For those who are new to the community and not sure how to proceed, I strongly suggest that you take the initiative and try to find your own camp. We all understand that getting to Burning Man, especially in that very first year, can be really hard. When you read about Burning Man and the Ten Principles, one of them is radical self reliance. Sure, there are lots of ways to read or interpret that, but in a nutshell you will call upon yourself to figure out a lot of ridiculous stuff ("the rainbow tutu, or the bee costume?") and do more than you might have ever thought you could. You probably even already hit that milestone, between getting tickets, making travel arrangements, figuring out ground transportation, and a million other details. Out of all the crazy stuff you have to figure out for Burning Man, figuring out your camp isn't that hard. You have three basic options:
- You can camp by yourself! You all by yourself, or you and your group of however many friends, can go camping and survive and have a great Burning Man experience. Thousands of burners do just that every year, and they have an amazing burn.
- You can start your own camp! It doesn't have to be a theme camp, or your theme could be any shared interest ("Naked Margarita Camp" is just one of a billion ideas to choose from). Sure, some camps work all year to build their stuff, but you can come up with an idea in no time and invite other like-minded people to join you.
- You can join somebody else's camp! The best reason to join another camp is because 'holy crap they sound awesome and I want to be a part of that!' but you may also have reservations about doing #1 or #2. If it's your first time out there, one of the best ways to learn about doing things is to join another camp and get involved and learn from them...or any number of other totally valid reasons. So don't feel bad about having a strong desire to be part of a larger group.
If you're looking at joining a camp, there are two main ways to go about it. The radically self reliant approach would be to take a look at the camps out there and find something that resonates with you, and then reach out to that group. You're going to find information about camps in two main places. First is the message board you're on right now... ePlaya. There are a number of camps posting on this board to say what they're planning on doing this year, and that they're looking for a few good people to help join their team. Look through the threads, and if something jumps out at you as cool, exciting, or fun... then post a reply. Or better yet, click on the PM button next to the thread starter's message to send them a private message. At this late stage of the game, many camps and camp leaders are ridiculously busy, and only get the chance to check the boards for replies a couple times a week. Sending a private message to express your interest sends them a notification, and typically gets a faster response. The other place to find a list of camps to join is the partial list of 2016 theme camps. It has a list of all the camps who filled out placement questionnaires and chose to make their information public. Holy crap, that list is huge, and it's exhaustive to read it all, but it's also a lot of fun to see what people are getting up to this year. Find something interesting, then fire up an internet search engine and find that camp. Many have web sites or Facebook pages or some kind of internet presence. If they don't, that's probably a strong sign that they're not recruiting for new members anyways - but if you can find them you can reach out to ask. Tell them how you discovered them, and why you're writing them and not any number of other camps looking for last-minute space. Speaking personally as a person who organizes a camp, a camp leader is more likely to be moved by someone with a genuine interest rather than a generic post.
Failing the above, yeah you can post a 'Seeking Camp' post, but to some it suggest that you may be lacking in initiative or radical self reliance... which is probably not your intention. It is understandable though - you may be new, or your original plans may have fallen through, or as the day the gates open draws closer and closer you're getting more and more anxious about getting something sorted out. Take a moment, maybe even two, a couple deep breaths, and go. You can do this.
Mod Note: camps responding to posters in this board, please do so by using the private message or email button under the poster's name - don't post camp adverts in response to every person who posts. We will leave the posts and replies that are all joining this thread from merging everything, but camp ads posted to this thread after 8/16 may be removed without notice.