So.. You've decided you want to come and become a member of the SCA.... Well, first off, there are several varieties
of "membership"; but the main thing to remember is, you don't have to be a "paid member" unless you want to hold an office,
and if it's your first year, that's something I wouldn't recommend. You need the first year to get acclimatized and
to figure out what the SCA is all about.
A good way to do that is to just come to events and meetings and see what goes on, do some research at the SCA.org
website, look around the Atlantia.sca.org website (that will give you all sorts of information on the "rules" and regulations
that the SCA is structured around. Believe it or not, the SCA is actually fairly well and thoroughly structured although
it doesn't really appear to be at first glance.
While you're at events
and meetings, take some time to see what everyone's doing. There are very few people who won't sit with you and talk
for hours on a project they're working on, or fighters who won't take the time to talk to you about their armor and fighting.
If fighting isn't your thing, there are arts and sciences classes you can take. Generally speaking, they happen at events
and last from anywhere to 30 minutes to 2 hours.
classes is a great way to get a little exposure to something that interests you and there's usually very little cash outlay
to participate. That way, you can find something that interests you before you go shopping and buy lots of things you
don't really care for.The
other thing that usually occurs during your first year is sewing. The clothes
that we wear (called garb); can't be bought off the rack or at the local clothing store. There are some merchants at
events who sell clothes, but to really know what you're paying for, you should at least attempt to sew something simple yourself
first, then take someone with you if you go shopping at events.
some really good mundane patterns out there (I suggest you look at the costuming links on the moas.atlantia.sca.org website).
Something else you can do is to take the opportunity to take some Arts and Sciences Classes at various events throughout the
The best bit of advice I can give a new person is to have patience. Lots
and lots of patience. It will save you time, energy, frustration and money. As someone told me when I joined the
SCA seven years ago; the first year is the hardest and that's the year that you'll be so busy finding information and learning
from others that you won't necessarily be "contributing" to much other than the ambiance of the events you go to; but as you
continue in the SCA that will change. . That's not a horrible thing. Ambiance *is* important. Take
the first year as your "ramping up year", trust me, you won't regret it.
The other piece of advice I was given that I'll
pass on is for the first year, hold no offices, and don't join any households. To be blunt, every group, no matter how
friendly and fun has politics. As someone who's spent time as the exchequer (treasurer) of two groups (not at the same
time), a Chirurgeon (First Aid person); a drop dead seneschal (group President's fall back); the webminister and the chronicler
(secretary and historian) of my local group, and a herald, I can tell you that it's definitely a good idea to hold off a bit. By not holding an office or household (I've been a part of two houses. By not
holding an office in households), you have the opportunity to sit back and see how that particular group operates and
you can decide for yourself if you want to be that closely related to the group in question.
There has been many times in the past seven years
that I had wished I'd learned about the inner workings of a group before I volunteered. We all want to belong to a group,
and I can definitely understand that, but please, avoid giving into that desire, at least for 12 months. You won't regret