What is the SCA?
The SCA is a world-wide organization dedicated to the study and recreation of the Middle Ages in a manner pleasant to modern romantic ideals. This means that while many of our members are historians, or otherwise like their recreation to be as accurate as humanly possible (at least), no one is going to force you to live on their plantation and plow their field. Unless that's your thing. The SCA is primarily about having fun, and getting together with other people that think dressing up in archaic outfits and bowing to each other or hitting each other with rattan swords is fun.
The origins of the SCA can be traced back to Berkeley, CA in 1966. It was originally meant to be a May Day party hosted by history majors, to include a simulated tournament. The truth is that party never stopped, and now spans half the globe. Our members run the gamut from professional historians who attempt to fully recreate every detail of one or more aspects of Medieval life, to fun loving partiers who like to wear tunics and drink mead. And sometimes they're the same person.
What do you do?
In the most general terms, we recreate the period of history from roughly the fall of the Roman Empire to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Every activity that was pursued then, and can safely and legally be pursued now, is practiced by someone within the SCA. That ranges from full-scale wars to the crowning of kings and queens to the crafting of shoes and the brewing of mead and cordials. However, since the Society is about having fun, it is assumed that every member is of the gentry or higher. We do not recreate the harsh realities of peasant life. Nor do we recreate the religious turmoil, the persecution of any race, or the subjugation of women. We recreate the Medieval world as modern society feels it should be. Egalitarian, noble, chivalrous and beautiful.
The SCA is predominantly focused on Europe, and Western Europe at that, but there is constant growth and Polish, Mongolian, Turkish, Chinese and Japanese recreations are all relatively common in the modern Society. If you are interested in any activity that took place between 600 and 1600 A.D., come out and meet us, and we'll point you in the right direction.