Your Name: Melissa Braunschweig

Definition of Dame: Administer/Mommy of a Guild Hostel. She runs the house, answering to the Local Madame and providing comfort/support to the local and visiting Guild Members. (Source: The Little Brown Book, Third Edition, 2002)

Why you want to be Dame of the Local: Since the inception of the Local I have been involved, officially or unofficially, in many aspects of this Local. Through this hands-on participation within the Local I feel I have demonstrated my ability to get things done.

The position of Dame requires someone who can maintain a positive attitude, can work with the Local Madame and Vice Madame, who understands the uniqueness of our growing Local. Most important, perhaps, a good Dame needs to be there: on site to greet the visiting wenches, prospective wenches and local wenches. Be there to support the Local's Madame and Vice. Be there to ensure that things run smoothly. Be there to make the tough decisions, to do the dirty work when it is needed, to put aside personal feelings or politics and get the job done.

I believe over the past several years of running invasion dinner at CRF I have proven the ability to do all of these things.

What are your goals for the Local: A few of my pet projects for the Local would include:

1. Ensuring that the Hostel is a comfortable, friendly place for guild members by working with Teddy (our resident Tom Cat) to ensure that Pandora's Box is well stocked. Pandora's box is a tradition that Rose and I began jointly several years ago at CRF when we still had the Armory. The box contained not only a fully stocked first aid kit, but implements for emergency sewing, sanitary supplies, a local phone book, a reference book of local businesses including restaurants with menus and phone numbers, local stores a visitor might need. We also collected a number of local maps and direction sheets to/from the site to some of these places. I'd also like to work with the wenches of Raleigh to collect the same kinds of information and have a Pandora's Box available at NCRF.

2. A sign-in book available to everyone who visits the Hostel--and encourage the guild members to use it. I would encourage everyone who visits leave an e-mail address. Why? See number 3.

3. Starting a What's Up with Local 96 newsletter. Putting together a short newsletter to send out periodically, not only to our Local membership, but the local rogues, mercs, privateers and anyone else who is interested in CRF (such as our visitors). The newsletter might contain a section of what's new at each faire (Booths, acts, etc), Invasion updates, a blurb about each of the members, a welcome to any new members and visitors we've had recently. This would also be a great place for each of the leaders of the Local to introduce themselves, explain our Local Code of Conduct, for mentors to offer suggestions, tips and advice to new guild members. I'd also challenge the rogues/mercs and privateers to contribute information about their guilds, ships, etc.

4. Wench walking--I assisted Keltik (Maryland retired Madame) with our inaugural wench walk at CRF this season and was vetted to lead walks and train other wenches to lead walks. The management responded positively to the walk and encouraged a more visible guild presence. I'd like to continue moving along that path by working with CRF's entertainment director. In addition, NCRF management has finally begun to reach out to the guild about involvement in that show and I would be proud to assist the guild leadership in creating a stronger, even more positive presence at that faire.

5. Continue to support and expand the existing programs for new wenches in our local. We have in place a well-established program for mentoring new wenches and helping them feel comfortable. It's important that program continues and thrives. One of the most important aspects for this season will be Wench Walking: How to Do It, What IS and ISN'T appropriate, and songs.

6. Finally, one of my long hoped for pet-projects is singing. Those of you who know me are aware I can't carry a tune with a bucket. However, I don't let that small fact interfere with my joy of it. With CRF's management approving our first walk and looking for more of a presence, and NCRF's management sitting at the table to talk to us about more active involvement at that faire, it's long past time that the wenches of the local learn a few songs. It would be wonderful for us get together and learn a half-dozen songs suitable for walking or gathering at the Wee!Pub at CRF--or places appropriate at NCRF. I'd love to create a CRF Songbook with lyrics for visiting wenches to borrow so they can actively participate in our reindeer games. It would also be handy for those wenches who don't recall lyrics for the day's walk song(s).

What makes you a good choice for Dame?

I think my experience in organizing Invasion dinner the past few years speaks volumes on my organizational skills, my ability to follow-through with commitments, my ability to work well with others and my leadership. My tenure as a member of Local 96's privy council the past two years has permitted me to demonstrate my ability to look at several sides of an issue, to put aside personal feelings for the good of the Local.

Thank you,