Kids & Teenagers at Burning Man

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike

Kids at Burning Man?

Yes
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58%
No
219
42%
 
Total votes : 521

Burning with Family - any advice?

Postby Guest » Sun Mar 07, 2004 5:43 pm

Hi all!

This will be my first time at Burning Man and I'm going with my dad! I'm 22-yrs-old, work in publishing in New York, read too many books and generally keep myself entertained by exploiting all possible areas of craigslist. My favorite fruit is either the starfruit or the unripe nectarine. My best talent is that I can draw dragons in less than a minute. Wanna be my friend and try something new with me every hour this summer? I'm hoping to make some friends before I go so if you feel like saying hello, please contact me!

Also, I was wondering if anyone else has gone with family members and if they have any advice or stories related to doing the burn with their family?

Thanks everyone!
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Postby Dustdevil » Sun Mar 07, 2004 11:50 pm

In 2002 my wife and I took our two daughters, ages 19 & 21. They were off on their own most of the time. They came back to camp to sleep or eat. They seemed oblivious to the fact we were there and their presence didn't hinder our experience. During the entire event we only ran into one of them on the Playa. I would always be willing to take them again. They were very dissapointed that their school scheduals did not permit them to go in 2003.
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Postby III » Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:06 am

it seems you'd have similiar problems as with any close relationship. there's a decent relationship survival guide out there that's worth reading.
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unripe nectarines?!!!

Postby Dusza Beben » Mon Mar 08, 2004 8:06 pm

You lost me with the unripe nectarine thing... :wink:

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Postby madmatt » Tue Mar 09, 2004 10:21 am

For one thing, don't worry too much about making friends, you'll make more friends than you can keep up with when you're out there. I've been three times, all with my brother and his wife, and last time with my two stepbrothers and their wives (we're all 30-38). We're all definitely closer for it too.

I would say, awesome, what a way to bond! Make some agreements before you go though - especially about the kind of stuff that leads to camp fights (building and cleanup plans, tasks, money, etc. - you DON"T want to spend your short time out there working that shit out). Make sure you and your dad get your own personal time, alone and to meet your own people (for example, make sure you have the space to do your own sex and drugs things, whatever they be), and reserve some real time together too, for example, say for one night at least (Burn Night is a good choice) that you will stick together the whole night. It's easy to run off, and hardly even run into the people in your own camp the whole time.

The only really important thing of course (counts for everyone at BM), is don't be too shocked to see your dad's inner freak coming out, and don't judge if he cacoons a little and his freak never comes out.
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I didn't go w/ family but w/ a shy best guy friend...

Postby Imagigrl » Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:56 pm

Just take care of each other and use a pair of excellent walkie talkies (put them in zip lock baggies to keep them as dust free as possible)...

Most importantly: Get enough sleep (bring good ear plugs and if you're so inclined then camp near "Hushville"), keep hydrated no matter how un-thirsty y'all think you are, pee in reclosable water jugs at your camp and seal up your heavy duty trash bags real good (who needs to wait in line just to tinkle esp. when you're exhausted from arrival day??), keep as cool as possible (spray bottles are a must as are head coverings and sunglasses), use real good lip balm 'n' sun screen ALL DAY, keep as warm as possible at night- if necessary -(pack hoodies and layers), and keep fed enough (no matter how exhausted y'all may feel). Look out for each other all the while. Try to pack as light as possible focusing on survival more than luxury. You won't have much room for added luxuries even if you are in a camper trailer. Bring lots of film and batteries and store them in a cool place. Bring 2 cameras and shoot at will, if you remember to. It's futile to try to remember where you saw what or to try to catch something on film for sure. It's all stored up in your mind when it happens and is most enjoyable when lovingly preserved in there. Share share share and except gifts graciously or [i]not[/i]... either way, just relax and enjoy.

As virgins, y'all aren't expected to participate... but it's more exciting if you do. I was a BMan virgin last year... as if you can't tell. One way to participate is to invite your neighbors over for a meal or some munchies or drinks or just easy conversation, but everyone is free and easy there and there aren't that many young children so you and your papa will be able to bring out the side of yourselves y'all have to hold back in everyday world life even with each other... or not.

Mason and I made some special banana bread and zuchini bread to trek around with us as we explored The Man and his city. That was one way we shared. People liked to share our bread with us. Ginger bread loaves are also quite tasty. The bread was moist enough, kept well in our packs, was light to carry, and was easy to bake the night before our trip. We didn't have to drink that much booze cuz the event itself is intoxicating in its own way. We varied between water water water, non-pulpy juices, and beer 'n' vino. We brought candy, but peeps seemed candied out so I'd recommend the bread, fruit roll ups, chewy bars, liquids, and stuff like that. Save the more luxurious food items for sharing at your campsite.

Center Camp is a must first see. You will get a good feel of the city from Center camp. The cafe has excellent tea and coffee for cheap inc. really beneficial rehydration suppliment packets (don't add the packets to any liquid except water or just chug down dry) and the cafe is a cool place to mellow out in or wake up in or have nice little chats with fellow burners in or meet up in if y'all get separated for too long. If you can, get ice together when needed. Y'all will need help carrying it back to camp and there are fun peeps in the Camp Arctica line plus you may get some free hugs by beautiful peeps on the way back to camp. Only bring cash for those two suppliers as that's all y'all will need money for really.

What happens at BMan stays at BMan-- if y'all want it to, that is. ;) Also, y'all don't have to be on the same sleep schedule, but will find that y'all will not want to sleep or eat much during the hottest part of the day (12 - 3pm) so get up early enough to have brunch and try to have dinner around 5ish when y'all get your second wind. AND y'all don't have to talk all the time. Quiet time is good. Silent observation, that's cool. Recapping the days events later is a'ight. These rules of thumb apply to young and old so don't be fooled by age. Burning Man has its own way of energizing the old and chillin' out the young.

A daily shower really feels good, but isn't necessary. Sponge bathe with wipes, but try to keep distracted from the perpetual feeling of grunge that the playa dust gives ya. Keep your feet well lubed, in socks, and sandals. The dust really chafes the poodnums. There are more concise foot protection tips in this website. Don't assume y'all be an exception to this health precaution cuz y'all won't. Otherwise, take this opportunity to be the stinky, unkempt guys you, and your papa always wanted to be-- free of guilt or ridicule. Enjoy the eye candy together. Help each other with all of those things even if the other person doesn't seem to be on the same wave length and stay patient with each other. Breathing room may sometimes be the thing that keeps the peace. Well maintained and decorated bicycles are great for taking a quick 1 - 2 hour break from each other, but don't abuse this opportunity as it will result in a feeling of isolation and rejection in the other person.

Burning Man is an amazing exercise in humanity and free expression and you can't possibly experience it all even if y'all attend every day. When you have a companion- joint experiences can be really worth while. Keep to the maintenance and clean up agreement, but agree on a "no holds barred" in how you enjoy BMan itself inc. how you choose dress and interact with others. This goes for if the other person wants to be more conservative than you want to be. Respect each other and love each other with differences in mind. Beyond all of this, keep in touch in more ways than just knowing each other's location. Grow together in this as that's what all the time, energy, and expense is for... right??

There should be some tips on walkie talkie uses and how effective they are on the playa. Mas and I were together all the time. I did that so he'd be more at ease, but this year I'm going to take some of those 1 - 2 hour bike rides for my own inner callings to be independent from the pack.

As for down time, Mas and I listened to the BMan radio a lot so we didn't have to argue over what to play in the boombox then. It was fun, cheesy, intriguing and well worth listenin' to (and it only exists during the festival), but bothof you bring a lot of music, alternate music time, and expect a lot of dust to dirty it up. Music will help to inspire the both of you and is one comfort you should keep at camp.

Whatever you're expecting and whatever you're hoping for... you'll be quite surprised- hopefully in a good way -at what you'll end up with... just keep it together, man! Keep dedicated to each other experiencing BMan together as much as possible and keep a very open mind all the while then you will both be positively rewarded in your own unique fashions. But remember, most parents are accustomed to such intimacy with their children. BMan is a very intimate environment. It's very out there and in your face so give your papa a wide birth and go easy on him.

Warmly, The_Jen a/k/a Imagigrl
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Postby precipitate » Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:32 pm

> As virgins, y'all aren't expected to participate..

Huh?
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As virgins y'all aren't expected to participate...

Postby Imagigrl » Thu Mar 18, 2004 1:37 pm

Just a reassurance to this guy and his dad that shyness is ok even tho' participation is very much encouraged at BMan.
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Postby Silver » Thu Mar 18, 2004 8:29 pm

I am 51 and went to my first burn when I was 49 and my guess is that your dad and I are within a couple years in age. I have some questions before I make any suggestions: Why is your dad going?. I had wanted to go since just after the '94 Burn but obligations got in the way ( mainily my kid). Does your dad really, really want to go or is he is going just to make sure that you are not killed and eaten by the weirdos, or does he view this trip as one last father/son road trip? You stated that you were looking for people to hang with, does dad have the resources to handle Burning Man on his own? Has he been reading this board?
I studied Burning Man for years before I went, I talked to people who flatly refused to believe that 2002 was my first burn but there were still times that completely put me in another world. I am not talking of the big things that hit everyone, but little things, I am the oldest person that I can see, I am standing here talking to a 20 something female and we are both near naked, a little person just tugged on my sarong and asked to be picked up. I am no looker but I got hit on by guys twice (not by females damnit). That last was not a problem for me but some guys my age would freak.

Anyway, I don't know if I can have any suggestions for you but I might be able to pass along a couple of hints for you to give dad.
My grandfather tried to raise me as a Southern gentleman, that means that I can be a real SOB some of the time.
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teenages at burning man?

Postby chris » Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:08 pm

my 14 yrold son wants to go to bm with me, so is there any organised activites or do you just do your own thing(a week in the desert could be a long time)any thoughts ?
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Postby III » Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:22 pm

>>is there any organised activites

generally the only organized activities, for *anything*, are those that you organize yourself. there are activities that other people (people like you) organize, but expecting them to happen when and where they're intended to is usually unwise. there are certainly no activities that would serve as a child sitting service.

i've known several people who've brought their teen children. usually, they'd been before, and knew what to expect, and trusted their kids enough to let them spend at least part of the time exploring on their own.
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Postby _tears_ » Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:42 pm

I was 16 when i first went to Burning Man, but i didnt go with my family.

I suggest finding a good theme camp to stay with. Though doing "free" camping would be fine too. It really just depends on your child. Also be sure they are preparied for the event.

Good luck and feel free to contact me

--Tears--

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Teenagers at Burning Man

Postby hageymon » Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:34 pm

My son joined me for his first Burn in 2002, at the tender age of 13, and LOVED it. He joined me again in 2003, and is already anxious for 2004. By now, he knows his way around and I imagine that he will be quite self-sufficient this year. I say GO FOR IT!
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Postby headquarters » Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:17 am

i would imagine that if you have a good relationship with your son, (which i assume you do if your even considering this) then he will have a great time out there. Plus he'll have a killer story to tell his friends when he goes back to school in september.
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Teenagers at Burning Man

Postby hageymon » Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:30 am

Yeah. PLUS, he's been the only kid in my theme camp (Black Rock Burner Hostel) both years, so he gets fawned over by everyone and lots of them volunteer to take him out and about and show him a good time. Dad doesn't hafta "babysit". And, by now, he's so well-versed in female anatomy, via close-up inspection, that he has absolutely no interest in porno, unlike so many of his peers. He's already seen so much of the real thing that nudity has no shock value whatsoever. Good.
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Postby Badger » Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:56 pm

Read the posts here carefully. What I'm hearing is that those folks who brought teenage kids did so after discussing it with them, had plans to hang with them and let them do their thing by themselves, etc. Did everything needed to be self-sufficient. Just watch the temptation to bring your kid with the expectation that other's are gonna watch him/her for you and that entertainment will be provided for them.

Encourage your kid to jump in and contribute/participate rather than be the observer/consumer.
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Postby Chai Guy » Thu Mar 25, 2004 2:04 pm

I'm not a parent, but I do have an extensive background working with teenagers. The best advice I could give would be to attend the event yourself first and then make a determination as to the ability of your teenager to handle such an event. I've known many adults who, after arriving, determined that they were not suited for it and left early. I would encourage you to give your teenager that same option.
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Postby Zane5100 » Thu Mar 25, 2004 3:32 pm

Chai Guy wrote:The best advice I could give would be to attend the event yourself first and then make a determination as to the ability of your teenager to handle such an event. I've known many adults who, after arriving, determined that they were not suited for it and left early.


Yep.

I agree with that, having seen the same thing.
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Postby Taniwha » Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:39 pm

I've been taking my kids to the playa for years and to the burn for the past couple. My son is 13 (going on 19) and has mixed feelings about BM ... mostly I think it's due to being the only kid around all those adults .... especially last year when my 10 yr old broght a friend. It's easy to get bored, especially during the day when things get really hot and everyone gets lethargic. We've tried to find kids his age to hang out with but it's been pretty difficult.

On the other hand kids get treated like royalty, playa gifts up the wazoo, front of the line doing all the cool stuff etc etc

This year BM will be the first stop on our long trip moving back to NZ, if you do bring your son please track us down I'd love to get them to hang around together[/quote]
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Postby chris » Fri Mar 26, 2004 6:04 pm

yeah i know that 13 going on 19 thing my boy is 14 going on 20 which is a bit scarry , but sometimes you have to give them a bit of rope and let them figure it out.
so i have bought 2 tickets so we'll see what happens
thanks everyone for your input this is quite an amazing experiance sofar ,god knows what the burn will be like
i'll probably call in or stay at the burner hostel ,fred seems to have a good thing going there and at the playa
so i will be surfing this site for awhile to come and learning from all you burners
see your there
chris (aka to come)
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Its not hot trust me...

Postby Last Real Burner » Fri Mar 26, 2004 6:14 pm

Chris2Come is that anything like KingdomCome?

simply,
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Postby chris » Fri Mar 26, 2004 6:15 pm

two more things
how do you put images in the left box with your sudanum?
and one activity(for want of a better name) was to combine grid iron with rugby would it be rugid iron or gridby iron?
anyway you would have to play it at nite cause of the heat could be interesting!
cya
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2 Moms + 2 Teens = 6 Virgins (HI!!!!)

Postby Blonde Iguana » Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:48 pm

We are two 40-something moms (sisters) who have lusted after Burning Man for YEARS!!! We're finally doing it, driving out from Seattle and Denver to meet up at BRC and lose our B-Man virginity. We'll be bringing our two teens, ages 16 and 18 (both virgins in more than just the Burning Man sense, although the boy teen seems to think this deficiency will be addressed at Burning Man), so any advice from others who bring or have brought teens (or who are teens) would be welcome.

We are excited as hell, don't know what to expect, hope we bring all the right stuff to stay alive and just wanted to say HI, we are so excited and can't wait to see you all and be a part of the incredible organism that is Burning Man!!! Whoo hoo!!!!
How we live each day is, of course, how we live our lives.
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Postby RUDE » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:53 pm

Chris, you must must must tell me if you are going to stay at the burner hostel (because i think i am, ok well its almost for sure!) and i would looooove to hang out with your son! im only 19 so it would be cool, since he is the same age as my little brother! now, im not offering a baby sitting service (dont get crazy here! haha) but i totally wouldn't mind hanging out with him and cruising around together! (p.s. i do the big sister thing really well, i have 3 younger bros..)
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Postby chris » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:18 pm

hi Blonde Iguana (thought provocking name!?)
im also a virgin and asked the same question, if you havent seen it yet its teenages at bm?
the respondants have given me food for thought which im still chewing on
also lookup kids at burningman under preperation.
also check a dorks guide to sufviving bm
keep up the whoooo hoooo!
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Postby chris » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:39 pm

hi rude (somehow that sounds weird)
anyway,im probably, probably, probably staying at the hostel, it seems to be a cool place to stay and set out to the bm from, and be with when your there.
im deffernatly not a lone camper so the more the merrier!
my son tends to mix better with older kids, teens ect but i still havnt made my mind up to take him yet, but i must admit with the likes of yourself and freds boy (jeesss hes big for 14) plus taiwhas lot and dlonde iguanas bunch, there could be a lot of fun to be had,so lets see what happens.
cu soon chris
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Postby Blonde Iguana » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:43 pm

Hi Chris, thanks, I did check the stuff about kids and teenagers. I'm just being a redundant dork, so maybe I should check the dork site. My plan, actually, is to turn the teens loose on an unsuspecting B-Man population with a couple walkie-talkies, pinchable cheeks and plenty of H20.

New Zealand, huh? Long way to mosey...

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot - whoo hoo!!!
How we live each day is, of course, how we live our lives.
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Postby stuart » Mon Mar 29, 2004 4:35 pm

My plan, actually, is to turn the teens loose on an unsuspecting B-Man population



<shudder>
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Mar 29, 2004 4:43 pm

Stuart--
Just remember a) we outnumber them and b) we are old, clever and cranky. We might just triumph over these whippersnappers. . .
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Postby III » Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:21 pm

you weren't expecting them back, were you?
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