1. What is Scarlet Cross?
Scarlet Cross Medieval Organization is an undergraduate student organization at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Our group's purpose is to study and re-enact some of the more interesting parts of Medieval history.
2. What do we do?
We research life in the medieval period, and attempt to recreate many of the day to day activities that many people living back then would have expereinced. If you like: camping, feasting, cooking, singing, dancing, (flirting), armored combat, needlework, costuming, metalworking (and many other activities), we have something for you.
3. Is this some kind of religious thing?
Nope! Scarlet Cross is not affiliated with any religion whatsoever. The name was chosen because the founding president Josh Simon had been a member of Companions of the Cross, a Markland group that helped us get started. Since scarlet is one of the school colors of Rutgers College, Scarlet Cross seemed a natural choice.
4. What's "re-enactment"?
By re-enactment, we mean that we try to recreate the circumstances, crafts, skills, clothing, etc.,of people living during the Middle Ages. This is a large period in history ranging over 1000 years and covering a lot of geographic ground. Usually, each individual will pick out a particular period, country, or area of interest to research, and then will attempt to duplicate the results of the research for the group. This can be in the form of researching clothing styles appropriate to a particular area of the world for a particular time period. It could also be simply learning how to start a fire without any modern utensils. The areas of re-enactment are chosen by each member, and the level of authenticity is also chosen by the individual.
5. What do you mean by "Combat"?
One of the louder and more exciting activities is armored combat, a type of combat that attempts to recreate the arts of war as experienced by people living in the medieval period. The specific rules and regulations that we use are those as listed and followed by Markland Medieval Mercenary Militia , and we have approval to do this armored fighting on campus under the Markland rules and insurance. We also travel and help with combat demos and training at other NJ colleges and outside events.
6. What is Markland?
Markland is a non-profit educational corporation in the state of Maryland. Established in 1969 at the University of Maryland, Markland has grown to include members from Virginia to New York. Markland's primary objective is the education of the public (and ourselves) in all aspects of the medieval period. Our main emphasis is on the time period fomr the Fall of Rome to 1500 AD.
You can see more about Markland on their home page at http://www.markland.org/
7. Do I have to become a Markland Member?
No. While we do encourage participants to become Markland members, membership in Markland is not necessary to participate in most activities that Scarlet Cross sponsors. Nearly all of our events are open to all Rutgers University students, staff, faculty, and alumni, (and their guests). The only real exception to this regulation is in the case of armored combat. Due to insurance issues and University safety regulations, we can only allow those participants who are current paying and registered members of Markland to participate in any of our armored combat practices or events while on Rutgers property. Participants are also required to fill out an affidavit of consent (fighting waiver) in order to participate in armored combat.
8. Why would I want to be a Markland Member?
There are many excellent reasons to become a Markland member. The first is a year's subscription to The Teutonic Plague and The Pox, the official magazine and newsletters of Markland. These are your guides to upcoming activities and events for all of Markland, and also contain many articles for the medieval re-enactor, both for entertainment and information. With your membership you also get voting status in Markland, giving you the chance to voice your opinions and help make group decisions. Markland has an Althyng (voting meeting) twice per year, a tradition copied from Viking Althyngs over 1000 years ago.
9. Do I need to be a member of your group?
Nope, any member of the Rutgers University community is welcome to our many events held throughout the year. Most of our events are free and open to the Rutgers Community. The feasts we hold that are not free are first-come first-served for ticket sales (and they're a lot of fun).
10. How do I join up?
Come to one of our weekly meetings and say hi. We have them weekly in the Cook Campus Center (room 202A usually, but check signs in building) on Thursdays from 8-10pm.
11. How can I get started?
You can get started right now by emailing one of our officers, or just drop by our next meeting.