The main SCA website has a great page for newcomers, the Newcomer’s Portal, this might be a good place to start.
What is the SCA?
The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our “Known World” consists of 20 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more.
The SCA is a practical history society, recreating the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe. While dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, you can experience tournaments, royal courts, feasts, and dancing. You also have the opportunity to learn and practice ancient arts and skills — calligraphy, cooking, armoring, metalworking, carpentry, and needlework (to name just a few) — within an all-ages social group. The SCA is a great place to make friends and learn transferable skills.
What do all those strange words mean?
Here’s a link to the “Jargon” page on the main SCA.org website, it’s got a list of terms used in the SCA and their definitions.
How do I get started?
Here’s a link to the SCA Newcomer’s Guide- it has info on finding your first local meeting, what to wear to events, what to bring to events, what you can do at events, making up names and personas, combat in the SCA, Arts and Sciences, children in the SCA, and where to find your equipment. Your local group will have much more info on all of the above and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Basically, find your local group, Facebook is a great resource for this- and see when your local group has its next meeting and go. Most groups try to have at least one meeting per month, and the meetings may be:
Business Meetings, where they focus on the activities of the group and coordinate efforts for upcoming events, or
Arts and Sciences events, when they may be giving classes on anything from how to sew a T-tunic to how to make glass beads or basic blacksmithing
There may be some sort of “fighter practice” as well, in which members who enjoy SCA combat will put on their protective gear and practice hitting each other with various rattan weapons
These meetings are generally open to all, including newcomers.
Do I have to pay to join?
No, you do not- but if you wish to, the link to do so online is here. The current pricing for joining is $30/year for Associate Membership, and $45/year for Sustaining Membership (access to online publications included), with family members being added for $10/year each for the first 3 family members added, and more than 3 are free. Joining the SCA is not a requirement for attending meetings or even events, but there are some perks to doing so.
Membership in the SCA has numerous benefits, including:
The ability to hold office
The ability to compete in Crown / Coronet Tournaments
Discounted entry fees at some events
Sustaining and International members receive their kingdom’s newsletter and can subscribe to additional publications.
Do I have to have a name and persona picked out before I can come to a meeting?
No, you do not- this is something that some people do and some don’t, and it usually takes most people some time to figure out what sort of persona they would like to portray, so there’s not a rush to figure this out!
Do I have to dress in garb (medieval clothes) to come to a meeting?
No, you don’t- some people do and some don’t. We welcome you regardless!