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Earng-Your-AoA-art - 4/18/02


"Earning your AoA in the SCA" by Lady Meliora Leuedai de Ardescote.


NOTE: See also the files: Getting-an-AoA-art, 4-newcomers-msg, How-to-Behave-art, SCA-courts-nc-msg, SCA-Personas-art, Y-Join-th-SCA-art.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set

of files, called StefanŐs Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at:



Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be

reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first

or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


                               Thank you,

                                    Mark S. Harris

                                    AKA:  Stefan li Rous

                                         stefan at florilegium.org



Earning your AoA in the SCA

by Lady Meliora Leuedai de Ardescote


One of the first questions that new SCA members have is about how to earn an Award of Arms.  The Award of Arms, or AoA, is the first award that most SCA members receive.  It gives an SCA member the right to display their device (coat of arms) and be titled as Lord or Lady.


AoA's can be given for different reasons.  The most common are for service in some area, skill on the field, or in the arts and sciences. However, occasionally you will find someone who earned an AoA for something unusual (in the past it wasn't uncommon to get an award for something such as having the working car that brought your friends to an event).


Generally speaking, the AoA award is given to members after they've proved that they're serious about participating in the SCA. Members who consistently attend meetings and events, help out or demonstrate some skill usually get noticed by other SCA members and recommended to the Crown to receive an award in court.  The King and Queen make the final decision as to whether and when to present the award, and a new Lord or Lady is made.  


It usually takes about a year or two to earn an AoA, but sometimes less (or more) depending on the level of service (and luck). However, AoA hopefuls should not be doing service with only receiving an award in mind.  Awards are more likely to be given to members who are participating because they want to, and because the activity is fun, or because they see where they can help out, than to members who volunteer for every job because they're desperate to get an award (and it's not hard to tell sometimes).


Here are some steps to consider:


1. Participate - Start with the basics:  create a persona, get passable garb (it doesn't have to be fancy!), go to meetings and events, and find activities that you're interested in.  Show up and help out on a regular basis (it doesn't have to be every time or all the time).  Prove that you're serious about being a part of the SCA.


2. Make new friends - Other SCA members will recommend you for awards, but they have to know who you are!  Be sure you introduce yourself to local members and members that participate in the same activities as you do. When you have a group of friends that you see at events and meetings, it's likely that they'll start to think about recommending you for an award.


3. Make sure they know you're a newcomer.  That doesn't mean to continually tell everyone!  What it does mean is that occasionally long-time members will move to a new group, and local members don't always check to see whether or not you're new, transplanted from another area, or returning from some time away from the SCA.  If you sound like someone who's been around for awhile, sometimes others will assume you have been.


4. Be courteous - Part of being eligible for an AoA has nothing to do with skills or service.  It's about attitude.  A member who is a skilled seamstress, willing to clean up after an event, and attends every meeting, but gossips, makes angry comments or is bossy is VERY unlikely to get noticed for an award.

5. Have fun - If you're participating because you want to try new things, and you're learning new skills and making friends, you're on the right path AND more importantly, getting enjoyment out of the SCA the way you should be.  An AoA is nice to have, but if you're pursuing the award, the participation will soon be no fun.



Copyright 2000 Sandy Danielewicz, 27883 Sutherland, Warren MI  48093. <ladymeliora at tir.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in

the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also

appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being

reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org