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FAQ

Most of this information comes directly from the SCA Newcomer Portal.

What is the SCA?
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. 

How did the SCA begin?
The Society began as a graduation celebration for Diana Paxson (Countess Diana the Listmaker) in Berkeley, California on May 1, 1966. That gathering, based on a 19th-century recreation of medieval life called the "Last Tournament," was the start of new era in research and recreation of the Middle Ages!
From that tournament in California almost 50 years ago, the Society has grown to more than a thousand events happening on five continents every year. From Trenton, New Jersey to Tokyo, Japan, tens of thousands of medievalists (affectionately called "SCAdians") gather to enjoy the thrill of combat, explore centuries old arts and crafts, learn the skills and virtues of this exciting period of history, and build lifelong friendships with people from all walks of life. Our participants study nearly every facet of life from our period, the world of the Middle Ages before 1601. The Society is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization based in Milpitas, CA, with affiliate organizations in Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. Many Society activities are free to try or have very small fees for materials or admission and we offer several options for memberships for individuals and families that add benefits to your Society experience.

How do I 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.
Reach out to the local group through the Contact Us 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! 
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.

* Activities:
           * Note: All images included in the Activity pages are from the Society-approved pictures for media release.

Publications:
  • Newsletters and Supplements
Every kingdom of the Society publishes a monthly electronic newsletter that provides details on upcoming events, letters from the Crown and Officers, and other news from around the kingdom. Additionally, the kingdoms frequently publish supplemental issues outside of the monthly newsletter that feature special content by kingdom residents. This may include articles on arts and sciences topics, poetry and stories, children’s activities, photos from events, and more. The kingdom newsletter is provided as a benefit of most categories of SCA membership!
The Barony of Nottinghill Coill also has a newsletter called The Quill.

  • Tournaments Illuminated
Tournaments Illuminated is the Society for Creative Anachronism’s quarterly magazine for its membership throughout the Known World.
TI features kingdom news, a humor column, war reports, museums exhibits of interest, medieval destinations, book reviews, and listings of major SCA events. Article topics cover how to thrive in the SCA, as well as works of research on pre-seventeenth-century Western culture. It is available as an optional subscription with your Society membership!

  • The Compleat Anachronist
The Compleat Anachronist is a monograph series published four times a year by the Society for Creative Anachronism. Each issue focuses on a topic relevant to the time period we cover. The Compleat Anachronist gives readers an opportunity to review a subject in much more detail than Tournaments Illuminated, Kingdom Arts and Sciences publications, or local newsletters can provide.
In years past, The Compleat Anachronist has covered the knightly virtues, weaponry and armor, formal poetic structure, tavern songs, board games, and a host of other topics. It is also available as an optional subscription with your Society membership!