Every year in June, SB118 celebrates its annual Awards ceremony. But what, exactly, is involved in putting this together? While a good many of us take the time to write up nominations, there’s far more that occurs behind the scenes. Today, we’re going to pull back the curtain and show just how much this exercise is choreographed.
The process starts as early as April. The first task is to review the ceremony from the previous year. This includes looking at the suggestions received from the community. Those suggestions are taken and seriously considered as we look forward to the upcoming year. How can we improve? It is these suggestions that help us get a clearer picture of how to do just that, and why they are greatly appreciated.
Second, the Captains Council goes through the list of awards. Each year, they are reviewed and refined. Are some of them redundant? Outdated? Unnecessary? Too specific? Too vague? All these things are discussed at length so that we can have a clear direction for what the awards requisites are. Only once that is done can we update the nomination form, go through the awards pages, and prepare the news posts as well as fleetwide emails to finally and officially launch the process.
From there it’s a sprint to the finish. Everyone in the fleet is encouraged to participate. This can require uncovering memories from weeks and months ago of ways that people impressed us, reviewing each of our peers and trying to understand the impact they’ve made on our community. All the while, our staff is ensuring that every angle is covered in nominations and that each person who has met the prerequisites for an award gets nominated.
Once nominations close, things pick up even more speed. The Awards facilitator (Jo Marshall for 2021) then picks an Awards Committee and they start collating the nominations. From start to finish, there are dozens of tasks that must be done in a specific order, and that is all before the actual ceremony itself. Every member of the command staff gets involved, and some are so piled with work, it’s very much like the scene in Star Trek: The Original Series where Captain Kirk opens an overhead compartment only to be buried in thousands of tribbles.
Afterwards, however, while those who take on a bulk of this work are tired, there’s a sense of satisfaction. The command team goes to great lengths throughout the year in order to help each of you understand how much we value your contributions to the fleet and the careful time and effort you expend to write the perfect sims. We also know the magic of coming together for this recognition – to write down in the annals of our history that “this person was amazing for this reason, and we want to thank them for that.”
While it may seem simple and easy, this is no trivial effort. We hope that those of you who have earned awards can take some time to look back over the history of the award you won, perhaps read some of the presentations from those past ceremonies, and know that someday someone else will be doing the same with your name.