Hi! I'm not grumpy, at all!
I like theme camping, but that's because I have over active hostess genes, and our camp is a far-flung (chosen)family that only meets in the dust.
In our camp, we only take a limited number of virgins (for sacrificial purposes); those are invited and sponsored by the core group, and not expected to do much...
no build/strike, and very few 'shifts' during the event.
This is practical; most new folks will take at least 3 days to acclimate, and tend to get really distracted by shiny blinky unicorns... so counting on them for infrastructure isn't realistic.
That said, my first year (oh, so long ago), I came for 3 days to meet friends who had done nothing to prepare me for BRC.(They said, oh, bring some cooler food and an air mattress, look for the colorful flag near Center Camp... hahahahahahaha!)
It was frustrating, exhilarating and uncomfortable; I knew within 5 hours that I would be back, prepared, and participating.
Just the fact that you're here, on eplaya, bodes well for your preparedness and playa comfort level...
Take it easy your first year; if you decide to join a camp, don't let them work you too hard...
"I'm sorry, but just the thought of a non-controversial thread on ePlaya is controversial." jk