Office of the Hospitaler

Getting started

Finding a local group

Most local groups host a wide variety of activities throughout the month, which can include business meetings, arts and sciences workshops, combat practices, and weekend events. These are usually listed on the group's website.
Once you find an activity that interests you, check with the Hospitaler or Seneschal to see if there are any requirements or costs to participate (such a materials fee or food cost). Then visit! Then, go have fun! 

Your First Event

Events usually require some form of admission fee from everyone that attends the event. This fee is used to cover the cost of renting the site, paying for all the necessary supplies
and so forth. If this is a weekend or longer event, your admission fee may include overnight accommodations or there may be a separate fee for this. Many events also include prepared
meals (such as breakfast or feast) and there may be a separatefee for some or all of these as well. Members receive a reduced admission fee to these events.

What ToWear  

‘What should I wear?’ is one of the very first questions from people experiencing the SCA for the first time. The short answer is a comfortable tunic (long enough to be a dress for ladies) and pants (a belt is optional). As a person new to the SCA, we understand that you can’t simply run down to your local store to purchase these items, but have no fear! You have options. One office in the local group is the Hospitaler, who acts to welcome newcomers and to help you get started. One of their tasks is to maintain “loaner garb,” a trove of medieval-style clothing in various sizes which are available for loan until you can create your own wardrobe. Once you are properly outfitted, take advantage of your first few events to check out different styles of costuming. The SCA covers over a millenium of history and offers a wide variety of clothing promising to suit every taste and whim.

What To Bring

  • Food for yourself and your family.   You may also wish to bring a cooler to store your food items.
  • Feast gear -  period looking feast gear can be obtained inexpensively from many thrift stores  if the activities are outdoors.   Many people witll bring table cloths and candles for ambiance.
  • Sun screen , insect repellent and a wide brimmed hat if the event is outdoors
  • A chair or stool for seating
  • Camping gear if you wil be camping at the event.
  • Blankets or cloths help to hide obviously modern items

Camping

Many of our events are camping events.   You will see a large number of period pavilions scattered across a field.    You do not need to have a period pavilion to camp with us, however you may be asked to position your modern tent out of the line of site from the majority of the event site.    In the future there are many places to help you find a period appropriate tent.

  • Follow the site rules for ground fires, trash removal, pets, etc.
  • Try to use the minimally needed space for your enccampment to make room for others
  • Remember that a personal encampment is someone's home during the event.    please be respectful of their space and refrain from crossing their encampment to reach another part of the site

What To Do

When you first arrive you will need to check into the gate area to pay you site fees.   If you are not a paid member you will need to sign a waiver and waivers for any children you brought with you.     If you have any minors who you are not the guardian of you will need to provide a notarized minor consent form.   (Please see resource page for link to form).

During the event there are a variety of activites including combat.   You must be authorized to compete in the combat activities but there are usually a large number of activities and classes that yoiu can participate in.

Attending Feast

Many events have a feast in the evening. This is a grand meal - in fact, often several meals served one after another - with multiple courses. The epitome of a modern SCA feast is a collection of heavily researched medieval dishes, prepared by a large volunteer cooking staff, served in several courses, to a multitude of diners. At your first feast, we encourage you to try a little bit of everything! You won't be familiar with all the foods there, but you'll be surprised what you find to be a new favorite! Be forewarned, because many feasts have multiple courses, pace yourself! You never want to get to the end of a feast, see something amazing you want to eat, and have no more room for it!


Attending Court

Courts are whare the pageantry really takes hold.   Courts are held to give out awards and recognitions to various participants,   elevation of peers and the installation of royalty, and other court business.   Thre are a few basic rules of court etiquette:

  • Bow in the presence of the royalty or when they pass by.
  • Rise when court is called and then seated  when given leave by the crown.   
  • During court when an award or recognition you will hear the court herald call out "VIVAT!"    This is responded by the crowd with another "vivat".   Vivat is an exclamation which means "Long live"
  • Silence cell phones and other devices.  
  • If you wish to hold a conversation with someone it is best to do it quietly at the back of the hall.   
  • If you are called into court move quickly but carefully towards the front of the thrones.   You may be asked  to kneel on a pillow before the king or queen.    
  • At the end of court Ansteorran tradition calls a vivat for King, Queen, Prince, Princess and Ansteorra.   At the end when we say "Vivat Ansteorra!" we all stand with our hand raised in a fist in the air.