The incorporated organization which provides an interface between the modern world and our medieval activities.
The Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA, is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts, skills and life-styles of pre-17th-century Europe.
The SCA was formed in 1966 and now has a world-wide membership of over 30,000 members.
The Society for Creative Anachronism began in 1966 with a 'Grand Tournament' in Berkeley, California with costumes and frolicking which then ended in a parade with everyone singing "Greensleeves" down Telegraph Avenue in San Francisco, California.
The official website of the Society for Creative Anachronism is http://www.sca.org/
The term "SCA, Inc." is used by some to distinguish the corporation from the general SCA community.
SCA Kingdoms are (in order of founding):
- The West Kingdom is the original kingdom, created when the Society originated in 1966. It currently includes Northern California, most of Nevada, and Alaska, as well as Japan, Korea, and the Pacific Rim (excluding Australia and New Zealand).
- The Kingdom of the East is the second kingdom, created in 1968. In the United States of America it covers eastern Pennsylvania, eastern New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. In Canada it covers Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
- The Middle Kingdom is the third kingdom, created in 1969 from the Kingdom of the East. Its current borders are Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, as well as parts of Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan and Ontario.
- The Kingdom of Atenveldt is the fourth kingdom, created in 1971 from the Kingdom of the West. It encompasses the state of Arizona, along with small parts of Utah and California.
- The Kingdom of Meridies is the fifth kingdom, created in 1978 from the Kingdom of Atenveldt. Its borders currently encompass the entirety of Alabama; almost all of Georgia; all of Middle and East Tennessee, plus a substantial portion of West Tennessee; a bit of the Florida Panhandle; and small portions of both Kentucky and Virginia.
- The Kingdom of Caid is the sixth kingdom, created in 1978 from the Kingdom of the West. It currently encompasses Southern California, the Greater Las Vegas, Nevada|Las Vegas Area, and Hawaii.
- The Kingdom of Ansteorra is the seventh kingdom, created in 1979 from the Kingdom of Atenveldt. Ansteorra covers Oklahoma and most of Texas.
- The Kingdom of Atlantia is the eighth kingdom, created in 1981 from the Kingdom of the East. Its borders cover Maryland, most of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, as well as Augusta, Georgia.
- The Kingdom of An Tir is the ninth Kingdom, created in 1982 from the Kingdom of the West. It encompasses the US states of Oregon, Washington, and the northern tips of Idaho, and in Canada it covers Western British Columbia.
- The Kingdom of Calontir is the tenth kingdom, created in 1984 from the Kingdom of the Middle. It covers Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and the area around Fayetteville, Arkansas.
- The Kingdom of Trimaris is the eleventh kingdom, created in 1985. It was split from the Kingdom of Meridies and is composed of the majority of Florida, as well as Panama, and humorously, Antarctica (although see Lochac, below). Also, as a triskele (the Trimaris symbol) was sent into space on a shuttle on March 2008, Trimaris claims Outer Space.
- The Kingdom of the Outlands is the twelfth kingdom, created in 1986 from the Kingdom of Atenveldt. It encompasses New Mexico, most of Colorado, parts of Wyoming, the panhandle of Nebraska, as well as El Paso County, Texas and Hudspeth County, Texas.
- The Kingdom of Drachenwald is the thirteenth kingdom, created in 1993 from the Kingdom of the East. It is by far the largest kingdom in terms of land area, but not in population. It covers all of Europe (including islands), Africa, and the Middle East. In a humorous twist, it achieved its independence on the Fourth of July.
- The Kingdom of Artemisia is the fourteenth kingdom, created in 1997 from the Kingdom of Atenveldt. It currently covers Montana, southern Idaho, most of Utah, northwestern Colorado, and southwestern Wyoming.
- The Kingdom of Æthelmearc is the fifteenth kingdom, created in 1997 from the Kingdom of the East. It covers northeastern/central/western Pennsylvania, central/western New York, and West Virginia.
- The Kingdom of Ealdormere is the sixteenth kingdom, created in 1998 from the Kingdom of the Middle. It comprises most of the Canadian province of Ontario.
- The Kingdom of Lochac is the seventeenth kingdom, created in 2002 from the Kingdom of the West (Australia) and the Kingdom of Caid (New Zealand). It encompasses the entirety of Australia and New Zealand, and has some claim to at least parts of Antarctica, in possible contradiction of the claim held by the Kingdom of Trimaris.
- The Kingdom of Northshield is the eighteenth kingdom, created in 2004 from the Kingdom of the Middle. It covers North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the upper peninsula of Michigan. It also extends into Canada, encompassing Manitoba and northwestern Ontario.
- The Kingdom of Gleann Abhann is the nineteenth kingdom, created in 2005 from the Kingdom of Meridies. It covers Mississippi, Louisiana, most of Arkansas, the western edge of Tennessee including Memphis, Tennessee and Calloway County, Kentucky.
- The Kingdom of Avacal is the twentieth kingdom, created in 2015 from the Kingdom of An Tir. It covers Canada: eastern British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.
You Know You`re in the SCA When...
you overhear the 10-year-old at the next picnic table quoting Macbeth... accurately.
you've ever been cooking and run out of galingale.
you spent more money this year on your period housing than your mundane housing.
there's an anvil in your bedroom.
your aerobics routine includes galliards
your university diploma is "tucked away somewhere" but your AoA is framed and on display on the most prominent wallspace in the house.
you yell "Huzzah" at mundane events instead of cheering "normally".
a sideless surcoat is the sexiest thing in your closet.
you can eat equally well with a dagger or a fork.
after a party you ask yourself: "Hmmm. Now where are my clothes?" and you're stone sober and fully dressed.
the axe you're using to chop wood is one you made yourself.
your future husband's wedding garb costs more than yours, and has more trim.
the books-on-tape in your car include: Cooking for 500 or more, Autocratting Pennsic, and Beginning Welsh.
buying black walnuts and ferrous sulfate from a health food store means a new "dye" not a new "diet".
the decorating scheme of your home is "bookcase eclectic".
you've brushed your teeth with beer, because it was easier to find than clean water.
after viewing this list, your non-SCAdian significant other chuckles for days, while you mutter to yourself, "I don't see what's so funny about that."
you have period garments for a black-tie event, but no mundane ones.
you heard two stories this evening that started "No sh*t, there I was..."
the words "couldst", "wouldst", and "shouldst" come more easily to your tongue than "chicken".
everyone at your graduation wants to know where you learned to bow.
In your kitchen a Rondel, a ballocks dagger and a stilleto are close to hand, but a breadknife is nowhere to be found.
someone has threatened to get "Prehistoric on your ass",
you know every line in Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail by heart.
you're a burly guy who looks like a Hell's Angel, but you do embroidery in public.
during a conversation, you avoid using the other person's name, not because you don't know it, but because you can't pronounce it.
you've decorated a cake in Celtic knotwork.
you return to work after a weekend event, only to find you left all your money in your belt pouch.
you sometimes wear your jackets closed only by the top button and without putting your arms through the sleeves.
you can and do curse in Gaelic, but you aren't Scottish
your teddy bear has better garb than you do.
your garb closet is bigger than your clothes closet and the clothes are in better condition.
you watch the old replay of the Crowning of the English Queen Elizabeth II and you recognize peoples' ranks by the Coronets they are wearing.
you visit a period castle, notice the draperies and bedspreads, and think of what lovely clothing they would make.
you visit a period castle, museum, historical site, etc. and you can spot the mistakes in the tour guide's lecture.
you get a question about OOP programming techniques on a Comp-Sci exam and think: "ALL programming is Out Of Period".
you're male and you have to worry about a run in your stocking when you kneel to propose to your fiance.
you get a Christmas card in the mail and you look at the shepherds and background figures with a magnifying glass to see the costuming details.
you hide the really awful costume references in the stacks at the library, so future costumers won't be led astray.
you watch Henry V (or the Zefferelli Romeo and Juliet) over, and over, and over again - for the costumes/fighting scenes.
your immediate family consists of only two rather small, thin people, but you justify your purchase of a full-sized van/pickup truck saying, "We'll need the extra space for events!"
your reaction when you see some sort of handicraft is "I can make that" or "I can buy that from Mistress Seamchecker for half that!"
you're annoyed because the armor at the art museum isn't displayed so that you can get a good photograph of the back/insides.
you're in Europe and you pass up famous OOP sites to see tiny little places that might have related to your persona.
when you make a new recipe you take out the potatoes, tomatoes and peppers, because they're OOP for Europe.
your reference section on your field of interest is better than the equivalent section in the local library.
you've been asked by a museum curator what your opinion is regarding the item at hand.
you slip and begin a letter, "Good Milord..."
you slip and address a coworker as Milord or Milady.
you slip and date a letter, "The Tuesday before Michealmas, A.S. XXVII" (or whatever).
you're annoyed because your new printer didn't come with Luxhaeiul miniscule or Batarde as one of the standard fonts.
your idea of a sack lunch is mince-meat pie, cold mulled cider and haggis left over from the feast the week-end before.
your hobby takes more of your time than your job.
you start to wear your hair the way your persona might have worn his/hers. (...Smith, it's not so much the waist length beard, but do you really have to braid it?...)
you sign a check, using calligraphy.
you name your pets after obscure historical figures.
you name your children after obscure historical figures.
you can give blazons for your pets.
people think you're in a commune because you're always talking about your "household".
- I did have a question; why do SCA groups, say, in Canada, have to respect an R&D? Or, for that matter, the NMS? If this is just a California entity, then how do they exert any power over U.S. groups outside of California, never mind Canadian, Australian, Japanese, etc, etc, etc?
Okey dokey. I've been beating up on my friends who deal with international law in one form or the other and so far the main consensus seems to be, "International agreements for private organizations hold up because the normal member of these kinds of groups can't afford big enough lawyers to make a court look at how bogus the documents are."
In matters like the R&D, they're usually upheld because it's too much work not to do so. Remember, the SCA is incorporated in California and according the the by-laws, the BOD can take what action it needs to protect the corporation. If the SCA in Finland just decides to say, "screw it", and not recognize R&Ds, perform whatever their responsibility is towards the NMS, etc; the BOD in California can literally simply say, "okay, we feel the Finns aren't playing right so for now, we're not going to recognize them and we direct our subordinate organizations not to recognize them as well." Yes, it can be that simple.
How do they exert power over the groups? The do it because people want to be a Lord or a Lady in 16th Century Italy and within the confines of the SCA, they get to do just that. If the foreign group decides to do something that goes against what the BOD perceives to be "right", then "poof", Lord Flavio has just become Heikii Tavoronen who's wearing funny clothes on the subway in Espoo.
When you read the governing documents, and then read them again to make sure they actually do say what you thought they said, you'll find that the individual people participating in SCA events don't count. They're a courtesy granted by the corporation and a concession to the requirements of California and US Federal law to provide educational activities in order to keep our tax status.
When someone pays for a membership, they may or may not get the newsletter, depending on the type of membership. They may get the corporate newsletter and they get tacit permission to serve in certain official capacities as long as the corporation agrees they can continue to do so. Their 'membership' doesn't make them a member of the SCA Incorporated. That's a very important thing to remember, there are no members of the Corporation save for the BOD and it's chosen officers. Everyone else participates at the will of those folks.
The SCA has existed for approaching 50 years by virtue of two things. So far, the members of the BOD have generally been entrenched in the collective ideals of the 'game' we all play and have generally tried to keep the game going. The other is the fact that the corporate documents make it nearly impossible to change the existing system. While a majority of the Seneschals can call for the impeachment of a BOD member, if that impeachment is tabled long enough, "while it's under investigation", the Seneschals who made the call will have left office before the issue can be addressed. Members of the BOD can call for the impeachment of another member. The same thing holds true. There's simply nothing to force the issue if the entrenched members don't want to put up with the hassle of the impeachment proceedings. A quick, "voluntary", resignation of the impeached Director, a call for a new member to fill the seat and 'voila', no more problem. At least from the corporate standpoint.
- It was once explained to me that the membership fee and the NMS had something to do with covering the insurance costs, but in Canada, we aren't covered by US Insurance companies and have to buy our insurance separately. But, we do adhere to BOD decisions. Do we have to, or are we just being polite cuz we're, like, Canadian? And if we have to, by law, which law are we talking about, and how does it apply across borders?
Something that's very important to understand about the SCA's insurance is that it's handled by an insurance company. People don't often consider it, but an insurance company is nothing more than a legally incorporated gambling house. Insurance policies are no different than keno tickets. You're paying the bookie (the insurance company) in the hopes that the odds will come out in your favor and the policy they provide will allow you to perform some specific action. This is the same for auto insurance, health insurance, SCA event protection insurance. The insurance company is betting that nothing bad will happen and they'll be able to continue to rake in your bets... errr, premiums.
If the policy covers whatever happened in Canada and the individual involved wasn't negligent in any of the ways specified by the policy, international agreement, US or Canadian or whatever, and the policy was fully in force meaning all of the signatures were valid, they'd all been made at the correct time and were made by people legally able to sign, then the insurance company will pay the absolute minimum they can get away with to resolve the claim. Inside of the first three or four exchanges of documents after the claim, the person injured will likely never hear from the insurance company again unless they don't have lawyers. The insurance company's lawyers, the SCA's lawyers, the property owner's lawyers, the State Department and the Canadian equivalent will all get together and decide who gets paid what. This is not paranoia, this is how the insurance industry works. The person injured may get their hospital bills paid if that's what the claim is for but only because it's cheaper for everyone involved to pay the bill than to risk it going to court.
As for adhering to BOD decisions, you don't have to. You can scream, "UP the BOD!", and decide that whatever their decision was is crap and won't be accepted in Canada. At that point, most likely the BOD will simply ignore you because the majority of the SCA folk in Canada want to continue playing the current game. If it should come to a point where there actually are enough Canadian Scadians screaming, "UP the BOD!", and it begins to cost the corporation money, prestige, public relations value, etc; then the BOD will likely simply suspend the memberships of everyone involved. That can be a real nuisance if any of those members happen to be someone like the Seneschal, Coronet, Marshall or any other required office. At that point, the BOD can unilaterally dissolve those branches.
Yes, I know it probably wouldn't come to that point. Everyone who's stepping away from me and waiting for me to put the aluminum foil on my head, you're probably safe. I actually do realize I'm talking about the far end of the bell-curve here. The problem is, for all of the events taking place in the center of the curve, you have to have the events at each end of the curve as well.
- I'm just trying to figure out how all of this works...
It all works because for the most part, people, even BOD members aren't willing to devote large portions of their lives to something they don't believe in. It all works because the paid SCA members don't bother to read the By-Laws and Corpora so they never actually understand that they literally have no say in how the SCA is run. It all works because people want to have fun and the people who gravitate to the SCA tend to find what we do is the kind of fun they want to have. Jumping up and down and screaming about the Emperor's clothes may be interesting but it's not much fun.
It all works because the vast majority of the SCA pays the bare minimum attention to the BOD, the Corporation and all of the other legal entities. Those things are boring, they're founded in a festering morass of internal revenue law, diplomatic service policy, insurance codes, corporate law and everybody's opinion as to exactly what it all means. The SCA Incorporated is a very boring, very tedious thing. It has to be there because if we want to play this game, we have to have it. We have to pay attention to it because it's like the neighbor's rottweiler puppy. It's big, lumbering, drools a lot but can do a great deal of damage if you don't catch it before it jumps the fence.
If you want to know what sound, legal and diplomatic foundations make up the bedrock upon which rest the agreements between the various international bodies of the SCA, the insurance companies and the governments involved; squint your eyes closed and turn away. You won't like what you see. The SCA is a mish-mash of badly written corporate law and poorly interpreted international understandings. The "real" foundation of the corporate side of the worldwide SCA is very shaky, just like virtually every other international, not-for-profit group. Any reasonably competent millionaire who had the interest in doing so, could probably pay for a membership tomorrow and by the end of July have instituted enough lawsuits to put the SCA out of business forever. Just the confusion over the insurance requirements are enough to get things going.
It all works because some of us have had the opportunity to sit with the Dowager Princess Janeltis and have her tell us about the first time she met that man who just became a Duke and how afraid he was to even meet anyone's eyes.
It all works because we're willing to suspend our belief in the mundane reality and spend those brief moments looking into the face of one of our friends as the sword dubs him a Knight of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
It all works because we enjoy dressing in funny clothes, driving for hours and setting up camps in the dark, in the middle of the ground-wasp nests, directly in the path of the flood that's going to start 90 minutes after the first drop of rain hits. We enjoy it because we're there with our friends and those who would be our friends.
It works because everyone gets to have that occasional complete disassociation with the modern world when they drop to their knee as the Queen of An Tir processes by.
It works because when you ignore the mundane side of things, for the time you can do so, the SCA is a wondrous and fantastic place.
It works because we believe it works.