How To Start Your SCA Adventure Today

The people in the SCA really are a fun group!

I’ll never forget the day where I was taking a riding lesson and my trainer at the time asked if I wanted to try out the SCA, The Society for Creative Anachronism. She had known that I was an avid LARPer, loved all things medieval and was always looking for a new adventure to go on. I had no idea what the SCA was nor had I ever heard of it. She tried explaining it but wasn’t quite sure herself.

Okay, no problem, I can do some research online and was open to the idea of attending some meetings or events or whatever this ‘SCA’ held. Unfortunately that plan of attack was much harder then I assumed it would be. We just couldn’t figure out where to start! That was five years ago…

Luckily, another friend of mine had figured it all out and started attending practices two years ago. Last year he attended one of my LARP events and the SCA was once again brought up. I explained my dismay on wanting to try it but not sure how to start. He was kind and patient enough to take me under his wing and explain it all in great detail while listing a few practices I could attend. It was actually much simpler then I had imagined!

Now that I’ve become active in the SCA and I’m very public about it, I constantly have people asking me how to join. And as easy as it is, it can be a little confusing at first. Instead of explaining it multiple times every day, I decided to write up this quick guide to get you started.

DISCLAIMER: This is in no way by any means a complete or detailed explanation on how to become super active in the SCA. This is just the bare bones so newer players have some sort of idea of where to start. I’m going to be using the East Kingdom website as an example and realize that every Kingdom’s website is set up differently. The key words should remain the same.

Still unsure what The Society for Creative Anachronism is? Check out the Society Seneschal’s explanation here! There are also numerous blogs going into greater detail of what the SCA actually has to offer. This is just how to join in on the fun!

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Membership

 

First things first… you do NOT need to be an official Member of the SCA to attend events, practices, meetings, etc. You can come and go as you please!

You pay a yearly fee but then get a discount at events, among other things. If you find yourself attending events regularly it will save you money in the long run.

Helpful but NOT mandatory. So don’t feel pressured or unsure of going to an event because you’re not a member.

Visit here for more member information: http://www.sca.org/members/about.html

Kingdom

 

This is the map when there were only 19 Kingdoms, there are now 20.
This is the map when there were only 19 Kingdoms, the 20th was recently added.

The entire world is currently broken up into 20 Kingdoms. The first step on finding your local group is finding out which Kingdom you reside in.

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  • Select which drop down box pertains to you. Most likely Select a US State. Click Lookup Kingdom.

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  • I live in NJ which is part of the East Kingdom. (Yay East Kingdom!)

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Local Group

 

Each Kingdom is broken up into Local Groups. Some Kingdoms have an overabundance of groups while some have less. Each group has different levels of activity but knowing which one is the closest will give you a starting point.

  • Visit your Kingdom’s website. It will be listed on the page where you entered which state you live in. For this example I’m going to keep using the East Kingdom.

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  • Click on ‘Getting Involved’ near the top right and then select ‘Local Groups’

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  • You can look through the list and see if any list your area. I highly suggest using the zip code search to exactly pinpoint which group you’re in. Some of them are very close to call. This list is also helpful to see which groups are nearby to you.

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  • Enter your zip code and viola! Your Local Group information!

Who To Reach Out To

 

Every Kingdom has a Chatelaine. It is their job to welcome new players, answer any questions that the player may have, direct them to who might better help them or work through any confusion.

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Now that you know your local group, they also have a Chatelaine who does the same job as the Kingdom Chatelaine but can do it on a more personal level since they are usually personally invested in that group.

No Response or Little Activity

 

Every Local Group is different. Some are extremely active, some haven’t been active in years. Some are extremely friendly and can handle helping new players find what they need while some may be more focused on more experienced players. If you have a bad experience with one group the next local group may be the complete opposite experience. Don’t feel the need to be loyal to your Local Group and only participate with them. In fact feel free to try out different groups and different things with each group. One group might have a strong fighter practice while another has an amazing sewing group. I personally attend practices and events all throughout the East Kingdom! Two of my ‘usual’ weekly practices are not even in my Local Group.

Keep in mind that people even in a position of power are still players.

If you find that your Local Group’s website is outdated or you’re not getting any responses when you reach out to them, never fear! There are ways around that.

  • Contact your Kingdom’s Chatelaine. They will be better suited to either reach out to that Local Group or suggest a more active group.
  • Facebook!!! There are hundreds upon hundreds of SCA Facebook groups. You have the name of your Local Group, sometimes doing a quick search will come up with something that can help you get in touch with someone. Whether it be a fighter practice or event. And don’t worry if you’re not a fighter and have no interest in fighting (as fighter groups tend to be more active online). They are usually more then happy to answer any questions and steer you in the right direction.
SCA Adventure; Let me tell you about the SCA! Photo Credit: Raziya Bint Rusa
Let me tell you about the SCA! Photo Credit: Raziya Bint Rusa

Events

 

The Event list can also be found on your Kingdom’s page. There is no rhyme and reason to when or where there are events. Some months there are events every weekend and some months there is barely one event. There might even be more then one event on a weekend! Especially if you live right on the border of two Kingdoms. My advice is to learn as much as you can about each event and see which one provides what interests you the most.

You can attend ANY SCA Event that you want, in fact, we encourage it! All you need to do is pay the entry fee and dress in medieval themed clothes so as not to break the immersion of all dressing in period clothes. If you don’t own any medieval clothes there will usually be a thing called the Gold Key at an event which loaner garb can be provided to you by the event host.

Every event has a page with any information you may need. If you still have questions there are contacts listed on the bottom you can reach out to. And once again, Facebook! There is usually a Facebook page for the event where you can ask any questions or see if someone else has already asked the same thing.

SCA Adventure; Come join us! Photo Credit: Joel Schonbrunn
Come join us! Photo Credit: Joel Schonbrunn

8 thoughts on “How To Start Your SCA Adventure Today

  1. What a great post and how wonderful it is to pass on to Newcomers! Sometimes it is hard to remember how it was to start (or you started to young to remember). Thank you for sharing!

  2. Lovely. I’d add that “an attempt at medieval clothing” can be a skirt/loose pants and a peasant shirt, easy things to find even at goodwill!
    So many people in the SCA are shy themselves, so we don’t want to approach people who look new because they might not be. A simple “I’m new” will usually open the floodgates :-)

  3. Great article, I will be sharing it.

    If I could make a suggestion, the phrase “Keep in mind that people even in a position of power are still players” would be better represented by “position of responsibility”. That is what being a Peer or an officer is about: responsibility.

  4. I was lucky to have a friend introduce me to SCA. I was one of those yearly Ren Faire junkies who wished for people who did more and then I met Gina through my daughter’s school. Now I am involved and enjoying it as I go. Your post is AWESOME and I will be sharing it because I am always wanting to explain SCA to people and this is perfect! thanks for posting!!! Blessings abundant to you!

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