Getting Started

How To Get Started and Meetings

You can contact our Hospitaller, HL James Highgate (in modern life, Jacob Tessler)

The Hospitaller is the person who welcomes new participants into the SCA, by not only introducing them to experienced members, but also by teaching them about SCA and Kingdom traditions, customs and rules and helping new participants fit in.

You can (and should) attend a meeting or fighter practice. In Swampkeype and the Barony of Darkwater, these meetings are casual and we don't usually dress in garb (medieval clothing) at these regular meetings.

Most  meetings have a planned class or activity - you can check our calendar for more information on upcoming events and classes. Some people bring projects they are working on, while others just like to hang out and talk with friends. This is a good place to meet the people of the canton in a casual setting.

Our Hospitaller, or their Gold Key deputy, has a limited amount of garb and equipment available to be borrowed for events. Please contact them in advance, to ensure they have a size that would fit you or the equipment that you need.


When many people think of the SCA, they think of people in medieval clothing, fighters battling, feasts and dancing. This is actually a pretty good description of an SCA event.
It is always a good idea to pre-register for an event, especially if you wish to have feast. For a list of up-coming events, check our meetings and events page.

What to bring with you to an event

If you have not pre-registered, you should bring enough money to cover the cost of the event. You might also want to bring extra money as there are often many merchants with various SCA items for sale.

Some feast prices include lunch and breakfast, others do not, check the event announcement/flyer/website to see if you need to bring lunch.

If you are planning to eat feast, you should bring feast gear consisting of a plate, a bowl, a cup, a fork (if you prefer), a spoon, and a knife. Many people bring candles, candle holders and tablecloths.

You should also bring your own drinks and snacks. Please check the site restrictions on alcohol. Drinks should be drunk from your cup, not original containers (no one likes to see a soda or beer can at an event).

A hat, sunscreen, and insect repellant are all good to bring with you. During the spring and fall, it is a good idea to dress in layers or bring a cloak for morning and evening wear when it gets cooler. During the hottest months, you might want to dress lightly during the day and bring a change of garb for the evening.


This is the most visible of all our activities and is the only requirement in the SCA. Everyone is asked to make an attempt at pre-1600 clothing. Your garb can be as simple as a "T" tunic or as elaborate as Elizabethan court garb. Please don't feel as though you have to be dressed perfectly. We understand that you may not have the knowledge or means to do a complete outfit. If you're not sure what to wear, ask someone. They will be more than willing to help.
Another misconception is that if you wear one style of clothing, you always have to dress that way. After attending several events, you will see that this is not true. Many people see a costume and think they might like it, but after wearing it to their first event they find that the clothes are too uncomfortable, too wieldy, or not flattering to your figure. You can also use commercial patterns or purchase your garb. PLEASE ask someone if you need help.
For ideas please see

Choosing a Persona

You do not have to choose a persona right away. Attend a few events first, try out different garb and talk to all kinds of people. You may find something more interesting than you originally planned. Once you pick a name and people start calling you by it, it is challenging to change it as that is who we all met you ! One way to avoid this is to pick a first name that was common to several areas you are interested in, and decide on a last name at a later date. You cannot use the name of a real historical person or a fictional character, or a name that implies a relationship to either. You cannot use a title which has not been awarded to you within the SCA. A good web site to check out for ideas for and the rules of SCA name construction is the Medieval Names Archive.