DC newbie seeks camp, true love, Count Rugen

Start here - tell us about yourself and what brings you to ePlaya.
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Vaialos
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DC newbie seeks camp, true love, Count Rugen

Post by Vaialos » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:54 pm

Hey folks,

I'm a Burning Man newbie (virgin seems the more accepted term). I'm male, in my mid-20's, and live west of D.C. I've wanted to Burn for about 6 years now but never had the gumption/time/resources. Finally, though, this year! I make video games for a living. I'm rather unlikely to bite your legs off or otherwise fuel your horror stories for NEXT year's Burning Man.


I have my ticket and I'm looking to join a theme camp. I have no idea where to start shopping.


I don't have any doubts about being able to survive my first burn (and comfortably) but I am looking for a few things:
  • - early access to BRC. This is my primary motive in seeking a camp, to be honest; several veterans recommended I do so to acclimate myself to the alkali, temperature, and altitude (4K feet isn't awful, but hey) as well as to participate in the full experience. According to them half the fun is the camaraderie of a setup crew and watching people test their various stuff out.

    - collaborating on transport across the country. I have a 2-door Civic and am willing and able to hoof it myself, but I feel like that's not wise, what with all the water, my bicycle, etc.

    - a solid microcommunity
I've triple-read most of the resources on the site and am gradually whipping myself into a nice frothy state of excitement (current moment of joy: building an EL-wire outfit).

What I bring to the table:
  • - significant outdoors experience (Boy Scout, did Philmont (read: high-altitude desert backpacking))
    - all the equipment I need, plus extra cordage, tarps.
    - strong sense of resourcefulness (read: MacGyver complex)
    - decent culinary experience (catered for a few years)
    - decent handyman experience (nothing huge, but basics in carpentry/wiring/plumbing)
    - strong computer know-how (not sure that'll be useful at all, but, hey)
    - a pretty positive attitude (generally upbeat and willing to roll with surprises/difficulties)
    - height (being 6'4" has to help when building stuff, right?) and a generally fit physique
    - the ability & willingness to help clean up (during or after)
    - confidence and comfort in/with myself
    - strong communication/listening/empathy
    - strong backrubbing hands (actually, I could totally dive into a massage camp)
    - no major dietary/allergic wants/needs/conscientious objections. I'm an omnivore, drink, don't smoke.
More specifics of what I'm hoping for in a camp:
  • - Generally small (hopefully around 30 people? perhaps you all can recommend I aim smaller or larger?)
    - Nothing TOO wild (hah), but something to push my comfort zone is welcomed.
    - A camp that's not screamingly noisy most of the time. I adore music and like it loud, but I'm hoping for camp as more an oasis and less of a nexus. I say this with a grain of salt, as it's, y'know, Burning Man. Maybe this is something I seek in the place I put my personal tent? I'm not sure here; guidance requested.

My possible points of failure:
  • - personal space. I'm an introvert who can easily and sustainedly fake extroversion, but at some point I'll need to up and flee to the hills (proverbially) for quiet-time. I doubt it'll be an issue, but, hey.
    - sun. I'm a redhead. 'nuff said.
    - I tend to geek out over various things; music, technology, games. This weirds some people out, I guess.
Thanks for taking the time to pick through these rambles. Any advice welcomed!
-Jimmy
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Elderberry
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Post by Elderberry » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:07 pm

Hey there, welcome to eplaya! (tm) © 2007 All rights reserved.

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Post by Sham » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:33 am

hey vaialos, welcome.
It appears that you've done quite a bit of homework and research over the past 6 years. All the reading and prep can't quite prepare you for the feeling of standing in the middle of this amazing active city.

It's not really required to join a theme camp, and most people don't. You can set up camp in an open area, and just make friends with your neighbors and you have an instant group of friends.

Other ideas is to meet up with local burner groups and see about camping with them. Also, by posting here often, you will meet many people who are part of theme camps, and once you are familiar, you may get multiple invitations to join camps.

There are a lot of people who drive cross country to attend BM, but others can ship their gear and fly in to join it. That' all part of good planning. Any supplies you may need, can be purchased in the Reno area.

Good luck with your planning and don't forget that tickets go on sale January 19th.

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Post by oneeyeddick » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:37 am

I like this dude simply for his columning and outlining skills.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

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Post by Elderberry » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:07 am

oneeyeddick wrote:I like this dude simply for his columning and outlining skills.
LOL I agree. Definitely made a long post very easy to read.

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Post by C.f.M. » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:37 am

music, technology, games. This weirds some people out, I guess.

Yikes. Music, tech stuff AND games?? That's going to be pretty out of place at Burning Man. You might want to consider a Rainbow Gathering, instead. Plus, they have trees to give your ginger skin some shade.


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Post by TomServo » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:35 pm

or...get with said camp pre-burn.
Sorry, Welcome!
My Camp will be arriving on opening hour, but am scheduled to meet on an art project tomorrow. Soo..who knows?! I was impressed by your resume, as well. I think if you hook up with the right people, you'll be an asset to their camp. Best of luck!
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

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Vaialos
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Post by Vaialos » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:42 pm

Hrm, definitely something to consider. Part of my hope in starting the search this early is to be able to prove that in the coming months; I guess my first question should perhaps be:
Where DO I start looking for and talking to people to start to try and find a match? The "2011 Theme Camps" board seems like the wrong place.
My only other concern with camping out is that I'd much rather be DOING something in the easing-in period. While I've no problem relaxing in the outdoors, if I'm driving 2700 miles/taking the time off from work/etc., I'd be a bit fractious to be 'just' camping. Maybe this is all backasswards or just wrong-minded.. not sure!

Thanks for the replies. though, definitely. :)
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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:46 pm

There is a regional section on this board. And there is a regionals contact list on the main site (burningman.com) Start there. I don't know how active an organization there is near you, but it's certainly worth a look. Find some people you get on with who have a camp or seem like their plans for putting one together this year (and that application goes in in about June, so no benefit of the doubt, there) seem really solid. Then you have the chance to help on infrastructure for the next 6 months so that they are begging youto be ont he early arrival team.

Nice mastry of the quote function, btw.
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Vaialos
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Post by Vaialos » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:53 pm

TomServo wrote:or...get with said camp pre-burn.
Sorry, Welcome!
My Camp will be arriving on opening hour, but am scheduled to meet on an art project tomorrow. Soo..who knows?! I was impressed by your resume, as well. I think if you hook up with the right people, you'll be an asset to their camp. Best of luck!
Yeah, I definitely hear you there; I guess I'm just still locked up as to how to find/get found by a sufficient variety to find a match. How'd you find your folks?
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Post by Vaialos » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:55 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:There is a regional section on this board. And there is a regionals contact list on the main site (burningman.com) Start there. I don't know how active an organization there is near you, but it's certainly worth a look. Find some people you get on with who have a camp or seem like their plans for putting one together this year (and that application goes in in about June, so no benefit of the doubt, there) seem really solid. Then you have the chance to help on infrastructure for the next 6 months so that they are begging youto be ont he early arrival team.
Oh, keen, that strikes to the heart of the matter nicely. Thanks. :)
theCryptofishist wrote:Nice mastry of the quote function, btw.
Haha! Yeah, I've been admin for a few phpBB boards for a few years now. Wheee.
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Post by Vaialos » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:09 pm

Oof. I'm not sure I find this regional info stubpage terribly informative; I'm not sure if I'm best off emailing, subscribing to lists, or emailing the discussion list, or doing all three. Not sure how to tell which one of the many listed sub-orgs are located closest to me. I can't authenticate to the calendar without a login, but I don't see a place to register (or recall getting one with my ticket purchase). A couple of the linked pages are down, and others seem to be to tangentially-related events.

I'll figure it out eventually, but it's not intuitive to me. Oh well; back later! :)
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Post by thisisthatwhichis » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:53 pm

Well, since you have the talent, you could post some nifty photoshop kinda stuff in the "2011 Theme Camps" thread under the BoobyBar (check previous years too for ideas)...... We might still need a few good Boobarians....



And welcome!!!
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It's show time, folks.....Joe Gideon

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Post by MyDearFriend » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:28 pm

Welcome! DC represent! 8)

We should have a drink and compare tickets. I do not have 6 fingers. Are you Inigo Montoya? :shock:

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Post by Vaialos » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:39 pm

thisisthatwhichis wrote:Well, since you have the talent, you could post some nifty photoshop kinda stuff in the "2011 Theme Camps" thread under the BoobyBar (check previous years too for ideas)...... We might still need a few good Boobarians....
Sweet tapdancing spacepope, that's a venerable/long thread. Any chance you can point me to the page that describes the 'shopping themes?

thisisthatwhichis wrote:And welcome!!!
:D
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Post by tamarakay » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:44 pm

welcome Vaialos. I am a newbie, noobie, burgen, virgin too so i don't really have any advice for you on theme camps etc. I just wanted to tell you if i was in charge of one your introduction would have gotten me interested in you. :D
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Post by thisisthatwhichis » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:28 pm

Vaialos wrote:
thisisthatwhichis wrote:Well, since you have the talent, you could post some nifty photoshop kinda stuff in the "2011 Theme Camps" thread under the BoobyBar (check previous years too for ideas)...... We might still need a few good Boobarians....
Sweet tapdancing spacepope, that's a venerable/long thread. Any chance you can point me to the page that describes the 'shopping themes?

thisisthatwhichis wrote:And welcome!!!
:D

:D 8) Well, if you haven't read the Ten Principles, Radical Self-Reliance is one of them..... Let's see what ya come up with!
TITWI

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Post by AntiM » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:14 pm

Welcome.

I stumbled onto Hushville my first year, online somehow. Not a theme camp, a village. I've only had early entry the last couple of years out of the last ten. The first times were as the plus one for a ranger, this past year was as a known quantity as a village cornerstone camp. LOL, we number six to ten people at best within the loose confederation of hundreds of Husvillians. Most of the individual camps in the village are quite small. If you can't get early entry, or find a suitable camp, Hushville may be a good option. Quietest cat herd on the playa.

You can get early entry in other ways, but it is more difficult as a first timer, the volunteer positions are generally looking for proven burners. Too many fuckos promising labor and delivering fairy-dust encrusted drama, giving true hard workers little opportunities to shine.

Some camps take people in from the eplaya; that is built on personal interaction in the various forums. You're already making folks happy, I can tell. Keep it up, who knows what will happen? Look for connections, not camps, if that makes sense.

This is my volunteer gig.

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Post by Vaialos » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:25 pm

AntiM wrote:I stumbled onto Hushville my first year, online somehow. Not a theme camp, a village. I've only had early entry the last couple of years out of the last ten. The first times were as the plus one for a ranger, this past year was as a known quantity as a village cornerstone camp. LOL, we number six to ten people at best within the loose confederation of hundreds of Husvillians. Most of the individual camps in the village are quite small. If you can't get early entry, or find a suitable camp, Hushville may be a good option. Quietest cat herd on the playa.
Thanks. This is solid actionable advice, and it's nice to feel more comfortable in one's default. I guess half my confusion in searching for a 'camp' is how the logistics are done; do you sleep and do the living part around one's boothcampthing, or is that more of a meeting/activity pavilion at which to convene and Do Stuff? I imagine there's a spectrum of mixes thereof, but is there a dominant model?
AntiM wrote:You can get early entry in other ways, but it is more difficult as a first timer, the volunteer positions are generally looking for proven burners. Too many fuckos promising labor and delivering fairy-dust encrusted drama, giving true hard workers little opportunities to shine.
Definitely understandable. I've been similarly stung in other ventures. In that light, I can see the added importance of finding and testing the waters with a local group first. Hrmrmrmrmm.
AntiM wrote:Some camps take people in from the eplaya; that is built on personal interaction in the various forums. You're already making folks happy, I can tell. Keep it up, who knows what will happen? Look for connections, not camps, if that makes sense.

This is my volunteer gig.
Yeah, that's definitely the sense I'd had but was struggling to elucidate. I think. I guess I was (and still to an extent) am feeling lost as to where to start; trawling extensive and storied forums can be a major timesuck; while I have no problems putting in work and time, it didn't feel efficient to start going thread-by-thread. Can you suggest where in the ePlaya to turn my wanderings next?
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Post by FIGJAM » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:47 am

I would got to the BM main page, click on theme camps, then go down the list.

It has a discription of the camps and usually an email address.
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Post by AntiM » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:48 am

Very few camps post on eplaya, so Figjam's advice to browse the listings is valid. time consuming, and some of the listed camps never materialized, nor are large enough to assimilate new campers.

Most theme camps, even the smallest, tend to have an interactive public area and private living spaces. Some have showers and kitchens, many do not. Play in front, sleep in back. An interactive space one would go to and camp elsewhere falls more into the "art project" category. It is all very loose and immensely varied.

Other alternatives would be camp on your own and volunteer on playa, places such as Lamplighters, Antarctica, or the Artery. Camp with a village and volunteer. Many folks say don't volunteer the first year, but it seems as though a couple shifts doing something would suit you. Keep browsing here, wander down into Open Discussion, places such as the bar and jump on in.

Lots of stuff over on the main site are offline this early in the year. The rideshare board ramps up in June or so. Share Resources here becomes an unofficial rideshare arena. (I have to go in and start deleting the old ride offers and needs, dagnabbit. Talk about a time suck.) I do know we have DC burners, they have to be out there somewhere. Boston and NY are breeding grounds too. Living in the West, my sense of distance is warped, I consider Vegas burners accessible neighbors. Look at Tribe.net, Rhino just started the 2011 virgins tribe. Facebook too, although that still feels really random to me.

This is the slow time of year, things will hop during ticket sales and then everyone will wander off to look at shiny things or finish hibernating. Any deadline period jumpstarts activity on the boards, such as art grant, MV and theme camp time. May/June, things really get running.

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Post by lemur » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:39 am

a lot of burners get their start with camps at the burning man volunteer questionnaire:

http://www.burningman.com/participate/volunteer.html

http://www2.burningman.com/people/

this will give your info to all of the various camps you designate from the 'volunteer options' youll see on the right side of the 2nd link.. clicking on them will give you info about these various depts or the cities services.

i came with some friends my first year, when i knew i wanted to come back i did the volunteer questionnaire and ticked off a few places that appeared would fit me and my interests.. I ended up with the previously mentioned Lamplighters.


I dont know how it is with theme camps in general, but I would assume many are similar...

Lamplighters is a work camp, if you intend to camp with us (around 200 people do, many virgins and newbies each year) you should expect to work as we are a work camp. You dont have to work all day... but you can work a lot if you want. Some people put in a lot more work than other people. It is easy to notice the people who put in a good effort..

Ideally, no matter the camp, youll probably want to be one of the people who is seen as putting in effort. If you arent, people probably wont even know who you are or if youre even campmates.



This is a good time to fill our the volunteer thing, as many groups will probably be looking for at least a few people.. or many.. These are all work camps.. expect to a large commitment if you end up with one.

The plus, at least in my experience, working with Lamplighters, is a great community (within a larger one) that feels like a home.. where doing work is rewarding because of the awesome people you do the tasks with and the people you do it for....

You mentioned catering, in my years at the burn I've done a lot of cooking for people and I can say it is super duper enjoyable to cook in that environment.. People tend to be very appreciative of your effort. Few things out there are as cherished as a real 'home cooked' meal... If this is truly a skill of yours it is a valuable one out there.


Good luck, and stuff!
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Post by theCryptofishist » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:58 am

The advantage of joining the regional list serve is that you get invited to the regional get togethers and start meeting people who have camps and projects you might want to work on/with.
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Vaialos
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Post by Vaialos » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:27 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I would got to the BM main page, click on theme camps, then go down the list.

It has a discription of the camps and usually an email address.
Oh hey, hadn't even seen that. Thanks!
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Post by moonrise » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:27 pm

Welcome!

I relied on a group of families to go to burning man 2010 and 6 weeks before the burn everything fell apart...they all canceled due to a death in the family and some other crap.

"radical self reliance" kicked in fast or I would miss 2010, bummer.

eplayans helped with primo advice and some health related stuff.

After reading your impressive intro thread I think you're going to do VERY well, have a GREAT BURN!!
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Post by lucky.bastard » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:49 pm

Vaialos greetings from charlottesville, va

i'm kinda going through the same questions in my own head..., right now I am thinking I will fed-ex a box with tent, sleeping bag, cook stove and whatever else I can fit into that I can't take on a plane to a Reno hotel, fly from dulles, rent a car spend the night/ pick up my box and drive out to the playa and see what it is all about..., i have been to a regional and am very much into the culture??? but think my first go at it I don't want to tied down to any group or what not...,

i am putting a small theme camp together for Transformus so i can get a feel for what works and is required prior to trying to set up/ be involved with anything at BRC
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Post by TomServo » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:55 pm

Vaialos wrote:
TomServo wrote:or...get with said camp pre-burn.
Sorry, Welcome!
My Camp will be arriving on opening hour, but am scheduled to meet on an art project tomorrow. Soo..who knows?! I was impressed by your resume, as well. I think if you hook up with the right people, you'll be an asset to their camp. Best of luck!
Yeah, I definitely hear you there; I guess I'm just still locked up as to how to find/get found by a sufficient variety to find a match. How'd you find your folks?
By accident...someone asked if I could watch the bar for a little bit. Was with em for the next 5 years.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

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Post by Downforce » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:12 am

Vailos & MyDearFriend....

Virgin DC Burner here as well....I have my ticket, so now its a flight, shipping my gear, a car, and a bike....

From what I found, there isn't much of a difference in price flying into Reno, or San Fran, or Sacramento from IAD....so if I can, I think I am going to try to get into Reno the day before the gates open, (Saturday)....pick up gear on Saturday night/Sunday morning and then head to the gate...

I have not volunteered for anything yet, but (even though being a virgin) I really would like to get involved...
--I have heard that Lamplighters look for volunteers around dusk..

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Post by pinemom » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:35 am

TomServo wrote:
By accident...someone asked if I could watch the bar for a little bit. Was with em for the next 5 years.

Funny as all get out!
And equally funny how things turn out!
Names pinemom, but my friends call me "Piney".

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