The Best of Both Worlds

Teacher explains involvement in recreating history

Social studies teacher Clark Winslow calls himself a history geek, but he doesn’t just teach it — he recreates it. Winslow is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). Not to be confused with LARP (live action role-play), the SCA recreates the medieval period in history, focusing on everyday life during that time. The kingdom Winslow is involved in, Calontir, recreates viking-age Europe 850-865 A.D.

Like many other kingdoms in the SCA, Winslow said the members of Calontir live the way the people of that time would, minus the harmful conditions and violence. Winslow said most members sleep in tents called a viking wedge and dress and fiScreen Shot 2016-05-19 at 9.22.09 AMght in battles.

“We recreate the cool things,” he said. “We recreate the battles as close as we possibly can while still understanding everybody that fights has to get up and go to work on Monday.”

Though he receives criticism, Winslow said he still enjoys the activity

“When people laugh at me for doing this, it doesn’t bother me,” he said. “It’s what I do as a hobby and something I deeply treasure.”

Winslow was 29 years old when his then-neighbor invited him to an SCA meet to see what they did. For the past 18 years, Winslow said he is the only one who has successfully passed an authorization without previously fighting in a battle. The authorizations are not to test skill, but to ensure safety during battle. One cannot fight until they have gone through this process.

“I went to one event, and I thought it was pretty cool,” he said. “The next event, [my former neighbor] found loaned armor to put me in. I was his grand experiment.”

Winslow said the members of SCA are willing to lend a hand to another member in need, no matter if they know them personally or not.

“In the SCA, yScreen Shot 2016-05-19 at 9.21.47 AMou have an extended family across the globe,” Winslow said.

Winslow said he tries to live with the virtues of the SCA and the code of chivalry in his everyday life.

“Our society is built on the Victorian ideals of chivalry but in a real world situation,” he said. “If you’re not doing that outside of the SCA, there is no point in being involved.”

The SCA has influenced Winslow so profoundly he said it led him to teach social studies.

“It was the love of the medieval ages, the research and the interest in the time period which led me back to getting a degree in history,” Winslow said. “[That] subsequently led me to get my teaching certificate, and eventually the classroom.”