July 5, 2016 by Rua Lupa
The SCA is something that keeps me pretty busy these days, it stands for Society for Creative Anachronism, being a Non-profit Living History group that focuses on all things pre 1600’s. And its my home away from home, feeling like a family reunion every time I go.
This is mostly because I am far enough away from the main population centers in Ontario, Canada, (the region being referred to as the Kingdom of Ealdormere within the SCA)
and so the only events I really can get to that are worth the travel are the weekend camping trips. This year I’ve been to two so far, Trillium War (for Canada Day Weekend – Ealdormere’s largest event) and for Victoria Day weekend / May Long Weekend / May “Two Four” (we have a lot of names for that weekend), a Canadian holiday that celebrates the Queen. For Ealdormerians, this weekend is known as FOOL (Fruits Of Our Labours), being a weekend stuffed with workshops on the arts, crafts, and sciences of the pre 1600’s. And as usual I found myself unable to “do all the things” that weekend, having to narrow down which ones I’d get the most use out of for the time slots available. That way, the skills I learn can be used throughout the rest of the year – honing them through to next FOOL where I can then try something new that is more of a specialty than general everyday useful skill.
Anybody who knows me knows that I am a leech for learning skills, especially pre-industrial skills, so this is definitely an event for me. That is actually why I joined the SCA – to learn the skills that are not resource intensive in my pursuit of Ehoah (complete harmony within Nature). It has helped me in this quest so well that I have a hard time conceiving of not being a SCAdian and be a Saegoah (Seeker of Ehoah). Because of this I highly recommend all Saegoahs to take the opportunity this summer to participate in the SCA to learn the Arts & Sciences we could use, that are there and waiting to be learned, provided by people enthusiastic to share it. Its an opportunity just sitting there, it would be a shame to waste it.
If you are thinking of giving it a go, all you need is to do is find a local group (via http://welcome.sca.org/), and find out about the events they hold. For example, on Ealdormere’s homepage is a calendar of events that links to the event’s associated websites. From there find out which ones support workshops for A&S (Arts & Science), and plan on attending it. If it is a camping event (not all are camping, many events happen in indoors, especially so in winter), make sure you have your typical camping gear. And one last crucial thing…
What any SCAdian cannot go without is “Garb” – clothes of that historical time period. It is a historical recreation group after all, and the only requirement to participate in the SCA is to make an attempt at “period garb” (you don’t have to be concerned about a historical ‘persona’, with a name and backstory, which is intended for a more immersive experience to better understand what life was like then – that is just a bonus). Easiest is a tunic – a keyhole neck lined shirt that goes down to your mid thigh or knees (sleeve length can vary), which you can make or purchase (you are sure to find some good sources on Etsy). Add a belt and done! For new comers, if you have a tunic, but are wearing jeans and running shoes, no one is going to mind as we’ve all started with such basics and worked our way to the kind of garb we’d ideally like.
The SCA camping events are the cheapest camping I’ve ever done, and a lot SCA camping is firmly in the realm of “glamping” (camping in comfort, with large canvas tents, viking frame beds, tables, chairs, kitchens, etc. Which is normally representative of people who’ve been SCA camping for many years and worked up to that point – modern tents and camping gear are still welcome and common among newcomers and some long timers too)
So, if you want to get in on SCA camping, you can use my personal list as a reference.
I Hope you enjoy SCA camping as much as I have.