Greetings Good People of the Outlands!
I want to thank everyone who used our new SCA Registration System (SCARS) for the Baronial Investiture for Caerthe held a few weeks ago. As with any new system, we did experience a few hiccups in the background that caused some initial concerns. But in the end, everything came together, and everybody had a great time (despite the windy gales).
Gate Check-In for those individuals that prepaid through SCARS went very smoothly and people were in and out within a minute. For members, all that was needed was to confirm their blue cards, sign next to their name, add a phone or email, and receive their site token. (It was so quick in fact, that I forgot to get my site token.) For non-members, waivers still needed to be signed, but with no fumbling for wallets or waiting for change, this also went quickly.
Some of you are probably wondering, “What is this SCARS thing and why would I want to use it?” Society has developed the SCA Registration System, or SCARS, for all Known World Kingdoms to use. It is a way to pre-register and pre-pay for an event online while also fulfilling our Kingdom’s preregistration requirements for events. Like PayPal, you pay with a credit/debit card or your own PayPal account, but all in one easy step like any other mundane, online purchase. It is not required that our local groups use SCARS for pre-registration but is the only way for us to take credit card payments at this time. Mail-in and in-person preregistrations, paying by cash or check, will still be taken at the local level. This system does, however, accommodate the set up of FREE events with no transaction fees to your local group!
PreRegistration through SCARS reduces the amount of cash you need to bring to an event (or frees it up to purchase awesome merchandise!), it drastically reduces the amount of time you spend waiting in line at Gate and it provides the first steps in contact tracing, if ever needed. Since pre-registration in SCARS closes 2 weeks before the event, your local group will receive your payments directly from Society, before the event even takes place! And the best part is it also provides a list in advance to let our Royals know who will be attending for all of those awards they want to give out to you!
You can find SCARS by going to www.SCA.org. Click on Event Reg (at the top), choose your kingdom and see what events are available to pre-register for (Event Reg is SCARS). From here, choose the Event Details, click Register to log in, choose who is going with you, add options if applicable, and pay. Even non-members can use it, you just need to create a free login to do so. You can also see what other kingdoms have going on if you’re the traveling sort. If you don’t see an event that you’d like to pre-register and pre-pay for, or even if it is a free event, speak with an officer in your local group to ask about getting it set up.
For anybody who is new to the SCA, this probably seems like a no-brainer to be able to pay in advance AND with a credit/debit card. For those of us who are used to paying at gate, but with cash or check only, this probably seems like a huge change and that can be daunting. I can empathize with that and can assure you that Society has taken every precaution to make sure your information is safe. If you are still unsure, that’s ok. You can still pre-register through your local group - please see their individual Event announcements in the Outlandish Herald or in the Events calendar on the Kingdom website at www.Outlands.org on how to do this.
I want to thank everyone who has already pre-registered for the Outlands Crown Tournament in October and St Sebastian’s Archery Tournament in September. These events do have occupancy limits so please preregister as soon as possible to ensure you can attend. If these, or any future events, are sold out, check with the hosting group to see if they have a waitlist going as potential cancellations free up spots.
I also want to thank the Kingdom SCARS Deputy, Ays,e Al-Rūmīyya, for going many extra miles to ask and answer questions, train and re-train with Society to improve this process for everybody. With each new event, we are getting closer to making this seamless and, hopefully, a new standard practice for pre-registrations.
Yours Humbly In Service,
Lady Marija Zuzoric (Tsura)