What is the SCA?
The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts, skills, and traditions of pre-17th-century cultures. Our “Known World” consists of 20 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Participants, dressed in pre-17th-century clothing, attend events which may feature tournaments, arts exhibits, classes, workshops, dancing, feasts, and more. Our “royalty” hold courts at which they recognize and honor members for their contributions to the group.
Members of the SCA study and take part in a variety of activities, including combat, archery, equestrian activities, costuming, cooking, metalwork, woodworking, music, dance, calligraphy, fiber arts, and much more. If it was done in the Middle Ages or Renaissance, odds are you’ll find someone in the SCA interested in recreating it.
What makes the SCA different from a Humanities 101 class is the active participation in the learning process. To learn about the clothing of the period, you research it, then sew and wear it yourself. To learn about combat, you put on armor (which you may have built yourself) and learn how to defeat your opponent. To learn brewing, you make (and sample!) your own wines, meads and beers.
You will frequently hear SCA participants describe the SCA as recreating the Middle Ages “as they ought to have been.” In some ways this is true – we choose to use indoor plumbing, heated halls, and sewing machines. In the dead of winter we have more to eat than King’s venison, salt pork and dried tubers. However, a better description is that we selectively recreate the culture, choosing elements of the culture that interest and attract us.
Members of the Media
How to Get Started
Ready to dive into the Society? It’s easy! Take a look through the various sections of this website to get an idea of how to get started with the different types of activities we do. The SCA offers a fantastic resource called the Known World Handbook which is filled with articles to help you get started. We’ve provided a preview article for free in the “Attend an Activity” section!
When we’ve piqued your interest, here’s a step-by-step activity guide for getting started in the SCA!
“My friends in the SCA introduced me and brought me in. It was great and so easy to be able to jump right into it and attend my first event. I had a great time!” — Lord Tiberius Finn
Locate Your Branch
The first step to participating in the SCA is determining the kingdom and local group in which you live. If you live in Southern Nevada, then Huzzah! you’ve found your local group, the Barony of Starkhafn in the Kingdom of Caid. Click on Baronial Lands to see the list of zip codes that lie within the Barony’s borders.
If you are in a different area, check the “Find Your Group” link on the SCA website. It will bring up the “Kingdom Lookup” tool. Select your state / province / country to see which Kingdom covers that area. The results will have a link to that Kingdom’s website, where you can find a list of local groups and the territory they cover.
Get in Touch
To contact someone from the Barony:
1. Check the “Contacts” link.
2. Contact the Newcomers’ Officer, known as the Chatelaine (also called Castellan) to get more information about the Barony.
3. If there is no current listing for Chatelaine, contact the Seneschal, or Chapter President.
4. You can also find us on Facebook*.
Attend an Activity
Our Barony hosts a wide variety of activities throughout the month, which can include business meetings, arts and sciences workshops, combat practices, and weekend events. These are listed on our Events/Calendar page.
Once you find an activity that interests you, check with the Chatelaine or Seneschal to see if there are any requirements or costs to participate (such a materials fee or food cost). Then visit! Then, go have fun! You can learn more about Getting Ready for your First Event in this preview article from the Known World Handbook!
The most important thing you can do on your first visit to the SCA is introduce yourself and ask questions. Society participants have a wide range of interests and love to share with people who want to learn about them.
Purchase an SCA Membership (Optional)
Paid membership in the SCA has many great benefits:
•Discounted entry fees at most events
•Sustaining/International members have electronic access to every kingdom’s newsletter, along with supplementary publications that include photos, educational articles, and creative works. They can also subscribe to additional publications.
•The ability to hold office and to enter Crown/Coronet Tournaments
•In some kingdoms, membership makes you eligible to receive awards
Under 18 Years of Age? Read First!
A note for our visitors 17 years of age or younger: we absolutely welcome you to participate in our activities and events! Some of the things you can do in the Society, however, require a parent or guardian to provide permission or complete authorizing paperwork before participation. Please check with the Kingdom of Caid to determine what’s needed from your parent or guardian for you to enjoy the Society to the fullest!
Want more information?
Visit the SCA Newcomer’s Portal where you can find out more about Armored Combat, Rapier Combat, Equestrian, Archery and Thrown Weapons, Crafting, Costuming, Heraldic and Scribal Arts, Performing Arts, Food and Drink, Games and Pastimes as well as links to SCA Publications.
Still curious? Or but wait, there’s more!
Check out the SCA Newcomer’s Portal. Or download the eight-page brochure, Newcomer’s Guide, with color photos and information on: What is the SCA? – Getting Started – Who is Who? – Activities – Where to find SCA equipment – Recommended Reading. Also, see the Getting acquainted with the SCA on the Chatelaine Resources page. There you will find information on topics such as SCA Terminology, Children in the SCA, What to Wear, Things to do, Who to be and much more. You may also want to download an introductory booklet published by the Society titled, Forward into the Past . It covers details including, Fitting In – What to Wear and How to Behave – Making a T-tunic – Names and Personas – Kingdom & Local Officers – SCA Combat – Who is Who? – Heraldry – Guilds, Households, and Sociability – The Gentle Arts and Sciences.
The content above has been copied and repurposed from the SCA’s How to Get Started page.