How to Join a Theme Camp

Whether you're a registered theme camp or not this is the place to discuss and share camp plans, find a camp to join, or recruit new campmates.

Postby C.f.M. » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:06 am

Smashy's far, far from a hater.

And his post wasn't "bashing," either. He made a specific comment on the rideshare, per someone who was on it.

The subsequent reference was to the "vibe" of your camp (new age-y, "hippy"), nothing more.

I heard the same tale, straight from the mouth of the guy who had to wait while people who took the same waytoolong ride - for free - scrounged for tickets at the gate.

In addition, I can recall 2 or 3 other conversations between people regarding Sacred Spaces (I, myself, don't really know what it is) taking people's money then refusing them camping space. They only stuck out because I'd vaguely recalled reading about the village here on Eplaya.

So, whether it's true or not, people are not saying nice things about Sacred Spaces. Don't kill the messengers.
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:10 am

Veleda, "apology" accepted, though it wasn't an apology nor a negative comment on our fine theme camp. Indeed, thank you for the kind words.

Won't be a the S.F. decom; if I make one it will be Sacramento's. They need to do those things on Saturday because some of us actually work on Monday. I realize lazy unemployed hippies are not effected by such things. And don't get me started on the French.
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Postby veleda » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:32 am

If this is a really a legitimate issue.. I would love to talk with this person.

We didn't have any buses camping with us and it sounds pretty ridiculous to me. I can imagine a group of people who are lazy and didn't buy their tickets in advance but its seems highly unlikely given we had higher camp dues this year (due to purchasing a number of structures for camp) that we had people who could afford camp dues and somehow not afford their BM tickets.

It honestly seems shady to me but if this legitimately happened... I'd like to know who so it can be addressed internally. Once again, no one in any part of our camp can remember any bus related to our camp...so i have to wonder if this was really us..or whether these people were even camping with us... or just coming to try to camp around us. We had a good 50 or so people that i know wanted to camp close to us to be near us for activities. Maybe its one of those groups..

In regards to camping - we had two full blocks (D through F) and we also grabbed a little chill space F-G for people wanting quiet and for overflow. As far as I know everybody had a space. There are always sparklponies that don't like they space they get. We have one RV on our power grid that the girl didn't like the 'location' cause she thought it was too rowdy but it was what we had. We had a few people that wanted to be in main block that came late in the week and needed to be in our flow zone.. We had a few people show up with RVs who hadn't told us about them and were not on our grid that we didn't have space for. Surprise RVs take up a lot of space. We do our best to accomodate everyone even when they show up with twice the amount of gear they put on thei gear information when they registered. I know its a struggle for a lot of camps not just my own.

We do our best every year. No one beyond the RV girl who didn't like area of our camp we had our power grid RVs have asked for a refund and she is a long-time member of our camp and was fine with us comping her power grid fees next year. The only time that happened was in 2008 when we were cut 1/3 of our space onsite by BMORG when we arrived and there was absolutely nothing we could do about it. That was an epic disaster not our fault and we didn't have space for everyone. We didn't have funds (we're a non-profit and our core team had already poured about 10,000 of personal money into the camp that year, we ended up deeply in the red) to give refunds but we did comp everyone that asked the following year. Maybe that is what you are referring to? That is very old news.

Despite the fact that I get infinite amounts of praise for what we are doing on and off playa.. it seems like the people on eplaya in general love to hate on my village. Maybe its because we are big , maybe its because we're new (started in 08), maybe its because we are spiritual.. Who Knows.. But i don't see anyone else get this much scrutiny and its pretty frustrating and hurtful given how many thousands of hours our core team puts in every year volunteering in an effort to do something awesome and provide a great service to the BRC Community. I could certainly instead just go and party ..

Ya, sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes the rebar puller disappears and we're stuck using vise grips for two days of strike.. sometimes a bunch of things happen..but every year we get infinitely better and have stronger and stronger year round community and leadership. Every year our temple projects are smoother, easier, and more beautiful.. Every year we learn and grow and experiment and discover more about building infrastructure, community, and spiritual space on the playa. I think this is what burning man is about. It's hilarious to me that y'all seem to criticize my village for anything that isn't 'professional service quality providing' like i'm a vendor. OMG the showers went down for a day due to a evap pool problem. You're horrible you didn't give everyone refunds (like this is a business which it isn't). It's an Experiment in Community Co-Creation. This is burning man last I checked. We volunteer to do shit , do it and some of it comes off perfectly and some doesn't. Mostly we accomplish what we set out to do every year.

I'm going to continue to stand by my village and all the awesomeness within it.. and even stand in solidarity with my hippie brothers and sisters (cause we do have a sizable contingent in camp even if its not my thing) against the ridiculous bashing I see on eplaya.

If I just looked at eplaya I would think that we're a disaster and come away with a really different impression than anyone on our core team has about our work on the playa... We had thousands of people coming to our workshops and music events and telling us what a great service we were offering and how deeply they were affected by what we were doing. The starkness of the contrast between eplaya and real life is enough to give me pause.

In the end we have over ~130 of our ~200 person community, actively participate in pre-playa preparations including making art, organizing camp, planning workshops and music performances, building shit, etc. The workshop people and performers in general didn't organize camp but I didn't get a musical performance.. so there goes. The remaining participated in maintaining camp on playa, come from all around the world and include both veteren and virgin burners alike. We ask ourselves every year whether or not we want to become a closed community and become a smaller camp and every year the dialogue is the same that we believe in radical inclusion and feel to make ourselves a closed camp we would be not only denying ourselves the 2-5 superstars we find and add to our posse every year, but we would be going against what we feel is a central tenant of burning man that we all want to foster...so we don't. We're having the conversation again who knows what we'll decide next year.

I have an open door policy on communication. Rather than publicly slandering my village, I would rather someone just shoot me a friggen email and ask questions first. Really we had no bus in my camp. I would know about it if we did as i would have asked them to haul shit for us. ;) All of our peeps write down what they are bringing including tents, structures, and cars and not one has listed a bus so whoever these people are they weren't registered with Sacred Spaces. I don't think my village should be slandered based off of some strange group of hippies that didn't even camp with us (who knows maybe they heard about us since we're an over the top metaphysical camp) who aren't part of our community somehow pissed off someone in another camp.
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Postby veleda » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:41 am

@Dr. Pyro

I hear you. I got laid off in July so it won't be an issue for me this year, but every other year.. i am dragging my ass at 2am on Monday morning doing strike. It's totally insane.

Who knows why we do this to ourselves. :)
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:26 pm

At least you live in SF. Newcastle is 100 miles away, so I have an excuse.

Do me a favor, PM me with your email addy. I want to show you how our village handles space logistics. Maybe you could pick up a pointer or two that could help Sacred Spaces next year. And vice versa.
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Postby sierra_kink » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:46 pm

If I may drag this conversation kicking and screaming back to the point: If you do find a camp that you like AND you have a good rapport with them AND you can come through with your end... it should feel right for both you and the camp. Please don't take offense if you are turned down. It's usually not personal. There are many, many possible reasons. If you feel a serious tug toward a camp it usually shows and on our end it is seriously hard to turn down someone with overflowing enthusiasm.
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Postby veleda » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:12 am

@Dr. Pyro.

I would love that. Every year we try something different and we've yet to fgure out hot to do t well. We were even contemplating tryng to write a program for it!!
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:53 am

velda and doc
I am glad that you are having such a nice conversation. I am trying to make this useful for newbs so that in July when all the questions come in, we can point them here and let them read through a bunch of approaches and opinions. I'd like to de-drift the thread if possible. f you want to go on, you can always post a link here so everyone can find it.
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Postby veleda » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:05 am

@Fishie

By all means sorry for hijacking.. I felt I needed to respond to someone talking smack about my camp on this thread.

All done and look I get to learn some stuff about camp layout mapping from one of the oldest camps on the playa!

woohoo!
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Postby CapSmashy » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:43 pm

Veleda, I was simply relaying what I heard directly from a camp member in regards to his ride out from San Fran to BRC.

So. either he was making it up or you got some people out there in the Bay Area misrepresenting themselves as being part of your camp and offering rideshare space on a school bus.
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Postby Just_Joe » Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:07 pm

sierra_kink wrote:<SNIP>.... If you feel a serious tug toward a camp it usually shows and on our end it is seriously hard to turn down someone with overflowing enthusiasm.

I love you Sierra Kink.
We've never met, but I wanna drive to Vegas tomorrow for the Furthur show @Hard Rock and need a place to camp/stay. Did I mention I love you .. and I don't have funds for camp dues, and need a ticket miracled, and may need to borrow gas money to get home. :D
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Postby mudpuppy000 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:43 am

I wandered through Sacred Spaces one day and really enjoyed it, especially the vodka snowcones. :) Thanks Veleda. :)
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Postby CapSmashy » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:50 am

:::opens mouth, inserts foot:::

Please consider this a retraction of my remarks made about Sacred Spaces village. I aired information that should have been discussed in a less public venue.

Veleda, I humbly apologize to you and your village members for the remarks I made. I spoke from a position of only having one side of the issue to draw from and made an ass of myself as a result. Worse, I made as ass of myself for a camper that we probably would have kicked out of our camp/village had he been in camp long enough during the end of the week to do so.
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Postby veleda » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:41 pm

Thanks Smashy.. I'm really looking forward to getting to the bottom of this weird bus issue anyhow. I will let you know what I found out.
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Postby DesertRat » Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:56 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:I want to show you how our village handles space logistics. Maybe you could pick up a pointer or two that could help Sacred Spaces next year. And vice versa.


I have a question about theme camps. This was my first burn and I went in with the Lamplighters. It was work: got there early to help build the camp, worked multiple bar & kitchen shifts, helped make 200 gallons(!) of bloody marys and of course, lit the city every day from 5-8:30. Stayed til Tuesday to help with take down.

I didn't mind the work, I just thought that with 215 people, the shifts would be less. Even so, I ended up having a great burn and I'll be back.

My question is this: Lamplighters were relatively crammed together in the designated camping area. I would have liked to build a monkey hut w/ room for a tent and maybe a hammock but was told there was no room -- do other theme camps get more space being farther from the center?

I'm thinking of going back solo next year but I really did like the theme camp concept -- not because I'm not self reliant, but because I felt like I was giving something back to BRC -- and I'd like to do it again but with more space.

I live in the desert and am an avid camper as well as a maintenance man so I have some useful skills to contribute -- it was nice to camp at BRC where it was 20 degrees cooler than where I live and work.

sorry I ran on there a bit
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:09 pm

Theme Camps with Early Entry and Placement usually are pretty tight space wise. There are always dramatic and well pointed out exceptions to this rule but by in large Theme Camps are very economical with space.

Unofficial Theme Camps that show up at event opening and do a land grab can have more generous space allotments for their camp members depending on their luck. Generally in my observation the further you get away form the esplanade or major spoke streets the easier it is to get space. Those out on the edge at K seemed to have space-a-plenty.

As the Kim Jung Ill of the Land Grab for my camp I have found that 500 square feet per individual camp member is a good number if you have over 40 people. That is if you are reading this thread to join a camp and instead end up making one your self. Which is always a viable option.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:13 pm

motskyroonmatick wrote:That is if you are reading this thread to join a camp and instead end up making one your self. Which is always a viable option.

yes. You probably have more options than you think you do.
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Postby Trishntek » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:38 pm

It worked for us!
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Postby The CO » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:13 pm

(leaping back to the topic)

Some great advice here.

Tips I'll throw in as the head of a 11 year old camp (& sorry if any of this is repeating earlier statements, but that should give you an idea of the importance of them):

DO:

-Contact camps EARLY! Every year, we are contacted 1-10 people wanting to join our camp.... about a week or two before the burn. I don't even reply to them anymore. We have spent the entire year prepping for this. You are not going to slip right in a week before. If you have not talked to us at least 6 months before the burn, odds are really low of you gettin in.

-Understand & be enthusiastic about the theme of the camp you want to join. The few that I did respond to had no idea what we were about.

-Find out what the camp needs, and bring it.

-Be prepared to do whatever the senior members of your camp ask of you, within reason of course. You are the one trying to join the family. Failure to pull your weight gets you disowned real quick.

-Ask ask ask and get clear answers of how the camp works. You should know before had how food, shelter, waste, dues, all that should work. It's one thing to get fucked by the camp, as illustrated in tales above. It's another if you show up surprised because you didn't listen.

-FOLLOW THE ADVICE HERE!


DONT:

-Expect the camp to buy you anything. That ain't how it works.

-Expect a ride down with no gas money to contribute.
-Show up without a ticket or the money to buy one. These both happened to me, same person. 2 days into being there, we kicked his ass to the curb and left him in the desert. (there's more to that story, but not in this thread) I'm a little bummed he didn't die out there.

-Tell us what a hard worker you are, particularly if you are contacting the camp late in the game. If you are such a hard worker, why have you been so lax in your planning? Actions speak louder than words. Contact early and help the camp for 6 months beforehand. That proves you are a hard worker.

-Sell yourself with any of the following:
My awesome system for recycling! Fuck off. We've been doing this for over a decade. Unless you are going to haul all the trash & recycling out, you are not going to do it better.
Good vibes! I have plenty of those.
Your digiridoo, drum, massage table, whatever. Those don't make the camp function, unless that is the theme.
The fact that your a dj. I can swing a cat by the tail and hit a dozen of those. In fact, I wouldn't tell anyone you're a dj. Ever.

-Get pissy if we don't let you join us. Word gets around, and we will tell other camps to watch out for you if you act like a ass-gasket.


I'm sure I'll think of more...
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Postby pinemom » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:35 pm

I fucking love this thread Fishy!
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Postby C.f.M. » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:01 am

In fact, I wouldn't tell anyone you're a dj. Ever.

A-hahahahahahaha...for reals. :roll:
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Postby The CO » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:11 am

DO:

Bring megaphones for everyone in your camp.

DON'T:
Bring any batteries for them.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:48 am

Has anybody ever told you you are pure evil, CO?
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:49 am

pinemom wrote:I fucking love this thread Fishy!

I'm pleased with how well it's going.
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Postby The CO » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:51 am

Told moi? I've been telling people the truth about myself for years. No one seems to believe it.

<edit> This was post 667 for me, replying to evilness.... Hmmmm.
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:49 pm

I happen to think that The CO's advice is pretty much spot on. Each of his points, contact EARLY, be ENTHUSIASTIC, you'll get 86'ed faster than a drunk at a WCTU convention if you don't pull your own weight (we are expelling some folks from Florida precisely for that reason), read your newsletters or correspondences from your campmates! Be PREPARED!

We don't need any more goddamn lazy piece of shit DJs at Burning Man. You suck and it's about time somebody told that dim and stoned mind of yours. Remember, many are called, few are chosen. If you are a sparkle pony waste of human protoplasm, then though shit for you.

Barbie Death Camp will be back in 2011, and we are accepting applications to join our Village. We accept perhaps 10% of the people who inquire to join our little slice of paradise on the playa, so don't be offended if we say no. If you come across as a drum-banging drug-peddling lazy ass sparkle pony yahoo, might I suggest you contact Gigsville.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:15 pm

[url=http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=37717]When you join a camp, you may have to think about fees. Now there are camps that charge a chunk of money, have it set up when you get there and take care of you in all sorts of ways. You aren't going to find much support for that on this board. We are on the board because we care about the event and we want to think about it year round, improving on our costumes, our theme camps, our mutant vehicles, and our playa events. We might take an RV, but we take that RV so we can put the energy that goes into our camp set up someplace else. Even if our bodies were so old and fucked up that we couldn't do much, we'd still find ways of contributing. So this thread is about eplaya type campers, not the people who want to check off the "burningman" box in the circuit party playbook.
There are lots of people talking about what fees they charge and pay, and it's pretty good stuff. I hope you find something in here that helps you think about what camp fees are for and what "reasonable" might be in different circumstances.[/url]
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Postby Elorrum » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:48 pm

I have a job and a place to live. Two things essential, yet both involved excruciating searches, applications, interviews, rejections. I don't want to go through anything like that for my vacation. Do theme camps even want new people? Is camping in a theme camp something that you could do just one year, be responsible and contribute, and then try another the next year, or is it like asking to join a family? That's a huge difference. Is that a pissy question? uh oh, will reports of my pissy nature be passed through the network now?
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Postby Snow » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:59 pm

1) Don't be a flake! Show up when you say you will, with what you said you would, and don't leave early if you said you'd stay and help. And if you can't do that, let someone know ASAP.

2) No fricken drama queens!

3) Clean up after yourself, no one wants to do it for you.



I've been with the same theme camp for 4 burns now. It fits me well, so why change. As far as I know new people are always friends of members and have been invited. We don't really have an application process.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:40 am

Elorrum wrote: Do theme camps even want new people? Is camping in a theme camp something that you could do just one year, be responsible and contribute, and then try another the next year, or is it like asking to join a family? That's a huge difference. Is that a pissy question? uh oh, will reports of my pissy nature be passed through the network now?

1--Yes. If the organizers say otherwise someone doesn't play well with others. Them or you, I'm not sure.
2--The Booby Bar is pretty much family. The family extends to people who will likely never camp with us like AntiM and Le Chat Noir and Ygmir. But like good families, I don't think that you'd have to slam a door on the way out after a screaming match. But be mindful of the fact that burning hard is a form or insanity. You see how humorless some people get when it comes to their pet project or idea. So, it shouldn't be like a family, but sometimes it is, and at those times getting out fast is a very good idea.
3--Not in my book.
4--Too late, you posted on the web. It will be in every job and apartment application for you from now on.
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