Totally New, Curious About Camps

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malarkeyinc
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:41 pm
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Totally New, Curious About Camps

Post by malarkeyinc » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:33 pm

Hello!

I'm ferociously new to Burning Man, beyond tall tales told by much cooler acquaintances; I don't know that I would have even considered it possible to attend were it not for the urging of one of my long-time friends (also a first timer).

So now I'm facing what was formerly foreclosed, and I'm not sure exactly where to start! I know that I should look for a camp to join up with, so I can fit into an already-existing community and contribute in a way that is structured and informed by those more experienced than myself. I'm not sure how to go about this, save by posting this as a first step.

My skills are primarily rhetorical and literary. I write, I study, I teach. I'm also tall and in decent enough shape that I can, you know, move stuff around, and I was in book store retail during the drop of the last Harry Potter book, so I have some experience with crowd control. I think I could make a good contribution to a camp, though I'm at a loss of where to start looking!

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Indigoqueen
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Re: Totally New, Curious About Camps

Post by Indigoqueen » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:39 pm

Hey!

If you're looking to join camps there are tons of them with websites and themes that you can review and view. Many get filled up right now, but if you'd like to you can browse them by name here: https://burningman.org/culture/history/ ... eme-camps/

I'd recommend you think about your experience a LOT - do you want your camp to provide all the food? your bikes? showers? water? do you want them to haul out your grey water? Or do you want to do these things? Depending on the size of a camp and the way it operates these things may or may not be available to you! Also, think about how much volunteer time is required to join - some camps require 32 hours...some require 4 hours... So, you'll have to really think about these aspects of the experience in the city you're going to have!

Kind regards,

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Token
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Re: Totally New, Curious About Camps

Post by Token » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:43 pm

malarkeyinc wrote:I know that I should look for a camp to join up with, so I can fit into an already-existing community and contribute in a way that is structured and informed by those more experienced than myself.
Hello and Welcome!

Sorry to say... you are misinformed.

You do not need to join anything. In fact, you are required to be 100% self-reliant.

Don't be a sheeple, be a hero instead and take care of all your own camping needs personally. Its not that hard and you can practice on the weekends.

Try primitive camping and see how it works.

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TT120
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Re: Totally New, Curious About Camps

Post by TT120 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:46 pm

You do not actually "have" to join a camp either. You can just show up, find a spot, and set up your stuff. You'll have neighbors that you can get to know and you wont have any camp responsibilities to worry about. Going solo your first time is probably the best way to do it IMHO. There is soooo much stuff going on and you're going to want to see and do everything. You're not going to want to be tied down to camp duties.

It's just a week long camping trip in the desert. Bring enough food and water for the week and you're golden. After your first year, you'll have a much better idea how it all works and you can look into joining a camp for next year. Hell, you might even find one you want to join while you're there.
Life's a bitch, then you go to Burning Man - Unjonharley
We welcome the stranger, but that doesn't mean we have to like them, nor they us, and that's alright. - AntiM

W6BJD

Indigoqueen
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Camp Name: Cyberia
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Re: Totally New, Curious About Camps

Post by Indigoqueen » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:23 pm

It's true!!!! You don't have to join to camp at all, but you did mention wanting to have community....so if you select to go at it on your own, one of the ways you CAN still have community in the way you describe is to consider volunteering with Burning Man directly... there's tons of ways to volunteer (Lamp Lighters, Center Camp Cafe....) to meet people and get the community vibe. The BMorg does have a link with details on how to get involved in volunteering! It's your choice! Your burn!

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Token
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Re: Totally New, Curious About Camps

Post by Token » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:52 pm

Oh crap!

I thought “community” was passing the whiskey to the right, and the joint to the left.

Fuck, times have a changed. ;)

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Elderberry
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Re: Totally New, Curious About Camps

Post by Elderberry » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:01 am

Hey there, welcome to ePlaya!
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Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me

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AntiM
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Re: Totally New, Curious About Camps

Post by AntiM » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:54 am

Welcome Aboard.

You most assuredly do not need to join a camp. If you spot one which interests you, and want to join their vision, that's great, but DO NOT join one just to provide for your needs. You may be disappointed.

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Savannah
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Re: Totally New, Curious About Camps

Post by Savannah » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:33 pm

Welcome, malarkeyinc! :D
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nkrober
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Re: Totally New, Curious About Camps

Post by nkrober » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:33 am

Hi there. It can be confusing to see what looks like conflicting information regarding whether you should join a camp or not. But......it's all true. You CAN join a camp and it can be awesome. My camp had 50 virgins last year and most of them are returning this year with friends. It's also true you don't need to join a camp to do BM well and have fun. If you're a nice enough person and have done SOME reading and planning, you will do fine, and people will likely assist you if/when needed. Just avoid coming with zero preparation and an attitude of entitlement. Do your best to be 100% self-reliant even if you do join a camp, because you don't won't to be seen as a drain on resources. Virgins who were a drain will be remembered next year (not invited to come back) and those virgins who were rockstars will most likely have gained access to a network of friends who can help you find tickets in the future. It's true that theme camps charge dues to pay for their infrastructure which could include such things as food, gray water tank, private portas, and maybe showers. In return, the camp members generally work shifts that total 4-20 hours (so check out the work commitment for various theme camps of interest). The work commitment is not something everybody wants every year, BUT I think it's good for virgins with no connections on the playa because working in a camp is a prime way to build connections. Being part of a theme camp gives you a built in burner family; especially if you pitch in. However, there is something to be said for going there on your own, pitching a tent, and surviving. Your choice.

malarkeyinc
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:41 pm
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Re: Totally New, Curious About Camps

Post by malarkeyinc » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:06 pm

Thanks so much for the feedback. It's definitely giving me a sense of how to approach this question, which is what I needed more than anything else. I'll definitely look to see if a camp really speaks to me, but otherwise the idea of finding one's spot more organically definitely has an appeal.

Once again, thanks for making me feel welcome to the experiment!

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