Types of Events
(Much of the following information was excerpted from Gunnbjorn Gunnarsson's article "Events in the SCA"
The What is an SCA Event? page covers your basic generic SCA Event, held indoors on one day, with fighting, feast, court (maybe) and dancing. There are many variations on this theme, however, and here are a few of them.
- Camping Events
- Educational Events
- Wars and Pennsic
One type of event that deserves special attention is the Camping Event. These events will have most of the same activities as a regular event, only outdoors. A camping event will usually run from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, with most of the activity on Saturday. It will usually be held in a private or county campground, many of which will have minimum facilities.
Camping events sometimes do not have a feast, unless there's a dining hall or something like it in the campground. Even if there is a feast, that's only one meal; for the others, you're on your own.
Remember, this is camping; you'll need a tent, sleeping bag, bug spray, flashlight, food, all the things you'd regularly take on a regular weekend camping trip. PLUS all the stuff you need to be medieval like garb, feastware, and so on.
Outdoor events are at the mercy of the weather, so be prepared. Bring something to wear in the rain, and something to keep you warm if the temperature drops down to 40. And by all means check the weather reports.
Don't even think about trying to use a one-person tent, even if you are just one person; it won't be big enough. A four-man dome tent is probably the minimum for a weekend event; for something like Pennsic War, you'll want something bigger still, something you can stand up in. Buy the biggest tent you can afford, within reason.
Some people like to camp in authentic period-style tents. The only problem with this is the cost of buying one (they start at around $500.00). You can, of course, make a medieval tent if you have the time and sewing skill. Patterns are available from several sources. If you can afford to buy one, you can find several vendors online by doing a search on medieval tents and pavilions.
An educational event might be an entire day's activities devoted to a single subject, such as fighting (War College events), dancing, garb, armoring, heraldry, blacksmithing, brewing and/or vintning, archery, music, or whatever.
Another type of educational event in the Middle Kingdom is the Royal University of the Midrealm (RUM). RUM is an excellent educational opportunity. The day will be filled with classes on dozens of subjects, both medieval and SCA. The Kingdom War College will generally hold a session, and there will also be classes for beginning fighters, as well as classes in history, the arts, medieval crafts and sciences, dancing, and so on. These are held several times a year, in different regions of the Kingdom.
Wars and Pennsic
Wars are camping events at which melee (group) fighting is the primary focus. These events range in size from wars between two Baronies, held on a weekend and attended by several hundred people, to Inter-Kingdom wars that last a week and are attended by thousands (in the case of Pennsic War, ten thousand).
An event like Pennsic War is so large that it defies any brief description; it's worthy of an article unto itself. Suffice to say that Pennsic combines every type of SCA event, all happening simultaneously for a week and each on a grand scale, with a few full-scale medieval battles thrown in to keep it interesting.
Move on to the Finding SCA Events Page.