"Ravens Lake" asked:
<<< Last year my best friend came home from some crazy camping
excursion she called Pennsic. She pretty much insisted that my family
go with next year. I knew it must be something special because she
does not get enthusiastic very easily. >>>
Pennsic IS special.
Realize that no other SCA event is like Pennsic. It is the largest SCA
event held and at two weeks it is the longest SCA event around,
although Gulf Wars is now a week long. But you can have 13,000 people
at Pennsic and, I think, the next biggest is Estrella or Gulf Wars
with *only* 4000. Local events tend to be smaller and only a weekend.
Usually say 30 people to 800. But they are closer, at least for most
of us. Pennsic is a 27 hour drive each way for me from Ansteorra,
which is the SCA kingdom that includes most of Texas and all of
I've been to somewhere around a dozen Pennsics, starting at Pennsic
21. And it's kind of silly, I guess, but that last bit of road turning
off the interstate makes me think "I'm coming home". For one thing,
having just left Texas, it is much greener and cooler, in August. :-)
<<< So I stared looking into Pennsic and discovered the strange,
wonderful world of the SCA. Wow! There is so much information that my
head is spinning. Some of the info I have found is very
Likely. Two different people may give you different answers, not only
because they are two different people, but there are regional and
kingdom differences throughout the SCA.
For some more ideas and details and sometimes just interesting info,
take a look at the PENNSIC section in the Florilegium. See the
address in my signature block below. Here are a few of the files which
I think you might find the most useful or interesting.
New-2-Pennsic-msg (56K) 7/15/11 Information for those new to Pennsic.
Pennsic-leter-art (8K) 1/29/06 "A letter from Pennsic" (in persona)
by Mistress Andrea MacIntyre.
Pennsic-Prep-art (12K) 8/22/02 "A Newcomer's Guide for Pre-Pennsic
by Lady Meliora Leuedai de Ardescote.
P-Thngs-To-Do-art (8K) 11/20/11 “Things To Do At Pennsic” by Lady
Katharine of Caithness.
<<< I have so very many questions regarding SCA membership, the
arts, fighting, participating in events... I think I should probably
just post one question at a time. haha >>>
The SCA is a place you can do LOTS of things. You may be tempted to
try to do everything. Don't. I've been in the SCA almost 23 years. I
know a number of people who have been in longer. There has to be quite
a bit of "depth" in an organization to keep people interested and
doing something for that long.
To give you an idea of the depth of the SCA, my Florilegium site now
has 2300 different files on a wide variety of subjects and I'm still
adding material as I can. But there is still a lot of stuff left to
research and do.
People participate and stay in the SCA for different reasons. At the
risk of overloading you more, check out the SCA-SOCIOLOGY section of
the Florilegium some time for things such as:
magic-moments-msg (50K) 7/ 1/08 "Magic moments" experienced in the
And to help a bit with your newness, I would recommend that the first
section you look at in the Florilegium is the NEWCOMERS section, with
clothing-4-nc-msg (12K) 11/28/10 Comments for newcomers on SCA
Choose-a-Name-art (12K) 10/ 3/09 "Choosing a Society Name: Hints for
by Dietmar Reinhart von
Malachias von Morgenstern.
courtesy-msg (32K) 1/19/96 Courtesy guidelines in the SCA and
Hand-kissing and bowing.
Feast-Basket-art (7K) 10/18/00 "The Well-Tempered Feast Basket: a
newcomers" by Lady Jehanne de
There is a lot of info available online these days, but I would still
recommend buying a copy of the latest Known World Handbook from SCA-
Inc in California. Some groups even buy batches of these to resell to
newcomers. While up a bit in price from when I bought my first copy,
it is still a rather good price for all the info that is in it.
KW-Handbook-msg (12K) 11/25/10 Comments about the Known World
Oh yes, you don't have to be a paid SCA member to participate, even to
fight. However if you are going to attend more than a few events a
year, it is actually cheaper to go ahead and buy a membership and
avoid the non-member surcharge that is required at each event you
aren't a paid member. The SCA has usually had around 25,000 paid
members and one to two times that number of participate as unpaid
members. So while it sounds like you are going to like the SCA, we're
not here just to take your money. You can play for a while and then
decide if it is for you without committing to an annual membership.
Please feel free to ask more questions here or to email them to me.
THLord Stefan li Rous Barony of Bryn Gwlad Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mark S. Harris Austin, Texas StefanliRous@...
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at: http://www.florilegium.org