Difference between revisions of "A Merit Badge Refresher"
(Created page with "Author: Jeffan Caliarthan Back at the 2010 Admin Meeting, a proposal was made by Valorian Gaidin to garner interest among Senior Members at the site. It was a commonly h...")
Latest revision as of 15:52, 15 November 2019
Author: Jeffan Caliarthan
Back at the 2010 Admin Meeting, a proposal was made by Valorian Gaidin to garner interest among Senior Members at the site. It was a commonly held belief that once someone becomes a Senior Member at the site, there really wasn't that much else to do. To remedy this, Valorian suggested merit badges.
It's been two years since that admin meeting, and a year since the list of badges were made available to the public through a post in Site Announcements. Since then, over 1,100 merit badges have been awarded to members of the site, and there are still quite a few to be awarded. Since the merit badges have been a work in progress for so long, they've slipped out of the minds of many of our members. So without further ado, here is a short refresher on merit badges!
There are nine categories of Membership Awards, and a total of thirty-one merits to earn within those nine categories. The nine categories, as well as the merit badges in each category, including the requirements to earn each, are listed below (as copied directly from our Membership Manual):
- Membership Merit
- Silver: 2.5 consecutive years as a member
- Gold: 5 consecutive years as a member
- Senior Membership Merit
- Silver: 2.5 cumulative years as a Senior Member
- Gold: 5 cumulative years as a Senior Member
These two Merits are a little different from all the other merit badges, which are geared towards recognizing active service. Instead, this one recognizes that you have enjoyed our community so much that you have stayed around as a member for a long time, participating and enriching the experience of others. While the other Merits recognize those who have gone above and beyond in active service and, as such, recognize a small percentage of our membership, this merit recognizes those who liked us enough to stay and participate. Compared to the total number of current members, a fairly large percentage will have Golds. However, compared to the total number of people who have joined and left, the percentage is smaller.
The Silver Badge for Membership is for those who have been a member for at least two and a half (2.5) consecutive years (this means that if you joined and left the site completely after a year, you wouldn't get this; if you took a leave of absence and came back, you're fine). Once you hit five (5) consecutive years as a member, your Silver will upgrade to a Gold, which means that you will no longer have the Silver merit, but you will gain the Gold in its place. You will receive a Gold for every five (5) consecutive years as a member.
For the Senior Membership Merit, after two and a half (2.5) cumulative years as a Senior Member, you will receive a Silver Merit. After five (5) cumulative years as a Senior Member, your Silver will be replaced by a Gold. As with the Membership Merit, you will receive a Gold for every five (5) cumulative years as a Senior Member.
You are able to hold each Merit as you qualify for it. So, for example, someone who has been a member for 10 years and a Senior member for 9 years will have two (2) Gold Membership Merits as well as one (1) Senior Membership Gold Merit and will gain a fourth Senior Membership Gold Merit when he has been a Senior Member for ten (10) years.
Events Leadership Category
- Local Liaison Merit
- Silver: Be a Local Liaison 1 time
- Gold: Be a Local Liaison 3 times.
- Committee Head Merit
- Silver: Serve as a Committee Head 2 times.
- Gold: Serve as a Committee Head 3 times.
- Camp Nurse Merit
- Silver: Serve as Camp Nurse 1 time.
- Gold: Serve as Camp Nurse 3 times.
- Committee Leadership Merit
- Silver: Be chosen 2 times as having demonstrated outstanding Committee Leadership.
- Gold: Be chosen 5 times as having demonstrated outstanding Committee Leadership,
- Local Events Merit
- Silver: Host 3 local events.
- Gold: Host 10 local events.
- Extraordinary Service Merit
- Silver: Perform an extraordinary service for someone or the Tower at an Official Event.
The Events Leadership category recognizes those who have shown themselves to be consistent, active leaders in our Official Events. There are six (6) Silver Merits, five (5) of which can upgrade to a Gold Merit. Being a Local Liaison for one of our Official Events once will earn you a Silver Merit, while performing that role three (3) times will upgrade that Silver into a Gold Merit. Serving as a Committee Head twice will earn you a Silver, while serving thrice will upgrade that Silver into a Gold. Serving once as our Camp Nurse will earn you a Silver, and thrice will upgrade that Silver into a Gold. If you are chosen as having demonstrated outstanding Committee leadership by the appropriate Mistress of Revels and the Director of Events & Conference, you will earn a Silver Merit. Being chosen three (3) times will upgrade that Silver into a Gold. If you host three (3) Local Events that were planned in our Local Events forum, you will earn a Silver, which will upgrade to a Gold when you host ten (10) such events. You can also earn a Silver by performing an Extraordinary Service at an event, as determined by the leadership at that event.
You are able to hold multiple merits from this category. For instance, Riley Gaidin has served as Committee Head and as Camp Nurse enough times that he will hold a Gold for each, as well as a Silver for being a Local Liaison. However, he can only have each specific Gold once, which means that even when he has served as Camp Nurse six (6) times, he won't have two (2) Gold Camp Nurse Merits.
Events Participation Category
- Events Participation Merit
- Silver: Participate in the Amyrlin's Tournament 3 times.
- Silver: Participate in trivia 3 times.
- Silver: Participate in the costume contest 3 times.
- Silver: Participate in committees 3 times.
- Amyrlin's Champion Merit
- Gold: Win the Amyrlin's Tournament.
- Attendance Merit
- Silver: Attend 10 Official Events/Conferences.
- Gold: Attend 20 Official Events/Conferences.
Events Participation Merits recognize those who participate in our Official Events more than the average attendee. To gain a Silver for this, you must have participated in the Amyrlin's Tournament three (3) times, participated in trivia three (3) times, participated in the costume contest three (3) times, or participated on any committee three (3) times. Attending ten (10) Official Events will gain you a Silver Merit for Events Attendance, and attending twenty (20) will upgrade that Silver to a Gold. Each time you win the entire Amyrlin's Tournament, you receive a Gold Merit.
You may hold multiple Silvers and Golds from different areas, but not from the same area. So participating in trivia six (6) times won't earn you two (2) Silver Merits for that, but you can hold three (3) different Silvers for participating in trivia, the costume contest, and the Amyrlin's Tournament three (3) times each. You earn a Gold Merit each time you win the entire Amyrlin's Tournament.
As an example, Valorian Gaidin has attended enough Official Events to have earned that Gold Merit, plus he has won the Amyrlin's Tournament twice, earning him two (2) Golds, plus he has participated in enough Amyrlin's Tournaments to earn him that Silver.
Please note that for purposes of the Attendance Merits, administrative meetings that were held separately from any other event count towards those Merits. So if you attended an admin meeting that wasn't held in conjunction with an Official Event, that counts for purposes of the Silver and Gold Attendance Merits.
Online Spirit Category
- Spirit Merit
- Silver: Receive 2 “Spirit of _____” awards, given out for each of our online festivals.
- Silver: Be chosen as a great participant for the forums or chat.
- Epic Prank Merit
- Silver: If you perform an epic prank (think Melana Sedai blowing up the Tower), you can receive this Silver merit.
- Members' Choice Merit
- Silver: Every Members' Choice Award you receive will also get you one Silver merit.
Online Spirit Merits recognize those who have gone above and beyond in making our online community more engaging. Each Online Event gives an award to someone who has really participated in that specific event; these are called “Spirit of [Bel Tine/Shaoman/Feast of Lights]” awards. Earning two of these will gain you a Silver merit. Every six months, forum moderators and chat ops from the Department of Moderators will choose one person from each medium who really participated and made that medium fun, and those two people will be awarded a Silver. Epic pranks (such as Melana Sedai blowing up the Tower) can earn Silvers. Being awarded a Members' Choice Award will earn you a Silver as well.
You will earn Silvers for these as many times as you actually earn them. If you pull off an Epic Prank more than once, you'll get the Silver for it more than once. If you earn multiple Members' Choice Awards, you'll receive a Silver for each of them.
Wild Card Category
- Amyrlin's Award Merit
- Gold: Each Amyrlin's Award you receive will get you this Gold Merit.
- Group Pride Merit
- Gold: Serving one full term as the Head/Company Commander and Heart/Honor Guard and Sitter/Councilor for your Ajah/Company will gain you this Gold Merit.
- Climbing the Ladder Merit
- Gold: Serving in a staff position, as an administrator, and as an Executive will gain you this Gold Merit.
- Globe Trotter
- Gold: Attend Official Events on at least two different continents to receive this Gold Merit.
- Rock Star Merit
- Gold: If you do something really, really off the charts epic to help someone, you just may receive this Merit.
This category is meant to recognize those things that don't really fit into any other category and aren't as cleanly defined, but are still worthy of receiving recognition. Receiving an Amyrlin's Award, awarded once a year at our Anniversary Event, will earn you a Gold for each you receive. Serving one (1) full term as Head/Commander and Heart/Honor Guard and<i> Sitter/Councilor will earn you the Group Pride Gold Merit (for those who served before term limits, as long as you served 18 months as Head/Commander, your time will count). Serving as staff <i>and administrator and Executive will earn you the Climbing the Ladder Gold Merit. Attending three (3) Official Events on at least two (2) different continents will earn you the Globetrotter Gold Merit. You can earn the Rock Star Gold Merit by doing something epic that isn't defined elsewhere, usually given out by Officers.
You receive one (1) Gold for each Amyrlin's Award and each Rock Star given to you. All others can be received only once. So, Dralyn Sedai will receive one (1) Gold because she has received one (1) Amyrlin's Award, the Gold for Climbing the Ladder for serving as staff, administrator, and Executive, and one (1) for attending three (1) Official Events on at least two (2) different continents. If she had been awarded another Amyrlin's Award, she would have two (2) of those Golds, but not for any other Merit from this category.
Administrative Service Category
- Staff Merit
- Silver: Serve in staff positions for 2.5 years.
- Gold: Serve in staff positions for 5 years.
- Administrator Merit
- Silver: Serve as an administrator for 2 years.
- Gold: Serve as an administrator for 4 years.
- Executive Merit
- Silver: Serve as an Executive for 1.5 years.
- Gold: Serve as an Executive for 3 years.
- Officer Merit
- Silver: Serve as an Officer for 1 year.
- Gold: Serve as an Officer for 2 years.
This category recognizes those who serve in some capacity in our administration. It's a fairly straight-forward category. To earn a Silver, you must spend two and a half years (2.5) in a staff position, two (2) years as an administrator, one and a half years (1.5) as an Executive, or one (1) year as an Officer. This is time cumulative, not consecutive, which means that if you spend a total of two years between three administrator positions, you qualify for the Silver. This is not a mix and match sort of merit; you're not going to earn a Gold because you're spent eighteen months as a staff member and a year as an administrator. You must spend the amount of time in that level of position.
There is a Gold that replaces each Silver as you earn it. To earn the Gold, you must spend five (5) years in a staff position, four (4) years as an administrator, three (3) years as an Executive, or two (2) years as an Officer.
You can earn each one only once, though you can have one from each path. Currently Toral Gaidin has one Silver for his time served as an Executive and one Silver for his time served as an administrator. If he stays on as an Executive long enough, his Silver for that will upgrade to the Gold, but if he eventually served six years as an Executive, he would still only have the one Gold.
Time spent in certain positions does not count for this Merit because it is covered in other Merits. Some of these are:
- Writer for the Tar Valon Times - this service is instead counted by number of articles for the Writing Merit in the Publishers Category.
- General staff in the Department of Research - this time instead counts for the Editors Merit in the Publishers Category.
- General staff in the Departments of Marketing and of Technology - time served there counts towards the Pro Bono Merits.
- Consultants in the Department of Administration - time served there counts towards the Pro Bono Merits.
Pro Bono Category
- Pro Bono Merit
- Silver: Provide legal, graphical, IT, HR, or financial expertise to the Tower free of charge for 1.5 years in an unnamed position.
- Gold: Provide legal, graphical, IT, HR, or financial expertise to the Tower free of charge for 3 years in an unnamed position.
The Pro Bono Merit recognizes those who provide us with a service for free that would otherwise cost us hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars without any real recognition amongst the community. To earn a Silver, you must provide legal, graphical, IT, HR, or financial expertise to the Tower free of charge for one and a half (1.5) years in an unnamed position. To earn the Gold, you must provide the Tower with one of those areas of expertise for three (3) years in an unnamed position.
Please note - if your named position requires you to use your professional knowledge in order to perform the position's duties, then your time served there counts for the Administrative Service Merits, not for Pro Bono. So, for instance, the Director of Technology must use his technical knowledge and skills in that position; therefore, his time spent in that position doesn't count for the Pro Bono Merits.
- Editing Merit
- Silver: Spend 1.5 years consistently editing the Library.
- Gold: Spend 3 years consistently editing the Library.
- Reporter Merit
- Silver: Write 20 articles for the TVT.
- Gold: Write 50 articles for the TVT.
- Writing Merit
- Silver: Write 100 articles for the Library.
- Gold: Write 250 articles for the Library.
- Copywriting Merit
- Gold: Put in an exceptional effort in copywriting for our website, and you might be awarded this Gold merit.
The Publishers Merits recognize those who contribute greatly to our written works. To earn a Silver, you must write one hundred articles for the Library, spend one and a half (1.5) years consistently editing the Library as a volunteer, or write twenty (20) articles for the Tar Valon Times.
To earn a Gold, you must write two hundred and fifty (250) articles in the Library, spend three (3) years consistently editing the Library as a volunteer, write fifty (50) articles for the Tar Valon Times, or put in an exceptional effort in copywriting for our website. An example of this last would be Erin Sedai's long, exhaustive efforts in transferring webpages from our old website into Drupal.
Raising the Next Generation Category
- Mentoring Merit
- Silver: Mentor 10 members who rise at least 1 rank.
- Classroom Participation Merit
- Silver: Participate in and complete 6 classes.
- Teaching Merit
- Silver: Teach 3 classes.
Raising the Next Generation recognizes those who put effort into helping members make it through the ranks and into enriching their time as a Junior Member. You must complete six (6) classes, teach three (3) classes, or mentor ten (10) members who advance one rank to receive a Silver. You may receive a Silver for each of those acts, though they are not stackable – so if you complete twelve classes, you won't receive two Silvers.