Welcome to

The Shire of Burning Sands

Welcome to the Yuma, AZ SCA chapter! The SCA, short for Society for Creative Anachronism, is an international, non-profit, educational organization designed for all ages as a hands-on, learn-by-doing model to research and re-create a living history of European life prior to 1600. As a shire we are a small representation of the SCA, but that doesn’t stop us from having a ton of fun and supporting each other’s dreams! So come join us and let’s rediscover the best parts of the Middle Ages together!

New to the shire?

We Welcome Newcomers!

Whether you are new to the SCA, new to the area, or a returning member; we welcome you to the Yuma, AZ SCA chapter: the Shire of Burning Sands! Take a moment to familiarize yourself with what we offer for local activities. Next check our News & Calendar for upcoming gatherings and events. Finally, feel free to ask questions, join our Shire of Burning Sands Facebook group, and check out the newcomer resources linked below!

Resources to Get Started:

  • New to the SCA? – A great starting point for newcomers, providing a vast selection of orientation resources including guides, a Glossary of Jargon, and other helpful information.
  • SCA Newcomer’s Portal – Offers an array of photos and descriptions of the various activities the SCA promotes and supports.
  • Welcome to the Kingdom of Atenveldt! – Get acquainted with Kingdom resources and find helpful information on the basics of the SCA.
  • Atenveldt Newcomers Facebook Group – A convenient place for quick and easy communication with folk dedicated to answering your questions and welcoming newcomers Kingdom-wide!
  • Contact Us! – Talk directly with our local officers and let us know you’re interested! We’d love to hear from you and are looking forward to seeing you at the next gathering!

Newcomer FAQ

How do I get involved?

Just show up at one of our local activities (meetings, archery, or fighter practices) and we’ll help you get started. Or contact our Newcomer officer (the Chatelaine) for some pointers. The national SCA web site also has a useful newcomers page (http://welcome.sca.org/)

Does it cost anything to participate?

Our general practices and classes are free to particpate, just show up! Otherwise some official events will have an entry fee, and buying your own supplies or gear can range vastly but is not usually necessary as we have lots of loaner gear and supplies. You can also join the SCA by becoming a paid member!

Do I have to join the SCA to participate?

Nope! You can participate without being a member. However, paid members can receive awards, become officers, or vote in official business polls. They also typically pay discounted fees at events.

How much does membership cost?

Level of membership determines the cost. Click here for current membership information: http://www.sca.org/members/. Members receive a discount at SCA events and the monthly Kingdom (regional) newsletter. Subscriptions to the national quarterly magazines “Tournaments Illuminated” are an additional fee.

What do I need to bring?

For you first time out, just come as you are and we’ll help you get started.

If you would like more specifics for bare minimums ahead of time:

  • Fighter Practice – bring your own hard-shelled sports cup (groin protection namely for males).
  • Archery Practice – you need close-toed footwear and may want to bring sunblock and other forms of sun protection like a hood or hat.
  • Arts and Sciences classes – you will want to look to the class announcement ahead of time for details on any supplies you might need to bring with you.
  • Events – for a single-day event you should wear something passably medieval or garb (sometimes available for loan to newcomers, contact the Chatelaine before the event for more information). You should also bring food (unless a meal is provided), water, and the event fee (found in the event announcement post). For weekend camping events, you should additionally bring a tent, sleeping bag, and anything you might need to stay overnight.
  • Feasts – you may want to bring feast gear if none are provided. This includes plates, bowls, cutlery, mugs; the more medieval, the better! Note that some feasts may require reservations so be sure to read the event announcement thoroughly for details.
What goes on at a weekend SCA event?

A typical SCA event will include armored combat and rapier, with archery if an area is available. There may be a feast dinner with medieval dancing afterwards. Some alternatives such as arts and sciences, classes, bardic (songs, poetry or stories of the period), games, and children’s activities may be available. When the King and Queen are present, they usually hold a Royal Court to present awards and honors to their subjects.

Do I have to get dressed in costume to participate?

You don’t, but an effort at clothing that fits within the SCA time period is highly encouraged and does make it more fun! However we don’t usually wear garb for monthly business meetings or work shop gatherings. 

What is the SCA time period?

The SCA covers pre-17th century history, mainly the European Middle Ages & Renaissance. The common practice is from about 600AD to mid-1600s (through Elizabeth I). However, there are many participants that choose to venture into ancient times, explore the Middle East, or study interactions between Europe and Asia pre-17th century.

What if I don’t know anything about history?

No problem! The SCA has folk that range from those doing extensive historical research to those who just enjoy the atmosphere of life in the Middle Ages. No matter what your level of knowlege or interest in history is, there are always folk who are willing to offer their guidance and share their knowlege, often without being asked!

Can I bring my kids?

Absolutely! The SCA is multi-generational, and there are many youngsters involved. There are members that grew up in the SCA and even some second- and third-generation SCAdians around. Children, youth, and teens are encouraged to participate in most activities, including youth combat (for teens and pre-teens) and archery. The marshal activities do require parents or legal guardians to be present.

Are cameras allowed?

Yes. Attempts to hide the camera when not in use, and discretion when using a flash are appreciated. There are some expectations of privacy, so please ask before posting or publishing pictures if at all possible.

Do you do demonstrations for other organizations?
Yes, we do demonstrations for schools, scouting groups, and other organizations as requested. These vary from a small one-hour program to a large activity complete with combat demonstrations and classes. Contact Us for more information.
Do you do those Renaissance Fairs?

No, the SCA is not involved in the large for-profit Renaissance Fairs. However, many SCA members participate in these fairs by providing entertainment.

Is this a LARP group?

While there are some similarities, LARP groups tend to be associated with fantasy whereas the SCA favors more historical influence. Some folk do enjoy acting out their persona, while most people act as themselves while abiding by common courtly courtesies, especially at events and during Royal Court.

Do you do reenactments of actual events?

No, our activities are unscripted and more free-form. Each person picks their own persona, which include name, garb, and time. Some events may focus on a specific place and time as a theme, but attendees may select garb or persona from within another SCA period.

Shire of Burning Sands: Eugene

“I joined the Shire of Burning Sands in 2016 after my friend pestered me enough to come check it out; I’ve never looked back. I can definitely say I’ve grown into a better person as a result of the influence the Shire and the SCA as a whole have had on my life.”

-Sir Eugene Haraldson

Seneschal, Shire of Burning Sands