Thank you for your interest in attending an event in the SCA! Your first event can be exciting but a little bit confusing, so to help answer any questions you may have, please read over the following helpful hints and tips:
The Society for Creative Anachronism is a historical research society focused on the Middle Ages of Europe. We study the culture, activities, and crafts of the medieval and renaissance periods. Whereas a lot of “renaissance faires” and the like center on entertainment with a medieval theme, we focus on learning and recreating a special environment encompassing the whole of medieval society. You are never required to become a paying member of the Society to attend its events, but there are several benefits mentioned throughout this page to becoming a member. Check out this page to learn more about becoming a member.
At any given SCA event, you can expect:
Participants dressed in clothing that mirrors the styles and construction of clothing throughout the Middle Ages. The only requirement to attend an SCA event, besides paying any relevant attendance fees, is to make an attempt at wearing clothing (called garb) from pre-17th century Europe and associated cultures. In Vulpine Reach, we have an officer called “Gold Key” who coordinates loaner garb for our newcomers. You may be able to borrow an outfit for the event you are attending with advance notice.
Artisans working on embroidery, painting, blacksmithing, music, poetry and other period arts and sciences. Newcomers are always welcome to inquire as to the “how” and “what” any given artisan is doing. In many cases, the artisan will even teach you how to do what they’re doing. You may learn something you never knew before! The event schedule will outline what workshops and classes you can attend, and you can always walk up to anyone doing a craft you find interesting and simply ask!
Combatants recreating armored and rapier combat using safety-ensured armor and weapons. These “weekend warriors” train and compete using techniques to replicate combat styles of the Middle Ages. Society armored and rapier combat requires training and authorization to participate, but anyone is welcome to learn the ropes and become authorized to compete in tournaments and other battles. There is a small fee for authorization, but it is waived for Society members. If you are interested in fighting, we encourage you to watch how it works at an event and then join us at a fighter practice so you can learn it yourself!
Cooks preparing recipes based on dishes from the Middle Ages. We go beyond the standard “hunk of turkey on a stick” fare of the faire to complex dishes representing food from England, Italy, Spain, Ireland, France, and many more countries and cultures! These are usually found at “feast,” a time when everyone gets together to share in a large meal prepared just for the event. There may be an additional fee for feast and it may have a limited number of spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis.
When you arrive on site for an event, the first stop is at “Troll.” This is the registration desk where you sign in and pay your registration and meal fees. If you are a member of the Society, you will receive a discount on your fees every time you attend an event! Once you “troll in,” you will be given a “token” on a string or cord to wear. You must keep this in sight at all time as this designates that you are a paid entrant into the event. If you don’t already have garb, you will also be directed to the Gold Key officer to borrow some. Be sure to return this to the event staff before you leave!
If you have any questions about anything you see or hear during the event, feel free to ask questions of anyone. Participants in the Society love to share their knowledge and talents with others and are always willing to share with newcomers. A friendly smile and a polite question goes a long way!
A note about event attendance for children and teenagers: we welcome you to come visit the Middle Ages for a weekend. It’s a great way to meet people and try out new crafts and skills. However, in the interest of keeping you safe, we do require a parent, guardian, or authorized adult-in-charge to accompany you to the event. You can find out more about this on our Newcomers page.
Now that you know a little bit more about our events, we invite you to get in touch with our Chatelaine, the newcomers officer, who will provide you with more information about the Society and our local shire. If you have any further questions about our event, please contact the person in charge, known as the Autocrat, who will be glad to assist you. We look forward to seeing you in the Society!