Shire of Anglespur

Newcomer Information

Welcome! If you're new to the SCA, or just new to the Shire of Anglespur, this is the place to start. Here you'll find information that will tell you more about who we are and what we do.

What do we do?

The Shire of Anglespur boasts an active and varied range of things to do. Our most visible activity is probably our fighter practices on Sunday afternoons. During nice weather, our fighters and fencers are outside, practicing on the lawn in front of the RPI armory. During the colder months, they're in the armory basement. We also have a weekly dance practice at RPI that we co-run with our neighboring group, the Barony of Concordia. We have a vocal performance group that meets every other week, we're working on starting a commedia del' arte (Italian slapstick improv) troupe, we have semi-regular thrown weapon practice during the spring and summer, and we're looking into arranging for indoor archery practice during the winter.

How do I get started?

The easiest way to determine if the SCA is for you is to jump right in and try it out! We're a participation-based organization, so everyone gets to be as actively involved as they choose. Come to a practice, class, or meeting, and see if what we do catches your interest. Our activities are free to participate in, and if it requires special equipment (like armor and weapons for fighter practice), we will most likely have loaner gear you can borrow to start out. The Shire also prides itself on hosting donation-optional events, so that you don't have to pay to play if your cashflow is tight. Check the Events page of our website to see what is happening when.

What's the difference between "activity" and "event"?

Our activities, also sometimes called practices, are are held any day of the week except Saturdays. They're casual, come-as-you-are deals. It's a good place to start if you're learning a new skill or are learning how to do things "our way." For example, if you did collegiate fencing in high school or college and are interested in trying SCA-style fencing, our Sunday practice is the perfect place to familiarize yourself with the similarities and differences of the two styles. If you've been in a choir since you were ten and want to continue singing with our vocal group, the Wednesday night group time is where you'd be introduced to the medieval music we use and the conventions for singing those sort of pieces.

Our events, on the other hand, are a more elaborate deal. Events always take place on Saturdays (unless it's a weekend-long affair). An attempt at period clothing is required. A period name and persona, or character you play while at the event, is encouraged. We have loaner clothing available, as well as many people in the Shire who would be happy to help with making your own. We can also point you in the direction of resources to help you develop a medieval persona. Events are usually centered around specific activities, like fencing or dancing, although some events are known for "a little of everything." The East Kingdom's event calendar (http://eastkingdom.org/EventListing.html) will have a full description of what the event entails, as well as information about cost, food, and contact information if you have any questions.

Who do I talk to about getting involved here?

Usually the easiest thing to do is to contact the Chatelaine. They'll point you in the right direction. If you already have a good idea of what activities you'd like to try, you can contact the appropriate officer on the Contacts page of our website. Here's a breakdown of the Shire officers and what each one does:

  • Chatelaine: The contact person for people who are new to the SCA, or new to the Shire of Anglespur. This person helps to hook you up with the activies that you're interested in, maintains the Shire collection of loaner clothing, and organizes public demos for outside groups that are interested in tapping into our skills. We get requests from places like local libraries and colleges who are looking for an educational and entertaining display of medieval activities.
  • Seneschal: The "club president." The Seneschal takes care of the Shire from a business point of view, and makes sure we're all doing what we need to do to keep the group running smoothly.
  • Knight Marshal: The person who oversees our heavy weapon fighter activities. A "marshal" is someone who is trained and registered with the SCA as having the authority and knowledge to safely supervise the appropriate martial practices and tournaments. Heavy weapons fighting utilizes stiff, heavy armor for protection and rattan (Japanese grass similar to bamboo) weapons wrapped in duct tape.
  • Fencing Marshal: The person who supervises our weekly fencing practice. Fencing utilizes lighter, more flexible armor than heavy fighting, with blunt steel weapons that are covered ("tipped") at the ends.
  • Thrown Weapons Marshal: The person who supervises thrown weapons activities. Thrown weapons is pretty much exactly what it sounds like - you're throwing a variety of sharp items at wooden targets.
  • Exchequer: The "club treasurer." The exchequer keeps track of the Shire's expenses.
  • Minister of Arts and Sciences: The person who coordinates classes and activities that pertain to - that's right - medieval arts and sciences. In the Shire of Anglespur, that includes (but is not limited to) blacksmithing, glass bead making, pewter casting, dancing, vocal and instrumental performance, spinning, dyeing, and commedia del' arte.
  • Web Minister: The person who maintains and updates our website.
  • Herald: The person who helps people to research and develop a medieval name and coat of arms to use at events.

So that's us, the Shire of Anglespur in a nutshell. Contact the Chatelaine if you have any further questions, and we hope to see you soon at our next practice or event!