The Barony of Lyondemere is the local chapter of the SCA, the Society for Creative Anachronism. The SCA is a non-profit 501(c) society dedicated to research and re-creation of elements of the Middle Ages and Renaissance history. The Barony is also the parental group for the SCA at Cal State University of Long Beach (CSULB) and at Long Beach Community College (LBCC). Lyondemere is located along coastal Los Angeles County in California. We (roughly) include all of the “beach cities” from the Santa Monica mountains to Long Beach. Our western border is the Pacific Ocean and our eastern border roughly follows the San Diego Freeway (I-405), and even a few miles east of it in places. (Check out our full list of modern city and neighborhood names.)
Southern California, the Las Vegas area, and Hawaii are all a part of the Kingdom of Caid. You can look through the Kingdom web site and check out the links to the various chapters throughout the Kingdom. Local chapters are often named Shires, Baronies, or Cantons.
More about Lyondemere
- Check out our Baronial Champions
- Look through our Calendar of Meetings and Events
- Read about our Baronial Awards
Frequently Asked Questions
Are You in a Play? Quick Answer: No.
A common misconception, when people see us in a park, at a restaurant, or at a festival, is that we might all be part of some play. And although there are some members who participate in performances, the majority of SCA members are not in a play but are enjoying historical recreation through the clothing (or “garb”), the props of daily living (whether that is making cloth on a loom or working on a blacksmith’s anvil), and the food of the middle ages (everyone loves to eat).
You will find that the nature of our events is often “open to the public” if you are interested in watching and learning what we do. But there are rarely any set “performance times” even at our tournaments, and people are encouraged to try wearing clothing from “period” (typically clothes from Europe between 1000 and 1650) and learning arts, crafts, sciences, dances, and martial arts of the period.
Among other things, we do:
Archery, Armoring, Astronomy, Basketry, Beadwork, Belly dancing, Brewing, Calligraphy, Camping, Chain mail, Chess, Cooking, Costuming, Dancing, Dollmaking, Drumming, Dyeing, Embroidery, Equestrian Arts [Jousting is only in a testing form right now, most Equestrian events have other games], Feasting, Felting, Fencing, Glassblowing, Hawking, Heraldry, Herbalism, Illumination, Knife making, Knitting, Lace making, Leatherworking, Linguistics, Merchanting, Newsletters, Painting, Research, Serving, Sewing, Shopping, Singing, Soap making, Spinning, Tent making, Theatre, Volunteering, Weaving, Woodworking.
Is this the Renaissance Faire? Quick Answer: No.
“The Renaissance Faire” can be any number of other historical reenactment clubs, putting on a weekend (or several weekends) of performances, often with merchants/vendors, plays, processions, and displays. However, the SCA is unaffiliated with any of these Renn Faire reenactment societies.
Typically at a Renn Faire, the public pays an admission fee at the gate. There are set performance times, at one or many stages. The participants in Faire are all in costume, the paying public is (usually) not in costume.
The SCA is a society that encourages individual participation. If a fee is charged at the gate to a tournament, it is usually restricted to SCA participants, and not the observing public who may wander by. There are a few events held by the SCA that may charge a fee to the viewing public, or may be for members only, but these events are few and far between.
And unlike the Renn Faires, which typically focus on only Elizabethan England history (and any cultures likely to have come into contact with the Elizabethan court), the SCA has a broad focus including “pre-1600 Western Europe and contacting cultures.” You may find SCA members researching as early as the Roman Empire, the high Japanese court pre-1600, the Mongolian hordes, or the Sultan’s court. You’ll often see garb (the SCA word for “historical costume”) from every year between 1000 AD and 1600 AD.
Can you come talk to my class/school? Quick Answer: Yes, we’d love to!
The SCA is specifically a non-profit educational society, registered as a 501(c) corporation of California. Local chapters usually have teams of volunteers available to put on demos for schools and city festivals. Most chapters or groups prefer three months notice to schedule a demo. To find the local chapter in your area, try the main Society web page and click on the link for SCA Groups. This link will take you to the “Kingdom” web pages for major regions throughout the world. Each Kingdom has links for finding local chapters in its borders.
If you would like to schedule a demo for your class or school, you should contact the “Chatelaine” or the “Seneschal” of a local branch. The Chatelaine is specifically in charge of working with newcomers to the SCA. The Seneschal is like the chapter “president” and is responsible for all legal paperwork, such as insurance and site-related requirements. Some branches may have an “Avant Courier” in charge of publicity for newspapers, radio, and community boards. And some branches may have a specific “Demo Coordinator” who works with the Chatelaine and the Seneschal.
How much does it cost to be a member? Quick Answer: Not much, depending on what you choose.
Most SCA members start out participating with their local Shire or Barony. Local participation costs nothing at all. You may wish to subscribe to your local newsletter, which may cost around $10/year. In the Barony of Lyondemere, the monthly newsletter is issued electronically as a PDF. To subscribe, join the Group on Yahoo to receive the “Tydes” publication.
As your participation grows, and includes attending events in neighboring chapters, you may want to start receiving your Kingdom newsletter. A subscription to your local Kingdom newsletter is included when you pay for a Society membership. Membership is handled exclusively (except for Australian membership) through the SCA, Inc. office in Milpitas, California. You can reach that office at:
SCA, Inc. The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., P.O. Box 360789 · Milpitas, California 95036-0789 · Tel (408) 263-9305 · Fax (408) 263-0641
How often do you guys do this? Quick Answer: Somewhere between every weekend and once a year or so.
Local events vary in frequency. The Barony of Lyondemere hosts between 3-4 tournaments per year, roughly one per quarter. Workshops locally vary between once a month and once a week. You can find specific information about our events on the Calendar pages.
The Kingdom events that many SCA members attend are usually held on Saturdays. We are very fortunate in Southern California to have lovely weather nearly all year round, and typically you can find between 1-3 events every weekend. There are single-day tournaments, two-day events, and camping events for an entire weekend, over a 3-day holiday, or even longer. There are typically 1-2 events per year that are between 4-6 days long. Not everyone is available to attend the full 4-6 days, and it’s not unusual for someone to make just an afternoon of it.
Participation varies from individual to individual. This is a hobby, and does fit around members’ work schedules and family obligations. Regardless of how frequently you are able to attend events or workshops, you are always welcome. And extended absences are always understood.
Where do you do this stuff? Quick Answer: Around the entire world, and probably in your hometown.
There are about nineteen Kingdoms around the world now, of SCA members and local branches. There is a link on the SCA Inc. main web page that connects you with the Geography of the SCA, where you can find your local Kingdom and then local branch.
But where do we hold events locally? Business meetings are often held in community centers or large restaurants. Workshops have been hosted in recreation rooms in apartment complexes, in parks, in living rooms, or in someone’s garage or backyard. Local tournaments are usually found in community parks and on local school grounds. Collegiums, full days devoted to classroom activities, are often held at local community colleges. High court events, such as the Coronation of a King and Queen, are often held in churches, community centers, or other public buildings.