Imagine yourself standing on a field surrounded by colorful pavilions as banners flutter and snap overhead. Around you, richly dressed lords and ladies are watching knights in armor who battle with sword and shield. Music fills the air as minstrels play lutes and sing ballads of love and war. In the shadows of one especially grand tent, you see a King and Queen conferring with their advisors.

Are you in a historical romance? No, it’s the Society for Creative Anachronism! The SCA is an immersive history group where you, dressed in clothing of the period, can experience tournaments, royal courts, feasts, and dancing, and learn how to recreate crafts and skills of the pre-17th century world.

Unlike a Renaissance Fair, SCA activities aren’t just something you come to watch, they’re something you actively do. You’ll learn about the clothing of the period by tailoring and wearing outfits. Learn about combat by putting on armor and competing against opponents. Learn about brewing by making (and sampling) your own meads and ales. And there are many more subjects to learn about, including armoring, archery, cooking, heraldry, metalwork, music, dance, calligraphy, woodworking, and fiber arts. If it was done in the Middle Ages or Renaissance, the odds are you’ll find someone in the SCA interested in recreating it!

Visit the Newcomers’ Portal to
learn more about our activities!

Events are the major activity in the SCA. These are where we wear our medieval clothing, cook and serve the recipes we’ve been researching, play and dance to the music we’ve been practicing, socialize with friends, and generally have a good time. A wide range of SCA events take place practically every weekend of the year, including coronations, masked balls, symposiums, tournaments, interkingdom wars, and more. Activities at events can include fighting, fencing, archery, art competitions, classes and workshops, youth activities, feasts, and royal or baronial court.

You will find people from all walks of life:  students, teachers, writers, secretaries, lawyers, retail workers, and insurance agents.

Most SCA participants didn’t start off as history experts. You will find people from all walks of life:  students, teachers, writers, secretaries, lawyers, retail workers, and insurance agents. A number of SCA participants are employed in the sciences and technology: computer programmers, chemists, aerospace engineers, and so on. People who spend all week working with complex technology can find it relaxing to spend their leisure time practicing simpler technologies in a less modern setting.


The SCA dates back to May 1, 1966, when a few friends who were history buffs and science fiction/fantasy fans hosted an outdoor party in Berkeley, California. The invitation called for “all knights to defend in single combat the title of ‘fairest’ for their ladies.” This event, now known as the First Tournament, was a big success, and when the participants wanted to hold a second event at a public park they needed a group name to put on the application. The name “The Society for Creative Anachronism” was chosen on the spur-of-the-moment.

As people were introduced to the SCA by friends and at science fiction conventions, the group expanded across the United States. Over fifty years later, the SCA is now an international group with over 30,000 paid members, and is incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization.

Friends sitting around a table dining

Mission Statement: The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is an international non-profit volunteer educational organization. The SCA is devoted to the research and re-creation of pre-seventeenth century skills, arts, combat, culture, and employing knowledge of history to enrich the lives of participants through events, demonstrations, and other educational presentations and activities.

What are those strange names people are using?

Every person in the SCA may pick a name by which they are known in the Society. It could be something simple and familiar (Thomas the Smith) or something more exotic-sounding (Tangwystyl verch Gwillim). It just can’t be the name of an actual person from history or legend, such as “Richard the Lionheart”.

You don’t have to decide on your SCA name right away. Many people go by “real first name” of “name of SCA group” for a time, while they are working out what name they’d like to adopt.

In addition, many members of the SCA have titles awarded by the royalty which they can use with their names. “Lord / Lady” are those recognized with awards of arms, “Baron / Baroness” are the head of a Barony or those recognized for great contributions, “Master / Mistress” are those recognized for their outstanding skills and abilities in various fields, “Viscount / Viscountess”, “Count / Countess” and “Duke /Duchess” are titles for former royalty. Many members use variations of these titles in different languages, to match the origins of their SCA names.


The SCA’s “Known World” (which includes the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia and Africa) is divided into twenty regions called kingdoms. Each kingdom is ruled by a pair of monarchs who have competed in a Crown Tournament to win the throne. Kingdoms contain local chapters known as Cantons, Shires, and Baronies. The members of these local chapters are the ones who actually plan and run all the events, practices, and other activities for SCA participants.

You can participate in the chapter closest to you, and also travel to meetings and events held in other groups in your kingdom and beyond.

Find Your Local Group!


We welcome you to come to our meetings and events! For events, we do ask that you wear a costume appropriate to the time period, or at least a basic attempt at one, such as a plain-colored long skirt and peasant type blouse, or plain trousers and an untucked tunic-style shirt.

Many local groups have a newcomers’ officer (called a “chatelaine” or “hospitaller”) whose job is to help you find your way in the SCA. They can provide you with information about meetings and activities, and may have loaner costumes for you to borrow for your first event.

You are not required to purchase a membership before you start attending, although you may wish to join if you decide to attend regularly. Members receive discounts on event entry fees, and some kingdoms do require membership to participate in certain activities.

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