I had wanted to join the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) since college. A few crazy friends did nerf sword fighting on the quad, and the romantic in me felt the pull to move beyond our weekly Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying games to the world of historical re-enactment.
Alas, graduation and student loans intervened for decades. Oh, I’d occasionally meet up with the local group wherever I happened to be living, but the time never felt right. For one thing, it seemed like a very intense and time-consuming hobby, one that work and child-rearing simply didn’t leave time for. I spent a good decade devoting every weekend to youth soccer and hockey ….. but the SCA continued to call to me. I’d surf the website now and then before returning to the modern era.
To make a long story short, this summer, I decided that there would never be a perfect time to take the plunge. I’d never be ready, but I could always start and figure it out along the way. So, I officially joined, made contact with the local group, and started learning.
Frankly, getting started in the SCA is a lot like learning how to play a really big, open-ended computer game (or entering a virtual world like Second Life). There are few rules and a world of possibilities. You can choose to explore any aspect of daily life that occurred during a period of about 1000 years throughout most of Europe, northern Africa, and a good deal of Asia. That’s a lot of possibilities!!!! And, while people mean well and are generally friendly, established members with long, exotic names and titles have a hard time giving advice for the complete newbie.
Hence, I decided to document my journey …. nearly from the very beginning. Starting with confusion and floundering and early attempts to sew historical clothing to ….. hopefully ….. the day when I too have a long, exotic name and can wear an accurate reproduction of period clothing to one of the local (or distant) events. I intend to be honest about my struggles in the hope that other newcomers can imagine their path to belonging in the SCA.