Welcome! We’re delighted you’re considering coming to your first SCA event. Whether you’ve been along to any smaller local get-togethers and practices or this is your first real-life encounter with what we do, we hope it’s fun for everyone.
What do I need to bring?
Clothing: The basic dress code for events is “a reasonable attempt at pre-1600 clothing”. Some people will be wearing multiple layers of splendid handmade wool or linen clothing with a high level of authenticity from headdress to undies, but this isn’t expected of anyone.
There are various commercial suppliers of simple re-enactment and LARP kit online, their offerings can vary from high fantasy to meticulously historical, so look carefully at how things are described, but there are good affordable options. The high street (and charity shops) are also worth a try – this has been a very good summer for things like loose plain linen tunics/shirts/blouses and linen drawstring trousers – avoid things with visible zips or obvious modern buttons.
Or you can make something. A T-tunic/dress is easy to pattern (it’s all rectangles). A tabard or sideless surcote (maybe to put over your shop-bought linen top) is even easier, with minimal sewing.
We may also be able to lend you something appropriate, as lots of us have spare kit, so do ask.
Feast gear: You need to bring your own crockery and cutlery – the minimum would be a dish, drinking vessel, knife and spoon. I’d recommend both a bowl and a plate, as meals can include soups/stews. Wood, pewter, rustic pottery etc. can all look nice and medieval – again try charity shops – but we won’t refuse to feed you because your dish looks too modern!
Also bring your own drinks – tea, coffee and juice will be available, but you can bring beer, wine or soft drinks to enjoy at feast.
Sleeping stuff: If it’s a weekend event, you may need to bring your own pillow, sleeping bag, bath towel, teddy bear, earplugs, sleep masks, or whatever else you need – make sure to check the event description for any details. You can also often day-trip the event – the vast majority of activities typically happen on Saturday.
What can I take part in?
The classes, the games, the feasting, the dancing – most of the event is open to everyone, but there are a few limits.
If archery is scheduled, there may be loaner equipment you can use, or you can bring your own if you have it.
Both armoured combat and rapier fencing are only open to those who have “authorised” and have appropriate equipment. The rules, including kit requirements, can be found here: http://www.drachenwald.sca.org/drupal/content/kingdom-specific-regulations.
Authorisation is a test of understanding the rules and that you play safely, and for most people is taken after attending practice a number of times. If you’re interested in learning about the martial activities, do watch the tourneys and talk to people about it.
How are events run?
Events are run by participants. That means everyone involved – the cooks, the marshals, the heralds, the musicians, the washers-up, the teachers – is a volunteer and is paying to join in the event, just like you. So please, treat them kindly and politely and help out where you can.
There are always things to be carried, dishes to be washed, and things to set up and take down. Being involved in the kitchen team for a few hours or on the clean up crew is also a good way to get to know people.
However if you don’t feel comfortable doing something due to eg. disability, injury, slippery shoes or whatever, please do say so, we don’t want you going home in pain or a feast platter dropped because you didn’t think you could say no! And there will probably be another chance to help out in a different way along in a moment.
If you’d like to get more involved in helping make events happen, just ask!
If you have more general questions about what we do, you may find the answers here: http://www.thamesreach.org/2017/03/08/notes-queries/
We look forward to seeing you!