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History isn’t just something in a boring book. It’s how we got here. The long and winding path humanity walked down that led us to right now. If you’ve ever been curious about the Middle Ages or the Renaissance, ever wondered what it was like to live during that time, ever dreamed of knights, kings, queens, and noble deeds…then you might just belong with us. We are the Society for Creative Anachronism, and we make history come alive. The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe. We don’t just dress up and call each other “milord” and “milady.” We spend our weekends living in a shared world where chivalry, honor, and the pageantry of royalty are real things you can see and touch and experience for yourself. We do combat, we dance, we sing, we create art, we serve; we build a little refuge from the stresses and conflicts of the modern era based on nobility, honor, and respect for one another. Rank and titles in the SCA are earned entirely within the Society, not granted based on who you are in the modern world. If this sounds like a place you might want to be, come and check us out.
The SCA is divided into regional groups we call “kingdoms,” each led by a king and queen who have achieved those titles through their own merit. Texas (except El Paso) and Oklahoma comprise the Kingdom of Ansteorra. Within Ansteorra there are a number of local groups such as baronies, shires, and cantons. For a weekend event near you, browse the Kingdom Calendar. We’re excited that you’re interested in the SCA, and we can’t wait to meet you at an event. As Shakespeare wrote, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” You may be a Peer of the Realm or even of Royal Blood: join us and find your own path to destiny!
“But when I talk about the real friendships in my battle family, the close knit group around me that trains together, fights together, crafts together, drinks together, helps each other outside the SCA and forms real bonds, that’s something of real world value that most people don’t have.”
“It signifies one’s investment into The Dream, to see it continue to grow and to flourish. To protect it from losing any of the significance it has come to mean to so many different people throughout the years the SCA has been in existence.”
“When you join the SCA, remember that you’re joining a group in order to have fun within the ideals of the Current Middle Ages – emphasis on the fun. You will find that you are among a tribe of like-minded people.”
Martial strife formed a central pillar of medieval western European society. The annual cycle for many villages was based as much on ‘campaign season’ as on the planting and harvesting of crops. The cream of each generation’s men (and in some cultures the women as well) spent a fair proportion of their adult lives afield serving in the armies of their feudal overlords or tribal leaders. The SCA strives to re-create this military mindset and the concepts of chivalry and honorable combat that sprang from it by offering a variety of martial arts activities to its members.
From single combat in formal or informal tournament settings all the way to huge melees hosting hundreds of warriors on a side, with a wide variety of single and double-handed weapons, shields, bows, and siege engines, the SCA can satisfy just about any combat craving you may have. Guided and led by Knights/Dames, Masters/Mistresses of Arms, and Masters/Mistresses of Defense, Viking warriors, Anglo-Saxon thegns, Norman conquerors, Burgundian mercenaries, and King’s Musketeers fight side-by-side. As an SCA fighter you may find yourself sprinting across open fields, crashing through the woods, assaulting heavily-defended towns, pushing and bludgeoning a path over bridges, leaping and dodging your way through tavern brawls, and even navigating narrow gangplanks at speed in (simulated) ship-to-ship battles.
You will discover not only how to design and build your own shields and weapons, but also have the opportunity to learn the armorer’s craft. Best of all, at the end of a long day’s brutal combat warriors in the SCA go home hale and hearty. The battles and wars here have no enemies, only friends. Our blows are never struck in anger, but in the spirit of friendly competition.
No matter how well executed, combat falls far short of re-creating medieval life on its own. Clothing, jewelry, art objects, utensils, furniture, foodstuffs, music, dancing, games, and other components of a functioning society are necessary to provide the backdrop that makes the SCA work so well. Mistresses and Masters of the Laurel who have studied and practiced their respective crafts for many years oversee workshops, classes, and personal instruction in a wide range of relevant arts and sciences. If it was made or studied in the middle ages or Renaissance, the odds are very good that someone in the SCA can teach you how to re-create it. There are ample opportunities to display the fruits of your creative labors, as well, both in your own camp and at events organized specially for that purpose.
Costumes, shoes and boots, jewelry, headgear, calligraphy, bookbinding, glass beads, leatherworking, woodworking, period music, period dances, bardcraft, blacksmithing, instrument-making, navigating by the stars…this list barely scratches the surface of the arts and sciences practiced in the SCA. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how anything was made or to experience the world from a medieval or Renaissance perspective, the SCA is the place to be.
If working behind the scenes and making things come together is your passion, the SCA has you covered. From assistant to a local officer all the way up to senior executive corporate positions, the SCA’s administrative infrastructure is an ideal place to gain experience in the day-to-day operations of an educational nonprofit organization. A variety of volunteer positions exist at the local, regional, national, and corporate levels. There are dozens of events held almost every weekend of the year worldwide, each of which requires a team of dedicated volunteers. As part of our nonprofit educational mandate, the SCA also puts on many different demonstrations of medieval and Renaissance life for local schools and other educational organizations.
The opportunities to serve are myriad, but they have one thing in common: the satisfaction of helping others. Hard work not only reaps great immediate rewards, it forges friendships that can last a lifetime. You won’t have to find your own way in the quest to serve, either. Masters and Mistresses of the Pelican will be there at every step to provide counsel and nudge you along the path to your goal. Occasional helper or lifelong dedication to serving, the SCA has a place for you.
You can either visit our groups page or enter your zip code to find your designated local group with a link to their website.
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This is our Kingdom’s site for assisting newcomers; it is run by an office called the “Hospitaler” who is in charge of assisting and educating all those new to the SCA.
The portal is a great place to get more information on what the SCA is all about and figure out where your interests may lie.
This link provides many excellent articles and advice on how to get started with various items such as creating your first piece of clothing to understanding SCA specific words and jargon.
Find information on how to get children involved in the SCA.
Paid membership in the SCA is not required for you to attend SCA practices, meetings, and events (although members do receive a discount on event fees.) You must also be a member to hold office.
You can read more here.