How do I become a member?
Being a paid member of the SCA is easy. Membership forms are available online at http://www.sca.org and you can join from the website. If you are currently financially unable to become a paid member, you are still just as welcome to participate as is a paid member. Anyone who participates is considered to be a member. All that is required is that you make a reasonable attempt at wearing clothing which is in the style of the Middle Ages whenever you attend an SCA event.
How much does it cost to join?
We encourage you to become a paid member of the SCA.
- — The cost of a Sustaining membership is $45 per year; it includes your membership card, and a monthly issue of the Kingdom newsletter, Popular Chivalry.
- — Family memberships may be purchased by Sustaining members, for one additional adult and any minor children 21 and under residing at their address, for $10 each; $30 maximum per family.
- — There is also an Associate membership that you can purchase for just $30 a year; the newsletter is not included with this one.
Having a membership decreases the paperwork you must fill out when signing in at events. You will also not have to pay the non-member surcharge of $5 at events if you are a member (discounted admission). As mentioned, there are newsletters, but there are SCA publications that members may purchase. Being a paid member gives you the voting privilege within your local group when the time comes. And finally, paid membership is required of anyone who wishes to hold an office (local, Kingdom, or Society level) or who wants to participate in a Crown List tournament.
The SCA can be as expensive, or as inexpensive, as you wish to make it. Before spending your hard earned money on materials and gear, talk someone who has what you are making. They can often help you find the best source for both quality and price.
What’s garb and where do I get it?
“Garb” is the term we use for medieval-style clothing. The simplest garb is a tunic and a pair of pants or a long tunic used as a gown. The complexity increases to highly decorated Tudor or Elizabethan period clothing.
Groups have some garb which you may borrow for a short time so that you can “dress the part” right away. Aside from purchasing it from merchants or online shops, the best way to get garb of your own is to either make it or commission someone to make it for you. Check with your local group for assistance.
What is a populace meeting?
A populace meeting is a regularly scheduled meeting in which the group’s Officers report to the populace, and upcoming activities are discussed. A lot of groups meet weekly; some only meet once a month. The meeting usually lasts for about an hour. Some groups have classes and dance practice on a rotating schedule during the month. You aren’t required to attend every meeting or planned activity. Check with your local group for the schedule.
What’s an event and how much does it cost?
Events are really the central part of the SCA. Events are hosted by SCA groups and are held on the weekends. You can find an event somewhere in the Kingdom (region) almost every weekend. You can attend as many events as your schedule will allow. An event usually includes a tournament (some events have more than one) and a feast. Some events also include arts and sciences competitions, archery, live weapons, a rapier tournament or youth combat. In the evening, after feast, we often get together informally for a revel. A revel can be as simple as people sitting around a campfire and talking, or there might be dancing or a bardic circle (story-telling or singing).
There is usually a fee to participate. The fees are minimal for an event, which are used to help the hosting group pay the owners of the site for its use. If you choose to eat at feast, there is an additional fee for this to cover the cost of food. Fees vary widely according to the type, duration and operating costs involved in the event and are listed on the flyer in the Popular Chivalry and the online flyer. Check the Kingdom calendar for links to the online event flyers.
Where do I stay if I go to an event?
Some events use state park group camp sites which have cabins; there are also private camps that have cabins or lodges, and some include RV slots. Other events are camping only. Still other events are for the day only and there won’t be accommodations available on site. For these events you can drive to the event and return home the same day, or book a hotel room, or find “crash space.” SCA people frequently open their homes to other SCA people attending an event and provide them with a guest room, sofa, or floor space to put a sleeping bag. If the announcement of the event lists someone as “crash space coordinator,” you may contact this person for arrangements. Many people choose not to stay overnight at an event; this is called “day-tripping.”
What should I bring to my first event?
Wearing garb is strongly encouraged. Beyond that, bring whatever personal items you would usually use over the course of the day, plus a camp chair or a blanket to sit on, sunscreen or a hat, water, and lunch. Some events offer a fund-raiser lunch for cash money. If you plan to eat feast, you will need a set of feast gear. See “Going to Your First Event” for more detailed information.