BRC Center Camp Post Office

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darkfred62
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BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby darkfred62 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:53 pm

Howdy fellow Burners,

This year I got to part of a theme camp. It was the BRC center camp Post office.
I found out why there really was no core group for this long established camp. I found out why there were directed sales tickets available for people to be in this camp.
The reasons were not positive.

I would like to see the BRC center camp Post office be successful and provide a good service to the community out on the playa.

The past burning man at center camp post office was not much fun. There was only a group of about 6 people who actually worked the theme camp. The Theme camp leader was seldom there. She was actually staying at another theme camp. We should of had about 20 people working in the theme camp to get the mail out and also have fun. Where all the other directed sales tickets went for this theme camp I'm unsure.

For the post office theme camp to be successful it needs to have
1. People who work it every year. Some could be new to the camp, but the core needs to be reoccurring. The core should be a minimum of 8 people.
2. A minimum of 20 people who actually work in this camp. No redirecting of directed sales tickets to your friends who could not get tickets in the main sale.
3.Good solid leadership. We did not have that. anytime someone tried to fill the void from the missing camp leader, the camp leader would show up for a moment and knock down what was being established.
4. USPS postal annex's need secure and organized storage of packages and mail. The camp did not have that. I discussed this in general with a USPS management employee who was attending burning man. An education was provided in this matter by the USPS employee.
5. Hours where the post office is open that better serves BRC. To my knowledge the BRC postal annex is supposed to open for two weeks encompassing the event. The post office was only open 5 days (mon-fri) 12-4. The small group that was working in the camp tried to be open more hours to help people out. We got very burned out by the end of the event.
6. Absolutely good solid organization. A post office is basically a receiving and shipping center. If you don't know where some packages are, well, that is a big failure. This occurred often due to the errant packages being at the camp that camp leader was staying at.

I met a few ex- center camp post office folks on the playa this year. They all told the same tale of woe. I did not here one positive comment about how the camp has been run except for the hard work put out by the staff (leadership not included).
I'm basically thinking the BRC center camp post office needs a change of leadership or it will simply die. I would rather see the BRC center camp post office flourish and become a service that is well respected.

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Sham
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Sham » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:16 pm

I think like any position at Burning Man, it's all volunteer. I seems to have worked out well for many years, but my guess is that the job is just burning the leader out. (think regular postal service)

Is there someone you have in mind, or possible a group of past camp mates who may want to step up and remake the post office? In almost all cases, the present camp leader would not only welcome the change, but make the transition seamless.

In the do-ocracy of Black Rock City, innovative volunteers are welcomed with hugs and crispy bacon.

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Admiral Fukkit
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:52 pm

I was with the BRCPO in 2001. That year, pretty much no one wanted to run it, and it was handed to a girl named Sylvia Dutch, the PostMistress. (She passed away several years ago... )
I guess not much has changed, although back then plenty of people worked there.
The BRC population was a third of what it is now, so there was less demand, and it was more about schtick than actual post office. You stood in line and had to fill out ridiculous forms, and were then criticized on your penmanship... eventually you got some sort of cool swag, a sticker or whatever.

darkfred62
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby darkfred62 » Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:08 am

Now it is completely different.
Even Amazon Prime accepts BRC as legitimate address for the two weeks BRC is an official USPS address. There were around 600 some packages and close to ten thousand pieces of mail processed through the post office this year.
We turned away a lot of people who wanted to mail post cards on Friday , Saturday and Sunday. The camp leader told us to stop accepting out going mail at noon on Friday. That was very frustrating. All that needed to happen was for the post card /letter to be stamped with the BRC USPS stamp then put in an outgoing bin. The workers at the camp were not allowed to have access to the stamp by the camp leader for the whole time the post office was in operation.

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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby lucky420 » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:29 am

I got mail early in the week at BRC this year as well as last year. Was such a treat to see the look of jealousy on campmates faces :lol: Also mailed out postcards early in the week last year.

Perhaps next year I will volunteer and add to the clusterfuck... :lol:







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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby tamarakay » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:50 am

Three people told me that they mailed stuff to me. I didn't get any of it.
But yes, if you are a leader more in camp time would be a good idea.
When the only tool you got is a hammer, every problem looks like a hippie.

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Getting overly dramatic about the ticket sale process is so 2012. - Maladroit


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spacetime
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby spacetime » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:10 am

Can someone give a brief overview of how historical camps become defacto institutional camps of BM?

For example, it seems pretty obvious that a post office is an essential element of the city. Whereas serving electric lemonades is not. (not that there is anything wrong with electric lemonade!) Is it a combination of function, time and elbow rubbing that causes a camp to become essential?

It sounds like darkfred is publicly outing camp leadership. Drama aside, what is the historical method for looking closely at a camp and getting an essential camp 'back on its feet?' Is that something the org does? Apart from a thread in the forums, what method does the org use in order to assess if an essential camp (I'm repeating this word essential but maybe there's a better description) is running satisfactorily in BRC?

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Ratty
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Ratty » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:34 am

I enjoy the PO at the burn but don't know how necessary it is. Is the camp leader in any way connected with the USPS? Does it have written guidelines? Does it have set hours and responsibilities? It can't be that hard to get ONE actual postal worker to set it up. (I never made it there this year with my sheet of post card stamps.) It may have run as smoothly as always and brought joy and entertainment to the visitors. Hey, it's Burning Man.
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Elderberry » Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:56 am

Ratty wrote:I enjoy the PO at the burn but don't know how necessary it is. Is the camp leader in any way connected with the USPS? Does it have written guidelines? Does it have set hours and responsibilities? It can't be that hard to get ONE actual postal worker to set it up. (I never made it there this year with my sheet of post card stamps.) It may have run as smoothly as always and brought joy and entertainment to the visitors. Hey, it's Burning Man.

If it was/is an "actual" post office branch, as advertised, I would think having an actual postal worker and official postal guidelines be followed. (Much like the Health Dept. guidelines for food service.)
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby RedHeaven » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:49 pm

My first year in 2005 I met this guy Tom who was working the post office. I liked him so I went with him. We went to the top of the Post Office overlooking center camp and shot pants out of a cannon to people who were naked or shirt cocking. I vaguely remember postal work being done, but I know there was some. I remember Irish Cream. Oddly.
Hope it gets better over there!
I had fun because I didn't know what the heck I was doing :mrgreen:

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Ratty
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Ratty » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:58 pm

I know you don't need an actual postal worker because we now have US postal service in our Office depot stores. (The real postal workers can be found picketing out front.)
Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote
I a recovering swagaholic I have to resist my grabby nature VultureChow
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theCryptofishist
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:02 pm

Damn, I wonder what happened to what I sent...

Landfilled?
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Ratty
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Ratty » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:05 pm

No. I got it. The address was smeared with PB so some zebra-headed, bolo-tie-cocker dropped it off at my camp.
Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote
I a recovering swagaholic I have to resist my grabby nature VultureChow
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah
We're out there to play like adults with no adult supervision CaptG

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theCryptofishist
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:14 pm

But they were addressed to AntiM and Tamarakay!
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Bless
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Bless » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:00 am

My camp-mates were very excited to use the post office this year.

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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Ratty » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:09 am

fishy, I don't know a thing about those pkgs but i got the turkey-jerky.
Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote
I a recovering swagaholic I have to resist my grabby nature VultureChow
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah
We're out there to play like adults with no adult supervision CaptG

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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:43 am

Okay, sent by someone else.
I did get one of Tamarakay's back. The larger one. I will have to send it on.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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tamarakay
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby tamarakay » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:03 pm

Everything was harder this year. Even if you had fun in the dust, it took a toll. It was hard to get any work type activities done and when the weather cleared you just want to get out and play before it started again. I imagine it overwhelmed more than just the post office.

Thank you for thinking of me fishy :D
When the only tool you got is a hammer, every problem looks like a hippie.

Mmmmmm I love the smell of Burning Man - Token

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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Sham » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:33 pm

I spoke to the postal lady, and it turned out that with better cell access, people were ordering packages from Amazon by the hundreds--just so they could get delivery on the playa. Then there was a guy in Reno who sent out thousands of letters into BRC to every corner and address as some sort of ticket protest.

What started as a fun camp and a cool service, turned into an abused and over used camp. I've seen the huge stacks of letters and postcards that had to be cancelled so they could be sent off to the US Post Office.

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theCryptofishist
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:21 pm

tamarakay wrote:Everything was harder this year. Even if you had fun in the dust, it took a toll. It was hard to get any work type activities done and when the weather cleared you just want to get out and play before it started again. I imagine it overwhelmed more than just the post office.

Thank you for thinking of me fishy :D

Well, the larger package turned up, so I will send it with the other stuffs I have for you.

You are going next year? You will need to fund raise? or gift weird things to camp mates? Trinket level of stuff.
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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tamarakay
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby tamarakay » Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:39 pm

Yes, we are going! That's the plan anyway, and yes we will have to fund raise. Losing my job has a huge effect on things this next year.
When the only tool you got is a hammer, every problem looks like a hippie.

Mmmmmm I love the smell of Burning Man - Token

Getting overly dramatic about the ticket sale process is so 2012. - Maladroit


http://www.dyewithdignity.com

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theCryptofishist
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:42 pm

Which is why I asked. Early on there was a question.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Spadge63 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:54 pm

I have volunteered to deliver mail for the last couple years and enjoyed it immensely. This year I delivered for the BRC3PO branch. Everyone was very friendly, positive and having fun. If I can make it out next year, I'd be happy to help out the camp.
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby A-RockLeFrench » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:37 am

Sham wrote:I spoke to the postal lady, and it turned out that with better cell access, people were ordering packages from Amazon by the hundreds--just so they could get delivery on the playa. Then there was a guy in Reno who sent out thousands of letters into BRC to every corner and address as some sort of ticket protest.

What started as a fun camp and a cool service, turned into an abused and over used camp. I've seen the huge stacks of letters and postcards that had to be cancelled so they could be sent off to the US Post Office.



Huh. That sucks.

I do know that the packaged I mailed to BRC for a good-friends birthday never arrived. :|

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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Meat Hunter » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:49 pm

I had a letter delivered to me at the airport on Wednesday that was mailed by a burner friend who lives in and sent the letter from Amsterdam.

The person who delivered the letter to me asked me if I wanted to send a post card back to my friend in Amsterdam. The letter deliverer gave me a post card and said that the BRCPO would attach sufficient international postage to the post card and send it on its way.

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Lonesomebri
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Lonesomebri » Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:47 am

Well, it seems as if the Commie cards went through. Maybe that is the secret, as a member of the Party at least the mail will make it as far as FBI processing.
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theCryptofishist
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:10 pm

Well, the industrial proletariat in the post office knows it must stay on the good side of the General Secretary.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:24 am

"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

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Sham
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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby Sham » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:59 am

FIGJAM wrote:Anybody get mail delivered by the BLM??? :roll:

https://reason.com/blog/2015/09/15/drug-dogs-sniffing-the-us-mail-at-burnin

To my knowledge, the BLM put a big push on trying to find drugs in the packages sent to BRC. There were teams assigned to the sting operation. They were pumped and ready. All they found was gifts and trinkets in the packages. The positives on the drug searches were once again false. (or fabricated)

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Re: BRC Center Camp Post Office

Postby lucky420 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:30 am

Lonesomebri wrote:Well, it seems as if the Commie cards went through. Maybe that is the secret, as a member of the Party at least the mail will make it as far as FBI processing.



I got my commie card. Thank you!
Oh my god, it's HUGE!


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