Advice for those new to the SCA

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Greetings and Welcome!

If you are new to the SCA, things can get a little bit overwhelming. While there's a lot to learn about what the Society has to offer, that is not the focus of this article. Rather, this is about things you might want to know to integrate and how to avoid social gaffes that might not be obvious. Don't panic! There is pretty much nothing one could do to truly offend any of the gentles in the society, if done out of lack of information or experience (outside of what one would expect in truly offend folk in normal society). The SCA is about chivalry and treating each other politely, and this includes treating you that way.

Now, here are a few things that may not be obvious to folks new to "the game" - playing in the SCA.

  • While there are proper forms of address for the various ranks, it's perfectly OK to just call everyone "m'lord" or "m'lady" until you learn them - and even after you do.
  • Please read the 10 Commandments of the SCA.
  • Be aware of Camp Courtesy.
  • Always leave a campsite (or event site) cleaner than when you found it. This means not only your site, but pitch in if you see something on your way out or for the common areas.
  • Always ask permission to enter or walk through camps. Remember to treat their camp like it's their home. A good greeting is "Hail the camp!" and then ask when you have someone's attention.
  • We bow to the Crown, their empty thrones, and our Coronets to show respect and courtesy - but mainly, because it's all part of the game we all play, to make it feel like the middle ages. Nobody will say "off with your head!", but learning to spot when to do this will help you in joining in and contributing to the mutual atmosphere.
  • Likewise, using medieval forms of address is all part of that same atmosphere.
  • Sure, we are all here to learn, give, and partake. Remember that the primary thing is to have fun and escape the mundane by entering a medieval world, and to likewise enable others to do the same.

Don't sweat it, remember everyone was new once - even that Queen or King. Hopefully these tips will help you feel at home right away!