Kids & Teenagers at Burning Man

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Kids at Burning Man?

Yes
334
59%
No
228
41%
 
Total votes : 562

Postby Dr. Pyro » Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:32 am

And I quote, "...adults who choose not to participate in drugs or drinking..." Uh, just where do you propose to fine them?
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Postby mary jane » Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:46 am

are you serious? you cant be. half the people i have met at BM didnt do drugs, ESP the parents who brought their kids. its sad that the idea of NOT doing drugs is so foreign to you. :(
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:51 am

Another vote for Action Girl's "it's not a society if it's only young(ish) adults" stance.

Yes, there are issues around responcibility, and certainly my working as a medic for two years has given me some prissy negative feelings towards those who risk themselves and others by not taking it, but when you consider the toxic environment of constant advertising and segregation by age that exists in the default world, I say that there's a better than even chance that BRC, properly controlled for, is a better environment than the kids will be living in the other 51 weeks a year. And by the way--I hate those hippie (or punk) parents with ferel parenting styles and the brats they raise.

It actually pretty much echoes the way I feel about disability on the playa. Children (or disability) is not the issue. Poor planning for the differences that you bring to the playa and the playa brings to you is.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:52 am

Dr. Pyro wrote: Uh, just where do you propose to fine them?

Are you kidding? In their pocketbooks!
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Postby Miss Kate » Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:27 pm

In 2002, I made a big, flowy, light-up jellyfish that I attached to my tricycle. It was late one night, my husband, a friend, and I were on the platform of the Man and we looked down to see a family of three inside the belly of my jelly, illuminated by blue light. The little girl was in a green sequined pajama onezee and we watched as she pulled on the tendrils, cooed at the lacey stuff, and touched everything. She was amazing! We got to talk with her parents only to find out that she was two and that it was her third Burning Man. She was a burner in the oven her first year, a wee tiny spark her second, and a two year old her third. Her parents were so kind and the family love that they gave off was over the top. It was obvious that even at two, she was going to be one rockin’ young lady.

I’m not a parent so I don’t usually feel the need to interject about kids at BM, but interacting with children on the playa is a really wonderful part of my experience. Black Rock mini citizens are powerful little beings that seem to grow up to be tremendously vibrant adults. Being visually enlightened, seeing creativity and imagination on such a large scale, I can’t really see how that could be a negative. Of course there are lots of kid inappropriate things going on, but responsible parenting, just like any responsible adult participating is the key. The parents that I have met seem to be good people with the little ones best interest in mind. And, they seem to be cut out for it. Leaving the kids at home is a great thing to do if mom or dad doesn't want the responsibility, and there is certainly nothing at all wrong with that.

I guess I kind of feel like those little people, just like us big people, take some fire away with them and share with the outside world, with other kids, and bring some fun that may be a bit unconventional to the table. I completely agree with Mary Jane ~ moments at Burning Man prove that anything is possible if you put aside your fear and crank up your effort and imagination.

But that’s just my mushy two cents.
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Postby simcoe » Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:35 pm

Mr. Simcoe and I may be in the minority, but we believe strongly that Burning Man should be 18 and older.

Besides our concerns about the potentially nefarious intentions of the sociopathic few, we feel that having children wandering the playa gives LEOs an open door, should they become so inclined, to start making charges against the average folk of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The ubiquitous nudity and experimental self-expression of sexuality is, in particular, a slippery slope. Private event, public land, non-family adults naked and playful in the presence of minors... In any other environment there'd be tremendous governing outcry, and I wonder how long Burning Man can claim artistic exemption.

And on a purely personal level we'd both rather not worry about whether our speech/appearance/art/performance/etc. is suitable content for children. The liberation of Burning Man is, for us, liberation from the daily responsibilities and expectations of adulthood; a week to be free, unreachable by phone and eMail, without obligation to employers, banks, and landlords, able to dress up and dance and be unconventional as we like. Children are already free to be imaginative little weirdos and there's no end to the events coordinated solely to amuse, enlighten, and boggle them.

Not looking to argue, just getting my child-free vote in.

Cheers, all!
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Postby Miss Kate » Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:38 pm

Ya got yerself a good point there Mr. Simcoe.
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Postby simcoe » Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:40 pm

Miss Kate wrote:Ya got yerself a good point there Mr. Simcoe.


Ms., actually. I was speaking for me & my man -- but thanks all the same!

:wink:
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Postby stuart » Thu Jun 10, 2004 5:50 pm

I am childless and intend on staying that way, so take my comments as you will.

I don't have an issue with kids at burning man but I would hate to see burning man get diluted or jeapordized in the name of inclusiveness to kids.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Jun 10, 2004 6:46 pm

Well there's that...
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Postby spectabillis » Thu Jun 10, 2004 7:05 pm

jennygreentooth wrote: B) parents who neglect their children at the event, or are too inebriated to make good parenting decisions.

Thats not a problem if I run out of food, they taste good with KC barbeque sauce.
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Postby tonka » Fri Jun 11, 2004 7:44 pm

Miss Kate wrote:In 2002, I made a big, flowy, light-up jellyfish that I attached to my tricycle. It was late one night, my husband, a friend, and I were on the platform of the Man and we looked down to see a family of three inside the belly of my jelly, illuminated by blue light. The little girl was in a green sequined pajama onezee and we watched as she pulled on the tendrils, cooed at the lacey stuff, and touched everything. She was amazing! We got to talk with her parents only to find out that she was two and that it was her third Burning Man. She was a burner in the oven her first year, a wee tiny spark her second, and a two year old her third. Her parents were so kind and the family love that they gave off was over the top. It was obvious that even at two, she was going to be one rockin’ young lady.

I’m not a parent so I don’t usually feel the need to interject about kids at BM, but interacting with children on the playa is a really wonderful part of my experience. Black Rock mini citizens are powerful little beings that seem to grow up to be tremendously vibrant adults. Being visually enlightened, seeing creativity and imagination on such a large scale, I can’t really see how that could be a negative. Of course there are lots of kid inappropriate things going on, but responsible parenting, just like any responsible adult participating is the key. The parents that I have met seem to be good people with the little ones best interest in mind. And, they seem to be cut out for it. Leaving the kids at home is a great thing to do if mom or dad doesn't want the responsibility, and there is certainly nothing at all wrong with that.

I guess I kind of feel like those little people, just like us big people, take some fire away with them and share with the outside world, with other kids, and bring some fun that may be a bit unconventional to the table. I completely agree with Mary Jane ~ moments at Burning Man prove that anything is possible if you put aside your fear and crank up your effort and imagination.

But that’s just my mushy two cents.


that has got to be one of the most wonderful things i have heard yet about burningman. i love it when amazing stories like that stick so well in your head. :)
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Postby Blonde Iguana » Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:27 am

I'm a BM virgin who's bringing a 16 year old daughter to Burning Man this year. After reading some of these posts I feel kinda bad-parentish and idiotic about making the decision to bring her when I haven't even experienced it for myself, but she has been counting on this trip for months and would effin' kill me if I went without her. I've been planning and researching like mad for months and have been educating and talking her ass off for months about safety, Rangers, common sense in dealing with unwelcome advances, everything I can think of or read about. We'll have a meeting plan, a well-marked camp, 2-way radios, tons of water and ways in which to carry it. She will wear a laminated dog tag with her age, camp info, medical, etc. around her neck. She's healthy, mature, totally cool, free-spirited, and unshockable, and will have her 17 year old male cousin by her side at all times (hopefully). I haven't told her dad about it, and I'll probably get in big trouble if he ever finds out (if he can pull himself out of his MaryJane stupor long enough). I don't expect anybody to tone anything down to spare her virgin senses.

Maybe it's a bad idea, but there's no turning back now...
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Postby Blonde Iguana » Sun Jun 13, 2004 7:14 am

Regarding identifying minors as minors, my plan is to make a laminated badge/necklace for my 16 year old daughter prominently identifying her as underage. Whether she keeps it on after she's out of range of her mama is another story....
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Postby Zulegoona » Sun Jun 13, 2004 7:20 am

Maybe you could attach it threw a piercing with a hog ring and cut it off at the end of the event.
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Postby Badger » Sun Jun 13, 2004 7:45 am

Yes, there are issues around responcibility, and certainly my working as a medic for two years has given me some prissy negative feelings towards those who risk themselves and others by not taking it, but when you consider the toxic environment of constant advertising and segregation by age that exists in the default world, I say that there's a better than even chance that BRC, properly controlled for, is a better environment than the kids will be living in the other 51 weeks a year.


More and more I'm strating to buy into that point of view.


And by the way--I hate those hippie (or punk) parents with ferel parenting styles and the brats they raise.


Yep. I think a good number of them grow up to be Republicans.[/quote]
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Postby Blonde Iguana » Sun Jun 13, 2004 7:56 am

Ha, she'll look pretty cool with a badge hanging off her nose ring....
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Jun 13, 2004 8:03 am

Kids at BM? Hmmmm. They are to catch out there on the open playa. Still mighty good BBQed.
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Postby Ron » Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:02 am

Blonde Iguana wrote:... 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.


Assuming they're resonsible teens, good on you. I haven't finished reading the rest of the thread yet, but my money says someone will give you some shit about that attitude so I thought I'd throw a supporative note out there.

Folk tend to forget that kids and adults really aren't that different. They aren't the same, I understand, but the whole point of being a kid is learing how to be a grownup. And the best way to learn is to practice. Assuming they're level headed kids I think teenagers exploring BRC could be a wonderful experience for them.

My son is currently 8 and he and his mother are both uninterested in going to the burn with me. Too hot, too hard, and too crazy for either of them. But as he gets older I hope that will change and until then I go without them.

In any case, have fun, enjoy your first time, and don't let the nay sayers get you down...

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Postby pokiedot » Sun Jun 13, 2004 10:45 am

actiongrl wrote:> Ever seen a 12 year old girl spin fire? I have, and at 12, when most girls' confidence is plummeting with every turn of a teen magazine's page, it was powerful to see her so proud of an accomplishment and so revered by the grownups around her. She was beaming. I'd much rather see her at Burning Man being guided through the *real* world by her parents than sitting home at Grandma's watching a Mary Kate and Ashley movie...wouldn't you?

Without children (and old people) do you really have a society?



as a fire spinner reading this just made me all warm and gooey inside! that is so lovely. yay.

and 'here here' to everything else in actiongrl's reply... said just about everything i had to say as well. bringing kids into this crazy fucked up world seams really nuts to me at times, but burning man and it's extended communities are the kinds of things that make me *want* to breed. that and the new 'they might be giants' kids album.

and, of course, what everyone else is saying is good avice, too (not to 'drag' your kids there, make their health and comfort first priority, be responsible, go by yourself first) but, from my experience, the parents i've met who've brought their children are pretty aware of the circumstances and generally strike me as rad parents.

my camp attracts a lot of kids. most of our events appeal to the 'kids of all ages' set, and we love it. and as someone who repressed my expressiveness for most of my life (i grew up in orange county, 'nuff said) i always imagine what i'd be like had i been exposed to a community where expressiveness is of the highest esteem.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jun 14, 2004 9:49 am

Blonde Iguana wrote:I'm a BM virgin who's bringing a 16 year old daughter to Burning Man this year. After reading some of these posts I feel kinda bad-parentish and idiotic about making the decision to bring her when I haven't even experienced it for myself, but she has been counting on this trip for months and would effin' kill me if I went without her. I've been planning and researching like mad for months and have been educating and talking her ass off for months about safety, Rangers, common sense in dealing with unwelcome advances, everything I can think of or read about. We'll have a meeting plan, a well-marked camp, 2-way radios, tons of water and ways in which to carry it. She will wear a laminated dog tag with her age, camp info, medical, etc. around her neck. She's healthy, mature, totally cool, free-spirited, and unshockable, and will have her 17 year old male cousin by her side at all times (hopefully). I haven't told her dad about it, and I'll probably get in big trouble if he ever finds out (if he can pull himself out of his MaryJane stupor long enough). I don't expect anybody to tone anything down to spare her virgin senses.

Maybe it's a bad idea, but there's no turning back now...

I'd say going first is probably better, but I'd also say that your daughter is old enough to deal with most small to medium difficulties already and that you seem to be in touch with her and her needs. The mid to late teens get to be a grey area in a lot of ways. I think a lot of people who say they are a little uncomfortable with children were also out and doing things that were not considered "age-appropriate" at 16. I think that kids have vulnerabilities at that age, but that they also are pushing thier limits. Whereever they are. As long as you and her cousin are there to back her up if something too big comes up, she should be okay. It might have been nice to do a dry run first, but there's always the "what happens while you're making other plans" factor. At any rate, it doesn't sound like you are abandoning her to another's care or to her own divises. (Presuming she and her cousin make a good team.)
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Postby stuart » Mon Jun 14, 2004 12:35 pm

I've been planning and researching like mad for months and have been educating and talking her ass off for months about safety, Rangers, common sense in dealing with unwelcome advances, everything I can think of or read about. We'll have a meeting plan, a well-marked camp, 2-way radios, tons of water and ways in which to carry it.



don't forget the 'hands off you old hippe, I'm under age!' t-shirt.
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Postby elvinagre7 » Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:34 pm

I have been to this event since 1996 and do not think any kid under 16 should be there. Leave them and dogs at home. Take them to Disneyland instead.
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Postby 'stine » Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:32 pm

Hopefully someone in the know (with authority) can answer these questions. This is not so much about good/bad parenting, as legalities, ramifications and preparedness.

What will happen to BM if a baby/young child is permamently injured or dies at the event? Will that force a ....board decision?..... on an age limit to the event?

Does BM have insurance to cover that kind of emergency/casualty? (We are living in a sue-happy culture)

Do parents have to sign a disclaimer (and will it hold up in court?) before entering the gates with a baby/small child?

Do the EMTs have the appropriately sized equipment/training/resources to handle baby/child medical emergencies?
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Postby Das Bus » Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:55 pm

'stine:

The only question I can answer is that, 'no' parents do not sign any kind of waiver.
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Postby Tancorix » Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:12 pm

elvinagre7 wrote:I have been to this event since 1996 and do not think any kid under 16 should be there. Leave them and dogs at home. Take them to Disneyland instead.


With that kind of mindset, maybe someone should heed their own advice?

Last year I brought my 15 year old sister along ...it was her first trip beyond Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois and from the trip out and back to the experiences she had at BM, it profoundly changed her life and for the best. She's made friends she still talks to, and her creative side has really come alive after being exposed to the BRC environment. While there are valid concerns, a blanket ban on kids is not the best answer. I applaud LH's desire to keep the event open to kids and I hope that doesn't change in the years to come.
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Postby _tears_ » Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:03 pm

I was 16 last year when I attended the Burning Man event. I did not attend with family but a close friend of. And I will be attending the event again this year.

With younger children, I believe it is not wise to bring them. Pure and simple. It is just what I believe. There safety is a big issue, the elements could harm a child greatly.

As for anyone over say... 15, I believe it should be based on the individual. Some Teenagers can handle the wild and craziness of the event without going over the top, and many of them cannot.

The event being 18+ .. Yes, I actually DO agree with this (although I am glad it is not ). I believe...for adults, many of them would feel a lot safer if the event was 18+. It is so hard to tell how old someone is out there, and if something where to happen they could be slapped with charges.

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Postby Sobretta Franjipan » Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:42 pm

Blonde Iguana:

"unshockable" *snort* we'll see about that

"and will have her 17 year old male cousin by her side at all times (hopefully)"

You'd better guess again about that. Burning Man is renowned for the turn around for a second and you've lost who you're with. Then there's going to the bathroom.

But I'm sure she'll be fine and have a fan-freaking-tastic time.
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Postby Blonde Iguana » Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:08 am

Sobretta Franjipan wrote:Blonde Iguana:

You'd better guess again about that. Burning Man is renowned for the turn around for a second and you've lost who you're with. Then there's going to the bathroom.

But I'm sure she'll be fine and have a fan-freaking-tastic time.


Thanks!!! You're right - I imagine the BM environment is not so very conducive to teenagers cooperating with the idealistic agendas and behaviors their parents have plotted for them. Assume nothing and be prepared for anything, right? The only constant that I will hopefully be able to control is making sure she is hydrated and fed and knows where our camp is...the rest is up to Burning Man.
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Postby Das Bus » Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:34 am

""The rest is up to Burning Man"

Sorry Blonde Iguana, but you're wrong. You alone are responsible for your child - not the police - not the Rangers - not the citizens of BRC - just you.

YOU need to make sure your child is not going into 'adult' oriented camps. YOU need to make sure your child isn't drinking alcohol. YOU need to make sure your child is safe.

As a parent at BM, I have said it before, and will say it again:

It is not the community's responsibility to police the children; it's the parents job.
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