SCA Membership Expiration & Gifts

The Society’s Corporate office announced back in March that they would not be marking expired memberships as lapsed, in order to provide some leeway for the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Unfortunately, we have learned that this grace period will come to an end on July 1. This is particularly relevant for branch officers, warranted marshals, or other individuals whose position requires a current membership.

Understanding that renewing membership may represent a hardship at this time, a number of people have volunteered to sponsor memberships for others, and the Society’s Corporate office has distributed some information about how to do this effectively.

Attached below is a letter outlining the procedure for gifting memberships, along with copies of the membership forms for the U.S. and international members, followed by a plain-text version of the letter.

Gifting a Membership
(PDF, JPEG)
Membership Form
for the United States (PDF, JPEG)
or International (PDF, JPEG)

Gifting a Membership

  1. Fill out the attached membership application to the best of your ability, making sure that the Legal Name & mailing address of the recipient is correct— please leave the waiver blank unless the recipient of your gift can fill the waiver out for themselves.
  2. If you use a credit card, please include:
    1. Name on the credit card
    2. Billing address of the credit card
    3. Email address for a copy of the credit card receipt
      You may use a separate piece of paper or Post-It to submit this information.
  3. If paying by personal check, please make the check payable to SCA, Inc.
  4. Indicate whether you wish this to be an anonymous gift or would like a note included with the mailed membership card.
  5. To submit the completed application and payment, you have three options:
    1. Scan & email to membership@sca.org
    2. Mail the form and payment to the P.O. Box listed on the form [ P.O. Box 360789, Milpitas, CA 95036-0789 ]
    3. Fax the completed form to [ (408) 263-0641 ]

Once the application is received and processed, an email confirmation of renewal will be sent to the recipient. The membership card will be mailed within 5 business days. If the waiver has not been completed, a waiver form and return envelope will be included with the membership card for completion.

We would like to thank you for your generosity and kindness.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. My email address is renee@sca.org., or you can reach me at the above listed phone number.

Kind Regards,

Renee Signorotti
VP/ Corporate Operations

Working To Redress Systemic Injustice

Below is an official statement from the Society for Creative Anachronism’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

As so many of us struggle with the pain of separation from one another socially, so too do we struggle with the realities of systemic inequality and racism in our society. In the United States and around the world, the recent senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many before them have unleashed an avalanche of pent-up emotion.

Our Core Values, which guide us in even these darkest of times, include the following tenets: to “act in accordance with the chivalric virtues of honor and service”, to “value and respect the worth and dignity of all individuals”, and to “practice inclusiveness and respect pluralism and diversity”.

If we are to live by our core values then there is only one path forward: we must both fight against systemic injustice and support those that do.

As the unique educational organization that we are, we have the opportunity to leverage our greatest resource: our community.

It is our community that makes us who we are. That is the true value of the Society for Creative Anachronism. We treasure the rich diversity of our community as a reflection of the rich diversity of history and we owe it to ourselves to deepen our understanding of pervasive inequitable treatment so that we can move forward on a journey of healing.

There is a tremendous amount of work to be done. It is time for us to take a hard look at who we are in order to hold ourselves accountable for the actions we take – and the actions we don’t take.

There is also fear. Our current reality is the direct result of generations of discrimination and collective trauma. As we educate ourselves to best support every member of our community, we must acknowledge the fear – and speak regardless. The time for inaction is over.

Every member of the SCA can effect positive change through personal accountability. Educate yourself and those around you on issues of injustice. Speak out against it when you see it, and use any platform that you have to elevate other voices speaking out against it, particularly those voices of marginalized groups. Assist those causes which seek to address discrimination, racial inequity, and all systemic injustice through the resources that you have available to you.

I invite all members of the SCA to continue to think about further ways they can help strengthen our commitment to our Core Values.

My SCA stands against bigotry. My SCA will not be silent, and therefore complicit, in the face of injustice. I will continue to work to make my SCA a haven for all, and a key player for progress in the battle against inequality through education and community.

It is my most ardent hope that you will join me.

Jessica Van Hattem
alias Baroness Zahra Tesfaye
SCA Corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

#mysca #scaathome #inclusiveexcellence #blacklivesmatter

A Day in the Life of the East Kingdom Heraldic Submissions Office

Thank you to Lady Lilie Dubh inghean uí Mórdha, Pantheon Herald, for contributing this peek behind the curtain at the functioning of the East Kingdom’s heraldic submissions office, led by the Blue Tyger Herald. — Ed.

Coffee in hand, I sit down at my desk and turn on my laptop. Sounds like a normal morning in the modern world? Partially, it is. Email first…

The Crown Province of Østgarðr is one of many baronies, shires, cantons, and other groups that play within the lands of the East Kingdom, and all submit heraldic items to the Blue Tyger Herald for review and registration. Generally, the East Kingdom has the most heraldic items in all the SCA in any given month or year, with Pennsic alone providing about half of the Kingdom’s yearly submissions.

Procedures for December Election

Greetings All,

Starting December 1st, and going through December 14th, residents of the Province will be able to go on line and vote for the positions of Provincial Seneschal and Provincial Herald. Voting will be open to all paid members, who reside within the Province and its Cantons, and are at least 14 years old. Voting will be done using the “Borda Method”. This is a ranked voting system. People will pick out their first choice of candidate for the position and this will be recorded when their form is submitted. You will then get an email confirming your choices.

The link to vote is here: http://bit.ly/sca-nyc-vote

I will be verifying whether people are eligible to vote. Our Viceregents will have access to the actual votes.

If your membership has expired recently, and you have renewed, please print out a copy of your renewal and send it to me when you vote.

In addition, there are five other provincial officer positions that will only be voted on by the officers through email, as there is only one candidate for each of them. These are: Minister of Lists, Minister of A&S, Fencing Marshal, Historian and Webminister. Officers please check your gmail accounts.

I have asked our Chronicler, Zahra, to re-print the candidate statements for Herald and Seneschal (that were posted on Facebook) in the SEAHORSE, which has just been published.

Below is a list of all the Candidates. People can ask them questions directly, even if they are only being voted on by the officers. If anybody has a concern about any of the candidates, they should contact either the Viceregents or myself.

The positions and candidates are:

  • Seneschal: Alexander MacLachlan, Alienor (Piglet) Salton (Populace Vote)
  • Herald: Drasma Dragomira, Ragnarr Bliskegg (Populace Vote)
  • Fencing Marshal: Alexander MacLachlan (Officer Vote)
  • Historian: Mistress Sofya Gianetta di Trieste (Officer Vote)
  • Minister of Arts and Sciences: Thorfinn Hrothgeirsson (Officer Vote)
  • Minister of Lists: Marion of York (Officer Vote)
  • Webminister: Anne of Ostgardr (Officer Vote)

In Service,
Alexander MacLachlan
Acting Seneschal of Ostgardr

Ostgardr Officer Elections

Greetings All,

The following Provincial Officer positions are up for election: Seneschal, Herald, Minister of Lists (MOL – currently vacant), Webminister, Historian, Fencing Marshal, and Minister of Arts & Sciences (MOAS). Each officer is elected for a two year term. This time, MOL and MOAS are only one year, as these are to fill out the remainder of the current terms.

Letters of Intent should be sent to the Viceroy and Vicereine, and myself, by October 31st. We would then post these to the officer Gmail list and ask the candidates to speak to the officers and populace at the Provincial Commons in November, with the elections in December. The details of the election process are in the Provincial bylaws. Below are some brief descriptions of the offices that Her Excellency has prepared. If you have any questions about these positions, please speak with the current officer, their Excellencies, or me.

In Service,
Alexander MacLachlan
Acting Seneschal of Ostgardr

From the Vicereine:
I’d like to share brief descriptions of each office and who the current office holder is. Please feel free to reach out to them and ask questions about the office.

Seneschal: Chief administrative officer of a branch, responsible for day-to-day overall smooth running of the Province. Current office holder Lord Alexander MacLachlan.

Herald: The office of the herald is two parts: 1. voice herald responsible for running Provincial Court and filing reports after each court, and 2. helping members of the populace submit names and heraldic devices. You do not have to be able to do both and can have a deputy to help with one or the other. Current office holder Bóaire Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin.

Historian: Keeping and maintaining detailed records of the history of the Crown Province of Ostgardr. Current office holder Mistress Sofya Gianetta di Trieste.

Webminister: Maintain and update the Provincial website and email lists. Current office holder Noble Anne of Østgarðr.

Fencing Marshal: Oversee fencing activity in the Province. Current office holder Lord Alexander MacLachlan.

Arts and Sciences: Responsible for overseeing A&S activity in the Province. Think of this as a booking agent for the arts and sciences in the Province. Current office holder Lord Donnchadh mac Eoin.

Minister of Lists: Oversees running of tournaments in the Province. This can easily come with on the job training as there are some really great MoLs to learn from locally in the Southern Region. Office is currently vacant.

New? Start here!

The Crown Province of Østgarðr is the greater New York City chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a not-for-profit educational and social organization dedicated to re-creating aspects of medieval and Renaissance culture. You can read more about the SCA at “About Us.” If you have any questions or want to get involved, email our newcomers’ officer. You can find links to our Facebook group, mailing list, and local sub-chapters at “Getting Involved.”

Draft Bylaws For Review

The Crown Province of Østgarðr appears to have first formulated a set of bylaws in 1998, setting forth guidelines under which this branch of the organization would operate. There have been various efforts to update this document in the intervening decades, but several of those fizzled out before the new version was properly ratified, and the overall structure of the document remained largely the same.

Recently a new round of effort was undertaken to bring the bylaws up to date with our current practices, make them clearer and easier to modify in the future, and eliminate a few provisions which had proved to be problematic.

In recent months, a draft of the proposed new bylaws has been circulated for review by the provincial and canton officers, and while there are a few areas in which questions remain to be resolved, we’re now far enough along that we’re ready to gather feedback from the populace at large.

You are invited to review the draft proposal attached below and let us know what you think by sending your comments to bylaws@ostgardr.eastkingdom.org.

The SCA: a view from middle school

What if we learned physics through weapons and armour? What if our physical education was through practice fighting with models of the same weapons and armour? What if we learned history from emulating history? I do many activities that other kids don’t do, including a more “full time” renaissance fair. The Society of Creative Anachronism(SCA) is dedicated to informing and teaching others about the world during the medieval era.

One thing I do is Youth combat, which is made to emulate Joust, which was not just about horseback riding and lances, but also just practice fighting in general. The way the base idea works is if you get hit on the head or the body, you’re dead. If you get hit on the arm, you lose that arm, and if you get hit above the knee, you lose that leg. I learned trough that, overtime, as people developed better armour and weapons, people would be given less and less mercy, as if you didn’t kill the other person first, then they would kill you. I also learned about a different way of fighting, hand to hand sarong fighting from indonesia and the philippines which relies on a scarf, belt, or other flexible piece of cloth. My mom learned how to make fabric and cord using 7 medieval techniques. My dad learned how to make a medieval “bender” tent. There are things for anyone who wants to join, if you want to learn how to cook food, fight, build, play games, or more. it’s also a good way to spend time with friends and family, as you can make some cool art, or weapon, or banner, or ring, or whatever you make, if there’s two or more people working on the same thing, together.

I also learned about physics from learning about weapons and armour. Celtic swords were heavy and unbalanced, not very useful for stabbing, but could swing strongly. From Celtic swords, Norman swords were lighter, more balanced, better at stabbing. Katanas were the bane of anyone foolish enough to get close – or not fast enough to get very far away to a samurai when unarmored, due to spreading out the force over the cut, and not one spot. Made as an stop all, end all solution to blades of all kinds, Plate armour was heavy, but good luck trying to kill the person in the armour with a bladed weapon. Due to the plates, you didn’t need a shield, and from that came the greatsword. To stop plates, there were the peasants, wielding mauls – giant hammers for wheat crops, useful for denting the armour. From that came double sided war hammers, half pick, half spiked hammer. It was an arms race, full of science the people using the weapons might not have fully understood, nor the builders. But it worked – and made some of the scariest weapons people had at that time, excluding war chariots. We don’t talk about the chariot, and definitely not the mongolian horses. Those are in their own category of weapons.

There are so many ways that people could use history to learn, not just about the past, but also about physics, languages, architecture, government, the arts, and even medicine.

Alaxandair wearing his shiny helmet.
Alaxandair helmed.