At a high level, to play in the SCA means to engage in virtual and in-person SCA spaces — websites, facebook groups/pages, discord servers, instagram, local activities, guild meetings, weekend events, etc — while research and re-creation of pre-seventeenth century skills, arts, combat and culture.
You don’t have to come to every activity. You don’t have to come to every event. You don’t have to do tons of research.
To play in the society means to engage with us, to pursue shared interests, to have fun, and to create. Everyone participates in different ways and to different degrees.
Find the activities that interest you, and join in!
Yes and no.
Things that don’t cost money:
- Attending local fighter practices
- Attending populace meetings or business meetings
- Attending guild meetings – there will never be a fee to attend a local guild meeting
- Attending virtual activities – none of Bryn Gwlad’s virtual spaces are pay-to-play
- Engaging online in SCA spaces
Things that cost money:
- Purchasing a membership — this is not required, but we do recommend it. You get a discount on weekend event fees and access to online materials.
- Investing in projects — different people have different hobbies. Activities like making clothing, making armour, flameworks, calligraphy all require materials and supplies, and supplies cost money. The barony invests in supplies for our guilds, which new folks are welcome to use, but if you’re pursuing your own interests, that could cost money.
- Investing in combat equipment – while SCA groups do have loaner gear that you can borrow when you’re first getting started, we encourage folks to eventually acquire their own gear. It’s very possible to get items for discount or for free from other SCAdians, but sometimes you’ll want or need to buy your own equipment.
- Attending weekend events — the major activities in the SCA are our weekend-long camping events. These events have a site fee, and sometimes a feast or camping fee. In general site fees are around $20 for the whole weekend, feast and camping varies depending on the location. The SCA has a family max that allows two adults to attend an event with minors for the cost of only the two adults.
- Some classes — sometimes teachers will offer classes that come with “kits” or materials that are provided to attendees. These “hands-on” classes will often have a $5-$10 fee in order to help the instructor cover the cost of materials.
If you don’t have materials or money, that is okay. There are ways to get involved that don’t require a financial investment
- Attend your local fighter practices
- Attend your local populace meetings or business meetings
- Attend local guild meetings – there will never be a fee to attend a local guild meeting, and there are often supplies on hand that you can use to learn or twy out crafts
- Attend virtual activities – none of Bryn Gwlad’s virtual spaces are pay-to-play
- Engaging online in SCA spaces – there are a TON of SCA facebook groups and discord servers that you can engage in for free
When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to the local officers here in Bryn Gwlad. We will help you get you where you’re trying to go.
People of all ages are allowed to participate in the SCA.
Minors (persons under the age of 18) will require a waiver signed by a guardian to participate in some activities (combat, serving in officer positions, etc). If you are under the ago of 18, and are interested in participating in combat or volunteering as an officer, reach out to the local officers to find out what you need to do.
The SCA is all about learning and sharing our knowledge with others. If you don’t know any period skills, come learn! If you prefer to volunteer or research or do other things that relate to the SCA, that’s good too!
- Come to local guild meetings
- Come to local practices
- Take classes at events
- Ask other people
- Dive into your own research
An SCA “member” is someone who has purchased a membership through our membership portal.
Do you have to be a member to participate? In general, no. However some officer positions require you to be a paying member of the society.
Nope. There is no association between attendance and becoming a member. Membership is determined solely by whether or not you have an active, paid membership through http://www.sca.org/join-us/
There are several tiers of membership that are available, the most up to date pay scale can be found here: http://www.sca.org/join-us/.
The general breakdown is:
- Sustaining Membership ($45/year) – available to US and APO addresses. Includes access to the SCA electronic newsletter website, which includes all the kingdom newsletters and the Board Meeting minutes. Paper publications may be purchased for an additional fee.
- Associate Membership ($30/year) – no electronic or paper publications are available for this type of membership
- International Membership ($56/year) – same as Sustaining, for non-US addresses
- Family Membership ($10 each/year, $30 cap/year) – can be added to a Sustaining/International membership
Your fees help support the SCA infrastructure, including worldwide liability coverage for our chapters, and the ability to maintain consistent rules and standards throughout the Society.
Members get the following benefits (most up-to-date list here):
- Discounts on event admission fees (usually $5 per event)
- Membership card – check in at events quickly by presenting your card
- Voting privileges in your local group – polls on local group matters are sent to those on the membership list (Bryn Gwlad does not enforce this)
- SCA Publications – digital access to all monthly kingdom newsletters and the quarterly Board Minutes, along with the option to subscribe to Tournaments Illuminated (the quarterly magazine of the Society), the Compleat Anachronist series, and to paper versions of kingdom newsletters and the Board Minutes.
Nope! Most Scadians start to develop a wardrobe around their primary persona, but anyone can wear clothes from any time period in the SCA. Have fun!
Yep! Your local group has loaner garb (frequently referred to as “gold key”) that they can use to outfit you so you have garb for your first event. Additionally, most events will have extra garb at the gate.
Absolutely not, if you have the time and resources to make garb that matches go ahead, it can really add to the ambiance of the event plus you will have cool new garb. However, you can wear any garb to any event.
Sure! the SCA requires a “best attempt” at garb. As long as it doesn’t look overly modern you’re fine. Ren-faire garb will work fine for starting out.
Also, remember that the SCA has loaner garb that you can use! Reach out to the Hospitaler to see what is available for loan.
That is okay. Not everyone is interested or able to make their own garb. These are a few options that you can consider:
- Talk to the local hospitaler to borrow clothing
- Check out the many SCA merchants/vendors from whom you can purchase clothing that matches your SCA style. Here are a few places where you can find them:
- The SCA also has a strong precedent for bartering — do you have other skills or time you could trade in exchange for garb?
Yep! Our martials have loaner gear that you can use. What you need to bring is
- closed toes shoes
- groin protection
- an athletic cup is required if you have male genitalia
- an athletic cup is required for persons with female genitalia during heavy combat and combat archery, optional otherwise
- and long-sleeves and pants if you are fighting rapier
If you’re competing in rapier, chivlaric, or equestrian activities, you’ll need to be authorized before you can compete. Being “authorized” is all about safety. It means you’ve demonstrated that you know the rules of the activity and that you aren’t going to pose a safety risk to yourself or others.
You do not have to be a “good” fighter to become authorized.
do I have to bow/who do I bow to/how do I tell who those people are
Many SCA weekend events offer camping, but it is by no means required to camp. There are lots of other options that folks choose that still allow them to attend an event:
- day tripping (traveling to an event and returning home on the same day)
- staying in a personal RV
- booking a hotel room near the event
- car camping (yep! some folks opt to bunk down in their vehicles)
- and more!
Before you travel to an event, make sure to check the event website to see what overnight options are available. Not all events have camping, not all support RVs, and some sites are very remote and the hotel selections are slim.
Plan ahead so you can get the most out of your event!