So you’ve heard there are some people who like to muck about with medieval things. Maybe you wandered across the SCA on the web, maybe you saw something on TV (In Ireland RTE, the National Broadcaster has a programme called Nationwide, which featured a couple of Irish SCA events, including Champions of Lough Devnaree, which was my very first event/introduction to the SCA). Maybe you really just want to try out the archery, fencing or heavy fighting, without all the dressing up bit, but you’re not sure how to find out more?
If you haven’t made any contact at all yet you can get in contact with the Chatelaine of the SCA branch (more properly Shire) that is closest/most convenient to you. That’s what a Chatelaine is for, they’re the officer in charge of greeting and assisting newcomers. They will point you in the direction of classes, meetups, demonstration days or upcoming events, steer you towards useful web and email addresses, and sort you out with loaner clothes (garb) and equipment (feast gear for example) if you chose to try out an event.
Irish folk: the Shires in Ireland can all be found at http://www.loughdevnaree.org
Next, some gentle encouragement. If you are interested in things – history, crafts and uncommon sports like archery or fencing – you may well have at one time or another wondered if anyone in the world is interested in those things too, I know I did for a long time. SCA members are interested enough to try these things out, to sometimes fail, then try again, to succeed spectacularly, to teach others, to praise and give feedback and generally act as a sounding board for that project you were always interested in but never quite got the conviction to go for by yourself. I am not long involved, but I have personally found the people to be lovely, inclusive, enthusiastic and fun, genuinely helpful and generous.
Like cooking? I recommend feast cooking. Like eating? I recommend Feasts! Hate sewing? It’s okay, nobody will expect you to turn up in a handsewn authentic 14th century court gown (just as well in my case!) Ladies! Sick of doing “girls’ activites”? come fight another person in heavy armour with a rattan stick; work out those frustrations, compare bruises and plan to become Queen in Her Own Right. Always wanted to try medieval poetry or music before an appreciative audience? We’re back to the Feast. Whatever tickles your fancy, it’s worth it, honest.