Welcome! The Chatelaine, Eleanor De’Astlye, is the officer responsible for welcoming newcomers to the SCA and can be reached at chatelaine@hartshorn-dale.eastkingdom.org . Contacting the Chatelaine, or following our Facebook page, are excellent ways to start getting involved, find out what’s going on, and ask any questions you may have.

The Shire hosts regular gatherings to practice fencing, dance, or the arts & sciences. You can learn more by visiting our Activities & Practices page. Anyone is welcome at these practices, and special equipment (from medieval outfits to swords) is not usually required.

Fencing practice. Loaner equipment (both armor and swords) is available.
Fencing at an event.

Participatory reenactment on your own terms

There’s a lot to do in the SCA, and you can choose which topics interest them the most. You can join the SCA to fence in fancy clothes, or to embroider in pleasant company. You can join the SCA to research and share your love of a particular era of medieval history — whether it’s reading history books, or experimenting with the process to create printing ink out of linseed oil. There’s no wrong way to get involved!

Dance practice.
Dancing at the event “Dining with Henri,” with live musicians.
Painting a silk banner during a workshop.

A finished painted silk banner flying at Pennsic.

Clothing: Dress like the Middle Ages

Events are where we re-create the current middle ages! To create this atmosphere, everyone wears an approximation of pre-17th century clothing (“garb”). The Shire has loaner garb — called “Gold Key” — available for newcomers to borrow. Many people in the SCA make their own clothing; other options are to purchase garb, or arrange for somebody to make it for you. Some folks have a few sets of similar clothing; others enjoy exploring different styles. It all depends on what your personal interests are.

Contact the chatelaine (at chatelaine@hartshorn-dale.eastkingdom.org) to arrange borrowing a set of Gold Key.  The Shire has over 150 pieces of Gold Key, in all colors, sizes, and styles. You can view most of the options in an album on our Facebook page.

The Shire holds occasional workshops to plan and work on garb; contact the chatelaine or the Minister of Arts and Sciences (at MOAS@hartshorn-dale.eastkingdom.org) to learn about upcoming workshops, or to request a workshop on the topic you’re interested in.

Please Note: Only events are held “in garb;” street clothes are typically worn to practices (like dancing and fencing), business meetings, workshops, and other activities.

Pinning a piece of garb, in preparation for sewing it together.
Dressed in garb.

Attending Your First Event

Ready for your first event? Or maybe you feel really nervous and don’t know how to prepare? Don’t worry, we’ve all felt that. The article “Getting ready for your first event” from the Known World Handbook, is a great resource to help you know what to expect and how to prepare. For example, many events expect attendees to bring their own “feast gear” (silverware, plates, and a mug). Please feel free to ask any Shire officer or member for help in preparing for your first event. We’re glad you’re here and happy to help.

Events usually feature many activities. Here, medieval games are played while the fencers spar in the distance.

Learning more about the SCA: Web resources

The SCA has great resources for newcomers.

Check out the SCA Newcomer’s Portal for general information on all things SCAdian.

The East Kingdom (our Kingdom) also has a Newcomer’s page.

You can become a card-carrying member of the SCA through sca.org. This official website is full of Society-wide resources.

The East Kingdom Gazette posts important Kingdom and Shire announcements, upcoming events, Court Reports, research articles, and other items of interest. You can also receive the East Kingdom Gazette as a mailing list.