Volunteerism Decline Discussion

A forum for community conversation and deeper discussions about the cultural direction of Burning Man.
FreakShowWoody
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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by FreakShowWoody » Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm

Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.

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ygmir
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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by ygmir » Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:38 pm

FreakShowWoody wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm
Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.
I wouldn't let the story of a bad interaction with "senior staff" dissuade you from volunteering. Some of it is theater, some is someone having a bad day, some is, some people are assholes.
But, there are many positions to volunteer for, you can change around till you find a spot you like, and or a "boss" that you like.
I volunteered, and volunteer (when I'm there) for 11 years. I ended up being on paid staff, and love it.
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lucky420
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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by lucky420 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:57 am

FreakShowWoody wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm
Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.
There’s a million more stories to volunteering at the burn then just the one you heard at Renegade. You should do it, it’s usually fun and a great way to meet people. Just Do It
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Ano » Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:31 am

It sounds like they are talking about Gate, specifically, and having volunteered with the department since 2013, it's pretty much on-the-money. The department has had a longstanding issue with there being a verifiable set of cool kids who get semi-preferential treatment. It was significantly worse when I started, and while it has incrementally improved, it's still amazingly frustrating to witness. Good luck if you end up on a shift with a bunch of the cool kids - you are probably going to have a bad time.

Senior team members being condescending is oddly normal in Gate, especially on certain shifts with certain shift leads. And I'm not talking about Burning Man condescending, where we're all laughing about it, but genuine real douchebaggery that makes you feel dirty. It makes you wonder, "why am I even here?"

I've had to talk so many first-year volunteers in Gate down from a ledge. It's fucking depressing to talk to people who have a light in their eyes about working for the event and contributing, who feel unwelcome in the theme camp bar for the department they work for, and unappreciated on shift when shift leads act like assholes because they can. I am jaded about this event to a degree that sucks and one of the few things that keeps me fire burning is running in to first year people, slack-jawed and wide-eyed, who remind me why I am here. And it just completely sucks that it is a normal thing to run in to one (or a few) people hanging out on shift or at the Black Hole who feel awful about being there. It happens every year. I helped some dude in 2019 figure out the names of shift leads who were being dicks to him on one of his first shifts. Like - what the fuck? First few shifts and you feel like you want to quit? That's a huge problem.

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by lucky420 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:06 am

Ano wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:31 am
It sounds like they are talking about Gate, specifically, and having volunteered with the department since 2013, it's pretty much on-the-money. The department has had a longstanding issue with there being a verifiable set of cool kids who get semi-preferential treatment. It was significantly worse when I started, and while it has incrementally improved, it's still amazingly frustrating to witness. Good luck if you end up on a shift with a bunch of the cool kids - you are probably going to have a bad time.

Senior team members being condescending is oddly normal in Gate, especially on certain shifts with certain shift leads. And I'm not talking about Burning Man condescending, where we're all laughing about it, but genuine real douchebaggery that makes you feel dirty. It makes you wonder, "why am I even here?"

I've had to talk so many first-year volunteers in Gate down from a ledge. It's fucking depressing to talk to people who have a light in their eyes about working for the event and contributing, who feel unwelcome in the theme camp bar for the department they work for, and unappreciated on shift when shift leads act like assholes because they can. I am jaded about this event to a degree that sucks and one of the few things that keeps me fire burning is running in to first year people, slack-jawed and wide-eyed, who remind me why I am here. And it just completely sucks that it is a normal thing to run in to one (or a few) people hanging out on shift or at the Black Hole who feel awful about being there. It happens every year. I helped some dude in 2019 figure out the names of shift leads who were being dicks to him on one of his first shifts. Like - what the fuck? First few shifts and you feel like you want to quit? That's a huge problem.
Somebody being a flat out dick to me while I’m volunteering? Nope, im’a walk right out,byeeeee! Surprised it doesn’t happen more often :coffee:
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by lucky420 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:09 am

FreakShowWoody wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm
Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.
There’s better/nicer groups you can volunteer with. I’ve volunteered with ICE for years, it’s a fun gig. You’re in the shade, we play loud music, people dancing, talking to happy people buying ice…
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Savannah » Tue Oct 05, 2021 6:15 pm

lucky420 wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:09 am
FreakShowWoody wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm
Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.
There’s better/nicer groups you can volunteer with. I’ve volunteered with ICE for years, it’s a fun gig. You’re in the shade, we play loud music, people dancing, talking to happy people buying ice…
Volunteering for Arctica was super fun the year I joined y'all for a little while. I don't love handling money, and I'm not the optimum, buffed-up Pusher in the back of a cold truck, so I was a Slinger (and a pirate). Stayed cool in the middle of the day, enjoyed the loud cheerful music, and the good company.

I reckon that many will agree: the kind of volunteer gig one chooses is super important. I think all the volunteer gigs have their own culture, like individual countries in Europe; close together in proximity, but very different. Some groups are very organized. Some groups are giddy & warm-hearted. Some are a little more harsh, but very hard-working and proud. (Honestly . . . most of them are hardworking and proud.) But the functions vary widely. Knowing yourself, what you like, and what you're good at is SO important to being happy. When you enjoy what you're doing out there, it rarely feels like work. It feels like being part of some really ridiculous and fairly well-oiled Rube Goldberg machine.

I have never ONCE felt like some sucker out there slaving away . . . because I enjoyed what I picked. 25% of that was sheer luck, but the rest was on purpose.

I love ESD, and Greeters.

I'd be terrible at Gate. :lol:
*** The Burning Man Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by ygmir » Wed Oct 06, 2021 6:43 am

Savannah wrote:
Tue Oct 05, 2021 6:15 pm
lucky420 wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:09 am
FreakShowWoody wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm
Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.
There’s better/nicer groups you can volunteer with. I’ve volunteered with ICE for years, it’s a fun gig. You’re in the shade, we play loud music, people dancing, talking to happy people buying ice…
Volunteering for Arctica was super fun the year I joined y'all for a little while. I don't love handling money, and I'm not the optimum, buffed-up Pusher in the back of a cold truck, so I was a Slinger (and a pirate). Stayed cool in the middle of the day, enjoyed the loud cheerful music, and the good company.

I reckon that many will agree: the kind of volunteer gig one chooses is super important. I think all the volunteer gigs have their own culture, like individual countries in Europe; close together in proximity, but very different. Some groups are very organized. Some groups are giddy & warm-hearted. Some are a little more harsh, but very hard-working and proud. (Honestly . . . most of them are hardworking and proud.) But the functions vary widely. Knowing yourself, what you like, and what you're good at is SO important to being happy. When you enjoy what you're doing out there, it rarely feels like work. It feels like being part of some really ridiculous and fairly well-oiled Rube Goldberg machine.

I have never ONCE felt like some sucker out there slaving away . . . because I enjoyed what I picked. 25% of that was sheer luck, but the rest was on purpose.

I love ESD, and Greeters.

I'd be terrible at Gate. :lol:
and yet I'd say you'd be a perfect fit in Perimeter...
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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Savannah » Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:41 am

ygmir wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 6:43 am
and yet I'd say you'd be a perfect fit in Perimeter...
One of these days . . . . One of these DAYS . . . . POW! Right in the Perimeter!

Nah, I definitely see a difference between G and P.

There is a little hope for me. :)
*** The Burning Man Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by ygmir » Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:18 am

Savannah wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:41 am
ygmir wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 6:43 am
and yet I'd say you'd be a perfect fit in Perimeter...
One of these days . . . . One of these DAYS . . . . POW! Right in the Perimeter!

Nah, I definitely see a difference between G and P.

There is a little hope for me. :)
just spend a shift or two in the truck with me, it'll be like riding Sleipnir!!!
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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Savannah » Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:48 pm

ygmir wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:18 am
Savannah wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:41 am
ygmir wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 6:43 am
and yet I'd say you'd be a perfect fit in Perimeter...
One of these days . . . . One of these DAYS . . . . POW! Right in the Perimeter!

Nah, I definitely see a difference between G and P.

There is a little hope for me. :)
just spend a shift or two in the truck with me, it'll be like riding Sleipnir!!!
You know that I've seriously thought about it! Between my other shifts (and the rigors of travel) it's just never fallen into place.

I like Perimeter. They were perfectly civil to me the two times I vexed them in a single evening. :lol:
*** The Burning Man Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by ygmir » Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:57 pm

Savannah wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:48 pm
ygmir wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:18 am
Savannah wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:41 am


One of these days . . . . One of these DAYS . . . . POW! Right in the Perimeter!

Nah, I definitely see a difference between G and P.

There is a little hope for me. :)
just spend a shift or two in the truck with me, it'll be like riding Sleipnir!!!
You know that I've seriously thought about it! Between my other shifts (and the rigors of travel) it's just never fallen into place.

I like Perimeter. They were perfectly civil to me the two times I vexed them in a single evening. :lol:
well, come on over to the dark side, and be civil to some poor moonwalker at 2 am with me!!
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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Savannah » Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:06 am

ygmir wrote:
Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:57 pm
Savannah wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:48 pm
ygmir wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:18 am

just spend a shift or two in the truck with me, it'll be like riding Sleipnir!!!
You know that I've seriously thought about it! Between my other shifts (and the rigors of travel) it's just never fallen into place.

I like Perimeter. They were perfectly civil to me the two times I vexed them in a single evening. :lol:
well, come on over to the dark side, and be civil to some poor moonwalker at 2 am with me!!
I mean, at this point, it kinda has to happen. :lol: Life is short.
*** The Burning Man Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by ygmir » Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:27 am

Savannah wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:06 am
ygmir wrote:
Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:57 pm
Savannah wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:48 pm


You know that I've seriously thought about it! Between my other shifts (and the rigors of travel) it's just never fallen into place.

I like Perimeter. They were perfectly civil to me the two times I vexed them in a single evening. :lol:
well, come on over to the dark side, and be civil to some poor moonwalker at 2 am with me!!
I mean, at this point, it kinda has to happen. :lol: Life is short.
veessss-myessss-this-pleases-me-angry-kitty-needs-a-laugh-21058232.png
veessss-myessss-this-pleases-me-angry-kitty-needs-a-laugh-21058232.png (168.84 KiB) Viewed 1160 times
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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Savannah » Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:36 am

:lol:

Otters are my spirit animal.

This surprises absolutely no one.
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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by ygmir » Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:51 pm

Savannah wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:36 am
:lol:

Otters are my spirit animal.

This surprises absolutely no one.
wait: your spirit animal is not a Viking?
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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Ungtartog » Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:24 pm

[quote="Captain Goddammit" post_id=1186713 time=1563046336 user_id=1142]
And then there’s all us old burners who figured out working for nothing on your vacation... sucks.
[/quote]

I’m an old burner and I like my working vacation… thanks. Speak for yourself. I think paying people was the biggest mistake we ever made. Now every crusty mofo has their hand in the money bag. Once the hand goes in, it doesn’t come back out… which is why ticket prices March in one direction.

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:48 pm

I believe the census data shows a slight recent (to 2019) decline.

It is not a hard problem to recruit volunteers to departments one on one in our personal networks.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Ungtartog » Mon Oct 25, 2021 9:35 pm

lucky420 wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:09 am
FreakShowWoody wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm
Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.
There’s better/nicer groups you can volunteer with. I’ve volunteered with ICE for years, it’s a fun gig. You’re in the shade, we play loud music, people dancing, talking to happy people buying ice…
Renegade burn was great! It was great to beat back the tide of bureaucracy, if but for a moment!

Most of my volunteer experience has been great… and when it isn’t, it’s because some dick bag thinks they are the boss of something. You are not anyone’s boss, paid or otherwise. Not here. We are all peers. Anyone who forgets that should be reminded. I do t go to BM to indulge someone’s drill Sargent fantasies.

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by lucky420 » Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:40 am

Ungtartog wrote:
Mon Oct 25, 2021 9:35 pm
lucky420 wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:09 am
FreakShowWoody wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm
Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.
There’s better/nicer groups you can volunteer with. I’ve volunteered with ICE for years, it’s a fun gig. You’re in the shade, we play loud music, people dancing, talking to happy people buying ice…
Renegade burn was great! It was great to beat back the tide of bureaucracy, if but for a moment!

Most of my volunteer experience has been great… and when it isn’t, it’s because some dick bag thinks they are the boss of something. You are not anyone’s boss, paid or otherwise. Not here. We are all peers. Anyone who forgets that should be reminded. I do t go to BM to indulge someone’s drill Sargent fantasies.
Exactly ^ lol… “you do know I’m volunteering and can easily walk away, right?”
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Ungtartog » Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:57 pm

"
Most of my volunteer experience has been great… and when it isn’t, it’s because some dick bag thinks they are the boss of something. You are not anyone’s boss, paid or otherwise. Not here. We are all peers. Anyone who forgets that should be reminded. I do t go to BM to indulge someone’s drill Sargent fantasies.
[/quote]

Exactly ^ lol… “you do know I’m volunteering and can easily walk away, right?”
[/quote]
"

Yep.. I have done exactly that. Ironically, I had no problems until I accepted a measely paycheck. I was at the point where if I wanted to stay and keep playing (laboring) I needed a little something to pay my bills.. or I had to go home and go back to work. The moment I was put on pay roll is the moment I started being treated like a faceless cog in a machine. this came to a head when I was "reprimanded" for taking lunch at an appropriate time because it was well past the hour and no one was providing any direction. I was told that my actions were inconvenient for the crew.... Oh.. I'll show you inconvenience... how convenient is it to find someone to replace me? Enjoy.

Uni-directional expectations. Management expects you to be on time with bells on... but they will show up for you whenever they feel like it. Uh uh. Not okay. There needs to be a strata of respect we all share.. or my respect completely evaporates.

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Savannah » Sat Nov 20, 2021 6:08 pm

ygmir wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:51 pm
Savannah wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:36 am
:lol:

Otters are my spirit animal.

This surprises absolutely no one.
wait: your spirit animal is not a Viking?
I WISH.

Thank you. :lol:
*** The Burning Man Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by burner von braun » Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:15 pm

otter,2524260.jpg

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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by ygmir » Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:51 am

burner von braun wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:15 pm
otter,2524260.jpg
BBBWWWHAHAHAHa
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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by ygmir » Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:53 am

Savannah wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 6:08 pm
ygmir wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:51 pm
Savannah wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:36 am
:lol:

Otters are my spirit animal.

This surprises absolutely no one.
wait: your spirit animal is not a Viking?
I WISH.

Thank you. :lol:
*raises hand, takes two steps forward*
YGMIR

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Savannah
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Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Savannah » Sun Nov 21, 2021 11:00 pm

burner von braun wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:15 pm
otter,2524260.jpg
Oh my God, that is AMAZING; saving to Desktop. :shock: :lol:

Thank you!
*** The Burning Man Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle

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