My Project Idea: Comments Please.

No matter your skills or interests, there's a way for you to participate in the creation and manifestation of Black Rock City, both at the event and year-round.

Postby Token » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:07 pm

The only overseas folks that truly struggle are those not old enough to rent a vehicle.

Everything else us just a matter of cost.

It also seems to me that kids are the majority of international attendees. Could be wrong since I'm basing this on the limited scope of this board.

Might makes sense to do this for an age bracket, say under 25. The Eurail thing is structured that way.

Also consider some type of system that does not require a lot of moderation or administration.

This could be as simple as a couple threads here like the Artist/Stages stickies we have. They work quite well.
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Postby Hoolie » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:47 pm

geekster wrote:When you are cooking for people you do not know, you might want to place things you would normally put IN a dish on the side instead.. An example is cilantro. About 10% of the population lacks the ability to taste the chemical in cilantro that makes it taste so yummy to other people. To that 10%, cilantro takes like Tide laundry detergent. It absolutely ruins the flavor of everything it is in.

Have some variety. After about the 5th day in a row some people might not look forward to hummus. Keep it simple. Specialty dishes might be "acquired tastes". Rice is pretty universal as are potatoes. Keep spiritual practices in mind. People might eat meat but might not eat pork (Jews, Muslims, and some Christians such as Seventh Day Adventist). Kosher meats will serve all three of those faiths.

Kitchen waste is a problem on the playa because it tends to stink. You will do well to have what amounts to a separate evaporation pond for dessication of kitchen scraps. Once dried, they can be tossed in the burn barrel. Food from the last couple of days will not have time to dry out completely. If you try to burn it before it is dry, it will make a nasty smelly, smokey mess. Have a contingency plan in case it rains considerably and soaks your nearly dry food scraps.

Give your campers some space with privacy. Put the shower inside a shade structure of its own where people can have a moment of privacy (and less dust) to clip their nails, inspect that zit on their ass, or whatever in privacy after they get done with their shower. Some people are more modest than others. Sure, BM is a great place to be free and let it all hang out but that should be done at a person's own pace. They shouldn't have to choose between hygiene and their modesty and even if they don't say anything, it might be a source of resentment that can amplify other little issues that might be tolerated just fine.

Be very clear on exactly what is expected of everyone and if you make a schedule of responsibilities, try as hard as you can to stick to it and not go juggling it around every day or two. Be very clear on what, if anything, will not be tolerated in the camp and be consistent in enforcing it. Everyone should know exactly where they stand and have to play by the same set of rules. You might not exactly "kick someone out" of your camp but you can certainly invite them to camp with someone else next time. If you decide to do that, it is probably best not to notify them of that fact on the playa.

Control freaks, yahoos, gropers, etc. will self-identify pretty quickly. They weed themselves out by not being invited back over the years and you eventually end up with a really laid back bunch of folks but you ARE going to get the jackass or two, particularly in the beginning.

The more people that you do not know who camp with you, the better the odds of collecting jackasses. One reason people might be looking for camps, particularly if they are experienced burners, is because they have been invited to camp elsewhere this year. Highly weight recommendations of your best campers.

Crap, someone could write a book on Burning Man camps.

So, these are the types of thing that would be posted on the site, in section title something like, "Guidelines, Advice, and Etiquette. Required reading for all participants."

It would outline what is expected from the host, and what is expected from the guest. Still, it is my hope that the kind of people that would graciously offer to share their camp would be generally pretty good people, and not likely to screw over someone who has traveled thousands of miles to get to the event. It's also my hope that guests would recognize the efforts and goodwill that are being offered by their host, and would bend over backwards to be helpful and a good guest. A bit too optimistic? Perhaps. Again, this idea needs a lot of development. I have had only one personal experience similar to this, but it was very positive. One year, the camp I was with hosted an Australian couple, both of which were complete strangers to all of us. They were both awesome, and nobody had any complaints. Doesn't mean that will happen every time, but it is encouraging.
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Postby Hoolie » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:56 pm

Token wrote:The only overseas folks that truly struggle are those not old enough to rent a vehicle.

Everything else us just a matter of cost.

It also seems to me that kids are the majority of international attendees. Could be wrong since I'm basing this on the limited scope of this board.

Might makes sense to do this for an age bracket, say under 25. The Eurail thing is structured that way.

Also consider some type of system that does not require a lot of moderation or administration.

This could be as simple as a couple threads here like the Artist/Stages stickies we have. They work quite well.

I think I would like to keep it open to all ages, since hosts who are, say, in their 40s, might prefer to camp with people in their age group, and vice versa. However, I do agree that young people have a harder time finding funds, and that is the philosophy behind youth hostels. Nevertheless, every hostel I've stayed at doesn't have an age limit.

Keeping the site simple is definitely good advice. Even though I'm talking about "only" maintaining a website, that can be pretty involved, what with site design, maintenance, answering emails, paying web hosting fees, etc. So yes, minimal moderation would be preferable.
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Postby geekster » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:56 pm

Oh, nevermind. I was still going on the assumption that you were actually going to make such a camp. If you are simply taking the place of the forums here and giving people an alternative for placing "I need a camp!" posts, then I expect most camps know all that crap already.

I thought you were going to take a stab and actually do something besides make a web page and have other people do the heavy lifting.
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Postby Hoolie » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:59 pm

Another site that shares a similar philosophy here, that may serve as somewhat of a model:

https://www.tripping.com/

"Tripping is a global network of travelers who believe cultural exchange makes the world a better place. As a member of Tripping, you can connect with locals for travel tips, shared cups of coffee and even home stays."
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Postby VeganChoirGirl » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:58 am

swampdog wrote:It sounds like a good idea. The following is me looking for issues, not just randomly dumping on your idea.

But first, vcg said:
For an overseas burner their ticket is going to be between 800-2500 bucks!!

and I just don't get that. Why should the ticket be more expensive overseas? Aside from shipping costs, they should be the same. What am I missing?



I meant plane ticket. Not event ticket. If I am flying from Russia to Reno in Feb (not a high travel month) right now, months away the ticket is $1011 for the cheapest one. I don't know about a lot of you...but I was unemployed for most of the year. I am doing this whole burn, including ticket and transit (driving myself) for less than that. If I lived overseas, that transit cost alone would be prohibitive. I could swing 300 maybe...but not that. :) Just my 2 cents.
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Postby C.f.M. » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:30 am

Well, my ticket prices from South Carolina to Reno have ranged between $400ish-$700ish, not including fees, taxes and paying for luggage to be checked.

Or shipped.

Or let's say I managed to get there and just buy a cooler and tent and everything in Reno.

As far as food...I'm not picky by any stretch of the word, but I am gluten-free.

I never expect anyone to compensate for that. I think the four food options are a good idea, and leave the "other" open for allergies. I think a picky eater should plan not to burden strangers with their whims, but someone who can't eat soy, corn, nuts, avacado, gluten, cinnamon, etc. should make that known, and let hosts decide if they want to deal with it or not.
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Postby VeganChoirGirl » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:27 am

C.f.M. wrote:
I never expect anyone to compensate for that. I think the four food options are a good idea, and leave the "other" open for allergies. I think a picky eater should plan not to burden strangers with their whims, but someone who can't eat soy, corn, nuts, avacado, gluten, cinnamon, etc. should make that known, and let hosts decide if they want to deal with it or not.


I agree. People will either match up with other people who have similar dietary needs OR will say lets figure your food situation out when you get here...whatever. I think the more people that match up talk and figure out their personal situation the better it will be! :D
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Postby C.f.M. » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:39 am

My friend's boyf is vegan, willing to be vegetarian for the duration, and they are looking for a camp w/food supplies (they're also flying across country) if anybody knows of one...
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Postby Hoolie » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:04 am

Thanks to all for your input. It has been very useful and encouraging. Perhaps I can try to get the ball rolling after this year's burn. Initially, this will consist of refining the idea and coming up with a site design. I will also have to look for people who are interested in assisting with the site build, and to see what kind of web hosting fees will be involved. If it does happen, the success or failure of this project ultimately depends on the participants, which is kind of cool in a way.
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Postby Token » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:10 am

I wouldn't mind having this implemented on ePlaya.

Share Resources could be sub-formed into General, Camps, Rides, RV, and International Hosting or somesuch.

Just thinking out loud here ... Ah, my head hurts now.
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Postby silkkat813 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:25 pm

Not sure if this is like your idea:

www.couchsurfing.org

We have a camp for members of the website... CouchBurners. We have people coming from all over the world and US. This will be our 4th year as a camp. We've experienced a lot of the problems mentioned here. Not sure if the problems are because we all come from so far or because we are usually full of newbies.

Last year we had over 200 members in our camp. A lot of them didn't participate. We borrowed the kitchen trailer from the BRC hostel, but a lot of people didn't clean up after themselves. We had a shower, but so many people took showers daily that the evaporation pool didn't evaporate enough.

This year, we made up camp rules and camp duties. We decided no shower. Our kitchen will be a grill. We closed the camp to keep it smaller. It is still hard trying to get people you never met to participate. I posted a sign up list for the camp duties a week ago, and only 2 of the virgins have signed up. I sent out an email to all the virgins (20 in a camp of 30) telling them about the sign up list and asking them to participate more. But nope...

Someone here mentioned punishing the people that don't participate. What kind of punishment? I thought about telling those that don't sign up they can't use the kitchen or communal coolers.

I am not sure if our camp is the type of thing you were planning. But come by and chat and maybe we can give you some ideas if you plan to do it next year. This might be my last year with them or even the last year of our camp.

We are hosting a Travel Tips event on Thursday for people to stop by and share travel stories. Maybe you can get ideas from the people that are coming from afar. We are at 5 and Florence.
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Postby Hoolie » Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:18 pm

silkkat813, thanks very much for your input. It's great to hear from a voice of experience.

The primary difference in my idea is that it won't all happen in one camp. The idea is for many different camps all around the playa to host small groups of international burners, say 1-4 guests per camp. That way, the "burden" gets spread out among many hosts, and many camps, and it would theoretically be easier to "monitor" just a couple guests and make sure they are holding up their end of the deal. Conversely, I think the guests would be more likely to interact with their hosts this way, and it would (hopefully) result in a more helpful and attentive guest. Even if guests do shirk their responsibilities, I think it would be easier to shoulder just a couple unhelpful guests than 20, 30, or 200 of them. Also, the host is free to refrain from participating in the future if it turns out to be a bad experience for them. As I said before, I think the success or failure of this project relies mainly on the participants, both hosts and guests.

I will make an effort to find your camp this year and introduce myself.
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Postby SilverOrange » Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:05 am

Hoolie, that is truely a noble gesture and a great idea! If you do plan on going ahead with this and need assistance contact me after the burn and I'd love to help in any way that I could.
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Postby AntiM » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:50 am

So, if I'm lending a tent to a burner from Rio, am I participating unwittingly?
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Postby Hoolie » Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:07 pm

SilverOrange wrote:Hoolie, that is truely a noble gesture and a great idea! If you do plan on going ahead with this and need assistance contact me after the burn and I'd love to help in any way that I could.

Thanks Silver! Your offer is much appreciated.

AntiM wrote:So, if I'm lending a tent to a burner from Rio, am I participating unwittingly?

Why not? Every little bit helps.
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