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What is the SCA?

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The SCA is a practical history society, recreating the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe. While dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, you can experience tournaments, royal courts, feasts, and dancing. You also have the opportunity to learn and practice ancient arts and skills — calligraphy, cooking, armoring, metalworking, carpentry, and needlework (to name just a few) — within an all-ages social group. The SCA is a great place to make friends and learn transferable skills. 

What is the SCA? Not only is it some of the most awesome fun that you'll ever have, but the people you meet here will become the best family that you'll ever have. -- The Honorable Lady Jerusha Kilgore

The Society began as a graduation celebration for Diana Paxson (Countess Diana the Listmaker) in Berkeley, California on May 1, 1966. That gathering, based on a 19th-century recreation of medieval life called the "Last Tournament," was the start of new era in research and recreation of the Middle Ages!

Ask a SCAdian: What inspired the Society to continue after that first event?

When I was planning the first tournament, I thought it would be a cool thing I could tell my children that I did once when I was in college. It wasn't until people started talking about "next time" at the feast afterward that I began to suspect I had started something. The group that came together at that first event had a unique chemistry and some very talented people. It was such a great experience, we had to try and repeat it. -- Countess Diana the Listmaker

From that tournament in California almost 50 years ago, the Society has grown to more than a thousand events happening on five continents every year. From Trenton, New Jersey to Tokyo, Japan, tens of thousands of medievalists (affectionately called "SCAdians") gather to enjoy the thrill of combat, explore centuries old arts and crafts, learn the skills and virtues of this exciting period of history, and build lifelong friendships with people from all walks of life. Our participants study nearly every facet of life from our period, the world of the Middle Ages before 1601. The Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization based in Milpitas, CA, with affiliate organizations in Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. Many Society activities are free to try or have very small fees for materials or admission and we offer several options for memberships for individuals and families that add benefits to your Society experience.

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