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Title Decoration  Newcomers (and others) Information  Title Decoration

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Title Decoration  Newcomer FAQ

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 montly 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 and 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, some second and third generation SCAdians around. Childred, 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 with the kids


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.

Title Decoration  Links to newcomer information

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.

Title Decoration  SCA Definitions

Within any special interest group there will be commonly used terms that are “known” to the persons within the organization, but a completely unfamiliar language to a newcomer.

Here is a very basic primer of some terms that may be new to you:

Anachronism / Anachronistic: A chronological inconsistency, anything out of its proper place in time. (Knight in shining armor holding a diet Coke).

A&S: Arts and Sciences; an office that facilitates references for historical arts and culture. Also used as a generic term for the majority of non-fighting activities.

Autocrat: Old term for Event Steward.

Baron/Baroness: Appointed public representatives to SCA groups (Barony) with over 50 paid members of the SCA.

Chirurgeon: Volunteer first-aid support.

Chronicler: Office responsible for a group’s newsletter; chronicles activities.

Court: Formal gathering/meeting with Royal presence (Their Majesties or Baron/Baroness).

Crown: The King and Queen of Atenveldt, also known as the Royals or Their Royal Majesties (TRM).

(the) Dream: What we in the SCA strive to represent in re-creating the essence of beauty, honor, grace and chivalry of Medieval Western European culture.

Eric: Roped fighting field.

Event: This generally refers to an official SCA activity, usually held on a weekend, where there is a site fee and guests are expected to wear garb. Events may include fighting, A&S, a feast, period dancing, and bardic.

Event Steward: Host or hostess of an SCA event.

Exchequer (Reeve): Group treasurer in charge of financial matters.

Favor: A ribbon, embroidered cloth, or other item given (usually to a fighter) as a mark of esteem. These can signify anything from simple friendship or good wishes, to a memento of love and commitment.

Feastware: Simple (wooden, pewter, ceramic) mug, plate, bowl, eating utensils not usually provided at SCA meals.

Feast Gear: Eating dishes and utensils for one diner. Most SCA feasts assume that guest will bring their own tableware suitable to the event. This includes a plate, bowl, drinking vessel, and utensils in pottery, metal, wood, or glass. Guests may also bring tablecloths, candles and any other items that might enhance the setting.

Garb: Medieval clothing worn to SCA events, as opposed to "costumes" which are worn to Halloween parties or masked balls. However, most garb is suitable for Halloween parties and masked balls.

Gold Key (Hospitaller, Chatelaine): Hospitality representative, good point for information and loaner garb.

Hardsuit: Armored combat, more correctly called Heavy Fighting/Fighter.

Heavy Weapons: Combat performed in armor and simulated (rattan) weapons on foot, as opposed to "Light Weapons" which include fencing and archery. Heavy weapons combat is done in armor that meets SCA safety regulations, according to SCA rules, which were developed to safely re-create the combat of the medieval knight.

Heirs: Victor of Crown Tournament and consort who until Coronation are known as Heirs to the throne and addressed as Their Royal Highnesses (TRH).

Herald: Voice of the Crown, person who makes announcements, also aids persons in researching personal identification representation.

HOLD!: Stop everything and pray attend. Some danger exists that requires immediate attention!

Huzzah! : Cheer of congratulations; Recognition for a job well done. (Period Hoorah!)

Marshal: Field safety personnel for archery, heavy fighting, and rapier.

Merchant: Person who sells wares, items, books, etc. Many items are period-style.

M’Lord or m’Lady: Proper attention getting form of address for anyone in the SCA.

Mundane: Who we are in our day to day life.

Pavilion: Shade or tent.

Period: The SCA period ranges from the fall of the Roman Empire (about 450 A.D.) to the beginning of the Reformation, generally identified by the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1607. The word "period" is used in the SCA as shorthand for "historically accurate".

Persona: A character assumed by an SCA member, someone who "could have existed" in a specific time and place in the SCA period. Use of actual historical persons as a persona is not permitted.

Populace: The persons who comprise an SCA group.

Privy: Most common usage: bathroom. (Also Privy Secretary: Private Secretary).

Rapier: Period fencing.

Reverence: Courtesy nod, bow or curtsey in recognition of meeting others in the SCA.

Seneschal: Group president.

Shire: Recognized group within the Kingdom of Atenveldt with at least 12 paid members of the SCA.

Smalls: Underwear; however, within the SCA it is a term used for young children. (Children were called children in historical times).

Society: Abbreviated term for Society for Creative Anachronism, or the governing body of the SCA.

Southwind: Newsletter for the Kingdom of Atenveldt, containing information for upcoming events. Comes with sustaining membership in the SCA.

Thunderbolt: The Newsletter for the Barony of Mons Tonitrus

Tournaments Illuminated: The quarterly magazine published by the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Troll: Old term for Gate.

War: Term for a larger SCA event. Most common references are to Estrella, Pennsic, Gulf, Lillies, Potrero, and Great Western.

Your Excellency: Proper form of address for anyone wearing a Coronet in the Kingdom of Atenveldt. More commonly used for Counts and Countesses and Barons and Baronesses.

Your Grace: Proper form of address a Duke or Duchess (someone that has held the Crown for two or more reigns).

Your Highness: Proper form of address for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of the Kingdom of Atenveldt.

Your Majesty: Proper form of address for a King or Queen in the Kingdom of Atenveldt.



At the end of each Royal Court you will hear:

“Long live the King,
Long live the Queen,
Long live these Sovereign lands of Atenveldt”

If a Court is between Crown Tournament and Coronation, you will hear:

“Long live the King,
Long live the Queen,
Long live the Crown Prince,
Long live the Crown Princess,
Long live these Sovereign lands of Atenveldt”