The organization was established in 1966 and has grown to include thousands of members throughout the United States and Canada as well as in Europe and other countries around the world. The SCA, along with other enactment groups, has exhibited spectacular growth in recent years as people discover the excitement and fun of learning about their cultural heritage by re-creating life in the past.
Two of the more visible activities in the SCA include armoured combat and archery. Fighting involves trained opponents, clad in medieval armour, using blunt weapons made of rattan and dense foam. Combat is very carefully controlled to ensure the safety of all participants and each individual must complete training in one or more type of weapons. Fighters engage in 1 on 1 tournament bouts, team melees and 'friendly' battles which almost always form part of the activities at any organized events.
Archery also forms an important part of many society events and is also strictly controlled to ensure safety. SCA archery uses traditional style equipment that is very similar to that used during the Middle Ages. Arrows have wooden shafts and feather fletching, and the bows are standard recurves or longbows without counterweights or sights.
The majority of activities in the SCA are focused around events where members gather in period 'garb'. Members will assume a 'persona' of a lord or lady who could have existed at some period during the Middle Ages and will come to events wearing representative clothing they made themselves. A typical event might include a fighting tourney, fencing, archery, an Arts and Sciences competition, bardic performances, early period dancing, and the reenactment of a Medieval 'court'. In addition, one of the highlights of almost all events is sitting down to a medieval style feast of several courses that is prepared by skilled cooks.
This is only a brief overview of the activities that are a part of the SCA. Follow the links for a more detailed description of the various aspects of the Society - or feel free to contact any of the officers for additional information.
For any newcomers that may be interested in becoming a member of the SCA, it is important to note that paid membership is not a requirement in order to attend events or otherwise participate in many of the Society activities. Paid membership is required however in order to hold any group offices, enter the lists to fight in a Crown or Principality tournament (consorts must also be paid members), participate in any combat and related activities, become a marshal for any martial activities (including archery, fencing and heavy combat), autocrat an event, and to be able to vote in elections for a new Coronet or a group Seneschal at the Baronial level or higher. Local groups below the Baronial level may also default to membership requirements of its parent group for local elections.
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