The Ups and Down of Becoming a Card Holding SCA Member

 

To participate in SCA events, you do not need to be an official member.  Some events will charge a non-member fee of $5 that will be added to the site fee.  The reason for this is to cover insurance costs in case something happens.  If you find yourself going to a lot of events, it may be in your best interest to because an official member to avoid that $5 fee.  There are a few different types of membership.

Sustaining membership costs $45/year.  You receive a membership card and access to all electronic publications, and may purchase additional print publications. In addition, sustaining members may partake in the family membership.

Family memberships are available for ONE additional adult and any [minor] children 21 and under who reside at the same address as a Sustaining member. You will be charged $10.00 each for the first three family members. Additional family members can be added without charge.

Associate members pay $30 and receive just a membership card.

If you find yourself going to six official SCA events a year, the $5 non-member surcharge will equal the cost of the associate membership.

If you are interested in purchasing a membership, click here.  You can also use this page to login to your membership account, renew your membership, view monthly newsletters, as well as purchase publications (more on those below).

No matter what the right choice is for you, here’s some more information to get you to the next level in the SCA.

The Knowne World Handbook and Other SCA Publications

The Knowne World Handbook is a compendium of all things SCA that is perfect for someone starting out.  It contains information on everything from SCA History, Customs, Persona, Heraldry, Awards, Costuming, Events, Courts, Feasts, Camping, Arts & Sciences, Armouring, Chivalry, Rapier Arts, Tournaments & Service.  It can be purchased for $25 online at the SCA Marketplace.  You can also buy other publications, such as The Compleat Anachronist and Tournaments Illuminated.  These are monthly publications that focus on various aspects of SCA culture, most of the time pertaining to the Arts and Sciences.

Persona Building

A persona is the fictional person you wish to have been, had you lived during the period of time the SCA covers (Fall of the Roman Empire to the 16th Century).

Creating a persona takes thought, time and research.  Depending on whether you like research or not, this can be a small project, or one that you continue to explore throughout your years in the SCA.  This will be the name you are known as to all your SCA friends, and the background on which to develop many of your SCA activities.

The first things to consider when building your persona are:

  • Culture
  • Time Period
  • Social Status/Profession

Here are some links to help get you thinking.

Research Questions for Developing a Persona

Names

Looking for somewhere to start?  Here are some links:

SCA College of Arms – Name Articles
The Academy of Saint Gabriel

If you think you’ve found a name that you like, take it for a test drive.  Have people use it at practice or your next event.  Tell people you are trying it out.  If it feels right, and if you actually answer to it (that’s a big one!), you might have found your name.  If not, try again.

Heraldry

Here’s a quick tutorial:
Heraldry for Non-Heralds

Our Shire does not have an official Herald at the moment, so you might need to look elsewhere for help.  A great place to start is the Facebook Group SCA Heraldry Chat.  Many heralds use this group to consult each other on all things names and devices.  There are plenty of willing people there eager to help.