The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is an international living history group with the aim of studying and recreating mainly Medieval European cultures and their histories before the 17th century. A quip often used within the SCA describes it as a group devoted to the Middle Ages "as they ought to have been", choosing to "selectively recreate the culture, choosing elements of the culture that interest and attract us". Founded in 1966, the non-profit educational corporation has over 30,000 paid members as of 2014 with about 60,000 total participants in the society (including members and non-member participants).
The SCA engages in a broad range of activities, including SCA armoured combat, SCA fencing, archery, equestrian activities, feasting, medieval dance and recreating medieval arts and sciences, including a broad range of crafts as well as medieval music and theatre. Other activities include the study and practice of heraldry and scribal arts (calligraphy and illumination). Members are afforded opportunities to register a medieval personal name and coat of arms (often colloquially called a "device" in SCA parlance). SCA scribes produce illuminated scrolls to be given by SCA royalty as awards for various achievements.
Most local groups in the SCA hold weekly fighter practices, and many also hold regular archery practices, dance practices, A&S (Arts & Science) nights and other regular gatherings. Some kingdoms and regions also have occasional war practices, where fighters practice formations and group tactics in preparation for large scale "war" events.
The SCA is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in California, with its current headquarters in the city of Milpitas. It is headed by a board of directors, each of which is nominated by the membership of the SCA, selected by sitting directors, and elected to serve for 3.5 years.