Welcome, to the Marche of Norborough's newcomer's page.  Here you'll find information about what we do, as well as links and advice to help you find your way through your first few events. (All links open in new windows)
Where we are:
Norborough's official borders encompass the Ohio counties of Darke, Mercer, Miami, and Shelby plus the southern tip of Auglaize County. (See map). 
We're part of the Barony of Flaming Gryphon, which covers much of western Ohio. (See map
Flaming Gryphon is one of several groups in the Middle Kingdom, which covers Ohio, Indiana, Michigan (minus the upper penninsula), Illinois, most of Kentucky, plus a bit of Iowa and Ontario.
There are currently 19 kingdoms in the SCA's Known World.  The Middle Kingdom, also called the Midrealm, was founded in1969 and is the third oldest of the kingdoms.
What we do:
This one's a bit tricky.  We've been called a "living history" group, but most of those groups require a higher level of authenticity than we do.  Its not that we're against authenticity, its just that we won't turn someone away because the hem on their tunic is machine sewn or because their shoes have rubber soles.
We've been called an "arts revival" movement, and that's a part of what we do.  But we do so many other things like fencing, archery, thrown weapons, feasting, etc that "arts revival" doesn't seem sufficient,
We've been called a martial arts or medieval-combat recreation group, and although this is the big eye-catcher of the SCA it is by no means manditory that anyone take up arms. 
The SCA mission statement posted on the Society's webpage may be the best way to go:
The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our "Known World" consists of 19 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.
How did the SCA come about?
The SCA's story starts on May 1, 1966 in Berkeley, CA.  A group of history buffs and Science Fiction/Fantasy fans decided to hold a small backyard tournament, where combatants would duel with wooden swords and everyone was encouraged to come dressed in the clothing of some era of history or fantasy when the sword was used.
The tournament was a massive success, and another was planned. Then another.  Soon this fledgling group had outgrown private backyards and needed to rent a local park to support a larger event.  When told that the park only rented to groups, not individuals, Science Fiction author Marion Zimmer Bradley coined the name "Society for Creative Anachronism". 
Your first event
We were all new to the SCA at some point.  The requirements for starting out are pretty light. You'll need:
  • Garb. This is clothing styled after what people wore prior to the year 1600.  That opens up a lot of possibilities, from togas to tunics to the elaborite clothing of the Rennaissance.  Odds are the person introducing you to the SCA or the group you contact can arrange a loan of garb for your first event or two.  If not, you'll find directions for the making of a T-tunic in the Links section below.
  • Site fee:  Most SCA events charge an admission fee, which will be posted on the event's website and flyers.  A small surcharge usually applies for anyone who is not a paid member of the SCA.  Additionally a breakfast, lunch, or supper Feast may be offered at the event for an additional price. 
  • Feast gear:  Breakfast and lunches offered at an SCA event tend to be quick food that can be eated on-the-go.  Paper plates and plastic forks/spoons are commonplace.  The evening feast is different.  For feast, we try to imitate the kind of place servings that would have been seen in a feast of banquet in period.  This can be elaborate and hand crafted, but really doesn't have to be.  The person introducing you to the SCA or the group you contact may be able to loan you feast gear, but a few trips to thrift stores can set you up pretty inexpensively.  A good starting kit of feast gear is:
    • Drinking vessel: A goblet or tankard made of metal or ceramic is the norm.  Wooden mugs and drinking horns also turn up.
    • Bowl: Metal, ceramic, or wood.
    • Plate: Metal, ceramic, or wood.  In period, "trenchers" of stale bread were used. (We don't usually use trenchers, as they can get very messy.
    • Flatware: Knife, fork, and spoon.  It is handy to have a dull knife for butter as well as a sharp one for meat or fruit.
    • Napkin: preferably fabric.
    • Basket of cloth bag to carry it in.  You may also find it handy to have plastic bags to wrap around dirty dishes, wet wipes, a small tablecloth, candlestick and candles (check with event staff to see if open flames are allowed), and a spare bowl for bones or scraps.
  • A guide: It's handy to have someone help explain what's going on at an event.  If a friend introduced you to the SCA, this is probably not a problem.  If you've contacted the local group on your own you might ask if the have a "Chatellaine" or "Hospiitaller", which is a newcomers' liason.
  • Camping gear: Many summer events offer camping, for which you'll probably want a tent and bedding.  Camping is not mandatory for events where it is offered, and many people choose to "day trip".
More Info
For more info, follow these links:
A video from CBS Sunday Morning.  (hosted on YouTube) A bit out of date, but with a good but short look at what we do. 
An online demo for the SCA. Very brief, but with good pictures and a good overview of the many activities the SCA offers.
Forward Into The Past. The SCA's official guide for new members. Lots of good information here to get you through your first couple events.
A glossary of common terms in the SCA. Like many hobbies, we have a lot of lingo that we toss around.  It can be confusing until it's been explained.