How to Start 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 Packoderm » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:00 pm

Interview them? Never done that. By the looks of the other camps on the playa, it doesn't look like it does much good anyway. (kidding - sort of) We just try to hint to new members that they might want to be able to make it on their own if they don't feel comfortable. We do ask whether or not they are crackheads. I really don't know if that is an automatic disqualification, but our founding member mentioned that in her welcoming manifesto.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby playagoddess » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:44 pm

Hey there! I'm starting a camp with friends this year but we didn't register as an offical camp because we didn't have enough together by then or know how many people we'd have. Now... we have about 20 people, maybe more, and we're starting to worry about finding a space.

Anyone have suggestions on good places to look for a large space (at least 50'x50')? Or on how to systematically find that space once you get there? Or how to ward off poachers of that space once you choose it?
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:16 pm

If you're coming in on monday there will be plenty of room.

Zoom in and play with this to give you ideas.

http://www.gigapan.org/gigapans/fullscreen/66285/

I think it was taken on thursday. 8)
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby Matrushka » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:40 am

Is possible, for camp to start as idea, then take on life of own. Like Peoples Revolution.

Are you loyal? Or are you counter-revolutionary subversive element?

Fate favors true revolutionary! Become party member today.

(That is how camp is started, comrade.)
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby atomicray » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:35 pm

I hope everyone who is going has made progress or made it safely!

The subject of a themed camp is a good one.

Lots of good information.

So basically if you want to create a themed camp there are two directions...

1) officially and thus gain early entrance, guaranteed spot, on the printed/web based map, etc.

or

2) unofficial, show up when everyone else does, can be on the local listing by registering at the event, take a chance with the location/spot

*****

For a small group it would seem the easiest way would be to show up ready to work the first day, do what you can, and then enjoy the event.

A quick question...if one such as I were to show up with ticket in hand, does the ticket provide me with a certain amount of space? One ticket equals 20'x20' for example.

A second part of the question, while at the gate with ticket in hand, is it a crap shoot and setup where you can or do you pick a spot on the map at the gate?

A read several stories of people showing up at the dead of night and surprise! So I suspect it is more of the crap shoot.

Are there certain areas that are always in the same relative spots?

Like the ranger and medical stations...the big sound sites at 2 and 10...the kids zone...

Is there some effort made with the questionnaire to keep the family friendly zones a bit further away from the ravers, full nudity camps, the 24/7 open bar sites?

Another thought please...can a person set their camp a bit off the great arc? Bringing an RV I don't want to have the generator bother anyone if I can help it. I plan on having a baking oven, large BBQ rig, and an aluminum recycling/forging setup to make gifting pieces with sand cast aluminum...all this should be away from the casual neighbor.

I have been working out the details that are unfamiliar to me like the gifting...I like the idea of setting up a can collecting/crushing/shredding station to make gifting cast pieces...a sand cast burning man for example.

This would allow me to create something from nothing as well as being involved with the whole event process.

Thanks for any constructive input!

Atomic Ray

PS
We have a couple more people that have popped up, all birgins, who are planning on bringing a pile of kids (12-14yrs). They want to be close to the kids camp/village if possible...do they request this through official channels or just show up and hope for the best? They are not part of my project group in any manner and in truth I would rather be as far from kids central as possible...the last thing I would want to happen is for a curious George to get burned by one my ovens.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:54 pm

You don't get a certain amount of space. You can fence off more than 20x20 but if you don't use it, neighbors will be poofy.
No, you have to find a place on the ground and negociate with your neighbors to be sure that you like them and aren't mussing up their plans.
Some things are always in the same places--medical outposts at 3 and 9 and main med tent in centercamp. Same with rangers. DMV in center camp. I'm less certain about things like camps and villages, although they can stay in the same general place...
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby atomicray » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:08 pm

Thanks fish!

I need to get a general idea which veterans show up where so I can fit in better :D

Hey...is staying outside the main arc ok or do I have to stay within the established streets?
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby Ugly Dougly » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:34 pm

Only within designated camping areas. You'll get a map if you haven't already.
And don't forget to burn in a clockwise direction!
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby knowmad » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:51 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:Only within designated camping areas. You'll get a map if you haven't already.
And don't forget to burn in a clockwise direction!

We use a digital clock. Is it wise? please advise.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:35 am

There's walk in camping, but apart from that it's conformiing to the grid.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby atomicray » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:02 pm

All this conforming is quite appealing to my wide conservative streak :mrgreen:
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby tamarakay » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:37 am

Uh oh, we have an idea...
:D
Maybe it's second year megolamania or whatever, but Kendoll and I are thinking of having a scarf painting/design/create your own kind of little camp. Most likely, if Doc let's us, as part of the Barbie Death Village, or if that doesn't work out, our own little place. Either way, if we had a few more people to bounce ideas around with and help create it would be just grand.

It's a two part idea. First, have several different shapes, sizes, types of material and some fabric dyes and fabric paints. I'm particularly liking how silk takes the diluted fabric dyes. We are thinking a monkey hut, tarp the heck out of the ground, we can hang fabrics from clotheslines and have some work tables available. Have it open during the day, maybe like 1 - 5? So it would be a place to stay cool during the heat of the day, have some creative fun, and at the end of it have a nice scarf (dust mask) that you designed as a keepsake. If anyone is familiar with kids painting supplies, you know the little cups that have lids you can poke the paintbrushes through? Those seem to work really well with the dye, keeps it more contained, not as much spillage.

Second part is to have a juice/lemonaid/tea bar along with it. Cool drinks for sure, we were thinking of maybe doing quesidillas but don't really want to mess with the whole health inspection thing, maybe 2013 can add that. Trying to keep it simple, but still interesting and fun for our first year to plan a little place.

So, thoughts?
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby deutlich » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:44 am

I love this idea. It would be so sweet to participate in something like this at my first burn.

::here's to keepin' all fingers and toes crossed that stars align and tickets are acquired. planning/saving sure helps. :) ::
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:09 am

Great idea!

Add making camp flags! 8)
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby Packoderm » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:02 am

I was thinking it would be fun for our camp to have a tie-die craft table.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:29 am

Go for it, Tamerkay. My advise is to do it M, W, F or Tuesday Thursday, so you're not burning yourselves out. If it works, you can always expand.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby atomicray » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:16 pm

The one off thought is the clean up.

Sounds like fun but there will be dirty water and old dye to contend with.

I would also bring wax to create Batik.

Good luck with your plans!

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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:13 am

Tamara, you have my complete blessings for this project! We are firm believers in this being a do-versity, and whatever our fellow campmates can dream up we will happily try to make it a reality. Looks like a fun endeavour for 2012.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby tamarakay » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:41 pm

atomicray wrote:The one off thought is the clean up.

Sounds like fun but there will be dirty water and old dye to contend with.

I would also bring wax to create Batik.

Good luck with your plans!

Atomic Ray


I just noticed the Texas again. Yeah for more Texans!
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REBAR CAMP

Postby vangran » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:00 pm

I have this idea that i would like to just show up with lots of rebar,rebar benders, cutters and other tools to help other campers with camp set-up. Firstly just help with making "candy canes" out of your rebar or gifting readymades until my supplies run out. I think I would like to bring as much PVC,EMT,Ropes Tarps Etc. so people could play with different types of simple camp structures and maybe sit around drink RUSTY NAILS and talk about rebar and camp theory. Am I a total nerd? or does this sound like something worth doing?
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:26 pm

Bah. We like nerds. Nerds have knowledge and build things.

Sparkleponies would be all over that help.
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Re: REBAR CAMP

Postby Savannah » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:02 pm

vangran wrote:I have this idea that i would like to just show up with lots of rebar,rebar benders, cutters and other tools to help other campers with camp set-up. Firstly just help with making "candy canes" out of your rebar or gifting readymades until my supplies run out. I think I would like to bring as much PVC,EMT,Ropes Tarps Etc. so people could play with different types of simple camp structures and maybe sit around drink RUSTY NAILS and talk about rebar and camp theory. Am I a total nerd? or does this sound like something worth doing?


I think you might be in for a lot of visitors, once you help one or two folks out (or if you have a sign). A friend of mine does repairs for hours a day at the Burn. He's unlisted, but word gets around.

I love the idea of serving rusty nails, as well.
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rebar camp

Postby vangran » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:54 pm

thanks for your comments. I don't really mind being a nerd. I'm getting homesick thinking about it all and looking forward to giving something back to any burners who can use my help, sparkle pony or whoever.
I am just going to start with the idea and plan to show up solo and try to carry it off. I would be really happy though, if anyone wanted to join in. I could imagine a campfull of camping gearheads helping less experienced folks get past the basics so they can just enjoy the burn in relative comfort. I mean who doesn't like getting drunk and giving advice?
one disadvantage to being solo is either not being able to be in camp 24/7 to keep it open or not being able to experience the burn from any perspectice besides my little camp. Having fellow campers involved would be great . Maybe i should start a new topic and see if i can generate any interest.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby britzbitz » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:08 am

I'm involved in starting a new theme camp this year. This should be interesting. fck.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby constabEL » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:12 am

My daughter and I started and co-mayored THE SPRAWL in 2006, featuring The SunScreenStation.
If Burners forgot to bring along sunscreen, we provided a quick supplement, plus lemonade and cookies.
We advertised through BRC-type websites; I brought Orange County Burners; my daughter brought an old b/f and his friends.
Our 15-20 campers each contributed 1-2 gallons water (for the lemonade) and a few extra tubes of sunscreen.
I paid for the cookies, a PVC Geometry Dome, camo-netting, and a big tarp. We charged no dues.
30+ Playazens per day loved having sunscreen applied, drank some lemonade, but ignored the cookies. We persevered and improved.

BY 2011, WE WERE PLEASURE GARDEN WITH 30 CAMPERS, PART OF SNOWFLAKE VILLAGE. DUES COVERED LOTS MORE LOTION.
WE SLATHERED HUNDREDS OF PLAYAZENS EACH DAY AT 6:30 AND ESPLANADE, AND HEARD WE WERE APPRECIATED BY THE BORG!
MY DAUGHTER HAD MOVED ON TO BECOME RANGER SPATCH; A GREAT NEW MAYOR LET ME BECOME AN ACTIVE CAMPER.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby Dr. Pyro » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:46 pm

I have have to chime in. We began Barbie Death Camp in 2000 with 11 lousy Barbies hammered into the playa on tent stakes. We had them marching into an E-Z Bake Oven, with a hand drawn sign simply saying Barbie Death Camp and some other nonsense. One of our mates said we should do it just one more year adding a wine bistro. We went from six of us in 2000 to 13 in 2002 to 20 in 2003...you can see where this is going. By the time we were absorbed into Wheeeee!Ville in 2005 we were up to 60. By the time W!V split off into Gigsville and Barbie Death Village in 2008 we were up to 100. In 2011 we were something north of 200. It was never meant to become what it became. It was a stupid idea brought on by an old copy of National Lampoon. And now look at us: a playa institution. So when you are planning to do a theme camp, be careful what you wish for. Sometimes success can be overwhelming, assuming you do it right.

And our 11 Barbies? Now they number over 1400. Some kind of a death camp we run.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby CaptainVic » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:45 pm

I have been a member/participant in larger theme camps several times, and have served as the organizer of smaller theme camps (15-30 members) eight times. I have also had many discussions with other camp organizers over the years. Here are a few things I have learned.

There are as many ways to organize a theme camp as there are ideas for theme camps. Having said that, it is much easier to organize a smaller camp. Big camps are a lot of work, and it is typical for organizers of big camps to participate in little outside of their camp. For some people, organizing and managing a camp is great fun, and Burning Man benefits greatly from their work. However, many people that initially offer to help organize a camp get bogged down when faced with this large and complex task, and may drop the ball. Primary organizers will find that many of their willing "helpers" will actually do much less than you would like. That does not have to be big problem, but just like planning for bad weather, camp organizers need to anticipate flaky camp mates. So, unless your have camped with them before and seen them do a lot of heavy lifting, don't put big expectations on new camp members. When making plans with new camp mates, it is a good idea to step down your expectations.

Camp dynamics are particularly important to me, and I would rather pick a congenial group first, and then figure out a theme and interactive events for the camp. With flexible people, it is not that hard to get agreement on cooperative events. With this in mind, we don't invite people to camp with us that we do not know well.

In our camps, we have usually had an organizer that took care of communications with prospective members, applications, postings of events for the program, collecting camp dues, and figuring out how to arrange the camp (where each person/group will be located); and an art director to lead creative activities (camp decoration, costume themes for our parades, nature of performance art, and so on). This division of leadership has worked well for us. It is the art director that organizes the camp planning meetings, and the work parties for camp decorations and art.

Camp dues - Most, but not all, theme camps require membership dues ranging from $20 up to $500 or more per person. We use camp dues for purchase of swag imprinted with our camp logo, bar supplies, and special pieces of equipment (lighting gear, extension cords). We ask that all camp members commit to being in the camp by paying their dues a month in advance, and we don't let them camp with us if they don't pay in advance.

In a small camp, it is easier to manage group meals. We ask that everyone be self-reliant for their food and sleeping shelter, and the camp organizer arranges for a communal shade structure, shower, and evaporation pond. We organize group meals on an ad hoc basis. That is, some days we have group meals for the whole camp with each individual providing something, and on other days we eat independently. This works for us, and works better when the camp has 15 members than when we have 30.

Clean-up - It is essential that several of your most reliable camp mates stay to the end and make sure that you leave no trace.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby LilMonster » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:56 am

I have an idea for a camp. I want to find people who are as into my idea and that can help me make it real. Would I just post my idea up on the theme camp ideas and wait for interested people? Or is there any other way to find help?

Hints my name lil monster...I want to do a camp for all the little monster to come and party hard to lady gaga dubstep/music. It would be amazing to step into the themed world of mother monster!!! There are so many fans of hers I can't be the only one with this idea? This theme camp would be a place to feel free and love yourself for who you are. Gaga is so up lifting and inspiring, I can only see good coming for a gaga themed camp.
:mrgreen: And when I say gaga themed I dont mean pictures of gaga hung up...I mean a crazy world of color, music, fashion, art, with the message of being free. I think alot of it would be based off her video born this way....thats a trippy video and a great starting point to pull ideas from! I want people to walk into it not seeing gaga's picture but feeling her vibe.

???? Any suggestions on how to create this camp
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:36 am

Okay, I'm just going to start by acknowledging that there's always the chance I'm being trolled. This is directed at those with at least 25 posts, who tend to point this out, forgetting that a little bit of tolerance at the beginning of someone new's membership in this board, is easy and kind and reflects better on us.

Lilmonster, as I understand it sound camps are very difficult to create. They take a lot of personnel and a lot of money. And dubstep is not a playa novelty that will make it easy to persuade people that they are doing something new and different. I don't know a lot about it, but from what Simon's said there's a couple hundred--or more--people involved in making Root Society and that the bills are in the 10s? 100s? of thousands of dollars. Is this your first burn? It's hard to be sure, but the fact that you're talking about an artist and not a camp might indicate that you have no idea what you're getting yourself into. Yeah, biting off more than you can chew can be a good thing out there, sometimes. I'd suggest you work for one of the sound camps for a year or as an apprenticeship in the whole running a sound camp "thing". And as an opportunity to meet some people who might work with you later. I'm sure that there will be other suggestions, of varying worth, to come.
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Re: How to Start a Theme Camp

Postby trilobyte » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:50 am

Start up a thread to outline your plan and invite other like-minded people to contact you. Anticipate that there will be a fair amount of snarky (generally good-natured teasing/sarcastic) responses, careful to not let them get to you or to take the bait and get into a heated argument.

Once you find some campmates and collaborators, it should be easier for you to determine the scale of your camp and your projects (will the sound be boombox class, or require tens of thousands of watts to power, etc). Good luck!
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