchange email, IM conversations, and phone calls, even if it is just to say hi and nothing interesting has happened. The most common topic is our assigned tasks. Sir Vagabond has set us a long-term goal, and periodically assigns me short-term goals. The last was to qualify for my 2nd Order of the Warrior in my shire’s Weaponmaster tournament. With this motivation, I not only achieved the goal, but also won my first overall tournament. Another example is with Simon. I assigned Simon the task of building a specific weapon, an axe with a thrusting tip and hammerhead on the backside. He constructed it and I had him enter it into Olympiad. He took second place in Weapon Construction. These regular tasks not only give the members of our beltline a reason to keep in touch, but help us improve our skills.

The final way to keep a beltline strong when it is geographically separated is going to common events. This can also prove to be the most difficult. Due to mundane work schedules, finances, and sheer physical distance, finding an event that everyone can make can become a huge headache. However, the benefits of attending an event together overshadow this headache. These events are when the beltline create good memories, check progress, and simply renew the common bonds that had them become a belted family to begin with.

Keeping your own beltline strong keeps the entire belted system strong. I have encountered people who because they do not maintain communications, don’t even know when their squire has been knighted. These are the people that lessen the respect to beltlines everywhere, and without respect, how can we expect those belts to stay on?

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