Troy’s hidden treasure: Society for Creative Anachronism

Israel Ashby


Society for Creative Anachronism Inc. (SCA) is a national organization for creative historical re-enactment.

“I like to tell people that it is LARPing’s (Live Action Role-Playing’s) historically accurate cousin,” said Nicole Cronin, a senior biomedical sciences major from Dothan and the Troy SCA reeve (treasurer).

Chris Cooper, a junior social services major from Prattville and the Troy SCA minister of arts and sciences (vice president), said it was more like a role-playing game (RPG) than LARPing.

“It feels like an RPG, except without the game part,” Cooper said. “You take on different and new aspects that are not entirely mundane and normal to your life, and you can feel like you are in a different world.”

Each member picks a time period that he likes best and creates a persona, or a role, with a name, occupation and nationality. He then researches that setting and how that persona would act and look, including the appropriate garb his persona would wear.

“In the SCA, you have aristocracy, the fighting, the food…” Cronin said.

Once members have their personas, they can go to the official SCA events, meet other personas and re-create historical events such as battles, masquerades or merchant markets.

One of the more popular activities taught in the Troy group is sword fighting.

“If you’re a knight, they can teach you how to fight,” Cronin said.

“They usually dress up in chainmail, use actual shields, helmets and that sort of thing. We don’t use real swords because that would be very dangerous. We have swords made out of this wood called Rattan — if you hit someone and it breaks, it won’t splinter.”

Members also can learn historical cooking, dancing, seaming, archery, chainmail making and more.  Although anything medieval is possible in the SCA, according to its seneschal (president), Ray Jefcoat, a senior anthropology major from Prattville, the real treasure of the SCA is its friendly atmosphere.

“You’re not going to find another organization like it,” Jefcoat said. “So when looking at the SCA as a whole, the most unique thing is the culture of the SCA.

“It tends to grab very nice people, doing something they love, and it creates a beautiful environment.”

Jefcoat encouraged those looking for an extracurricular activity to visit the SCA group here on campus, as it’s open to people from all walks of life, from children to the elderly.

“I have come to learn that you won’t know if you will truly love something until you try it,” Jeffcoat said. “We are as obscure and strange as it gets, but I think that once we have people come and try it, they don’t want to leave it. They really want to stick with it.”

The SCA group of Troy can be found on Facebook as the College of Ilium. Its weekly meetings are on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in Patterson Hall, Room 203 or 205.

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