OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

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OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by BringHeat » Wed May 14, 2014 3:58 pm

There are two camps in Playagon Village which were planning to return this year, CAPS LOCK and New York Dangerous - totalling about 80-100 people. CL is a West Coast camp full of techies and they provide free WiFi. NYD is an East Coast camp designed to intro Burgins to Black Rock City in a safe and educational way (plus host a Running With Scissors relay race on Wed at 3pm, and give away free snacks via the Strangers With Candy vending machine, and this year they're starting a Shooting Gallery with composite plastic bows and foam arrows). Both camps have shade structures, showers, infrastructure, etc.

We have a problem.

Our Mayor for the last two years, who always handled the placement stuff, started a new company early this year and then simply disappeared - without telling any of us. Which means all the deadlines for the village to receive placement have been missed. And now there are two camps possibly in limbo, needing to find out where we're going to be camping and whether or not we'll be included in the Guide this year, and as one of the leads for the two camps who sent a message to BMORG to confirm, I'm only today learning this HASN'T been done.

I'm all about radical self-reliance, and perhaps it was foolish of us to rely on the Mayor who has handled this part of the year in the past, but as of RIGHT NOW I don't mind asking for HELP and seeing what we can do to remedy the situation, including but not limited to joining an existing village which can absorb either 40 or 90 Burners, or cutting out the Mayor directly and being granted a waiver for late questionnaire entry this year, etc. This is my first time in this situation ever, and I have dozens of people (including about 25 Burgins) who are going to be absolutely crushed if we don't get assigned an address.

I'm asking anyone who has any insight or suggestions at all to let me know. I really don't want to let anyone down and I (and our camp leads, and our early entry build teams) are committed to doing whatever we can to make things right.

White Whale
Chief Mischief-Maker, New York Dangerous
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by unjonharley » Wed May 14, 2014 4:54 pm

Call your group together and plan to meat and do your camp.. maybe on an outer ring street.. Is the WWW closed :?:
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by Eric » Wed May 14, 2014 6:27 pm

No one on ePlaya is going to be able to answer your questions - you need to contact placement directly and see if they can work with you. Start coming up with back-up plans now, as there are always way more requests for placement than approval, and with a large camp (which yours appears to be), it's going to be much harder to "squeeze" you in.

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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by Jackass » Wed May 14, 2014 6:48 pm

I think you screwed yourself by not doing due diligence or even touching base with your "mayor" to make sure he wasn't asleep at the helm, or all together AWAL. This time of year burners kinda tend to touch base with their fellow camp mates just to shake some trees and see what's going on if for no other reason (like planning a village).

P.S. Not having an addy shouldn't be that bad, it's not like there's no room for your camp....
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by trilobyte » Wed May 14, 2014 7:05 pm

Yes, you've very clearly missed the posted and published deadlines (and reminders that were posted in the JRS and on this message board). I'm sorry to hear of your situation, but if your camp is big enough to have ANY camp leads (and clearly it is), that's something they should have checked on at some point along the way. You touch base with the other leads (often before the forms open, let alone before they close), and make sure something's covered. If not, get someone on it so the important stuff gets done.

I'm not sure how viable joining another village may be - 45-90 sounds like quite a large number to assimilate - while they do have larger blocks of playa real estate, they have to account for its use in their own planning and that seems like it might be one hell of an ask. Besides, I think the sub-camps over a certain size in a village may need to fill out their own questionnaire.

I can appreciate your position, and part of me almost hopes that the placement team can accommodate you, but on the other hand that would be pretty unfair to the camps (new and returning) who did pay attention and did all the work to complete their planning and questionnaires by the deadline. Regardless of how that plays out, you're still a theme camp and still welcome to come to the event and welcome to build and offer what you want to offer. At the worst, you'll just need to do it once the gates open and camp in unreserved space... like all the other camps that didn't register for placement. If your burgins "will be crushed" if you don't get assigned an address, then in my personal opinion you guys are definitely doing it wrong. Burning Man is awesome and exciting regardless of whether you're a placed camp.

Don't let placement (or lack thereof) stop you guys, you can plan around it. Those who'd already booked flights can spend a couple additional days in Reno (there are usually a few places in town with great deals on hotel rooms, it's often cheaper than the cost of changing a flight) and getting things ready. Arriving in BRC and "coordinating the landing" isn't too tough, the quick and dirty tip is to make an "intersection sign" and then have a camp sign (or flag) that's ready to plant once you find that spot. The intersection sign should have the camp name (and symbol, if you've got one) plus space to write the actual location once you find it. That sign will get posted at an intersection in the area you guys are aiming for, one that all your campmates know to start looking for once they arrive. They'll know what the sign looks like when they arrive, see that final location, then be able to find you easily. Once they go to that spot, they'll easily be able to spot that sign (or flag), and then see familiar faces.

Good luck!

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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by theCryptofishist » Wed May 14, 2014 7:12 pm

Again, sympathy. I've not been there, but I've been in a place that's close.

I, too, believe that you are fubared for '14. But BRC is nothing if not a place where the plan doesn't work out. Embrace that as you improvise--all the better as an adventure, for everyone, including first timers.

At some point--October? Right now?--if you know your former placer's name, send a polite note, explaining what happened. Not going to help you this year, but should help in maintaining the relationship, and from what I've seen that relationship to the placers are very important. Don't ask for anything! Just keep it short and sweet, sorry that this happened this year, hoping we can work with you next year...
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by unjonharley » Wed May 14, 2014 7:20 pm

Make your camp the greatest non placed theme that ever hit the playa..

Put your member heads together.. You "all" can do it..

You might start a trend..
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by BringHeat » Wed May 14, 2014 11:52 pm

I really appreciate the posts so far, from everyone.

Yep, we have three camp leads, but sometimes that results in assuming one of the OTHERS is on top of stuff. We relied on our mayor, who was great in the past - but she went completely AWOL (and still hasn't responded at ALL to any of our panicked messages the last 24 hours, including from Placement) so she's either lying dead in a ditch somewhere or... well, I don't know where else she could be. But she's completely abandoned her village and as a result we who relied upon her are in dire straits.

I will ask if some of the existing camps might have room for the smaller 35 person camp, New York Dangerous, of whom more than half are burgins. Some camp out there has to have applied for space and overestimated their attendance, or will wind up having some people drop out. We're a dedicated bunch of vets bringing a bunch of excited first-timers, and I am really hoping something amazing will happen before I have to break the news to the others.

...incidentally, we want to secure placement for our camp for four main reasons: so our events can get into the WWW, so we can print up our camp Playa Cards (basically Vistaprint freebies with our playa and default contact info), so we can get early entry passes for the key people to build our infrastructure, and so we can tell our members and friends where to find us.

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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by *Kat* » Thu May 15, 2014 2:55 am

My camp is in the same situation as your camp - only we've never even tried to apply to be a theme camp. We are also bringing a bunch of virgins and an address would be convenient - BUT we chose not to be a theme camp so we would not have any obligations. So just look at it this way: you are now free to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it. This is how we coordinate:

- We have a position in mind we'd like to camp at. Everybody in camp knows those coordinates. Should the place be claimed we'll stay in the general area (4 blocks around that intersection). Should not be too big of an area to find each other. We stay a little away from the center, the further outwards you camp, the less likely it'll be that your spot is already claimed.
- We have flags that we can put up to find each other. I also love Trilo's sign idea.
- Our virgins will get a BRC map with the general camp location we are looking at and will know where to look for us.
- We will post our street address at Playa Info once we found a spot. The virgins will know that's where they should ask if they cannot find us.
- On Monday we'll have a communal barn raising type of event where we all put up the shade structure together. Sure, early entry would be nice - but making it all happen together is nice too. We will also put together a tower structure that has the camp name in the top - it should be hard to miss that once it's up, but it probably won't be til Monday evening.
- We have multiple message boards outside our camp that announce events.

You should be just fine. You'll just do what most of the city does anyway and it seems to work pretty well for all of them. :wink:

By the way: 24 hours is not a very long time to wait for a reply. And keep in mind that this was caused by a lack of communication of BOTH sides. Sure, your major could have informed you - but you could and should also have asked. Stop the panic. There is not much you can do for 2014. Enjoy the freedom and feeling of accomplishment that comes along with taking care of the planning yourself.
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu May 15, 2014 5:08 am

So you won't be "placed". Big deal.
Is not passing out preprinted pieces of moop that important?
Your newbies will not be crushed. They will be blown away and have a great time.
Something went wrong with Plan A, so go to Plan B.

If something was preventing you from getting there at all, THAT would be a big emergency.
This is relatively unimportant. Just set up wherever, a lot of the coolest camps are unplaced and on back streets. If you're a vet burner you know that.
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by MacGlenver » Thu May 15, 2014 7:15 am

Agreed with what the captain said. Embrace a bit of chaos. Often these 'hiccups' turn into the best playa experiences.
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by Ratty » Thu May 15, 2014 7:38 am

Sorry you had to change your plans. You don't 'need' any of those things that you are stressing over. It will do your virgins good to help set up the infrastructure. Please don't hand out paper cards, fliers, party hats. It's all moop no matter how much money you spent to print it. I use a 5 by 7 card on the bulletin board at playa info for my friends to find me. Get some new camp leaders and have a meeting now and then. 90 to 100 people and you don't talk? Maybe your Mayor got tired of the unshared burden.
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by trilobyte » Thu May 15, 2014 8:42 am

Anybody can post something onto the Playa Events Calendar. Only the first 150 or so items make it into the printed guide anyways, and it's worth pointing out that the Events Calendar hits that limit weeks before placement is even announced.

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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by some seeing eye » Thu May 15, 2014 9:10 am

Free WiFi is not a rare thing at the event. There are 15-20 camps that set that up using the ORG infrastructure. Since one of your camps has the knowledge, perhaps they could clone it to the other. Then you could each offer that service to camps you separately would like to join.

Once you are there, send a text message from the fence by the Airport, or use email or messaging over the public WiFi at Playa Info and around the event to send out text or email messages to your arriving campers about your location.
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu May 15, 2014 10:02 am

Irony #1: This camp educating newbies how to prepare for Burning Man!

Irony #2: Recent hot topic was about how you don't have to join someone else's camp to go to Burning Man. Now we have a whole large camp that thinks it has to!!
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by unjonharley » Thu May 15, 2014 10:08 am

#3 *A M A the camp is now begging to join another camp so they can be placed there.


* against much addvice
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by AntiM » Thu May 15, 2014 10:32 am

Sometimes it does not take a village.

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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by unjonharley » Thu May 15, 2014 10:43 am

We have turn the page to Page #2
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by Dr. Pyro » Thu May 15, 2014 10:44 am

Next thing you know they'll be asking for early entry passes.

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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by unjonharley » Thu May 15, 2014 10:50 am

I'm sure bm add can find 80-100 early passes.


That is how many the OP said..
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by andy » Thu May 15, 2014 11:29 am

I think some posters are being overly hard on the OP. The reality is that one person can screw up and fail to meet a deadline, reserve a rental truck, fail to bring a critical piece of camp infrastructure, or any number of other things that are hard to undo.

I suspect that the org would permit at least a couple of EAPs (or you might scrounge one from a friend working on an Art Project), get there on Friday or Saturday and stake out a large piece of real estate on an outer street. I believe that early arrivers can't camp closer than G if they are not in a placed camp. Once you stake out an area, find someone with wifi or a cell phone (yes, they DO sometimes work on-playa) and send an email or text to your campmates with the address. You probably want to camp farther out so that people don't think you are "hoarding" land for a small camp.

Good luck - a don't worry you'll be fine.

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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by *Kat* » Thu May 15, 2014 11:48 am

andy wrote:I suspect that the org would permit at least a couple of EAPs (or you might scrounge one from a friend working on an Art Project), get there on Friday or Saturday and stake out a large piece of real estate on an outer street.
EAPs ought to be reserved for people who put something together for the community that would otherwise not make an appearance on the playa 'cause it would take too much time for assembly. Clearly, putting up your camps shade structure and setting up your living quarters does not fall into that category unless you create a special space for the public to use. Honestly... a lot of camps do exactly what that camp is doing (insert other fun activities/events) and they do it perfectly without having early entry.
I do understand the worries of not being able to provide an address but I think this is actually a great educational opportunity for the camp to find out that this, indeed, is not necessary or even something to worry about.
andy wrote:The reality is that one person can screw up and fail to meet a deadline (...)
The reality is also that an overwhelming majority of BRC camps arrive on Sunday/Monday and is doing JUST FINE.
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by theCryptofishist » Thu May 15, 2014 11:53 am

andy wrote:... (or you might scrounge one from a friend working on an Art Project), get there on Friday or Saturday and stake out a large piece of real estate on an outer street. I believe that early arrivers can't camp closer than G if they are not in a placed camp. Once you stake out an area, find someone with wifi or a cell phone (yes, they DO sometimes work on-playa) and send an email or text to your campmates with the address. You probably want to camp farther out so that people don't think you are "hoarding" land for a small camp.
Spectacularly bad advice. Scrounging an early entry pass is likely to get you and your until now friend into permanant hot water with the people who run the event. Unthink this right away. Bleach the thought out of your mind.
And I'm pretty damn certain land grabs are out as well.

andy may not appreciate that we tell it like it is on the board, but do you want sugar-coated poison or an acurate, factual picture?
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by Eric » Thu May 15, 2014 12:03 pm

andy wrote:I suspect that the org would permit at least a couple of EAPs (or you might scrounge one from a friend working on an Art Project), get there on Friday or Saturday and stake out a large piece of real estate on an outer street.
1) A project giving out EA passes to someone not directly on their project can have ALL of their EA passes pulled. The passes are strictly given out as needed to camps, and if a camp has a "spare" one to lend to somebody then they lied to placement about how many they actually needed. Placement will note that for next year, a camp could lose their ability to get EA or even be placed. Do not fuck around with your EA passes if you get them, use them only for your camp members, and if you didn't get them be aware that even asking for them from another camp can get your camp on the shit list with placement. Since we now sell out they have very strict rules, and all EA passes are linked to a specific camp.

Also - do not assume the org would hand out "a couple": there are hundreds and hundreds of placed camps, all needing EA for infrastructure, and most of them don't get the full amount of passes they ask for. If they handed out passes to everyone who had a fuck up, they would be handing out thousands of passes. Ain't. Gonna. Happen.

2) Using an EA to "stake out" real estate is no longer allowed, it's unfair to other participants. If you're not part of a placed camp you do have to be on the back streets, but you can't claim half a block for your friends.

The BMorg has cracked down a lot on the abuse of EA passes - be aware of that if you ever want to get one.
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by AntiM » Thu May 15, 2014 12:05 pm

Ah, Eric beat me to it. What he said. In bold caps.

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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by ygmir » Thu May 15, 2014 12:07 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
andy wrote:... (or you might scrounge one from a friend working on an Art Project), get there on Friday or Saturday and stake out a large piece of real estate on an outer street. I believe that early arrivers can't camp closer than G if they are not in a placed camp. Once you stake out an area, find someone with wifi or a cell phone (yes, they DO sometimes work on-playa) and send an email or text to your campmates with the address. You probably want to camp farther out so that people don't think you are "hoarding" land for a small camp.
Spectacularly bad advice. Scrounging an early entry pass is likely to get you and your until now friend into permanant hot water with the people who run the event. Unthink this right away. Bleach the thought out of your mind.
And I'm pretty damn certain land grabs are out as well.

andy may not appreciate that we tell it like it is on the board, but do you want sugar-coated poison or an acurate, factual picture?
seems like sound advice, Fishy, well done!
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by theCryptofishist » Thu May 15, 2014 12:07 pm

Thank you.
That was so egregious that I logged in from work...
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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by LowePro » Thu May 15, 2014 4:52 pm

I'm morbidly curious how this plays out with the request to extend the deadline.... please keep us posted.

I'll save my commentary and try to keep it constructive with only a recommendation to be realistic about finding a big space on Sunday night. Last 2 years, we've been pretty early in the lineup on Sunday afternoon (through the gate about 8pm) and still couldn't find a large enough spot for our modest-sized camp of ~20 people closer than K or L street. This was on the 8:00 side, so maybe the other sides had more room, and maybe 2014 will be completely different, but if you're hoping for some large real estate in the inner-city, be very punctual to get in line and have a backup-backup plan as well!

(as others have said, it's easy enough for friends to find you, between the sporadic cell signals, Playa bulletin board, and making your own signs).

And, even without placement, we had a fantastic wonderful time and great neighbors each year.

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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by trilobyte » Thu May 15, 2014 4:59 pm

Part of the issue you guys encountered may have been related to spatial awareness. Anyone looking to come in to grab a spot when the gates open should probably get really familiar with that year's published city map, maybe even bring a copy with them. The placed camps go back as far as G on some streets, but not others. In some of those gaps, a village may be placed... and wandering through there it might seem like blocks and blocks are just already gobbled up. I saw a few decent sized pockets of space on the first half dozen streets last year well into Monday.

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Re: OUCH!!! Think our Village got screwed over, need help.

Post by gaminwench » Thu May 15, 2014 5:00 pm

Requesting placement certainly does not guarantee your 'choice' location, nor does it guarantee great neighbors.
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