Challenge and Merit System

The challenge and merit system  is the main way of recognizing Apprentices for extracurricular activities at the Grey School of Wizardry (GSW). Granted, it also occasionally recognizes them for schoolwork, but for the most part it recognizes nonacademic activities both in and out of the Grey School. While academics are first and foremost at the GSW, we recognize that non-academic activities are part of creating a well-rounded Apprentice. 

In recognition of personal achievement and participation, the Grey School offers a system of merits. Apprentices and Magisters alike may earn merits for their Lodge through meritorious activity. Faculty members, Captains, and Prefects may award merits to Apprentices and Magisters.

Demerits

Deans are empowered to issue demerits to apprentices and magisters. As the name suggests, this results in the loss of up to 2 merits from that individual's Lodge.

This is a punitive measure, but it is also a tool to be used sparingly when needed in order to reinforce a lesson. The expectation is that the Deans will use this tool wisely and in situations where lesser measures have failed to resolve a situation. Failure to obey the rules of the Grey School as outlined in the Apprentice Handbook, conduct unbecoming of a Wizard, or refusal to follow instructions are examples of behaviors that may result in demerits being issued.

In the scale of disciplinary measures, demerits are more serious than verbal or written reprimands and less serious than expulsion.


Refer any questions pertaining to this policy to the Dean of Students.


List of Common Merits
 

Personal Growth Merits
1-2M: Demonstrating acts of character, conscience, or ethics in a challenging situation Actions performed must be significant and worthy. As an example, helping someone across the street or carrying groceries wouldn’t qualify. Standing up for someone in a difficult situation or engaging in a long-term campaign of some sort would. May only be awarded by a faculty member. Proof is required, ideally via witness.

1 M: Sharing magickal work or experience with one’s friends or family. [This must be a significant event requiring in-depth planning, at least a couple of hours worth of activity, and learning. It requires both pre approval and a summary report. May be awarded by the Prefect, and only once per term.

2M: Passing a Red Cross First Aid, CPR, swimming or lifesaving course, or passing a martial arts rank. [Proof is required and the recipient must make a forum post in their lodge explaining what he or she did.]  May be awarded by the Prefect, and only once per term.   Creative Growth Merits 1M: Submitting any creative work to a magickal market. [Requires proof of submission.]   May be awarded by the Prefect, and only twice per term.  

2M: Creating a magickal tool. [Requires a 250 word report and at least one image. May not be given for work done as part of a GSW class.  This may be awarded by the Prefect, and only once per term.  

2M: Creating a piece of magickal garb. 250 word report and at least one image.   This may be awarded by the Prefect, and only once per term.   

1M: Having a piece published in Grey Matters.  This may be awarded by the Prefect.

3M: Having any piece of creative or magickal work published in a magickal market, not for pay. [Proof of publication required. Work must focus on some aspect of wizardry.]

2M: Creating a large magick-based project, such as a labyrinth, medicine wheel, magickal garden, etc. Requires detailed report and photo proof. Merits vary according to complexity. Requires reporting as mentioned. This may be awarded by the Prefect, and only once per term. 

 

Educational Growth Merits
1M: Scoring 100% on a final exam or equivalent.  This may awarded by the Prefect.

2M: Reading a magickal book. Must be new to the reader. Requires a 250 word report, posted on your Lodge forum. Fiction or nonfiction are allowed, but book must have magickal or wizardly significance. 

2M: Earning extracurricular awards of merit and bringing honor to the Lodge; e.g., making the Honor Roll in mundane school, success in sports, other personal sacred or secular honors.  This may be awarded by the Prefect, and only once per term. (i.e., once for sports, once for honor roll, etc.).]

Magickal Growth Merits

1M: Helping to plan/host a magickal ritual. Requires a 250 word report and evidence of resulting magickal growth.  This may be awarded by the Prefect, and only twice per term.     2M: Participating in a magickal group ritual. Requires a 250 word report. Personal ritual may be allowed if pre approved by Prefect and if the ritual is “special,” i.e., not a routine daily practice.   This may be awarded by the Prefect, and only once per term.   
 
2M: Visiting a sacred site (historical or contemporary) within one's home state [Requires a 150 word report and at least one photo.  This may be awarded by the Prefect, and only once per term.    
2M: Attending a magickal class, program, or workshop outside of regular GSW classes. Requires a 250 word summary for each class attended.  This may be awarded by the Prefect, and only once per term.    

3M: Presenting a magickal class, program, workshop, or magickal ritual in real space. Complete ritual or class/outline must be presented as proof.  This may be awarded by the Prefect, and only once per term.    

2M: Maintaining three months of daily magickal practices. Plan should be pre approved by the lodge Prefect and Captain. Practices must be carried out at least six days out of each week. Requires a daily journal/log and a final summary report.  This may be awarded by the Prefect or the Captain, and only once per term.    

1M: Attending a magickal festival (e.g., Starwood), Pagan Pride Day, Ren Faire, or other major magickal event. Requires a 100 word report. Limit of 1 award per term.  This may be awarded by the Prefect.   

2M: Completing a course in mundane school with strong magickal relevance, such as Mythology, Latin, Folklore, etc. Evidence must be presented and the Apprentice must pass the class with a C or better. Requires a 100 word forum report.  This may be awarded by the Captain, and only once per term.    

2M: Spending one month in a course of magickal study or discipline outside of the GSW. [Plan must be pre-approved by the Captain. Requires a 200 word report and verification from the teacher or mentor.  This may be awarded by the Captain, and only once per term.      

3M: Completing a magickal certification or credentialing, e.g., a level of initiation, a Reiki attunement, etc. [Plan must be pre-approved by Captain. Requires a 250 word report and verification from the teacher or mentor.  This may be awarded by the Captain, and only once per term.      

3M: Traveling out-of-state to visit a sacred site [Requires a 250 word report and at least one photo. Limit to 2 awards per term when part of a single trip.

5M: Traveling out-of-country to visit a sacred site. 500 word report and at least three images. This may be awarded by the Captain, and only once per term.     


Grey School Participation
1M: Show Lodge spirit. May be given for activity, accomplishment, or attitude. May only be given by the Captain. The Captain must provide an explanation of why the award was given.

2M: Recruit an Apprentice or Magister for the Grey School. The recruited party must actually enroll, pay tuition, and enter the school.  This may be awarded by the Dean of Students.    

1M: Serve as club president for one term. Service must be active and consistent.  This may be awarded by the Captain or Prefect.

2M: Develop, lead, and successfully complete a Lodge project involving at least 2 other members. Award is contingent on the Captain's pre-approval and on actual documentation and evidence re: what was done. Project cannot be the same one completed for Lumos or another regular GSW activity.

2M: Serve a significant role in planning or carrying out an in-person Grey School gathering.  This may be awarded by the Captain, and only twice per term.     

Community Growth
2M: Participating in a service project devoted to the earth/environment. [Service should be significant and include at least 4 hours of activity. Requires 250 word report and verification. Service may not be the same tasks/events used for GSW classes, the Earth Day Challenge, or any GSW award—the activity must be independent and conducted for its own sake.  This may be awarded by the relevant Prefect, and only once per term.   

2M: Participating in a religious or other festival belonging to another culture. Requires 250 word report.  This may be awarded by the Relievent Prefect, and only once per term.      

1M: Helping to organize a magickal festival or other major event.[Requires 100 word report.  This may be awarded by the Captain or Prefect.    

2M: Creating a magickally-oriented video of 5 minutes or longer, and either presenting to a group or uploading to the Internet. Requires 250 word report and access to the presentation. Psyche members will need parental permission.  This may be awarded by the Captain, Head of Lodges, Prefect or DoS, and only twice per term.      

VGSW Moot Merits
1M: Participate in a magickal group ritual at a VGSW Moot. [Requires approval of the Captain or Vice-Captain. Limit of 2 awards per Conclave.]

1M: Attend a magickal class or workshop at Conclave. [Limit of 3 awards per Conclave. May be earned on single or multiple days. Requires approval of the Captain or Vice-Captain]

1M - 2M: Help to organize a VGSW Moot. [1 merit for a simple position; 2 merits for a main organizer . Requires approval of the Captain or Vice-Captain]

2M: Plan or co-plan a VGSW moot ritual. [Outline must be presented to the Captain as well as the DoS  in advance. Limit of 1 award per Conclave. Planner may not also earn merits for participating in the ritual. Requires approval of the Captain or Vice-Captain]

2M: Present a magickal class or workshop at a VGSW Moot. [Class/outline must be presented to the Captain and the DoS in advance. Limit of two awards per Conclave.]

Merits Earned from VGSW Moots Should Be awarded by the Captain, the Vice-Captain or the Head of Lodges.

 Conclave Merits
Here are the Conclave merits for those attendees who want to claim the merits. Please review this list. Should you attend more than one Conclave per year, you can claim merits for each Conclave.

1M: Participate in a magickal group ritual at Conclave. [Requires approval of WiC. Limit of 2 awards per Conclave.]

1M: Attend a magickal class or workshop at Conclave. [Limit of 5 awards per Conclave. May be earned on single or multiple days.]

1-2M: Help to organize a Conclave. [1 merit for a simple position; 2 merits for a main organizer or Wizard in Charge. Requires approval of WiC.]

2M: Plan or co-plan a Conclave ritual. [outline must be presented to WiC or Conclave organizer in advance. Limit of 1 award per Conclave. Planner may not also earn merits for participating in the ritual.]

2M: Present a magickal class or workshop at Conclave. [Class/outline must be presented to WiC or Conclave organizer in advance. Faculty may not also earn merits for attending the class. Limit of two awards per Conclave.]

6M: Participate in an in-person Grey School overnight event.  

Merits Earned at Conclaves Must be awarded by WiC

Types of Challenges
 

Individual challenges.

These are earned by a student who completes a task from the “List of Common Merits.” There are also regular Lodge challenges. These are posted on the Lodge forum or site by Prefects. Topics vary widely. Prefects are asked to post no more than 4 challenges (or 4 “merits worth” of challenges) each month for their Lodge.


 Most challenges should be worth 1 merit; every now and then, a more difficult challenge may be worth more. When possible, merits should focus on Apprentices reflecting on and reporting their own experiences, rather than simply looking up and regurgitating information.


Department challenges.

These are department specific challenges, posted to the entire student body by the Dean of each department or their designee. A rotating system of All-School departmental challenges has been established by the Dean of Faculty to ensure that departments post challenges on a regular basis. 
 

Merit value for each challenge should be in the 1-2 range. Note: Deans may delegate the task to a teacher or teacher’s assistant within their department. Deans may post additional challenges (above and beyond the above schedule) if they wish to; however this is not required.


Open challenges.

These are individual challenges posted by any faculty member or the Captain. They may be posted to the all Lodge commons forum. Faculty and Captains may post these, but should not post too frequently (once or twice a month is probably reasonable). These challenges should not be large; value should not exceed 1-2 merits per challenge. These may be “flash challenges” (as soon as one person answers them, they end) or — and this is preferred — they may be answerable by any number of Apprentices or magisters, usually ending on a specific time and date.
 

Club or group challenges.

These are similar to Lodge challenges in that they are posted to the members of a club or group—such as the DADA club or the newspaper staff—by their faculty advisors or their officers. Merit value for each challenge should be in the 1-2 range. Ideally, only a few of these challenges should be posted, probably no more than one or two each month. In particular, it isn’t the purpose of clubs to focus on merits, so challenges in clubs should be infrequent.


Mega challenges.

These are team challenges posted by any faculty member or The Captain. The best example is the annual Earth Day Challenge, which runs in March-April. Mega-challenges are large in scope and time-consuming, and will only happen a few times/year and typically in conjunction with an event or theme. They will be posted to the all-school challenge forum. Team challenges operate within a specific time frame. All mega challenges must be pre-approved by the Dean of Students. As a guideline, merit value should not generally exceed 10 merits for each team member. All details of the challenge—tasks, start and stop dates, scoring system, etc.—must be explained when the challenge is approved and must be posted along with the challenge.


Mega-Merits Policy

Individual merit awards exceeding 20 merits may not be posted within 2 weeks prior to the fall or spring equinox without express permission from the Provost or Headmaster. This also implies that a large award can't be divided into and posted as several smaller awards. Similarly, no GSW Apprentices should have their Apprentice membership revoked during that time, as this artificially inflates overall Lodge standings. As part of this policy, faculty, Captains, and Prefects are also reminded to always post merit awards immediately after they are earned, rather than saving them for a later mass posting.

Please contact the Dean of Students if you have questions about this policy.