|The life blood of the Society
consists of the various events we hold. The purpose of this brief paper
is to help you, the newcomer, understnad what we do so you can more easily
participate in these events. First of all, in the Kingdom of Caid, there
is almost always an event every weekend of the year, somewhere within easy
driving distance. We will explain how you can find out about these events,
and then take a little time to discuss them individually.
How To Find Out About
There are several sources that
you can use to find out about events, but most of these are only known
to members since the Society rarely does outside advertising.
When you become a paying member
of the SCA, you will begin to receive your Kingdom's Newsmagazine . In
Caid, this is called the Crown Prints (or "CP"). This newsletter will provide
event and general information. It is laid-out in chronological order, listing
events in the order in which they will take place. Generally, the "CP"
lists events for a period of sixty days with the larger events being given
a longer advance notice. As you read through the "CP" you can take notice
of events that interest you. Most of the events will have a notice that
takes up a quarter or a half page; and the listing will include the date,
a description of what kind of event is going to take place (such as a "Baronial
Anniversary"), a set of written directions so that you can easily locate
the site, a "schedule" so that you can plan your arrival time, and the
event "theme" (such as a "Celtic Tourney"). The listing will include the
name and phone number of the "Autocrat" who will be running the event.
This is provided so that readers can obtain additional information by phone.
While I am on the subject of
the Kingdom Newsmagazine, I should also mention a section known as the
"Regnum"; this section contains the names, accurate addresses, and valid
phone numbers of the Kingdom officers and guild heads, and the major officers
in your Barony, Shire, or Canton. If you need to talk to an officer in
your local area, such as the Chatelaine or the Constable, the "CP" is the
first place to look to find a phone number. If the officer you are trying
to reach is not listed you can always contact the Seneschal.
The second place to find out
about events is your local Chatelaine's officeThis office generally prepares
a "calendar" to be distributed during newcomer's meetings. These calendars
list upcoming events for at least the next 30 days, maybe longer. Even
if you're not a newcomer, the Chatelaine's office will be happy to provide
you with a calendar.
The third place to obtain information,
especially concerning local meetings (such as dance practices, embroidery
workshops, costume classes, etc.) is the local newsletter. These newsletters
are published on almost all local levels of the SCA.. Since the submission
deadlines are so different, the local newsletter will often contain more
current information than is possible in the "CP". Please note that you
will not automatically receive any local newsletter as part of your paid
SCA membership... This will require a separate subscripton.. Local newsletters
will provide a lot of extra information, such as the names, addresses,
and phone numbers of all local officers and contact persons for the various
special interest groups (e.g. the local Captain of Archery, the local Brewmaster,
the Dance Mistress, etc.). There will almost always be a more detailed
calendar than that published at Kingdom level.
The Kinds Of SCA Events
As might be expected, there
are a wide variety of SCA events, described briefly below. You should be
aware of these events, at least for planning purposes (such as what you
will be expected to bring). Events that will take place in Caid are as
"Wars" are the major Social events
within our Kingdom. These larger events take place three or four times
a year. Major 'Wars" in include the "Estrella War" in February in Arizona,
a war which pits the armed forces of Caid against Atenveldt, (the Kingdom
located mostly in Arizona, the "Treasure Chest War" in June/July (which
pits Caid against our neighbors to the north, the Kingdom of the West), the Great Western War held in Caid (in the Bakersfield
Area) held in October, and the wars in the barony of Calafia (located in San Diego and Imperial
Counties) held during the months of May and September (which brings together
Caid, Atenveldt, Outlands, the West and other distant kingdoms). Wars generally
last for three or more days, and feature battles and skirmishes with massed
troops (instead of individual combat), partying ("Reveling") and Bardic
Circles every night, etc. Merchants generally come to wars en masse, offering
an entire spectrum ofwares for your purchase.
"Tourneys" are probably the most
common form of SCA event. This is what most newcomers have witnessed prior
to joining us. Essentially, a Tourney offers a chance for the Society to
portray the "Jousting Tournament" of yore, complete with armored fighters
in one-on-one combat. Fighting takes place in the "Eric," an area bounded
by ropes and stanchions (for safety). Around the "Eric," spectators and
merchants erect pavilions in positions where the combat can be seen in
comfort. Members come in garb and add to the effect of a "period" encampment.
Tourneys start with an Opening Court where Royalty address their subjects,
make awards to deserving members, and explain the event (and any special
rules or competitions). Tourneys can be held for many reasons: to select
a Baronial or Shire Champion; to celebrate the Anniversary of a Barony,
Shire or Canton; to select the Queen's Champion; or just to have an opportunity
to get together and enjoy a sunny day. These events are held outdoors in
as picturesque a site as can be found, usually some form of community or
county park. They end with a Closing Court (at which time the tourney winners
are announced), and often a Revel (at a nearby home, hall, or church).
"Feasts" are a chance for our Society
members to celebrate together by holding a period dinner. Many of us enjoy
researching and preparing period menus, and cooking complete meals or courses.
Feasts offer a chance for us to practice our craft, and, in addition, it
offers a chance for a candlelit meal in a Medieval style, complete with
entertainment and revelry.
Arts & Sciences Competitions
Once a year, our Kingdom holds
an open Arts & Sciences Pentathlon, where members may enter their projects
in competition. As the name suggests, an entrant may enter their crafts
in up to five different categories. This contest serves to promote members'
excellence in the different special arts and sciences of the Medieval period,
and it encourages the creation of "Renaissance" men and women; those persons
skilled in a wide range of activities. The various arts and sciences include:
Costuming, Weapons, Armor, Leather Work, Sewing, Embroidery, Calligraphy,
Illumination, Furniture making, Jewelry making, Cooking, Baking, Brewing,
etc. The Pentathalon sometimes lasts two days (a weekend) during which
time the projects are displayed for open viewing and judging. Judges (who
are chosen for their expertise in each of the craft areas) evaluate the
entries and award "points" in three broad categories: Novice, Journeyman,
and ArtisanMaster. The entrant who gains the most points in his/her category
is the winner. For a newcomer, this is an excellent opportunity to see
the quality of work done by our craftsmen and craftswomen This will also
give you a chance to meet and talk with others who share your interests.
Quite often the various Guilds and Special Interest Groups will have exhibits
promoting their craft, and seeking recruits.
The Collegium Caidus
Held twice a year, in the spring
and the fall, the Kingdom offers a two day "College" during which volunteer
instructors from all over the Kingdom meet with students and teach a series
of courses. The collegium provides an eclectic spectrum of subjects: There
will be courses taught on various aspects of Medieval History, and a wide
variety of Medieval arts and sciences, military strategy and tactics (for
fighters and would-be military leaders), heraldry (of both "field" and
"consulting" variety), SCA accounting (for those interested in our administration),
and medicine (for those interested in becoming a Chirurgeon (or Society
Medic)).. This is an excellent opportunity for SCA members to get together
to learn, and the Collegium has become quite a popular event. The college
moves around the Kingdom, with various local areas offering their facilities;
look for the announcement of the next college in the "CP."
Revels & Bardic Circles
"Revels" will be held during and
after many events. In short, a Revel is a "party" where our members relax
and enjoy themselves with song, dance, and merriment. Some Revels are "pot
luck" and participants contribute finger food and drinks to the collective
party. "Bardic Circles" are another form of a Revel. The term is derived
from our gathering around a roaring bonfire to enjoy the warmth and light,
and listen to music, song, stories, and poetry. Everyone is invited to
contribute as the entertainment proceeds around the circle. Drinks are
shared, bottles are passed around, and everyone has a great time. Quite
often, Bardic Circles will be held indoors (without the fire, of course)
following a Feast. Both kinds of events are great places to meet others
and gain new friends.