What is the SCA?

Welcome to the Society for Creative Ananchronism (or SCA)!  If you are just newly seeking out the SCA because you saw some people in costumes in the park or heard about it from a friend or in a newspaper and want to get involved too, this page is for you. We hope you enjoy it and when you are done, contact the Hospitaller or Chatelaine in your area. This is a person who is designated to help you get your bearings and get acquainted. He/she has loaner costumes (garb) if you don’t yet have your own and will introduce you to people and groups in your areas of interest and generally get you acquainted. You will find the Hospitaller on the Officers or “Regnum” page of your local branch. The Barony of Caerthe’s Hospitaller can be reached at hospitaller@caerthe-sca.org.

To get further information on what is happening and who is who, your kingdom and local groups publish a newsletter. For the Kingdom of the Outlands, the newsletter is The Outlandish Herald. This is available by subscription through SCA.org or you get a copy with your Membership. The Barony of Caerthe’s quarterly newsletter is The Fortress which is available online for free.

Some Generalities

The SCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization incorporated in California devoted to researching and keeping alive the customs, traditions, and arts and sciences of the Medieval and Renaissance Eras, from roughly the time of the Fall of Rome to about 1600 CE. We do this recreation in the context of the “current middle ages”, as imaginary setting in which members can participate in various aspects of the culture and technology of the period, as well as do more traditional historical research. The SCA has grown since its inception at a backyard party in Berkley, Caifornia, in 1966 to include over 30,000 paying members, internationally.

Entering the Current Middle Ages

Local branch members of the SCA sponsor events, such as tournaments and feasts, where members dress in clothing styles worn in the period, and participate in activities based on the civil and martial skills of the time and place. These activities recreate aspects of the life and culture of the landed nobility in Europe pre-1600 CE. The dress, pastimes, and above all the chivalric ideals of the period serve to unify our events and activities. To facilitate this “persona” environment, members adopt a period name for these activities, earn/win noble titles of the period and exercise many customs and courtesies accordingly.

While we enjoy the period, our current middle ages expresses it in an idealized form lacking plague and other aspects of a less technological life that made it miserable for some. This is a celebration of what was good about the past.

Re-creating vs. Reenacting

The difference between re-creation and reenactment that re-creators actually recreate all the aspects of a time. Reenactors go a step further and stay completely in the time period, their battles are carefully choreographed and their campsite perfectly planned out. In re-creation, members do their own research and try to recreate those parts that interest them. In combat, our members focus on actual fighting, not trying to remember at what point they are supposed to “die”.


Memberships are very handy and provide you with some great benefits, but you are not required to have one to attend events or practices. You will need one if you wish to hold office, partipate in combat activities at events or receive any awards. Having a membership will get you reduced price for events (avoid the non-member surcharge!). There are several different levels of membership/ For more information about membership visit our web site at: http://sca.org/members/welcome.html.

Back to top

How the SCA is Structured

Board of Directors: Since the SCA is a nonprofit corporation, there is a Board of Directors which runs the corporation. The officers of the Board are called “Society Officers” and consist of a Seneschal, Laurel Sovereign of Arms, Marshal, Arts and Sciences Minister, Chronicler, and Exchequer. All of these offices have equivalents at each of the various levels of organization.

Kingdoms: The next level down from the Directors is the Kingdom level. To be a Kingdom, a group must have a minimum of 400 members. A Kingdom is ruled by a King and Queen, known collectively as “The Crown.” Each Kingdom holds a tournament of armored combat called “Crown List” at least twice per year to determine who will be the next Crown.

Barony: The next level down is called a Barony. A Barony must have at least 25 members, and is ruled by a Baron and Baroness. The Barons/ess are selected from among the members of the Barony by a concensus of all the area members and approved or disappoved by the Crown. Across the many kingdoms, Barons can rule for a period of two to five years.

Other Branches: Within a Kingdom/Principality there are smaller branches called Shires. They can also be called a March, Riding, Freehold, or by other names. A sub-group which forms as a subset of a Barony is called a Canton, and branches which form on a school or university campuses are called Colleges. There are also smaller groups for special circumstances groups such as military bases. These smaller groups must have at least five members, 3 of whom are officers.

Kingdoms of the Known World

The SCA has structured itself according to kingdoms and sub-branches based on a feudal system. To find your home group in another location, see: http://www.sca.org/geography/kingdom_lookup.html