Kids & Teenagers at Burning Man

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

Kids at Burning Man?

Yes
302
58%
No
219
42%
 
Total votes : 521

Postby crazycloud » Tue Jul 26, 2005 6:24 pm

i camped with a family camp in 99 !!
it was great!!!
just be sure to tell the gate keepers, so they put you in family camp area, otherwise your dad might have a nervous breakdown from all the extremely loud techno parties .... ususally only a lull over ther between 6-12 a.m.
i see the ufo's around it, but that's a god damn egg in the middle. there's a hobit eating it, but god damnit, that hobbit's eating a fucking egg
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hi spatch

Postby batmansdream » Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:52 pm

I have a small camp from the big Apple, we have a 6 year old little Batman and we do a few hatmaking workshops,
please stop by!
address Funky City Hats camp at 7.30 and Gestalt
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Postby Grizelda » Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:51 pm

I did see a couple of public sex acts on art cars that were passing by that made me think "Gee, would I really want a kid to see that?" but then again, I didn't want to see that either so... just had to look away and keep walking. If I can do that, then so can a 4 year old.


There is the argument that adults have the perspective that it takes to just ignore things like that, but children do not. I remember some things that I saw as a child that gave me a seriously skewed ideas for many years. The same things wouldn't phase me at all now because I wouldn't take them so terribly seriously.

On the other hand, I think sex and intoxication are probably not the worst things for young impressionable minds to be exposed to. I suspect that hate, violence, thoughtlessness, and rabid consumerism are probably more toxic, and more common on the playground than at Burning Man.

Logistical concerns keep me from even getting to the point of considering the moral appropriateness of bringing my child to Burning Man, though. Taking care of an active toddler takes a lot of energy, and with the logistical challenges of the playa, such as distance to potties, heat, and the effort and attention required to set up and tear down a camp, it seems like a recipe for burnout to me. Other people must obviously have more energy than I do if they're doing this.
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come camp with us

Postby batmansdream » Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:38 pm

Grizelda
you can camp with us, so far I have no other friend with kid(s) confirmed,
but the more kids and parents the easier it gets to take turns.
and I found the potties not to be a problem.
we always travel with a training potty which then can be dumped into the
big ones..
our camp is not too far from the kids ville.
:D
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:58 am

Grizelda wrote:On the other hand, I think sex and intoxication are probably not the worst things for young impressionable minds to be exposed to. I suspect that hate, violence, thoughtlessness, and rabid consumerism are probably more toxic, and more common on the playground than at Burning Man.
Good point. I simply don't see that much of anything that happens at the event is worse or even as bad as what happens in the default world.

Grizelda wrote:Logistical concerns keep me from even getting to the point of considering the moral appropriateness of bringing my child to Burning Man, though. Taking care of an active toddler takes a lot of energy, and with the logistical challenges of the playa, such as distance to potties, heat, and the effort and attention required to set up and tear down a camp, it seems like a recipe for burnout to me. Other people must obviously have more energy than I do if they're doing this.
Another good point. Parents who don't want to do this shouldn't be forced to.
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Postby Grizelda » Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:47 pm

you can camp with us, so far I have no other friend with kid(s) confirmed,
but the more kids and parents the easier it gets to take turns.
and I found the potties not to be a problem.


Thanks for the offer, but it happens that I already have a theme camp and my mother has booked a week off of work to drive my daughter to see her great grandparents that week, so I'm not about to change my plans and bring the toddler. :)
Another good point. Parents who don't want to do this shouldn't be forced to.


Hehe. I can just see it now. "Ms. Grizelda, our records indicate that you have a small child, but you haven't brought her with you. You know the rules. Go back to Canada and don't come back until you have your spawn. "
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Family at Burning Man

Postby SFNathan » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:11 am

I decided one year to bring my father and my step mother because Burning Man is so much a part of my life that I didn't want them to not experience it. I also felt like my father and step mother were the kind of people who could genuinely enjoy Burning Man, with a little hand holding in the beginning to help them get orientated to the environment. I'm in my 30's and my parents are in their late 50's.

When they first arrived I had a moment of freaking out like 'yikes, my Dad is here and half my friends are naked.' But then I just decided that I wasn't responsible for their good time. I was inviting them to participate in something that I truly love, and my job was to treat them like every single other new burner I invite to join our camp. I can give them all the support they need so that they feel safe, feel included in our camp, and can find a good time for themselves.

My parents had the expectation that my brother (who is also a Burner) and I would hang out with them the whole time, but we gave them a tour, got them oriented, spent the first night they arrived with them, then we set them free to participate as a part of our community of friends. I didn't want to share Burning Man with them like they were watching a sporting event I was playing - I wanted them to really participate. So they had an akward day at first when we split off and started doing our own stuff. Then my Dad found these drummers and he and Chris (my step mom) spent hours participating in this jam, and suddenly it clicked with them that this was a true interactive celebration that didn't leave people like them out. Age, style, coolness, whatever things they might find intimidating kind of melted away and they suddenly started to love the event. We spent the night of the Burn together, watched the man burn while we were having a total family love moment, then ran out and went dancing at the raves, and they got tired while we kept going, but it was awesome just enjoying the whole thing and treating them like friends and not giving into the parent/child angst that can come up if you let it.

So now they want to come back again. My motto is - if anyone truly wants to come to Burning Man, whether it's your parents, your kids, your aquaintances, it's worth having them be a part of it. I am very, very happy my parents are now Burners.
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Re: Teens.

Postby Pasta Download » Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:09 pm

[quote="kilngod"]I'm a 1st timer and will be bringing my 15 yr old son. We've been hunting for an adventure to go on together before either of us grows up, and Burning Man is it. I've gotten lots of reactions to our plot, ranging from "What's Burningman?" to "Are you insane?!" to "Sweet!" I say we're going to see the art, and sure, this is true. But I also want to show my son that the world actually does have a place that welcomes creative people that don't necessarily thrive in school and beyond. (I want/need to see this, too, as I have recently embarked on remaking myself as an artist after spending the two decades working for lawyers.)

I've enjoyed "watching" this year's event evolve through the web site and other postings, and from a few conversations with folks who've been. (Especially intriguing is Camp Calvinball and the Dept. of Tethered Aviation.) I'm not too trepidacious about what we might experience, though I don't really know what that will be.

My greatest fear would be that it's a dud, and I think that's unlikely.


Congrants on bringing you son!
I'm also thinking about bringing my 12yo godson / nephew. I'm very close with him since he doesn't have a father. And he's very excited about it.

I was raised by young cool hippie parents right next door to a nude beach. And as a kid I went to lots of hippie type parties, Renessiance Festivals and the like, lots of music, art, and nudity around me at a young age. Nobody made a big deal of it back then it was actually pretty normal for a long time what ever happened to the good old days? Burning Man is the closest thing to those "gold old days" in the late 60's and early 70's, for me anyway. There are alot more danergous places where teens hang out these days.
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Postby Digital Defiant » Sun Dec 25, 2005 9:02 pm

Wow, it's pretty split on the whole "playa kids" thing... I, too am going to be faced with the decision to bring my kids or not to... As a dj, my children have been exposed to "alternative subcultures"... I've taken them to outdoor day gatherings in parks... They spent endless hours watching me play on my turntables... My eldest has developed a love for music while my youngest, a love for dancing (he's more the physical type)... The problem lies that they have lived with thier mother for several years and have been subjected to some horrible programming the includes: intolerance, fear of the unknown, and a compliance and acceptance of "normalcy"...

This indeed is where the problem lies... I would consider it for my youngest... He's just not ready to understand it... But my oldest is (he's 13)... The problem is that I have years worth of programming that I have to get through before I can take him... Which, I think may take longer than the year I have to prepare for BM...

So to answer your question (if it hadn't been already) is this... I think it's great to expose them to it providing they are ready for it... If the child has been living with the ideals that what happens at BM is a good thing, as we know it is... Then there's no problem... But if not... I would suggest leaving them at home...
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Postby Gravity Mike » Tue Dec 27, 2005 10:44 pm

DD,

On another thread around here somewhere, some folks posted about problems they had when their ex-spouse disagreed with the decision to take the kids to BM. If your ex doesn't agree to let the kids go, then don't. It can be pretty easy for her to argue for reduction of your custody rights, whatever they are, based on descriptions of BM to the unknowing in a family court. Look at it from that angle too, before you decide.

Other than that, only you know if your kids 'handle' it. A friend of mine has a 7 year old daughter that has gone every year of her life - it must be downright ordinary to her!! She seems very well adjusted, bright, and mature.

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Postby Chai Guy » Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:44 pm

Good advice Gravity Mike, I've also advocated that parents with joint or split custody (regardless of custodial status) get written permission from the other parent explaining that they understand what the event is and that their child will be attending.
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I LOVED seeing kids @ BM

Postby scruffyboy » Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:00 am

I LOVED seeing kids at Burning Man. Watching them take it all in and really participating was just wonderful.
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Postby MorriganCrow » Fri May 26, 2006 8:33 am

How do you join a theme camp? Do you just walk in or do you have to register with someone?
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Postby AntiM » Fri May 26, 2006 8:38 am

Theme camps almost always require preregistration and often charge fees to support the art/infrastructure/meals/showers ... although each theme camp is different. Even Hushville requires registration and we're about the most unstructured group there is. If you have a theme camp in mind, get in touch and find out whay they require, search here and on the main site lists of camps. There is nothing wrong with camping solo, you most assuredly won't be alone as the city fills up.

Anythign you had in mind?
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Postby Abductor » Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:54 am

This really is a devisive issue. I saw a couple of people with small children playing by their camps and I thought it was fine, but my friend Angela strongly objected. I had to wonder what we were doing that was so wrong-- adults having fun and being creative and free, in essence playing. What, you think the child's young mind would be damaged by the sight of some boobies or some adults acting strangely? As opposed to what, the nice wonderful world they're being indoctrinated to live in, sarcasm intended? Better or worse than 1 to 5 hours of television per day? Seems to me the worst that could happen is a young mind might be inspired by such an event.
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Postby spectabillis » Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:00 pm

oh christ abductor i love you.

whats not to like about someone who actually takes the time to find an old and relevant topic in replying to rather than start a dozen new others.



thank you.
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Postby Green Wood » Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:52 am

No one should be allow if they aren't permanently 17 mentally!
I might be green, but I can burn brite with the help of my playa friends!
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Postby MikeVDS » Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:36 am

I'm still only 12 mentally. Damn. I guess I have a few more decades of maturity to go before I can attend again.
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Postby IRISH » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:53 am

People, hows it going?

Lets get one thing established from the off: I've never been to BM so I do not have a clue what I'm talking about in relation to BM. But I do know all about looking after my kid, both in the real world and in other environments. I'm taking my wife and by then 5 year old boy to BM this year and I'm very comfortable about it.

I will be putting about ten times the organisational effort into going as a family then I would if I was just going with some mates. I will, as I do every day, make sure my boy is comfortable, fed, watered and protected.

The same rules I imagine would apply when sitting in your lounge room, hanging at the beach or on the Playa.


If something I don;t want him to see comes around, I'll distract him. If he catches a glimpse or two of something adult, so what? Better that than seeing a murder on CSI.

I have taken Paddy to numerous music festivals including Glastonbury, he thinks this sort of gathering is normal. But as for the general kids at BM debate goes: If you want to get off your face and go wild, leave them at home. If you want to share what is clearly a truly magic event and broaden you child's horizons without exposing them to risk. BRING IT ON.

If anyone else is a virgin, or not for that matter, and bringing little ones to the Playa this year I'd love to hear from you. As I say we do a lot of events as a family but this is different. We are so pumped that this on for us.
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Postby magpiefarm » Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:19 pm

Ok, yes so I am a ...virgin. Someone earlir referred to several things in acronyms and I have no idea to what they refer. They sounded racey and were in the dialogue about kids. My kids are coming so I would like to be as informed as possible. So here goes- What do "candy flip", "Y" and "VVMC" stand for? -magpie
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Postby pinemom » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:34 pm

hmmm magpie...when ya find out let us know! I will say I think a
"Candy flip" is a Ex'tesy term...but I wouldnt know personally...

My daughter and her friend are coming this year(14 yrs old), but with her friends mom, and later in the week.
The Girls are Fire Spinners and hangout weekly with the fireconclave. So they've heard and seen LOTS of Burner activity. I run a Bar theme camp so, they will more then likely camp in a more teen based area(we are investigating that idea). I am getting married this year thursday and she wants to be able to spin fire at my wedding. Plus I really do think it will be a great experience for her!
I do have my worry's Im a MOM after all. But I also must put faith in my daughter to make positive choices for herself. When I show her that I trust her and have faith in her it shows and she makes very good descesions.
We have been going over the Radical self Reliance in ways that she can understand. Even at home, Mom, Im hungry what is there to eat...well Duh, go look for yourself, you can cook!
When we are at a fire function, she knows to be radically self reliant, as I am not always right there with her, and she knows she needs to show her maturity when dealing with fire.
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Postby PurpleKoosh » Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:01 pm

magpiefarm wrote:Ok, yes so I am a ...virgin. Someone earlir referred to several things in acronyms and I have no idea to what they refer. They sounded racey and were in the dialogue about kids. My kids are coming so I would like to be as informed as possible. So here goes- What do "candy flip", "Y" and "VVMC" stand for?

As Pinemom noted, candy-flipping is a drug term - specifically, the act of taking LSD and MDMA (ecstacy) simultaneously.

I have never seen VVMC before in my life; I'm willing to bet you're mis-remembering YMMV from an earlier page. That stands for Your Mileage May Vary.

I have absolutely NO idea what Y might mean without context.
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Postby Das Bus » Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:59 am

Welcome to all the New Families!

You and you children are all welcome to camp in KidsVille if you like. We are a large village and have children of all ages (newborns to teenagers). So your kids will definately find someone in their age group to hang out with.

We have all types of theme camps within our village and have lots of activities for everyone.

And just because we're called "KidsVille", doesn't mean we're a bunch of prudes. We have every type of family unit represented in our village.

Our email list is at: kidscamp@yahoogroups.com - you can get alot of helpful advice there even if you're not camping with us.
We have alot of folks with a great deal of experience with kids at Burning Man.

Our website is at: http://www.burningkids.com

If you choose to camp elsewhere, please stop by our village and get to know us, we don't bite unless you ask nicely! : )

One piece of advice to those with small children: PLEASE, PLEASE, make sure your child is wearing some sort of identificaion with their name and camp location AT ALL TIMES in case they get lost. It's a big place, and I cannot not stress enough how important this is.

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Postby magpiefarm » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:08 am

[quote]One VERY important thing to remember is that YOU will be held responsible if your child enters ANY of the VVMC's sacred areas.[/quote]

Thats the line in question.

Ahh, Das Bus! Your timing is impeccable. I've spent the better part of the week explaining burning Man to my more, shall we say, caution, partner, and assuring him that it is a kid friendly and socially healthy place and then,,,

I scrolled back a coupla pages and got some serious heavy ani-kid chants and stuff about people people having sex all over the place. One day i read that it is pretty much about doing drugs and going to your most extreme. I want to go but I ahve a 12 and 15 yr old. They are pretty on top of things but, I dont want to actually do them harm. Have men waggling in front of my amazingly gorgeous daughter or totally weird out my son. So if we are in kidsville... it sounds like that might work. I do not want to leave them home but I dont want them thrown into a world of debauchery. -magpie
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Postby Archantael » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:46 am

I've taken a 15 year old to BM and as she would tell you and IMHO it was one of the best things we ever did for her. That being said she did encounter quite a few sexual situations and some drug use out there. I had talked about that in advance warning her what to expect so it wasn't a surprise and she handled it quite well. Even with that being taken into consideration, I wouldn't hesitate to take kids out there, not even for a second.

I've also got to put in a shameless plug for Kidsville...you can't ask for a nicer group of people on the playa.

Going off on a general tangent directed towards anyone and everyone: Kidsville is not an on-playa sitter camp that you can dump your kids off at while you head out to play. I wanted to toss that out there in case anyone lurking might be thinking that.
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Postby Das Bus » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:58 am

Hello Magpie!

Burning Man is not the sex crazed, drugged out fest some people claim it is. At least not from what I've seen, and this will be my 7th year. Heck, even bringing a spouse doesn't guarentee you'll get laid out there! LOL!

Adult theme camps will not allow minors in, and if you happen to run across 'adult' activities, you just steer your kids away. Most people keep their adult and illegal (drug) activities behind closed tents/shade structures. And if they don't, they run the risk of getting busted by the cops - and there's lots of them out there, including undercovers.

Teenagers are a different sort of 'animal', and will want to wander off by themselves. After you get your bearings and feel more comfortable, it's fine for them to wander by themselves, but I suggest at a minimum they go in pairs, during the day and with strict guidelines. You don't want them accepting drinks in unopen containers from strangers (and you don't want to do that yourself), and even though we're on the playa and time means nothing, make sure they have watches, so they have a certain time that you want them to check in by. Some people use FRS radios.

As far as wandering at night without parents, only you can make that decision. Some years we have a larger group of teens in the village, and they like to wander together. Make sure yours are lit up well with glowsticks, blinky lights, and have a flashlight. The open playa is a fun place a night with art work that is all lit up and fire performances. But the interior streets are so dark, that it's easy to get lost.

One of the biggest dangers out there are the 'whiteouts'. These are dust storms that can happen at anytime, day or night. When they do, you need to stop and stay where you are at until it passes.

Basically, you use the same common sense you use at home, except you add more guidelines and take more precautions for the extreme environment.

If you think your teens are mature enough to wander without you fine, but remember two things: 1- YOU are at all times responsible for them, and 2- It's much more fun to wander TOGETHER, as there's just so much to do and see, you want to share it with your loved ones.

You can email me directly with any questions or concerns, at DasBus (at) webtv.net

Hope this helps! : )

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Postby Das Bus » Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:07 am

"""Going off on a general tangent directed towards anyone and everyone: Kidsville is not an on-playa sitter camp that you can dump your kids off at while you head out to play. I wanted to toss that out there in case anyone lurking might be thinking that."""

GOOD point K! And thanks for bringing that up!

Unattended children left at KidsVille will skewered and BBQ'd for the masses. Dinner is served at 8 o'clock.

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Postby PurpleKoosh » Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:32 pm

magpiefarm wrote:
One VERY important thing to remember is that YOU will be held responsible if your child enters ANY of the VVMC's sacred areas.


Thats the line in question.

That still made no sense to me out-of-context, so I finally used the Search function on that phrase here on the website and figured it out.

The post you took all of those from was quoting from the official website for Playa Del Fuego, a regional event on the East Coast of the US. In this context, VVMC is the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club, which owns the property where PDF takes place.

I also found the Y you were asking about:


the Playa Del Fuego Parents of Younger Children FAQ wrote:My kid is scared of "Y". Can you guarantee that no one will do this?

Nope. Again, Radical Personal Responsibility is the order of the day here.

"Y" here is just a random variable, like x or N in a math problem. "My kid is scared of (fill in the blank)" might be a better way for them to phrase this, and I may actually contact the webmaster about that.
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Postby magpiefarm » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:35 pm

Purple Kush, Yeah, I did figure out the "Y" thing. thanks for help with the other. And Das Bus, You have helped alieviated my anxiety. You guys are all so kind. I am excited again. -j
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Postby magpiefarm » Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:21 pm

Purple Kush, Yeah, I did figure out the "Y" thing. thanks for help with the other. And Das Bus, You have helped alieviated my anxiety. You guys are all so kind. I am excited again. -j
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