Kids & Teenagers at Burning Man

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

Kids at Burning Man?

Yes
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58%
No
219
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Total votes : 521

Postby stuart » Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:39 am

Word!
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:41 am

Gosh Lora, I always thought Becca took care of you! ;D
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Postby Sobretta Franjipan » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:00 pm

[/quote]
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.[/quote]

Oh this worries me a bit. I just keep thinking of the "Show Us Your Titties Camp" and how much they grossed me out (and I have absolutely NO aversion to titties or nudity). A bunch of pot-bellied beer swilling goons who plunked their khaki shorts wearing asses on folding chairs and bellowed the oh so creative line: "Show us your titties!" to EVERY female passerby.

Honestly you'd better have one heck of a comprehensive talk with your daughter before you go. And I hope she looks about 11 instead of anywhere near 17 because don't kid yourself (no pun intended) that BM is filled with hippy kindhearted strangers (yes, they are there but are a minority). There are lots of creepy, older men looking for action-and creepy women for that matter. RAMPANT drinking and drug taking abound as well. It's really an adult free for all. As much as I love kids, teens, and young people I, nor anyone else, is there to help take care of your kid. For a lot of people this is their time to let go of responsibility and explore extreme behavior. I really don't think I could have handled it as a 17 year old girl. It's an extremely adult atmosphere-think of a nudist colony, backstage at a Van Halen concert (back in the day), Timothy Leary enhanced, Swinger party, hippy commune, Mad Max, Ecstasy love-in, galloping gourmet, mad scientist convention, pervert, brilliant, hilarious Mr. Toad's Wild Ride rolled into one.

Caution!

And as far as knowing where your camp is-how many people have been lost/couldn't find their camp before? I'll start: Me! Lot's of times. And don't think asking people will necessarily help you.

Don't want to be a wet blanket but when I think of all the shenanigans I got into at that age in circumstances where it was a challenge without many crazy options...to be handed the key to potential debauchery so easily-YIKES!
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Postby elvinagre7 » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:17 pm

Sobretta's got it figured out. This is not a kiddie event, and should not be, as almost every other event is.
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Not "Jail Bait"

Postby Otisserie » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:20 pm

One thing to keep in mind is that the age of consent in Nevada is 16 for heterosexual activity (18 for homosexual), with no upper age limit for the partner. That means that you cannot count on some guy's fear of the law to keep him from cosying up to your daughter. She is not "jail bait" in Nevada.

It will be up to her to set the limits for what she is consents to and with whom. The law isn't going to be any protection here.
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Postby 'stine » Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:45 pm

Well, it seems like parents currently have the option to bring their children, so......

I repeat myself.....

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 the EMTs have the appropriately sized equipment/training/resources to handle baby/child medical emergencies?

FYI - I worked around an emergency room for more than seven years and I have met some extremely good, caring, intelligent, loving parents who did exactly everything right when it came to raising their children. They had the perfect balance between protecting their children and giving them the space and challenges they needed to grow up, yet their child still ended up dead because things sometimes just happen. And that was just in the normal world without all the extremes of BM.

I'm okay with kids that can walk and talk, tell someone if something is wrong, and are closely supervised during their BM experience to keep them away for the more adult experinces. I'm okay if the free-ranging teenagers have the maturity to make safe, healthy decisions for themselves.

I'm still looking to be swayed on why someone would want to bring a baby. The "I'm a good mother, I didn't ask for your opinion, and it's my decision" doesn't seem to be swaying the jury of skeptical peers. Those of you bringing babies, please feel free to win us over. If your preparations/reasons can't survive the test of skeptical peers, I'm thinking they might not survive the test of the playa.
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Postby Ivy » Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:49 pm

Does BM have insurance to cover that kind of emergency/casualty?


I assume all attendees, including parents bringing children, have read the backs of their tickets and the backs of their children/dependant minors tickets.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:10 pm

Ivy wrote:
Does BM have insurance to cover that kind of emergency/casualty?


I assume all attendees, including parents bringing children, have read the backs of their tickets and the backs of their children/dependant minors tickets.


One can also assume that they have read the numerous warnings about how it is not cool to bring illegal substances to Burning Man.

As has been mentioned, ultimately if the event allows children, the event will have to be "toned down" because children are there. This is not a matter of a board decision, or even what we think is right. If the courts are seeing children at Burning Man, the courts will rule (at every opportunity) that it is NOT an adult event, but a family event. And to protect themselves, the BM llc will duck and run for cover (IMHO).

regards - Jafe
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Postby technopatra » Thu Jun 17, 2004 6:39 pm

The event has always allowed children and always will. it is up to the parents to keep their kids safe in BRC, just like anywheere else on the planet.

The event is not toned-down due to children. If any toning down has happened, it's due to the increasing numbers, drug, alcohol, and firearm laws, as well as the Nevada Board of Health and a miasma of local goverment restrictions.

And to anyone who expresses for a concern for a teenage grl in BRC - you think gross men are somehow unique to BRC? At least you can see some of the naked guys coming, there. And they generally ask before groping.

What the hell do you think girls have to deal with in their hometowns? I had to fend off unwanted advances from creepy old guys, creepy young guys, stinky hippies, harmless punks, macho frat boys, polished suits, etc., etc. and nauseum from the age of twelve. Perverts (the bad kind) come in all flavors, and they are everywhere.

You think a 16 yr old doesn't already have some of this experience under her belt? Think again.

The ratio of predator to child is greatly, greatly decreased in BRC, and there is a much-heightened sense of looking out for each other. I feel safer here than I ever felt, anywere, when I was a teenager.
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Postby actiongrl » Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:32 pm

>The ubiquitous nudity

7-10% of people is not quite ubiquitous, and actually, nudity doesn't = sexuality, and I don't want the law to try to tell me otherwise.
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Postby Silver 2 » Thu Jun 17, 2004 8:59 pm

I have taught women's self defense during three periods of my life and am currently working on a plan specifically Burner women. The first and foremost in this plan will be calling for help in any kind of situation that involves a number of Burner types; in a regular situation calling 'Fire" is a better bet. I will teach the nasties but in most cases in a 'Burner' environment all a women has to do is call out. This is largely a group that sees themselves as heros/clans/tribes and a large portion of the population will generally respond immediately -- IF THEY KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON!. The latter is important, in our environment certain physical contact is no big deal, unless I know that it is unwelcome I will not do anything about it.

Largely I agree with technopatra in that
And to anyone who expresses for a concern for a teenage grl in BRC - you think gross men are somehow unique to BRC? At least you can see some of the naked guys coming, there. And they generally ask before groping.


and if they don't ask yell "Who the fuck are you?!" or the equivalant and a crowd will be drawn. During my classes I always had the women (I have always worked well with girls 13-17) discuss the various problems they have had and I have heard stories that have put me into full combat mode. I always offer to leave the room during these discussions, but have been invited to stay about 75% of the time. All of this happened before I became involved with the Burning Man culture.
My point here being that these young women have faced an incredible amount of harassment in the course of their 'normal' lives.
I like playing with fire.
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Postby DeadlyKungFu » Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:39 pm

technopatra - " I feel safer here than I ever felt" still on the playa? right on...

info on Critical Tits is relayed on the down low, maybe those same channels can be used to strenghten awareness and keep the idiots in the dark.

KIDS ON THE PLAYA...
It would be bad for a first timer to bring a kid, after your first burn you'd know what to expect, I wouldn't (I hope not!). Please use discretion for your kid's sake and for ours, as adults we like to let loose like adults. It's not like anyone behaves on the playa as if there was an 8 year old watching.

Then there's the pure freaking survival part of it all. 18+ is OK with me.
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Postby _tears_ » Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:27 pm

technopatra wrote: You think a 16 yr old doesn't already have some of this experience under her belt? Think again.

The ratio of predator to child is greatly, greatly decreased in BRC, and there is a much-heightened sense of looking out for each other. I feel safer here than I ever felt, anywere, when I was a teenager.


I agree. Like I said before 2003 was my first year and I was 16, I did not attend with parents, and nothing there "shocked" me in the since of something i was not "ready for" I didnt do anything there I hadnt done else were. Yes of course it can be a bit overwhelming but it is for everyone at some point.

However i cannot say this enough.... They need to be RESPONSIBLE.

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legal at 18, still a kid

Postby AntiM » Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:07 am

Just because a girl is 18+ does not make her a woman or ready for everything. Last year I brought my two 18 year old nieces, cousins. We had the talks, all of the talks, and I let them go off together. One Mormon girl and one Catholic schoolgirl from Utah mind you, raised in pretty conservative homes. Mostly they were joined at the hip, but did hang out with us and/or our friends and acquaintances. They thought they knew it all ... hah!

So, I'm volunteering at the bus depot and strike up a conversation with an older guy (I'm 47, thankee, so older was likely only a few years) and then he discovered I was encamped in Hushville and was from Ogden. He excitely asked me if I knew a buxom brunette 18 year old who was looking for a sex buddy. Uh my niece? My niece the real virgin? The one who wasn't going to lose her virginity on my watch? (Yeah, I know, but YES it was very much my business, extended family stuff). Turns out my little schoolgirl had dropped a photo and a few lines at one of the dating service camps ... wanting a playa playmate for talk and hugs. This man insisted that meant sex, and that she knew perfectly well what she'd implied. I know her well and told him that no, indeed, she probably really did mean talks and hugs. She's never even kissed a boy! Then I suggested that he drop it and NOT try to find our camp at all. Uncle Larry is rather overprotective and is of the hillbilly mindset, you know, the playa's a wide wide place out past the trash fence. Not that I SAID that.

When I had a chat with my niece later, she was mortified that someone might actually have come looking for her with something other than conversation in mind. We joke about "the sex ad" now, but I wonder just how badly that episode might have ended. Neither niece will be returning this year, college for one and marriage for the other. Well, Auntie Em did her bit, time for the world to move on.

Another niece this year, but far more savvy at 22. We'll still have the talks, but I'm certainly emphasizing the YELL for help if you need it aspect. Just in case mis-understandings arise. She can always apologize later.

over-protectively,
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Postby Blonde Iguana » Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:38 am

Interesting to hear all the widely varying opinions about kids at Burning Man. Everybody certainly makes a good point, on both sides. In my own defense, I know my level-head, mature 16 year old daughter is possibly more prepared for BM than some adults that attend. I'm a responsible and protective parent (altho I'm sure some of you will beg to differ) and would not bring her if she was not strong, self-sufficient, open-minded and mature (and has been fending off male attention and harassment for years already - being an attractive teenage girl in a working class urban area ain't exactly sugar, spice and everything nice). Yes, I've read the back of the ticket. I know death and injury is a possibility at BM. She can also die rock climbing and riding show-jumping horses, other activities in which I've encouraged her.

BM is something we both really really want to do, together. I'm a virgin so my opinion is shit, but I've been reading like mad, talking to area burners and preparing for MONTHS. Yeah, there's a risk for her and for me, I'm aware of that. But from what I can tell, the benefits of BM FAR outweigh the risks. I don't expect anyone to take care of her for me, I'm an extremely protective, overbearing parent and have been taking excellent care of her all her life; and BM isn't going to alter that. Don't worry, her presence won't put a damper on your partying or freedom of expression. She a cool, amazing person with a huge capacity to embrace and appreciate weirdness and creativity and sensuality and brilliance and all that jazz. Her presence at BM will be an asset, not a liability.

Can't wait.
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Postby stuart » Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:00 pm

in the real world there is not often a theme camp across the street from you called 'tittie man' that has certain requirements for membership and persistant salesmen to boot.

A girl in our village, after exposure to the camp for several days, gave what was required.

Yuck
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:02 pm

'stine wrote:Do the EMTs have the appropriately sized equipment/training/resources to handle baby/child medical emergencies?
If you've worked in an ER for 7 years, then you probably know that Emergency Medical Technition minumum training standards across the country are set by the Federal Department of Transportation and include appropriate techniques for child and infant health emergencies. Starting this year, the minimum requirement to work as an Medic for the Emergency Services Department will be a current EMT-B (for Basic) Certificate with 1 year's experience of working 911. You need not worry on that account.
I don't have an instant answer for the equipment supplies, you should probably e-mail 911@burningman.com and ask. A senior member of the department would then answer your inquiry. My guess is yes--based on the following. They have been running the medical department (first as the "blue dot" branch of the Rangers, now as a seperate department) for some years now, and have had plenty of time to think about the possibility of injury to children. These are dedicated professionals who care deeply about the survival of patients, and of Burning Man. The senior staff member in charge of equiping the department is an ER nurse and a mother, so it's hard to see that she'd overlook something that basic. Furthermore, there are two contracted ambulances, and (here I'm guessing again) I'm certain that there is a DOT list of equipment to be carried on all ambulances which would include infant and child equipment. (Anyone looking for a project--poke around on their website and see if you can find the list.) Finally, many of the medics carry their own supplies which could include such supplies. (My fiance has infant airways and an ob/gyn kit, for instance.)
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Postby actiongrl » Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:26 pm

Take them to Disneyland instead.



Yuck! Did you really say that?

TP is right; when I was a buxom 16 year old just going to the mall could result in uncomfortable advances. Hell, I got hit on by a weird dude when I was four-wheeling with my family when I was a scrawny 12 year old. My dad was just 20 feet away.

Maybe we ought to concern ourselves with those elements and how to eliminate them, instead of focusing so much on the victims of such things. We all hear the statistics all the time about how many women have experienced sexual abuse or assault; why is it that we so rarely bandy about statistics on how many men are sexual predators? What would happen if the world's attention focussed on treating the disease and not the symptom? Just a thought. i don't have answers, just questions.

Either way, Burning Man need not be the only excuse to train our girls in self-defense and how to watch out for each other. I think it ought to taught be in every high school gym course. And the more self-confidence a girl has, the more likely she will say no when someone puts a move on her that she's not ok with. And I reiterate that I believe that a kid who is encouraged to express him or herself (the very root of the Burning Man ethos) is a more confident person.

And...remember that there are still cultures in the world that live in extreme deserts without air conditioning or running water and babies are born there every day. The Black Rock Desert is harsh, but it's not like you're going to stake your kid in the sun and leave him there with no shelter. I would take an RV if I were taking kids under the age of 12, but I *would* take my kids. In a few years I plan to have me one of 'em, and I want to be able to bring him or her with me to the most significant event in my life and show them what true beauty and community can be.
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Postby stuart » Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:39 pm

why is it that we so rarely bandy about statistics on how many men are sexual predators?


how would you propose gathering that kind of statistic?

yes, yes, yes, we need to eliminate the problem, both at BM and in society as a whole. I don't think anyone is debating that. Until we do, however, 1st timers need to know that burning man is NOT utopia. There are dangerous people on the playa, just like anywhere else. And despite what Tony Perez says, people have been raped there.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Jun 18, 2004 3:06 pm

stuart wrote: people have been raped there.


2003 Afterburn Report, CIT section wrote:The major incidents fell into the following categories: five psychiatric clients, five domestic-violence related client situations, two sexual-assault related client situations, and about a dozen other calls for service or follow-up.


http://afterburn.burningman.com/03/play ... gency.html
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Postby Blonde Iguana » Fri Jun 18, 2004 3:24 pm

[quote="stuart"][quote]Until we do, however, 1st timers need to know that burning man is NOT utopia[quote]

Thanks for that. Gosh, I had no idea! I'll be sure to write that on my Stuff to Remember About Burning Man notebook so's I don't forget it.
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Postby actiongrl » Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:14 pm

BTW that article's statement about rape was a misquote and that's been corrected with the reporter.
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Postby actiongrl » Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:18 pm

I don't really mean we could gather that statistic. I guess I'm just venting.

Burning Man is a place where I can say I have felt way safer than most other parts of the world I have visited. I walked around naked at 3 AM and I never got so much as one off color comment. I worked naked every day for years and in all that time I got one little comment from one guy. That's all I know!
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Postby _tears_ » Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:22 am

I personally felt VERY safe at burning man, wondering the playa alone at night ( althought I of course dont suggest people go alone, its far better in pairs or more! ).

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Postby Melvynman » Sun Jun 20, 2004 1:48 pm

Just make simple rules. No eat or drink anything given to them by anybody. They have water and radios with them at all time. They can not talk too or inter act with men. Same rules they have a home.
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Postby Silver 2 » Sun Jun 20, 2004 7:52 pm

Either way, Burning Man need not be the only excuse to train our girls in self-defense and how to watch out for each other. I think it ought to taught be in every high school gym course. And the more self-confidence a girl has, the more likely she will say no when someone puts a move on her that she's not ok with.


Agree and agree, I did my first self-defense class in 1972. Actually the problem I am having developing a self-defense class for Burner women is based on the fact that in a Burner environment women feel safer (because generally they are) and are more confident in their ability to handle things (because they are). In the old days (pre-burner types), I used to spend at least one class day on 'how to walk and move' and review that on a regular basis, now I can think of maybe two women who need work in that area. One of the primary aspects is that, at least in the group I hang out with, there is a big touchy-feely environment and the girls expect the guys to know when to stop. The problem comes from the guys who are your basic pervs, or are too stoned, drunk or whatever to keep themselves under control. The women, in general, are hesitant to go to confrontation, they cut the guys a lot of slack because generally they can, which to too many men means keep on coming. The avoidance of confrontation has dual roots, one is the fact that women both by nature and socialization do not confront others and our general culture (Burner) that allows a lot of freedom of action. In general I have found that the biggest problems come when Burner and non-burner (or newbies) come together, we live by different rules; example, a couple of weeks ago I was hugged by a naked young women while I was also naked, she is almost exactly 2 years older than my son, it was just a friendly thing for us, the newbies did not see it that way. A bit later one of the guys asked for a hug and while I was getting dressed I asked her, 'Are you comfortable with him grabbing your butt? answer "not really' my response 'then tell him so'. The basic thing was that she was so startled by his 'taking liberties' and by her natural reactions that she did not respond a manner that would make him back off -- nailing him in the throat, as I used to teach would have been a bit extreme also.

A second point, I have volunteered as a self-defense instructor at schools twice, both times as part of a group headed by women, in both cases we were turned down. We might 'encourage violence'.
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Jun 20, 2004 8:13 pm

Sliver2, You seem to be over acting. All gal needs to do at BM is go for the eyes and start screaming. Our camps are so close togeather you can't snezz with out having some ones attention. I'm sure that will take care of it.
How to walk??lol Most are running around half or all naked. They are having fun.

Listen up girls. If your in trouble start making as much noise as possible.
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Postby _tears_ » Sun Jun 20, 2004 8:29 pm

unjonharley wrote:Sliver2, You seem to be over acting. All gal needs to do at BM is go for the eyes and start screaming. Our camps are so close togeather you can't snezz with out having some ones attention. I'm sure that will take care of it.
How to walk??lol Most are running around half or all naked. They are having fun.

Listen up girls. If your in trouble start making as much noise as possible.


There is always SOMEONE around you at burning man, just start screaming "help" SOMEONE will get the hint and jump in.

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Postby Bob » Sun Jun 20, 2004 9:01 pm

Jesus Tiberius Christ, just bring your kids, or not.
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Postby actiongrl » Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:09 am

What Bob said. As usual, mostly.
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