My First SCA Meeting
I had a whole post written for you today on graciousness and Knightly Virtues, but decided when I woke up this morning that wasn’t at all what I meant to say. Maybe on another day, but not today. Today I want to tell you about my first meeting in the SCA.
You know I’ve been in the SCA since at least ’93 when I received my AoA. But I got that because I already held a Baronial office. I was the Minister of Arts. Yes, just the Arts. Cearr McBrendan was the Minister of Sciences then.
That was about two years after my first newcomers’ meeting. A friend took me to a Renaissance Faire where Lonely Tower folk put on a demo showing their crafts and fighting skills. I was enthralled.
I already knew what the Society for Creative Anachronism was. I’d seen a noon time tv series several years before on Armed Forces TV. Then I was a service wife living in Germany. Now I was divorced and in the USA. I had more time and was able to join.
Immediately I signed up and the next week went to the Chatelaine’s gathering at her home. The living room and dining room were crammed with people most of whom I hadn’t spoken to before. Sh greeted me warmly and showed me around handing me snacks and a beverage. I then sat down in the circle of chairs surrounding the room.
Together we chatted and listened to a talk about all the Baronial interest groups and gatherings. People moved around the house and to the downstairs den. Some got more treats so I did too sitting down again in the same circle of chairs.
A man sat down next to me and we talked about the SCA. At the time I didn’t know who he was but he’d been in the Society for some time. Then it happened. Our legs touched – no big deal – but he didn’t pull back. He moved his leg up and down mine. I didn’t respond. Didn’t talk to him. Didn’t look at him. I sat frozen with my head down. Not knowing what to do. I was scared.
Thankfully nothing more came from that incident. But had I not been the person I was, with the life experiences I already had and in a different time I might never have gone to another SCA activity. He’d creeped me out.
I realize the culture then is different from what we have today. You still hear stories about those times. Those Were The Days like the Mary Hopkin song. But unlike the song, times have changed and so has the world. The Society for Creative Anachronism is changing too.
Thankfully the Society and Calontir are taking a stand against those behaviors, asking all members to respect everyone. All should be welcome and comfortable here. Nothing like that behavior is acceptable and will not be tolerated.
The small-town community that is Calontir works best when you look out for one another. A child that seems lost. A friend that’s enjoyed too much of Bacchus’ gifts. A newcomer that appears insecure. Whatever event you’re attending watch out for one another however long they’ve been with us.
My best, longest, and most often seen friends are in the SCA and Calontir. Their kindness, knowledge and skills inspire me every time I see them. My life would be dramatically different had I never returned after that first meeting almost 30 years ago.
We all must protect the magic that is the SCA. Don’t let even one negative occurrence spoil another’s experience. A seemingly little thing can change your life forever.
Related External Resource: Get Consent Before You Engage pdf flyer. This was first used at the Kingdom of the West‘s Great Western War XXI and can be used at any SCA event.
Ugh… I’m sorry that happened to you. Too often newbies run away from the SCA because of creeps like him or because they’re too aggressively pursued… “romantically.” I’m glad you stayed. Being inclusive does not mean we need to be permissive. We must all uphold the Ideals of the Society, courtesy and chivalry among them.