A newcomers story

A Newcomers story – Suth Moot

I recently had the privilege of attending my first SCA event. I loved it so much that I returned for another. Both of these were truly wonderful experiences. However, as my second event spanned the entire easter weekend, and it’s not often that a newcomer gets to experience everything the SCA has to offer in one go, I’m going to write about that.

The event is called Suth Moot, which means South Meeting. This was the third one, with the fourth already planned.

This was, simply, the most amazing experience I have ever encountered in my life. Anything and everything I could do I did. My biggest predicament was which activity I wanted to do more.

In my life I have done everything from martial arts to embroidery. When I looked over the schedule for Easter I found myself debating on what to do. Should I go and work on embroidery, or should I go and watch the people who put on armour and hit each other with swords, just like the old tournaments? I debated over attending the class on swords, or the origins of chocolate and coffee.

I ended up doing a bit of everything. I took a class on sword fighting, called rapier. As a woman, I have since been encouraged to fight in a dress and the plans are already on their way for this.

I took up a bow and tried archery. I even managed to hit the target once or twice. Well maybe only once, but I found I enjoyed it so much, that I returned again to the archery field.

I watched as men and women got on full armour, shields and swords and tried to defeat each other. In fact, in that activity I did not just watch. I did what is called marshalling. This is like an umpire, who makes sure this is a safe activity. There were lots of people to help me with that.

I sat and did my embroidery. I admired other people’s calligraphy, painting, artwork and knot making. I learned about making clothes, chocolate and coffee and so many crafts that I did not even know existed.

I even tried my voice at heraldry. All that needs is a good set of lungs to shout the message I was given. Admittedly, the experienced heralds do it with such flare that they are worth listening to.

One of the big things I enjoyed was not the activities I participated in. It was the helping. Everyone seems happy to help out. At one point I was moving tables from one hall to another. No sooner had I started then I had assistance. I believe up to six people helped me at one point or another. It made the tasks very easy. Everyone pitched in. Anything from rearranging furniture to blowing noses of crying children. There was always something to help with and someone to do the helping.

Children were not forgotten, either. There were so many activities for them I lost count. It included things like a bear hunt, banner decorating and – being Easter – Ye olde brown egg hunt.

Every night there was a feast and dancing of some form or another. We got to sample the food and music from around the world, within the correct time period of course.