The Society for Creative Anachronism
, commonly abbreviated SCA
, also commonly known as Sex, Combat and Alcohol
or Society of Consenting Adults
The SCA is an organization where you can get whatever level of fulfillment you want from it. There are dozens of various things that go on in local chapters, including the very obvious heavy fighting and fencing, sewing, weaving, belly dancing, leather working, blacksmithing, weaponsmithing, armor making, siege machine constructing, ale and mead brewing, and so on. In every group there is usually at least one or two people involved in any number of these things, so it's very easy to find people that share the same interests in the SCA as you. Since the SCA is so open-ended, you will be accepted regardless of whether you involve yourself in already ongoing activities, or start something on your own.
You will find SCA members that fill a range between weekend-hobbyist and the very extreme ultra-purist. I myself attend events here and there and enjoy rapier fighting, armor making and getting loaded at feast. There are members in my local shire, however, that live and breathe the SCA in every waking moment, and get severely bent out of shape when I wear out-of-period boots with the rest of my garb. I don't tell them about my titanium mail armor. Some of them had period weddings. Some of them live in hand-built stone castles. Some people camp in wal-mart tents. Some people build $3,000 period tents. So, do you have any life outside the SCA?.
SCA events are where most of the fun is to be had. Most local groups put on an event once or twice a year. Most events have heavy and rapier tournaments, classes on period topics, and usually a feast on one day. Some events are day-trippers, some are weekend-long and you'll have to camp or stay at a hotel nearby.
Among Large SCA events in the US are Gulf Wars (www.gulfwars.org) and the great Pennsic War (www.pennsicwar.org/). Gulf Wars is a week-long event in Lumberton, MS, involving extreme amounts of fighting, eating, and drinking. There are typically five THOUSAND people present at Gulf Wars. The Pennsic War, in Slippery Rock, PA, is a two-week long event hosting more than ten thousand people.
Getting more that foot-wet involved in the SCA does have its benefits beyond knowledge about period times and the friends you will make. One is given awards for various service. Given enough service to your shire and/or kingdom, you may be given a title by the king and queen, which can entitle you to wear a band or a pointy hat. Wearing this to events will cause non-titled members to endear themselves with loads of ass-kissing. muhahahahaha!
Joe member can become king by winning a tournament. In the kingdom of Meridies, there is a crown list twice a year. All that is required to become king is to be authorized for heavy fighting, show up at the tournament, and kick everyone's ass. Pretty cool, huh?
There are plenty of men and women members of the SCA. A lot of these represent boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife combinations, however the rest are often single and available. The SCA is a fairly liberal group, and you will find people of the opposite sex in an extremely wide range of backgrounds, beliefs, looks, interests, and so on. If you are looking for an umfriend you will be able to find one, however it is completely possible to find one's spouse in the SCA. Beats LAN parties, for sure.