Question for experienced camp hosts - please advise?

Locked
rrrenata
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:17 am
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Question for experienced camp hosts - please advise?

Post by rrrenata » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:52 pm

Hey there!

I want to host a theme camp this year, based around vocal music. I have done some recruiting in various ways, and am running into the same problem over and over again.

Right now, I am at a stand-still. My problem seems to be that:

1) I can't properly plan without knowing how many people will be camping with us / helping out (manpower) during and before BM
2) People won't 'sign up' without knowing the plan


How have you dealt with this in the past? I need one to get the other, and don't know how to get around that.

User avatar
Elderberry
Moderator
Posts: 14864
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:00 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Mudskipper Cafe
Location: Palm Springs
Contact:

Post by Elderberry » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:04 pm

Decide on the number ofpeople you want. Decide on what you want to do and how much it will cost. Divide the cost by the number of people to determine the dues. Then start recruiting.

Be prepared to make up the cash difference between the number of people that sign on and your goal, assuming you don't get the number you are hoping for,

If you can't afford to make up the deficit out of your own pocket, and don't have the confidence you can sell the experience to the number of people you need, you shouldn't be organizing a camp.
JK
Image
http://www.mudskippercafe.com
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me

User avatar
oneeyeddick
Posts: 5592
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:08 pm
Burning Since: 1996
Location: Probably in your pants

Post by oneeyeddick » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:10 pm

It helps if you have SOME idea of what you want to do in the first place.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

User avatar
Trishntek
Posts: 3463
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:27 pm
Burning Since: 2010
Camp Name: Retrofrolic!
Location: Ventura, CA, USA
Contact:

Post by Trishntek » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:26 pm

Start with what you have and hold onto the potential for growth. Put forth your vision. It doesn't have to be specific, but if you at least express what you KNOW can happen with a little help, you will find some interest. People don't mind getting involved with something they feel comfortably sure will succeed.
RETROFROLIC, the place of Pink, Pain and Pleasure!
http://www.retrofrolic.com
Some call me Tnt,,,, works for me!

User avatar
C187
Posts: 715
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:39 am
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: BRC Welding & Repair / Black Hole
Location: Vancouver

Post by C187 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:29 pm

Another idea would be to start out with a layout/plan/ext of a low member set-up that could scale. Aim low and build on it.
I have a little bit of Savannah with me. Shhh...

rrrenata
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:17 am
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Post by rrrenata » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:39 pm

I am hoping to create this camp without dues - once I get people together, we'll figure out how to pay for it. I don't have cash to fund an entire camp, so my plan is to figure out how many people / how much money we'll have collectively, and then plan on what we will and own't have from there.

I outlined a whole bunch of ideas in a number of different forums - here, facebook, and google documents. In included what I've been telling people below the ">>>". Do you think there's something else that would be helpful?

Thanks for what you've shared so far :) Trishntek, my partner and I have already hosted our sandboxes [workshop-esque place for similar play to our camp ideas] on our own...do you think there's a way to mention that, that would be useful?

More general questions:
-Can you register as a theme camp with only 5 people?
-If I do submit a plan with only having 5 definite YES people and 10+ maybes, should I just plan the space as if there were 15ish people camping there?
-Can anyone share their story or method of this need-to-plan-before-recruit-before-submit plans-before-recruit-before-submit-plans whirlwing?



>>>>>>>>

We are looking for:
-people who want to camp with us
-manpower to put this camp together
-advice, ideas
-people! :)

______________
our collective brainstorm thus far:

[b]what do we want out of camping together?[/b]

-communal meal(s)
-people to sing with
-safe, comfortable space
-rehearsal space for playa choir
-performance space for playa choir
-communal kitchen [so that it can be totally awesome]
-communal shade structure


[b]Camp Idea:[/b]
Singer's Sandbox Camp
[i]Transcending notes and words to make music with voice.
[/i]
Vision: A creative, constructive playground for vocal enthusiasts.

based on our current "workshop" series: http://renatamartin.com/singerssandbox.html

The idea of the camp would be to provide a place to sing at burning man! There is a lot of music going on, and there are even 2 solid singing groups: Accaplaya and the Playa Choir. I envision a shaded space and lots of throat nurturing substances (water, lemon, honey...), musical instruments (or at least things to bang on, find a pitch, make tones...?), and people there and wandering through who want to make some music and ring some chords!


At camp:
Why come to our spot?
-throat-nurturing substances (water, lemon, honey...)
-singing instruction / coaching
-space to rehearse for small ensembles
-gather to improv
-musical instruments available
-people around who want to sing! be it jamming, tagging, etc.

Physical space
-GREAT signage + very visible (day and night), tall camp marker
-shade structure
-protection from dust storms
-comfy pillows on the ground
-low lights for nighttime?
-candles?
-electrical generator?
-instruments? [guitars, little drums, voices, a violin, a digjeridoo, a mandolin, saxophone, jaw harps, rain stick, tibetan meditation bowls, pitch pipes...]
-burn barrel? [a 55gallon oil drum, that we can plasma cut designs into [wooo!] and use as a contained fire pit, and a way to burn our trash]

Events:
-Circle-singing
-Tag singing
-"piano tour" -- meet the pianos of black rock city
-Vocal lessons / technique workshop
-our ensemble's (?) concert


_______________


Less structured theme camp idea:

Ideas for contributions:
-barbershop tag singing
-singing technique instruction
-misting people with water
-providing honey and citrus to soothe playa throats
-circle singing [somewhere already communal so we don't have to organize or plan too much - center camp or the temple or etc etc]
---We have someone who is going to create space for daily CircleSong (Tuesday through Saturday); same times: morning or afternoon or evening? WHAT TIME works best? Post your thoughts here...
---same place: will try for heebee geebee healers, other suggestions?
mid-week up all night CircleSong idea at Jazz Cafe: 2-6AM, then take it to Man for sunrise.


_______________________
If you're on facebook, search for "Burning Man Camp: Singers' Sandbox" and join us!

rrrenata
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:17 am
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Post by rrrenata » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:40 pm

C187 wrote:Another idea would be to start out with a layout/plan/ext of a low member set-up that could scale. Aim low and build on it.
Your message came in as I was sending mine :) Good timing. How does the technicality of that work with submitting a plan for placement to BM?

User avatar
C187
Posts: 715
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:39 am
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: BRC Welding & Repair / Black Hole
Location: Vancouver

Post by C187 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:04 am

rrrenata wrote:
C187 wrote:Another idea would be to start out with a layout/plan/ext of a low member set-up that could scale. Aim low and build on it.
Your message came in as I was sending mine :) Good timing. How does the technicality of that work with submitting a plan for placement to BM?
I have no experience with placement from the org as every camp I've stayed at has been a non-placed-non-theme-theme-camp or a structural (for event) camp. Only thing I can tell you is to read the crap out of that placement request form, and take the advise of people who have experience with getting placement.

What I was mostly getting at with my post is while your planing to plan small. The basic minim of what you need for the camp idea you have right now. Then present that and scale up as needed. If for anything else because camps that hold that "go big" attitude normally end up. "going home."

From your posting above I can see you have a well thought out camp idea as it is. So the question becomes are you getting dizzy with what seems like a logistical nightmare? (Not just the whole getting things to the playa, mind you.)

If that's the case here are some of my suggestions, based on what you've listed above.

1) Make sure all your camp-mates are radically self responsible.
-- If each one brings their own food, water, shelter, and other gear that they might need.. You wouldn't have a need to set up things like a group kitchen. Since everyone is taking care of themselves

2) Just because everyone is RSR doesn't negate group bonding or sharing or resources.
-- Sometimes when you provide something like a kitchen space people take it for granted and abuse it. Same is true sometimes with provided meals. But when you remove that structure and service people will still eat together in group shade. Before the event people will (when encouraged) offer a stove for others to use. Normally with conditions like the other people must bring fuel or use their own pan. Going back to a group meal, you can set up a day for a simple group meal (like grilled cheese) where people bring the ingredients collectively or have a pot-luck day. In both cases the cost rolls on the individual and not the group, which in turn saves you money and a headache. Oh! Another nice thing is all week your still going to have people sharing food and so on. Not because they've been told to, but because they want to with new friends.

3)No dues, but suggested items to donate if camping with the camp.
-- You've listed lots of little items your going to need a lot of. Instead of a requirement for everyone to bring X amount of lemons place a total amount your going to need and ask people to post how many they can bring. (btw: this would be something you would do on your camps discussion board (own site, proboards, fb discussion page) or email list) When it's open, you'll get people who want to bring a lot and people who want to bring little, and others that end up bringing because of imaginary peer pressure.

4) Combine structures and spaces to save space and cost.
-- Do you really need three or four spaces for each task or could you organize one space to be a uber area for everything? Like lets say you have a larger flat top group shade and place a stage/preforming area in it all at an angle from the road so you can fit your burn barrel between it and the road. Using large objects like RVs as windblock and having tents/cars behind your shade. Just put up a large whiteboard and update it with whats going on at your camp. (I made a diagram for you here)

5) If you don't get placement you still have the who, what, where, when..
-- Always list what you have going on in the who, what, where, and when. It's fun and easy to do!

6) If you don't get placement, you always have gatecrashing or other ways to snag a good space.
-- If gatecrashing, follow the rules, don't end up in D lot, and pack your car up so the gate staff can poke in quickly. (If stuff is falling out when you open a door or if you have to unstrap something to open a door, you did it wrong.) Then head right for a target area and pop a squat, or the backup target. If the other ways, don't be a dbag and mark off an area until the gate opens. Oh and don't be in a placed area, but you shouldn't be.

Humm... that's all the suggestions I have for now. Use them, or don't. They are just suggestions after all. :D
I have a little bit of Savannah with me. Shhh...

User avatar
Trishntek
Posts: 3463
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:27 pm
Burning Since: 2010
Camp Name: Retrofrolic!
Location: Ventura, CA, USA
Contact:

Post by Trishntek » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:16 am

rrrenata wrote:
Trishntek, my partner and I have already hosted our sandboxes [workshop-esque place for similar play to our camp ideas] on our own...do you think there's a way to mention that, that would be useful?
Yes of course! If you have pictures or other visuals that would be helpful as well.

The application process is very straightforward. The camp layout should be cautiously optimistic and so should the application in general. It's better to have too much space than not enough! Besides, if you strike a chord with someone who likes your theme, you will gain camp mates through the week.

Be realistic in your own mind about what you have and are able to accomplish based upon conditions at-hand. But when filling out the application, be thinking about that magical number of camp mates that would meet what you need to accomplish your goals. Fill out the application with that vision in the mind's eye.
RETROFROLIC, the place of Pink, Pain and Pleasure!
http://www.retrofrolic.com
Some call me Tnt,,,, works for me!

rrrenata
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:17 am
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Post by rrrenata » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:42 pm

[quote="C187"]
Humm... that's all the suggestions I have for now. Use them, or don't. They are just suggestions after all. :D[/quote]

Thanks for your great suggestions, C187! Though I have been remiss in staying on top of this message board, I have been mulling your ideas around in my head for the past several weeks, and they've made me feel a TON better. Yes, I was indeed going crazy with the logistical nightmare...and I still am, to a lesser degree thanks to your optimism and encouragement...but tonight I am just sitting down and doing it!

And Trishntek, THANK YOU for your sage advice. I am in the process of filling out said application right now, and will think bigger than I was. :)


I'll post again when I come up with a magical solution :) ....or at least an okay one.

User avatar
TomServo
Posts: 6160
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:17 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Black Rock City Assholes Union Local 668
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Post by TomServo » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:08 am

If its your first camp, dont plan big, but invite your neighbors to play. I set up my camp way out..but in the end, it wasn't about my camp, but our neighborhood. My camp will be back this year, and I don't care if it becomes a side note. Do what you can and learn from it! Anything you offer will be appreciated by someone!
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

User avatar
Savannah
Moderator
Posts: 12674
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:33 pm
Burning Since: 2023

Post by Savannah » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:24 am

Thanks for your great suggestions, C187! Though I have been remiss in staying on top of this message board, I have been mulling your ideas around in my head for the past several weeks, and they've made me feel a TON better. Yes, I was indeed going crazy with the logistical nightmare...and I still am, to a lesser degree thanks to your optimism and encouragement...but tonight I am just sitting down and doing it!
Rrrenata, you picked a good person to listen to. C187 is speaking particularly of things he has actually seen and been a part of, and the first 4 are my favorite.

kiuney
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:15 pm
Contact:

Post by kiuney » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:16 am

Ah, the joys of theme camp management.... You've received some good advice so far and I just want to reiterate a point that has already been made. Keep it simple and start small. As you sit in the comfort of your living room, it's REALLY easy to get carried away. The first year of a theme camp is very much about throwing something up against a wall and seeing if it sticks. In order not to overwhelm yourself or your budget, try to keep it simple especially if you're envisioning a camp with only 10 people.

I've been co-leading a non-dues collecting camp for 5 years now and the best advice I can give you is to make every person who camps with you participate. Do not let anyone camp "for free." It helps build a cohesive group and will take a lot of the pressure off of you.

Good luck!
Deviant Playground
www.deviantplayground.org
"Scarred for Life...Again."

User avatar
gaminwench
Posts: 3018
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:57 am
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: DOTA, EoD, OBOP, Destiny Lounge
Location: Blue Ridge-la

Post by gaminwench » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:01 pm

re: placement...
For years we hosted acoustic events in our camp, it is essential that you include this information in your application, along with requesting non-sound oriented neighbors.
The year we were placed next to Flight to Mars was super fun, but virtually all of our workshops/performances were drowned out by the massive 24/7 sound system next door - they weren't a sound camp, they were a maze, with a bar hidden at the center... the bar had a huge sound system and enthusiastic up-all-night DJ's...whew!
This will be my 12th burn, all in theme camps... random placement is fun and exciting, but we've found that we're happiest with neighbor camps we 'know'; we've developed a 'neighborhood' that shares/alternates night & daytime activities which complement eachother...

Once you've received your placement info, try to deduce who your neighbors will be, and contact them pre-event to start developing a relationship. Once on the playa, make it your business to meet/greet/fluff all neighbors... tell them your plans, find out what theirs are, so you can work together to best benefit the whole.

One year, our lovely (new) neighbors started setting up a huge speaker stack, pointed right at our performance space. Because we had fluffed them during their build, we were able to express concern without seeming petty - within an hour of realizing that their speakers would 'kill' our vibe, they'd re-imagined their set-up to acommodate.. they're now a permanent part of our neighborhood.

Good luck, you're doing a great job, so far; looking forward to singing in your space...

User avatar
klark44
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:21 pm
Contact:

Post by klark44 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:46 pm

starting a theme camp was the hardest and most fun I ever had. Still waiting for my placement this year and have 600# of clay made and don't know if I have the help that I hage last year, but I have a few new recruites and I still havent been able to afford my ticket yet; starving artist. I will make it I have to. so just do it and pray for fun. If you don't get placed just go and do it. If you don't have the help just do what you can and just do it. see you there at Fire and Mud somewhere on the playa.
Klark Raetz is Fire and Mud
stability is an illusion of the moment

rrrenata
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:17 am
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Post by rrrenata » Mon May 09, 2011 6:03 pm

we did it!

well, i don't know if we've been granted official placement...but i put together a whole bunch of information and ideas into something cohesive enough to get support! wooo!

the story: it's funny the way this happened... everyone wanted to be part of it way back when i started the conversation. then, once i started trying to put things together for our placement application, all i heard were crickets....and then minutes after submitting the placement application, serendipity abounded! a friend set up a facebook group and another friend bought a web domain, and another friend offered up all sorts of structures! [i finally just gave up on getting commitment and i just took a guess and made things up...and NOW we've got things rolling! :)]

thanks for your ideas and support, everyone!

if you want to be involved, this is our starting point: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=191259950898828

looking forward to singing and playing with you guys in the dust

[ps: fire and mud? AWESOME! see you there!]

User avatar
addison4
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:18 am
Contact:

Post by addison4 » Tue May 10, 2011 8:35 am

Hi there, just chiming in...

GJ on registering. Here are the basics as I see them:

The basic thing people want in a good camp is location on a street and a main tent. You can do this with a dome, tarps and poles, shadecloth, or garage tents. I'd get some tables in there too. People will bring more stuff. You'll be good from 4-10 people like that. After that you have to get organized or things get ugly.

The bigger you get, the more job organization, and the more likely you will charge a flat fee. As you get bigger you're talking about communal water, designating a shower area, generators, swamp coolers, electric lighting, and kitchen appliances. These needs and provisions are going to confront you, regardless of you wanting them or not. If you have campers with RVs, they end up being minor centers of your camp, but they can never be THE center of the camp because they are too private. Your main tent area will have to grow as well. You will also acquire a bunch of personal furniture and equipment left after every burn. Make sure you require the flat fee upfront the year you enact it. Yes, every huge camp has manager Nazis regulating it; try to be nice but firm.

Advertising- Obviously the best would be a huge EL light sign for the camp ($100-$400+), but make sure you should have a sign for the camp. You can advertise in the BM "What, When, Where Guide", the deadline last year was July 1st. Other wise it all self promoting: I would go around "caroling" if I was you. You can also send cute girls out to recruit guys, and cute guys out to recruit girls. Have official event on Mon, Tues, Wed to stir up interest and recruits.

GL
Register with "A 1776 Masquerade":
https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEhqOU5LVUp2MVFXaXBPMmtOXy1SZXc6MA

Locked

Return to “2011 Theme Camps”