Newcomer FAQ

The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) has a website specially designed to assist newcomers and those wanting to know more about the SCA. Please feel free to check out the SCA Newcomer and SCA FAQ web pages to see if your questions have been answered.

If we have not answered your questions here, please ask. Someone else may be wondering the same thing.

  • Do I have to join the SCA to participate?
    • No. You can participate without being a member. However, only current members can receive awards, hold some offices, or poll.
  • Do I have to get dressed in costume to participate?
    • It is highly encouraged and does make it more fun. We don’t usually wear garb for the monthly business meetings, archery/fighter practice, scribal, or work nights. An effort at clothing that fits within the SCA time period is highly encouraged.
  • What is the SCA time period?
    • The SCA covers pre-17th century history, mainly the European Middle Ages & Renaissance. The basic time period is from about 600AD to mid 1600s (through Elizabeth I)
  • Who decides what I should wear?
    • Each individual picks their own clothing.
  • Can I bring my kids?
    • Absolutely! The SCA is multi-generational, and there are many youngsters involved. There are members that grew up in the SCA and even some second- and third-generation SCAdians around. Children, youth, and teens are encouraged to participate in most activities, including youth combat (for teens and pre-teens) and archery. The marshal activities do require parents or legal guardians to be present.
  • Do you do demonstrations for other organizations?
    • Yes, we do demonstrations for schools, scouting groups, and other organizations as requested. These vary from a small one-hour program to a large activity complete with combat demonstrations and classes. Contact the Chatelaine for more information.
  • Do you do reenactments of actual events?
    • No; our activities are more free-form. Each person picks their own persona, which include name, garb, and time. Some events may focus on a specific place and time as a theme, but attendees may select garb or persona from within another SCA period.
  • Do you do those Renaissance Fairs?
    • No, the SCA is not involved in the large for-profit Renaissance Fairs. However, many SCA members participate in these fairs by providing entertainment.
  • What if I don’t know anything about history?
    • No problem! We have participants that range from those doing extensive historical research to those who just enjoy the fantasy of life in the middle ages. An attempt at period-appropriate garb (there are many available to help) and that you treat others with courtesy and respect befitting a chivalric society is all that is expected. Some history will rub off on you whether you want it to or not.
  • How do I get involved?
    • Just show up at one of our local activities (meetings, archery, or fighter practices) and we’ll help you get started. Or contact our Chatelaine for some pointers. The national SCA web site also has a useful newcomers page (http://welcome.sca.org/)
  • How much does membership cost?
    • Level of membership determines the cost. Click here for current membership informaiton: http://www.sca.org/members/. Members receive a discount at SCA events and the monthly Kingdom (regional) newsletter. Subscriptions to the national quarterly magazines “Tournaments Illuminated” are an additional fee.
  • I want to go to one of your events. What do I need to bring?
    • For a meeting or fighter/archery/rapier practice, just come as you are. For the Court/Arts and Sciences night, you are encouraged to wear something that is passably medieval. For a single day event you should wear garb and bring food (unless a meal is provided), water, and the event fee. If a feast is provided, bring feast gear. Note that some feasts will sell out, so reservations are recommended (see the event announcement for details). Garb is usually available for loan to newcomers, contact the Chatelaine before the event for more information. For weekend events, you should bring a tent, sleeping bag, and anything you might need to stay overnight (unless you are staying with someone or in a hotel).
  • What goes on at a weekend SCA event?
    • A typical SCA event will include armored combat and rapier, with archery if an area is available. There may be a feast dinner with medieval dancing afterwards. Some alternatives such as arts and sciences, classes, bardic (songs, poetry or stories of the period), games, and children’s activites may be available. When the King and Queen are present, they usually hold a Royal Court to present awards and honors to their subjects.
  • Are cameras allowed?
    • Yes. Attempts to hide the camera when not in use, and discretion when using a flash are appreciated. There are some expectations of privacy, so please ask before posting or publishing pictures if at all possible.

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