Weekly Check-In #32
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Welcome to Brook Haven!
Welcome to Brook Haven Ranch! We are a 18+ premium role playing community set in Trader's Bend, Montana. Our concept is the culmination of twenty years of plotting and planning. We feature a rich, developed program in which many troubled characters thrive. Our community is one of the best on jcink and we look forward to you becoming a part of it!
Healing Horses & Troubled Teens since 1995
Not every teenager has the benefit of growing up in a loving, happy home. Some are victims of abuse, neglect, a system that shuffles them from foster home to foster home. Brook Haven Ranch was established in 1995 as a refuge for abused and neglected horses -- and teenagers who needed a second chance in life and the opportunity to become something more than society expects of them.
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8/25/2017 - Revamp Executed! 11/3/2017 - Holiday Event Launched!

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 09. New Things at Brook Haven!, Guides!
OTTER
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Brewing at Brook Haven...
I'm excited to tell you guys about a new project I just completed yesterday! I've been working up the energy to get this done since before we changed our skin, so you can imagine how long this has been in coming. I believe I speak for all of the staff when I tell you that we are excited to see how this turns out for our members and our site!

There are two major things that happened today, each of which has two components. Let's get started in learning about them!

Changes to the Application

This has been brewing (and stewing) for quite some time now, and these changes are born out of a final agreement among the staff that there's just something missing from the current applications.

Most of us (yes, I include myself in this!) don't go far enough to explain what drives our characters. This information is the foundation of behavior. We talk a lot about how the personality of a character is so much more important than the background of that character, but we've failed to address the fact that personality doesn't drive action: Behavior does.

For this reason, we've introduced a new section to the application. It will appear after the background and before the key plots on your templates from this point forward.

Beliefs, Aspirations, and Motivations

Everyone is driven by their systems of belief. What we believe about ourselves and the world around us create our Aspirations, and our Motivations nearly always stem from our Aspirations. We've always included a portion of the basics tab for "Aspirations" but most of us gloss over this and give a simple answer. Trust me, mine are among the worst on the site -- not kidding. I'm always in a rush to get this tab done and I don't put enough thought into it.

We've offered some guidance directly on the application for these sections as well as the other sections that you're used to doing for our application. This should offer some clarity to what we're looking for.

The "Systems of Belief" section has included two fields for "Beliefs about America" and "Beliefs about Brook Haven." You may replace these with whatever you want as long as you include at least two systems of belief. They don't have to be political (at all) or religious (at all), though these two can be useful to keep us all mindful of the fact that our characters don't always believe the same things that we do. You may add as many of these as you want, as long as there are at least two!

We also ask for at least two Aspirations and three Motivations. The application template includes information on what we're looking for here, so I hope that you'll find this a relatively smooth transition! If you're having trouble, please contact me. I'm always happy to help you!

Key Plots

This is a relatively small change: We are now asking that our members who play students please make sure that one of their key plots demonstrates to the staff what the desired progress at Brook Haven is going to be. We'd like to see an example of how this character will interact on the ranch and how the ranch is meant to help them with their progress through their experience on the ranch.

Most of the time this is missing -- including from staff apps -- and this information is so useful I can't even begin to express how much it will help us to see it. We want to have an idea of what you're hoping for your character to accomplish on the site.

Brook Haven Referrals

I'll make this part as plain as I can: We're now offering "Brook Haven Referral" as an alternative to the "background" section for Brook Haven Students. This can be written as a letter and include the information listed on the application template.

If you choose to do the referral for this section, you do not need to do anything else. All other characters are welcome to write this as a free-form application.

Roleplay Guides

For months I've planned to get some role play guides up on the site. We had a couple written on our last site, but I never moved them over from there to Brook Haven Ranch. I'm proud to announce the official opening of our new Roleplay Guides section! I will be adding to this as I feel capable, and I hope that you'll all enjoy its contents!

I've added two guides, but one of them isn't located there. Let me tell you about them!

Shipper Guide

I've referred several people (usually when pending applications, my bad!) to our "shipper guide" that I had copied into Google Drive from our previous site. It was hard to read, and it had lost its relevance. So now I've re-written this guide and you can find it here.

I highly recommend reading this guide before completing your shipper for Brook Haven Ranch! It includes tips that many people don't seem to think about, so we'd love to see everybody help themselves by making use of this!

Character Creation Guide

In this same vein, we have also introduced an official Character Creation Guide. I strongly recommend that all of our members (and potential members) give this a read through at their convenience. It's a long guide, but it will give you a solid example of what we're looking for in characters here on Brook Haven -- along with what to do and what to avoid doing if you want to get your app approved with as little fuss as possible!

If you have any questions about either of the guides, or of course the new application template, please let me know!
OTTER
Admin • 37 YRS
INFJ
Occupation
Admin
Nickname
Devin
Pronouns
She/Her
Sexual Orientation
Bisexual
Status
Taken by
Partner
...
Riding Style
Western
This is the mini bio...
N/A
is
N/A

Breed
Gender
N/A
Age
Disciplines
N/A
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM
468 Posts
4465 Points
Community Team
Administrator
Brook Haven Groups
Oops! I forgot to mention this when I first made this announcement yesterday. Sometimes things fall through the cracks and I forget what I intended to put into the posts. Sorry about that, guys!

This was meant to go under "Changes to the Application" but I got confused and posted it wrong. My bad!

Student Group Assignment

From this point forward, the staff will be assigning students to their student groups. This will usually be done based on the student's personality and their fit for the group that we place them in. When groups are drastically uneven, however, we may attempt to spread the students out a bit by putting students into groups whose culture doesn't suit their personality as well.

The application now asks for your top three choices for your character. The staff will then assign the group for the character, taking into consideration your preferences.

This has worked for us for years and the previous method of placement was an experiment. You'd think we'd learn, since it nearly always fails (how often have we had people put their girls into Wrangler because they want to flirt with Jason Tippett?). From now on we'll be assigning these groups based on our perceptions of the groups and your character upon reading the application.

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