Kids & Teenagers at Burning Man

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

Kids at Burning Man?

Yes
331
59%
No
227
41%
 
Total votes : 558

Postby Ron » Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:18 am

Stormy wrote:Was that about protecting kids?


Isotopia wrote:
Ostensibly it was


In the same way the last Iraq war was about weapons of mass destruction and 9/11, I suppose.

Seeing adults naked, or having sex, does *no* harm to kids. It does get uptight adults into all kinds of mental states, however. And lots of those uptight adults have the power to make BM's life hell. So, we kiss the ass of the powerful. No one likes it, but everyone's got to do it as some point or another.

Isotopia wrote:... The idea that Jiffy Lube's sign constituted pornography at an event which contained children was the primary concern he (Ron Skinner) seemed to be voicing.


As is usual among those uptight thinkers. They can't admit that the actual problem is that the images in question bother *them* so they create layers of imagination to seperate themselves from the issue.

Isotopia wrote: What I do have a problem with is the firm, entrenched belief that what we do see going on here foretells (possibly) a continued exertion of political pressure on the event to tame it so that it's more palatable to those who'd set themselves up to be arbiters of what constitutes art (i.e the Jiffy Lube sign) and decency.


In as much as Burningman continues to grow, and gain more outside attention, I believe we can all expect these attempts to continue....

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Postby stuart » Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:42 am

a continued exertion of political pressure


I had a very interesting conversation with a man who had grown up in communist poland. He has been in the states for about 15 years now. We were talking about PATRIOT and other fun things. He said one of the things the communist State would do is pass piles of freedom limiting acts under the radar and simply not enforce them. Then, years or even a generation later said legislation is enforced. Pass some seemingly innocous shit and if people bark just assure them it is only there to protect and there will be limited enforcement. Next generation ratchet up enforcement. If people bark the State informs them that these rule have been around for a long time and for good reason. Wash, rinse, repeat. Of course, being from that environment everyone was very distrustful of the State and didn't, as a rule, trust government. He said one thing that is chilling in the USA is that a vast majority here feel government is acting in their best interests and so, as the propoganda machine starts working full tilt and our freedoms are eroded, we, as a population, generally accept it because we trust the State.

what this has to do with BM is beyond me
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:55 am

technopatra wrote: If parents can't bring their kids, then many of them can't come. They miss out on a connection that is just as vital to them as to you and me.


This is really what decides it for me - I think it would be BEST if youngs kids were not there (under 6) because I do not believe that any parent can protect such 100% on the Playa (and the first one that suffers will be bad for the event). Kind of like the point of people who do controversial things at the event risking everybody's future BM by being focused on their needs.

But I don't think I would ever advocate a strict age limit (I do support the gaurdians for under age) - if you as a parent think BM will be an enriching environment for your kids, fine. But they are YOUR responsibility, no one elses. Please take special care of them so that they don't get hurt and thereby jeopardize the event for the rest of us when the media has a field day.

And, bottom line, the kids are going to be there regardless (and as others have pointed out, always have been too). If no kids showed up one year (just by chance) I think the only effect would be a smaller kidsville camp. If kids were "banned", however, I think the effect would be much greater. Plus, it looks better to have a "family" event politically these days.
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Postby Isotopia » Fri Jul 02, 2004 11:18 am

what this has to do with BM is beyond me


Well I sure as hell make the connection. What I see is the event is getting ready to collide with the initial bow wave of the very type of incremental legislation that your friend speaks of.

Enforcement of over-zealous, patronizing laws packaged as a cuddly, best effort attempt by our government to make us feel safer and more secure in the shadow of 9/11. What no one seems to be challenging is that its not so much about security as its about conservative moral and religious supremacy.
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Postby Ivy » Fri Jul 02, 2004 11:23 am

what this has to do with BM is beyond me


It has a lot in common. This is the kind of thing I'm talking about--Silence, acquiesence, lack of opposing action--all of these things indicate agreement.
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Postby Isotopia » Fri Jul 02, 2004 11:24 am

all of these things indicate agreement.


Or that can be construed as such.
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Postby Bob » Fri Jul 02, 2004 11:26 am

What, or which, or why, are you implying?
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Postby Ivy » Fri Jul 02, 2004 12:07 pm

Or that can be construed as such.


yes, thank you, that's what I meant.
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'Scuse me if I missed something...

Postby Stormy » Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:23 pm

But how do we know where the line is drawn? Most of us can safely agree not to have sex in very public places. But how do we know what LE will deem obscene? Obviously one of them thought the Jiffy Lube sign needed to go. Another ticketed a man for indecent exposure when peeing on the playa a few years ago. What next?

I've seen some really fun random things that I didn't necessarily go looking for. I've seen clowns giving blowjobs to strap on dildos. I've seen cute girls running around in strap-ons. I've seen people dancing and doing some brief dry humping. I've seen floggings at Center Camp. I'm sure that any "regular" adult could find some fault in exposing young children to these things even though they seem pretty harmless to me.

So not to beat a dead horse too long, but really how do we know where the line is before we get ticketed or whatever?
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Postby Tancorix » Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:56 pm

I don't have an immediate answer to Stormy's question...but Ron Skinner, the Pershing County Sheriff who seems to be behind the LE complaints comes up for re-election in 2 more years. He's going to do whatever he can to enhance his re-election prospects and besides what action he gets from I-80 traffic and busts, BM is his best publicity machine. I'm willing to bet this kid friendly thing is going to be grease in his publicity machine which is going to shift gears for a more intense change / complaint next year.

Besides trying to appease him for the moment, this guy needs to be tossed out of office. He had a challenger in 02 that claimed 43.1 percent of the vote, meaning there's some dissent there that might be exploitable. If a few concerned BM participants made contributions to his opponent next time around, providing they are not worse than Skinner....maybe we could send him on to the next step in his career, hopefully far away from Pershing County / Black Rock NCA and rid BM of a general nuisance. It's an idea worth exploring when looking at long term answers. And it might not take a large influx of funding to make it happen.

2002 Election Results: Pershing County, NV from the Nevada Secretary of State's office:

COUNTY SHERIFF
[4 Year Term] [Vote For 1]
Precincts Reporting: 0 Total: 0 % of Vote Total Votes
MACHADO, RICHARD BRYAN NP 43.1% 727
SKINNER, RON NP 56% 944
UNDER VOTES 13
OVER VOTES 2
http://sos.state.nv.us/Pershing.htm
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Postby Badger » Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:56 pm

So not to beat a dead horse too long, but really how do we know where the line is before we get ticketed or whatever?


I'm looking at it from two angles. One I've voiced my opinion on the other is figuring a way to do it without getting ticketed which can take it to another level of creativity - and subversiveness..
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Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:09 pm

Mithra wrote: Larry's vision for Burning Man came out in a letter earlier this year to Regionals. The gist of the letter if I grok it is that Larry would like to organize the BM communities around the world into a polical force.


If you grok correctly, Good Bye.

Burning Man!

I have known thee well.

See ya all two milleni from now.

when I return once again.

fuck organizational power structures

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Postby Steven bradford » Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:50 pm

"But how do we know where the line is drawn? Most of us can safely agree not to have sex in very public places. But how do we know what LE will deem obscene? Obviously one of them thought the Jiffy Lube sign needed to go."

Well, in that situation, Nevada law is a little more clear about drawing the lines. The Sherriff depended on the BMORG not being able to look up or seek counsel quickly enough to challenge the fact that they weere, quite simply, exceeding their authourity.

http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-201. ... S201Sec241


  NRS 201.241 Action to declare item or material obscene and obtain injunction.


      1.  The district attorney or city attorney of any county or city, respectively, in which there is an item or material which he believes to be obscene, may file a complaint in the district court seeking to have the item or material declared obscene and to enjoin the possessor and the owner from selling, renting, exhibiting, reproducing, manufacturing or distributing it and from possessing it for any purpose other than personal use.


      2.  In such an action, no temporary restraining order may be issued.


      3.  A trial on the merits must be held not earlier than 5 days after the answer is filed nor later than 35 days after the complaint is filed. The court shall render a decision within 2 days after the conclusion of the trial.


      (Added to NRS by 1979, 363; A 1981, 1688)
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Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Sat Jul 03, 2004 11:21 am

If you read the statues,

Then it may be illegal to brings minors at all to BM, but if Black Rock city would to incorporate as a town with a court, then standards aplied would include community standards:

NRS 201.235 Definitions. In NRS 201.235 to 201.254, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. “Community” means the area from which a jury is or would be selected for the court in which the action is tried.

4. “Obscene” means any item, material or performance which:

(a) An average person applying contemporary community standards would find, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interest;

Has anyone found how the laws apply to private functions? Such as nudist camps?

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Postby technopatra » Sat Jul 03, 2004 11:42 am

Stormy wrote:
technopatra wrote:
Stormy wrote:Oh this wasn't meant as a complaint. Well not against the GCBEC. Just Larry's take on it. You know what they say about assumptions.


He wasn't making any assumptions. He knows the people who put on the GCBEC.


Yes, it's put on at Gigsville Village. I camp there. My husband was one of the first judges. Our friends do the security. The security is mostly to keep out the lookie-loos.


Ok didn't want to get sucked into the "I'm more GCBEC than you" game, but for the sake of clarification:

I was a judge in 2001. I camped with Project X in Gigsville. I was left in charge of pre-event security that year because the boys had to go to afire Conclave meeting right before the Contest- keepings the folks in line in shape. (which btw, was super fun - I got to yell at everyone through a megaphone and they just ate it up)

As usual the Skynyrd boys were the main security force. Their job was to keep out single men, make sure no cameras or audio recordings devices got through, make sure no one was peeping in through the corners of the structure, and had it been an issue, would've prevented any minors from entering. But no one tried to bring a minor in. We had to turn away 3 times as many people as we could let in, and none of the peanut gallery could've passed for teenagers.

I personally have discussed the adult themed camps, and their potential effects on the event vis-a-vis law enforcement, with Larry. I personally communicated to him that that was one of the intentions of having security. I'm guesssing your objection is that you feel Larry's skewed the intention of the GCBEC security to suit his point about taking responsibility.

I won't try to talk you out of that viewpoint, but simply express that I don't think that is the case. I was rather pleased that the GCBEC was held up as an example fo how to do things right.
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Postby Stormy » Sun Jul 04, 2004 2:37 pm

[quote="technopatra]
I personally have discussed the adult themed camps, and their potential effects on the event vis-a-vis law enforcement, with Larry. I personally communicated to him that that was one of the intentions of having security. I'm guesssing your objection is that you feel Larry's skewed the intention of the GCBEC security to suit his point about taking responsibility.

I won't try to talk you out of that viewpoint, but simply express that I don't think that is the case. I was rather pleased that the GCBEC was held up as an example fo how to do things right.[/quote]

If GCBEC, TOA, Jiffy Lube or any other camp has security to keep out annoying people who haven't learned how to behave in these environments yet, that is their right. My concern is that BM org might be implying that every "adult" theme camp should have security for the sake of minors is unsettling to me. If I misunderstood Larry's letter then I apologize. However, if I could get that impression and I consider myself to be a reasonable person, then I wonder how many others might come away with that impression.

It's tough putting together an event this large. The growth of any society calls for "rules" at some point. I guess I am grateful that there are plenty of regional events where "rules" aren't so necessary yet.
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here's a question...

Postby honeyfire » Thu Jul 08, 2004 5:35 pm

Has anyone ever had a child cause them a problem directly, and confronted the parent/guardian directly about it?

If so, how did the parent/guardian respond?
and
Was the situation resolved to a reasonable extent?

To clarify:

This is not meant as any kind of challenge, it's meant as an actual infoseeking query...

I'm not thinking of kids seeing stuff that one thinks inappropriate for their age range, i mean kids getting into/onto stuff that's not theirs and they haven't been invited into/onto, kids not stopping such behaviour when asked/told to do so, kids who just run right up to you and hit you or grab something and run away... The kind of stuff that makes some folks wish the kids weren't around.
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Ture Story Kids and sex at BM

Postby Melvynman » Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:12 pm

It was the summer between 3rd and 4th grade for my son (kid). No mom or little sister at BM that year. We were camped two camps down from Atonement and the rules where he couldn’t go in there. I had never been so I didn’t figure it would be a good idea if he beat me to it. One morning he comes riding his bike, jumps off and tells me he saw sex! His heart is beating fast and he is very excited about this discovery and witnessing the act. I asked him what he saw. He tells me he saw two people naked kissing on a stage. I figured close enough probably did see it. I told him at lunchtime we would talk about. That would give me time to find my fourth grade sex education book that I brought with me. We sat down and read the book together at lunch. Later that day he says, “dad I don’t think I am going to do sex.” I just laughed and asked him if he remember the part about puberty and growing up. He said with conviction “dad I am not going to do that.” He will be going into ninth grade next year and I look forward to discussing the things he might encounter at BM this year.
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cute story

Postby bigpurple » Fri Jul 09, 2004 6:08 pm

and soooo true. Sex is totally meaningless or even icky to kids until that magical day when puberty hits. That is what makes all the hysteria over protecting kids from sex so ridiculous. I am much more concerned about kids seeing violence than nudity or sex. Hopefully our kids will never have to kill anyone, but again hopefully they will all have sex. What a world we live in.
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Jul 09, 2004 7:14 pm

My oldest girl on learning how babys are made: "You mean I would have to do that more than once for more babys". "No way! ick."
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Re: here's a question...

Postby Stormy » Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:49 am

I think a more realistic situation is a kid wandering off by themself, no parents to be seen anywhere. What do you do when they see something in a area outside of a building that is probably not the best thing for them to see. Or more likely, what if the Law Enforcers see something they think is not rated G?


honeyfire wrote:Has anyone ever had a child cause them a problem directly, and confronted the parent/guardian directly about it?

If so, how did the parent/guardian respond?
and
Was the situation resolved to a reasonable extent?

To clarify:

This is not meant as any kind of challenge, it's meant as an actual infoseeking query...

I'm not thinking of kids seeing stuff that one thinks inappropriate for their age range, i mean kids getting into/onto stuff that's not theirs and they haven't been invited into/onto, kids not stopping such behaviour when asked/told to do so, kids who just run right up to you and hit you or grab something and run away... The kind of stuff that makes some folks wish the kids weren't around.
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Postby pokiedot » Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:22 pm

last night i went to the fire arts festival at the crucible, an event that i'm sure at least most of the bay area burners have heard plenty about. i saw something that pretty much sums up my feelings about this thread.

during an intermission from the fire performances, a dj was spinning and different performers were taking turns jumping up on the stage for a bit. at one point i looked up and saw a girl, probably around 10 years old, front and center on stage, belly dancing beautifully, with blinking el wire and a tattered 'fairy' skirt around her hips. she was the most lovely thing i have seen in a long long while and i felt so happy that she was there with us. her dancing was very free, very confident and self expressive. and, most importantly, she was 10!

i grew up dancing (my mom taught it and i've danced all my life), but when i was her age i was already feeling the cultural pressures of society. i remember feeling fat and ugly (yes, at 10) and, although, deep down, i knew i was an intensly creative and expressive person, and that i had a dance of my own that was unlike what i was told was 'good' or 'acceptable', i had no where to dance it. i can only imagine what my life might have been like had i had a community like this to share that dance with!

just thought i'd share it.... i wish everyone could have seen her! i think anyone who had would agree that it's worth making a few accomodations to preserve such inspiring, expressive, and contributing members of our community.
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Postby Sensei » Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:42 pm

Beautiful post, Polkiedot!
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How do you feel kids at Burning Man?

Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:52 pm

????????
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Postby Zulegoona » Sun Jul 11, 2004 1:56 pm

I don't know, I guess the " help me find my lost puppy " ploy you normally use won't work on the play because of the no dog thing. I suppose could try the " want some candy little girl " or the " your looking red here let me rub some lotion on you" ploys. According to TV shows that try to make parents more terrified about other adults being nice to there kids those should work.

It does make it hard for us single adults that truly enjoy watching kids antics and how they make sense of the world. It makes a guy afraid to watch and smile to long for fear of ending up pined to the ground with someone's knee on your neck.

I guess our society thinks people shouldn't be nice to kids maybe they make better consumers if they grow up in isolation.

NO, I have never been accused of anything but it seems to me the whole debate about kids at Burning man has to do with the fear of accusations translated into the fear of kids and it seems a really sad way to have to live.
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Postby Bob » Sun Jul 11, 2004 2:42 pm

This is a perfect example of a thread I'd delete, if I were queen of the admins. But I'd probably wait a couple of days to to let the more useless eplaya perverts post, waggle their little cocks, etc., then slam the door on them. FWIW.
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Postby Zulegoona » Sun Jul 11, 2004 5:51 pm

Sorry Bob, I just fallowed along with A II Z's poor attempt at humor using a sound alike title.

After witch I attempted to turn it into a serious comment on one of the things about American culture I find disturbing.

There are indeed good things about the fragmentation of the extended family, in many ways it gives us the freedom to step outside family expectations and attain a fulfill threw individualism. It's what makes us one of the most creative peoples on earth. The down side of fragmentation is Isolation and the uncertainty, self doubt, and fear that accompany it. These negative feelings are are expanded upon by advertising first trying to make people feel worse then telling them there product is the solution. Sensationalistic media also adds to the fear by highlighting the evils in the world to a point that parents believe there is a child molester behind every bush. To be far there are no "safe " places anywhere and never have been, at the same time the fear generated is completely out of proportion. Unrealistic fear is capitalized on by politicians and others with there own agendas casting suspicion on all adults. "Trying to make the world safe for children" is just one more thing that is twisting American society, a village can't raise a child if the parents are afraid every other adult in the village is a pervert.
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Mother Burnin.....

Postby Alchemy » Mon Jul 12, 2004 2:51 am

Weve gone with em..weve gone with out..
My kids are 14..8..and the one I conceived there and then returned with when she was Three monthes old .


It depends on what you want your experiance to be.
I personally like the idea of going up for a week of BM and then the kids join us on Friday thru the finish. However last year my teen went crazy with freedom because his friends were also up there with their parents and schedules were an issue. I explained that I couldnt get my Burn on if I was worried about were he was or when he would return and his usual helpfil self was replaced by the worst kind of campmate mentality..this year he will have to pay for half his ticket or he will not go. He worked at the cafe and met many people and gained valuable self esteem learning how to work on a team and how to have a job.People skills! He had a blast!

My younger sons experiance was mixed..he is 8 and has attended 3 burns2 burns but went to three. He was nervous his first time because the year previous he was in a very bloody accident with a truck 20 miles south of the gate. Tramatized? We are still screeming in our sleep and altho he is not physically hurt he makes all his action figures loose their arms like his father did. BUT..the Playa is a transforming and nurturing place..he loves to burn stuff learned to ride a bike there ( after it was recovered from some dickhead who stole it..its a tiny bike)and he was treated with alot of respect by all grown ups,which doesnt happen much in the default world. He made my BM experiance that year! He asked me why all the grown ups were so happy all the time,and why he never saw many grown ups smile like that at home...

Its good for kids to see Grown ups acting like kids and being playful.Most of the time we act like a stuck up clique to kids, we are a closed society..where as at BM ,They are welcomed in, and they teach you so much. Of corse we had to prepare for them and our Partying,screwing and freedoms were kinda curtailed,

There was three incidents that I put in the "those who are clueless" file
One involved a scene at Thunderdome....

My son was tired and we were headed in to camp, we stopped to watch a battle..He was in front of me on his knees and had to move when someone was climbing down,it was three deep to the domes edge and when I looked down for him as I do about every minute and a 1/2 he was gone...I yell for my kids on the same timimg intervals if I cant see them(like Marko Polo) on and off the Playa when out , he didnt answer which is my sign to seekem....I get to the back and I spot him, being taken by the hand by a "well meaning" altho obviously childless chick. He was being lead away from the location crying and not very willingly. When I stopped her she said she had taken him out of the crowd because she thought he could be lost. I said only if she made him that way.

TIP: Make sure kids KNOW your PLaya address
Have a Marko Polo like system for times when they could be out of your sight for short periods of time..make sure the calling times are between a minute to 3-5 minutes depending on the situation....

Make sure they can find important land marks.
Make sure they know that Burners are there friends but that they shouldnt wander off with ANYBODY. If they are lost they shouldnt move. To stay put until help comes to you!

The second scene was when we went to dance on the way home from the afore mentioned event. and some idiot in a goat costume came up and terrorized him by saying BOOOOO!! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!and made threating movements at him. I find that dancing gets my mind off stuff and its a health way to shake yourself into a better space..perhaps next time I wont dance him into a camp with X ing goats with baaaaaad aaaatitudes. He said that kids didnt belong there. I said that I wasnt above sacrificing a goat to the man..to purge my son of fear of burners then his friends tried to excuse his behavior by offering us candy.Ummmmm do you see where this is going?

The third involved a college chikee there for the weekend.When the Man crumbled down to the ground we rushed forward for one dance around the fire and my kids face was almost injured by her casual and carelesshandling of a lit cigarette. " Well what are kids doing at burningman anyway?" she slurred. The surrounding crowd told her to shut up and booed her. My mom used to get drunk like that and the times I was accidently burned was countless..

People watch your smokes!! When your in a crowd DONT! kids or not nobody likes getting burned . And if you happen to be an asshole..SHUT the Hell up.


As for babies....well mine was reportedly the youngest to go so far and we made all kinds of acomedations...If you want to see evidence of her health and well being check out the photos of her in the gallery and incidently we were in a dust storm in center camp. A Obstetric nurse and midwife came up to us and congratulated us on bringing her...

This year will be a challange.. we are forming a baby/new parents camp called the Moons of the MunCheeeChi.....find us

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Postby technopatra » Mon Jul 12, 2004 3:38 am

Stormy wrote:My concern is that BM org might be implying that every "adult" theme camp should have security for the sake of minors is unsettling to me.


May I ask why? I find it totally reasonable, but then I think that most adult camps already consider this, and it's good for us to remind those that don't.

I should also note that this whole perparing for kids thing is preventative in nature. Like I said, no kids tried to enter the event I was a part of . I have not heard of this being a specific issue with anyone, and the concern that folks have for parents not paying attention to their kids and letting them wander alone - I have not seen this happen, nor have I ever heard of this happening. The older kids do not need to be watched every second to be supervised, and I have only seen kids alone who are of an age that they could very well be running around alone in a regular city.
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Re: Mother Burnin.....

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:55 am

Alchemy wrote:
The second scene was when we went to dance on the way home from the afore mentioned event. and some idiot in a goat costume came up and terrorized him by saying BOOOOO!! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!and made threating movements at him. I find that dancing gets my mind off stuff and its a health way to shake yourself into a better space..perhaps next time I wont dance him into a camp with X ing goats with baaaaaad aaaatitudes. He said that kids didnt belong there. I said that I wasnt above sacrificing a goat to the man..to purge my son of fear of burners then his friends tried to excuse his behavior by offering us candy.Ummmmm do you see where this is going?

The third involved a college chikee there for the weekend.When the Man crumbled down to the ground we rushed forward for one dance around the fire and my kids face was almost injured by her casual and carelesshandling of a lit cigarette. " Well what are kids doing at burningman anyway?" she slurred. The surrounding crowd told her to shut up and booed her. My mom used to get drunk like that and the times I was accidently burned was countless.
Sounds like those grown-ups aren't mature enough for Burning Man.
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