Adding 20 virgins to a camp of 30 vets: How to grow?

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Adding 20 virgins to a camp of 30 vets: How to grow?

Postby Claun » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:37 pm

Hey all, first post. I hope this is the right place, as opposed to the 2011 theme camp subforum.

Anyway. 2011 is going to be my second burn. I'm on the board of a stil-fairly-new theme camp, and we're picking up a lot of new members this year. There's 30 or 40 existing members (can't remember off the top of my head) and about 20 newbies to be brought up to speed.

Our camp has a pretty good thing going on, that we've figured out the details of after a couple years. Some of us want to help the newbies prep, setup and basically do one big camp with lots of inexperienced folk running around. Others want the new kids to be their own subgroup that we direct and advise.

Have any of you been throug something like this? Is there a good way to go about it? Things to avoid?

Any tips for balancing the exsting groups aversion to carrying the new guys, with their need for help? Or the self sustaining-ness of the new group with the cohesion of our group as a whole?

Thanks, cheers!
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Postby dragonpilot » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:46 pm

Us and them segregation thing? Just let everyone blend in. Because they may be new to BM doesn't mean that the new folks don't have experience to contribute.

I brought a new Burner to a camp that had been around for years and he showed them how to run a camp kitchen and put out great meals.

For sure, you may want to screen potential campmates to determine compatibilities and skills. Your camp may not be everyone's cup o' tea. Be sure new campmates understand what they are signing up for.
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Postby gaminwench » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:08 pm

Integration!
Pair each newbie with a burner ( in our camp, the newbie has to find their own 'sponsor' before they're accepted) as a playabuddy. This is primarily a pre-playa relationship, one-on-one, wherein the newbie can safely ask every single silly question and the vet revels in sharing endless playa tales, all the while educating 'their' newbie, thereby creating a 'stealth' virgin - informed, prepared, connected...
Once in BRC, vet introduces buddy around, then they're each free to fly on their own!
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Postby jkisha » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:17 pm

Good idea gamin wench.

I think increasing your camp by more than half with newbies (strangers especially) will be a big mistake and something you will come to regret.)
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Postby Trishntek » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:18 pm

I agree,,,, don't go plugging people into pigeon holes based solely upon whether they've been on the playa or not. Being seasoned campers, living in dry climates, dealing with noisy neighbors, creating dining cuisine out of a hodge-podge of ingredients are just a few of the abilities people could have "onboard" with or without ever experiencing a burn.

Sure, their has to be some kind of pecking order, but we've found if you simply let people be themselves and allow them to create according to their proclivities, it can become an amazing symbiosis never imagined. Encourage the willing, work with the uncertain and acknowledge that some just may be left in the dust. DO NOT ALLOW DRAMA QUEENS and KINGS to destroy the harmony of the camp. Deal with those kind of issues quickly and judiciously. If all you have left is to kick 'em out of the camp,,,,, sucks to be them,,,, but it is better than ruining everyone's burn.
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Re: Adding 20 virgins to a camp of 30 vets: How to grow?

Postby Sic Pup » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:24 pm

Claun wrote:Any tips for balancing the exsting groups aversion to carrying the new guys, with their need for help?


You did say the existing group has been to BM before didn't you?
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:51 pm

Also...please, please, please tell me the group will have the opportunity to mingle in person prior to meeting on the playa?

If not...YIKES!

Most successful camps like this do it by the sponsorship route. An experienced camp member has to sponsor someone into the group.
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Postby graidawg » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:52 pm

I no there's no snark on page one but

adding twenty virgins to your old theme camp,
could be slightly tricky, guess you'll need a plan!

sorry it just sounded like the 4 and 20 virgins song.

guess i'm thinking about songs and poems too much just ignore me
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Postby jkisha » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:09 pm

Lord Of Ruin wrote:
Most successful camps like this do it by the sponsorship route. An experienced camp member has to sponsor someone into the group.


Good advice, but this doesn't even guarantee a successful fit. I can tell you from experience.
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Postby Claun » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:20 pm

[quote="graidawg"]I no there's no snark on page one but

adding twenty virgins to your old theme camp,
could be slightly tricky, guess you'll need a plan!
[/quote]

Not snarky at all. I feel like it'll be harder than I imagine, and we haven't really started planning. That's why I want to reach out to some existing wisdom!

@sic pup: yes, the 30 in our existing group are all vets.

@lord of ruin: all of the newbies have met someone in the existing group. They're all vetted, by way of being brought in by a member, but we haven't had a chance to all mingle before hand. Inevitably, many of the vets and virgins will be meeting for the frst time on the playa.

@gaminwench: this is an interesting idea. Most of our virgins know each other. Its mainly two new groups that know some of our members who are being brought in. There could be a way for an exsting memeber to be their guide, and help each group of virgins prep. Were building (or built) most of the amenities for the camp already, so they'd really only need to be responsible for their personal stuff, food and contrbution to the groups resources. Ill have to explore that...


There's no disagreement that wed like to pull in these new membes. They're all cool, and vouched for by current members. I'm really only worried about how do you prepare for such a large group?

Last year was a lot of work, and a couple of our members are already a little upset that they don't want to get stuck doing prep for another 20 people. I'm really warming up to gaminwench's idea of setting up buddies, even if its one vet to a handful of virgins, and pushing each group of virgns to be as independant/self-sufficient as possible -- with the main group right there for advice and help when they need it.
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Postby jkisha » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:02 pm

Claun wrote:Last year was a lot of work, and a couple of our members are already a little upset that they don't want to get stuck doing prep for another 20 people.


Now this is surprising. Are these newbies going to be royalty or guests to your camp that the old timers are to tend to their every need? Or are they going to be camp MEMBERS and PARTICIPANTS?

Just because they are new is no reason to treat them any differently than any other member of the camp. They each should be assigned an area of responsibility--what they are responsible for bringing, what days they will be responsible for mooping, what they are responsible for during setup and/or tear-down, etc.

AND, these responsibilities need to be spelled out IN ADVANCE and they need to know that your camp has no tolerance for slackers.
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:14 pm

Since it seems like you have a handle on integrating them and whether they'll fit with the vibe of your camp, I'd offer this:

Start now using a list from the survival guide, and create a list of what exactly the camp will provide. Be explicit...where possible describe size, or quantity (you'll get breakfast every day for 5 days, outside that you're responsible fro your own)

More importantly, make and publicize a list of what each camp member must do and must bring. YOU tell THEM that as a minimum yuo expect each camp member to have x, y, z.

Things on that second list I'd put things like tent, a chair or other seating for each person, 1.5 gal. of water per day (if applicable, etc)

I'd personally avoid delegating big/core tasks to them, instead choosing to go the dues route and then have an original core member purchase/build the core item (with help fro newbies if you like).

I've seen camps that trusted newbies to do things like bring camp kitchen, build camp shower or evap pond, provide shade for 20 people, etc.

Let's just say that perceptions of quality differ and the end result was very no bueno for all.

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Postby Savannah » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:25 pm

I'm really warming up to gaminwench's idea of setting up buddies, even if its one vet to a handful of virgins, and pushing each group of virgns to be as independant/self-sufficient as possible -- with the main group right there for advice and help when they need it.


I think "one vet to a handful of virgins" is great, even better than 1-on-1 buddies.

A small circle of virgins for each of 4 or 5 truly extroverted, interested "social hub" style veterans might be advantageous, because 1-on-1 means there is actually a strange pressure to be a person's "everything", whereas someone who has several lesser charges--well, there's the automatic realization that they will have less time and you're expected to step up to the plate.

Also, not everyone is cut out for being a guide even if they're experienced and nice, whereas some people really enjoy it, and & can send a person on their way with enough info to deal. Others, alternatively, may take on too much/not know when to say "no" and then quietly resent it & not enjoy themselves. I've seen it happen.

Encouraging the virgins to be self-sufficient is key, agreed.
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Postby peachandpapa » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:07 pm

Claun, you mentioned that a portion of your camp was upset with having to do most of the work last year... Wait until 20 newbies show-up! I'll guarantee that over half of them won't raise one finger with set-up, tear down, or anything that constitutes work. Have fun mediating some arguments. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I believe you are biting off way too much when it comes to newbie inclusion.
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Postby Trishntek » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:45 pm

Yeah, but how much are a pair of perky tits on display around camp worth? What about the hunk chic magnet who creates these oddly entertaining moments of lust on parade that nobody else can do? What are these worth? Cultivate an individual's natural abilities and overcome the feeling that everyone must do that which everyone else must do. Of course infrastructure assembly and strike should be participated with by all campers. But maybe those who simply cannot fit that into their travel plans may bring something that nobody else provides. Is that not worth the trade-off?

I'm just sayin' individuals must be encouraged to express themselves in every way possible. If we make it so structured and regimented, it becomes too much like work. We asked ourselves one simple question and it helps keep it all in perspective. We simply ask the question, "Why are we doing this?" The simple answer for us is, "To make people happy."

If anything gets in the way of that basic goal, we must question ourselves whether it's really worth taking it seriously.
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Postby jkisha » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:10 pm

Trishntek wrote:Yeah, but how much are a pair of perky tits on display around camp worth? What about the hunk chic magnet who creates these oddly entertaining moments of lust on parade that nobody else can do? What are these worth?


Not very much when you end up spending two or three extra days on the playa cleaning up their mess and hauling out their trash. Our camp was over-run with sparkleponies last year, so I know of what I speak. You end up feeling more like supporting cast in your own camp.
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Postby Trishntek » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:54 pm

LNT is always primary for everyone in our camp. I keep people responsible and it doesn't take long for everybody to participate in pickin up after themselves. I admit I've never had a true sparklepony camp mate experience.

In fact, we've had the pleasure of enjoying all seasoned burners in our camp.
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Postby TomServo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:04 pm

With a camp that large, plan a camp meeting at the beginning. Make sure everyone knows who each person is, and has an idea of how to approach them. The sponser idea sounds pretty cool! Ive noticed, the more comradery that exists in a camp, the better the camp functions.
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Quality over quantity, as always

Postby Elliot » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:59 am

:D
Claun, I have done something like this. In 2007 I organized a Theme Camp with 25 members, and close to half of them were birgins. But most of them were people I already knew and personally recruited, and the rest were friends of theirs. So it turned out wonderfully.

Still, we wound up with two "hangers-on" who had no business participating (trying to participate) in BM. We decided "If we get stuck here until January, we eat those two first". So my recommendation is that you be careful about admitting strangers. Lots of people do not a good theme camp make. Good people who get along well do.
:D
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Re: Quality over quantity, as always

Postby Trishntek » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:06 am

Elliot wrote::D
Claun, I have done something like this. In 2007 I organized a Theme Camp with 25 members, and close to half of them were birgins. But most of them were people I already knew and personally recruited, and the rest were friends of theirs. So it turned out wonderfully.

Still, we wound up with two "hangers-on" who had no business participating (trying to participate) in BM. We decided "If we get stuck here until January, we eat those two first". So my recommendation is that you be careful about admitting strangers. Lots of people do not a good theme camp make. Good people who get along well do.
:D


I don't know if it makes any difference, but we are a 21 and older camp too. In fact we will have signs this year indicating, "Minors shall be EATEN!"
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Postby FIGJAM » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:18 am

Careful Elliot.

Remember, you are who you eat! :wink:
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Postby Elliot » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:23 am

:D
WARNING: Thread drift in progress.
:wink:
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Postby ygmir » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:25 am

Elliot wrote::D
WARNING: Thread drift in progress.
:wink:


seems this is where I show up............
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