SIGNING IN AT GATE: When you come through the gate at an SCA event in the West, you’re met by a person (called a Constable) who’s carrying a clipboard and collecting site fees. You’re asked to sign in on a sheet that lists the site owner and states that you will not sue the Society for anything that happens in the normal course of the event. The sign-in sheet asks for your Society name, your modern name, your signature and your membership number. The Constable may also ask you whether you are a member. What we’re going to explain here is why that question is necessary, and what it means. We hope that this will help prevent any misunderstandings or misconceptions people may have about membership in the SCA and how it relates to the site fee.

THE NON-MEMBER SURCHARGE (NMS): You are asked whether you are a member, and to provide your membership number, because people who are not paid members of the SCA, Inc. are required to pay an additional three dollars at the gate. This Non-Member Surcharge (NMS) does not stay in the Kingdom; it is sent directly to the SCA’s corporate office to help defray the expenses of running the corporation that makes it possible for us all to join together for medieval experiences without worrying about modern legal requirements like site insurance.

BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP: Members pay a fee to the corporation every year and are not assessed the extra $3 fee at each event. For the minimum membership fee (Associate Membership -- $20 per year), you can join the SCA and avoid having to pay the NMS at each event you attend. In addition, you can sign a waiver which will be kept on file at the corporate office. A $35 membership also includes 12 issues of The Page, the official West Kingdom newsletter, which lists upcoming events and has much other useful information about what’s happening in the Kingdom. You must be a member to fight/be fought for in Crown or Coronet lists, and to be an officer of your Society branch.

MEMBERSHIP MUST BE CURRENT: When you sign in at the gate, you are considered a member only if you have paid the SCA, Inc. membership fee within the past year. If you have not paid the membership fee within the year, you are not considered a member of the SCA, Inc., no matter how long you have been active, or how often you participate in events, or how many times you have paid the membership fee in the past.

PROOF OF MEMBERSHIP: Acceptable proof of membership is a valid membership card, a newsletter with your name on the label, a verification of membership from the corporate office, or the appearance of your name as a current member on a listing from the corporate office. Since the West Kingdom was shown to be out of compliance with corporate regulations on the NMS, we will have to show proof of membership at the gate for (at least) the next few months or be ready to pay the NMS. Please be prepared to cooperate with this regulation and do not make life harder for our volunteer Constables.

THE WEST KINGDOM WELCOME COMMITTEE: Please note that the West Kingdom Welcome Committee stands ready to pay the NMS for anyone who wishes – ask the Constables to explain if you don’t understand what the WKWC is or how it works. They’ll be happy to help you in any way they can. And enjoy the event!

--- Baroness Eilis O’Boirne, OL, OP, Westerner

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