from the York & Lancaster County Chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism!
Welcome to the Dream!
About the SCA
Welcome to the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). If you are reading this, you may already share an interest in the Middle Ages. There are estimated to be 50,000 participants in the SCA worldwide. We are an international non-profit educational organization, with groups covering the North American continent, as well as groups in Australia, Europe, Japan, and the Philippines. Our purpose is to recreate the atmosphere of the Medieval and Renaissance periods of world history, with emphasis on daily life and culture. The time period of the SCA ranges from the collapse of the Roman Empire to approximately the year 1600, at the end of the reign of Elizabeth I of England. We cover about 1000 years of history.
The SCA is organized geographically. The Knowne World encompasses the globe, and is divided into 19 kingdoms. Each kingdom is further divided into smaller “chapters” such as cantons, shires, and baronies, which are further described under the newcomer links. The main offices of the SCA are in Milpitas, CA.
The SCA started in 1966 in Berkeley, CA with a medieval themed party attended by a group of college students. They had so much fun they decided to do it again the next year at a public park, but when they approached the park to reserve space, they were told they needed a group name. Marion Zimmer Bradley (author) came up with “Society for Creative Anachronism” on the spot, and the name stuck.
The idea spread rapidly, and in June 1968, the same year in which the Society incorporated, the Kingdom of The East split off from the Kingdom of the West. Typically, Kingdoms split into two or more smaller Kingdoms when they have sufficient members to support having two (or more) separate Kingdoms.
We share a dream of daring knights and lovely ladies, of castles and of tourneys, and colorful banners flying. Feasting with kings and queens, attending royal courts, and living the ideals of honor and courtesy, this is what we are about. We do this by learning new arts and skills, by teaching these things to others, supporting the efforts of each other, and treating each other with respect.
Who Can Participate?
The SCA welcomes all people who share our interest in the Middle Ages. We have participants of all ages, racial or ethnic backgrounds, religious affiliations, sexual orientation, level of education, and economic backgrounds. The only thing expected is an interest in the Middle ages, and a willingness to participate and learn.
Many events will include planned activities for youth of all ages, which might include coloring pages, craft projects, hidden item hunts, Royal Toy Chest chases, and story time. Minors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult, who must remain on site whenever their charge is on site. Minors under ~13 must remain within “sight and sound” distance of their designated adult or of any other adult who has verbally agreed to serve as the designated adult.
Where is Owlsherst?
The Shire of Owlsherst encompasses York and Lancaster County in Central Pennsylvania. It is located within the SCA’s East Kingdom. The East Kingdom currently extends from Delaware in the south, running northward along the east coast, including parts of Pennsylvania and New York, all of New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, as well as the Eastern Canadian provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Labrador. The East Kingdom is bordered by the Kingdom of Atlantia to the south, and the Kingdoms of Aethelmearc and Ealdormere to the west.
Owlsherst is bordered by the Shire of Montevale to the west, the Shire of Blak Rose to the west and north, the Barony of Bright Hills to the South, and the Barony of Bhakail, Barony of Hartshorn-Dale, & Shire of Eisental to the East. Although each chapter has its own designated lands, participants may choose which chapters they regularly participate with – whichever is convenient or preferred.
Local Activities and Events
Most practices and meetings are free of charge and require no special clothing, but the majority of special events do have an entry fee, and sometimes a separate fee when there’s a feast. Each event will have a point of contact who can answer questions in advance.
Owlsherst holds its weekly gathering on Wednesday afternoons from 6 pm until 8:30 pm at 2710 Kingston Road in (East) York, PA. When the weather is pleasant and sunset is late enough, the gathering is held outdoors in the grassy area between the garage and the gymnasium. Otherwise, the gathering is held in the gymnasium and one of the classrooms. The dress code is “come as you are”.
During the Owlsherst weekly gathering, you will find rapier (fencing) fighters and rattan (heavy armor) fighters practicing their skills. Some weeks our youth combat participants will also be practicing their fighting skills (so cute!). You’ll find members working on their Arts & Sciences projects. You’ll find members who came to socialize.
For your first weekly gathering, we recommend you just bring yourself (and any family members you can rope into coming with you). If you think we’ll be outdoors, you may wish to bring a folding chair for yourself and each other person coming with you. Regardless of indoors/outdoors, you may always bring food & drinks, but please note that alcoholic beverages are not permitted on site, by order of the property owner. When the weekly gathering officially concludes, many members go to a nearby restaurant for dinner.
How can I get Help Getting Started?
Each chapter of the SCA has a Chatelaine, which is an officer charged with giving information to those interested in learning about the SCA, and helping newcomers to make connections within the Society. They can point you to various useful resources, answer questions, introduce you to members and even provide basic loaner clothing (known as “garb”) and feast gear (plate, bowl, cup, flatware and napkin for meal) until you are able to acquire your own. You may contact the Owlsherst Chatelaine at any time by sending and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Owlsherst also has designated officers for specific activities. You may review the list of officers at your leisure, and send email to any of them in the event you have relevant questions for them.
Here are a few resources that may be helpful for you! (Just click the links below)
- Geography: This unofficial map can get you started in learning the geography of the SCA. Note that while it has boundaries for all of the known kingdoms, it does not have complete information on chapters below the kingdom level.
- Email: The Shire of Owlsherst maintains two email lists: one for announcements (1-2 emails per week) and a discussion list (volume varies; any list member may post). You may sign up for the announcement list or sign up for the discussion list (or both!). If you need assistance signing up for either of these email lists, you may contact our e-list moderator at email@example.com and they’ll be happy to give you a hand.
- Facebook: Facebook is an unofficial but popular site where members may share photographs and status of their various projects in process, recommendations, and general chatter. You may join our local SCA chapter group and like our Facebook Page. You are also welcome to join any of the other local discussion groups regardless of your residence. It is also worth noting that Facebook has hundreds of SCA special interest discussion groups with content you may find interesting.
- Discord: Owlsherst has a Discord server (not very busy). There is also a Discord server for the Kingdom of the East (moderately busy), and one for the SCA Worldwide (very busy). Please contact the e-list moderator at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an invite to any of these servers.
- East Kingdom Information: The East Kingdom official website features an official event schedule, information about the current royalty (and royal heirs), and information about services available at the Kingdom level.