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    Thursday, December 28, 2006

    I am a PEZ dispenser of advice

    This is what happens to me when I get snowed in. I feel like it's my right to write a novel every time someone asks my advice....

    ----------------- Original Message -----------------

    Date: Dec 28 2006 11:15 AM


    i've been wanting to join sca and i wondering if you might be able to provide me with a little info, i live in ohio and i was wondering what the closest house for me to join in would be. i have full leather armour curiass and plated skirt that covers the kidneys and was curious as to what the requirements for armour and advancement are.

    thanks for the help,

    Greetings C -

    Ohio is a big place, and I only know a couple of people from there. That makes me NOT an authority on this subject! I would most definitely ask this question on the SCA Group on MySpace.

    There are many people from Midrealm (aka Middle Kingdom) who would gladly give you their opinions about houses in the area.

    Here's a website listing many (but I cannot say for sure ALL) households in Midrealm

    For general Kingdom information, here's Midrealm's website. You might also try MiddleWiki, on their page about armor. And Knights.

    A Knight is the farthest advancement one can make in armored combat. As to the requirements in your Kingdom on how to become a Knight, well, you'd need to ask some Knights about that. But trust me when I say that there is a great deal more involved in achieving Knighthood than in say, testing for your next belt in Aikido. Nothing against Aikido...

    But if I may dispense some general advice on the subject of finding households?

    Just being 'closest' might not be the best criteria when searching for a house (or household) to join. From what you describe of your armor and your questions about fighting requirements, I'm going to say fighting is pretty high up on your interests. So joining a period cooking household would not be in your best interests, even if it WERE the closest.

    Here's a web page with a great map of the Midrealm regions (Oaken is where you are 'in general')

    Once you've figured out what Barony you are closest too, visit their website, and those of other local groups to start gathering information about practices and events.

    You should find out when and where the closest fighter practice is, show up with your armor and start asking questions. I'll bet you a dollar, even if your armor is not up to the Kingdom requirements, somebody there is going loan you enough parts to at least get out there and swing a sword. After you sign the waiver of course.

    Even if you are not allowed to fight at first, fighter practices tend to be very social environments, where you should ask around about your interests, thereby leading you to others who share them.

    If you indeed made your armor, as your MySpace page says, then I guarantee you'll find like-minded souls in that category. But I also read on your page that you rarely drink. If drinking is something you'd rather stay AWAY from, you will need to make some careful considerations when joining a household.

    You will not come into contact with alcohol at fighter practice, but you most certainly will at camping events. What if your first camping event consists of dealing with the the leader of the house you've just agreed to join, who suddenly turns into a belligerent alcoholic because they drink all weekend?

    These things have been known to happen, and what usually results is that the new person gets scared away from the SCA because of a bad first experience.

    Before asking to JOIN a house, ask to CAMP with them before making any decisions. Hang out with them first, and make sure your interpersonal relations work well. Treat it kind of like dating, because joining a household is like marriage.

    A word of note: Just because you WANT to join does NOT mean you are invited. This is something we deal with in my household quite often. But because WE also have our standards, we sometimes have to deny people who don't fit them.

    Figure out what is most important to you, and seek out others who share the same ideals. Take your time considering your choices. Just like they say about love; you'll know when it's right.

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