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Ancient battles, today’s world

Posted: Friday, Jan 29th, 2010

Photo/ Carson LeMahieu Jerry Spaulding peers out from behind the mask of his Spartan helm. Spaulding, a 20-year veteran of the Society for Creative Anachronism is attempting to bring the group to EWC. Worldwide, the group boasts a membership of more than 100,000 people.

The Spartan warriors stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their shields raised, awaiting the advancing army. From the right came a group of samurai warriors; from the left a regiment of Swiss pike men approached. The bodies began piling up as the Spartans fended off their enemies, but after a long bloody battle, they were able to raise their hands in a glorious victory.

This may sound like a scene from a bad Hollywood movie, but instead it is playing out – in real life – in an Arizona desert. This is the world of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) – a world that is soon coming to Eastern Wyoming College.

Jerry Spaulding, who goes by the name Agamedes within the SCA, is one of the founding members of the club at EWC. Spaulding said he first got involved with the SCA while on a family vacation 20 years ago.

“When I was about 15, I was in another state, and there was a Renaissance festival-type thing and it turned out that it was the SCA,” he said. “I’ve just been hooked ever since.”

Margaret Polson, media relations director for the Kingdom of Outlands, said though the fighting and wars is the most widely known part of SCA, it is far from the only activity the group is involved with.

“There are people who do clothing, embroidery, various forms of horseback riding, archery, if somebody in the Middle Ages did it, chances are someone in SCA is doing it now,” she said.

The SCA is a worldwide organization with more than 100,000 active members; in the United States the group is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit. The organization is divided by geographical region into kingdoms, the group forming at EWC is in the kingdom of Outlands. The Kingdom of Outlands covers Wyoming, Western Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. Included in this group are chapters at Cheyenne, Casper and Scottsbluff.

More than 10,000 warriors are involved in some of the wars the SCA puts on. At these wars, the different groups who attend are grouped into two separate sides who attack each other. According to Spaulding the wars contain basic foot soldiers, horse-mounted cavalry, siege weapons and everything in-between.

“We’ll use eight to ten tennis balls duct taped together as ammunition (for the siege weapons). So you

For the complete article see the 01-29-2010 issue.

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