- 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. Early in the season the pickings may seem pretty slim, but as camps start to figure out what they're planning for 2017 they'll start posting about it. 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 aren't checking the boards that regularly, so sending a private message to express your interest sends them a notification, an typically gets a faster response. The other place to find a list of camps 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 build and bring to Burning Man. Sometime in May/June a similar list will likely be posted for the 2017 event, but last year's list can be a good place to start. 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 interested and ask if they're planning to return in 2017 and would be willing to consider having you join. 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 plans may have fallen through, or it all just seems too overwhelming. Take a moment, maybe even two, a couple deep breaths, and go. You can do this.
Mod Note: anyone feeling the need to post their own plea in hopes of a camp seeking them out and adopting them... should post it here. Camps that would like to respond to posters in this board should do so by using the private message or email button under the poster's name - don't post camp adverts or responses here as they will be removed.