Courtship, Hugs and Hazings. Acculturating New Camp Members

Welcome to "Courtship, Hugs and Hazings: Acculturating New Camp Members"!

The purpose of this breakout session is to help you explore and dream of how to best acculturate new camp members into YOUR theme camp.

Disclosure: Today's breakout session is being audio recorded. Your participation is you granting consent to have your voice re-broadcast for people who were unable to attend today. Thank you for being here!

Things to be thinking about today:

  • What is your camp's unique culture? What characteristics define you as a community?
  • How do you communicate you cultural characteristics and expectations?
  • How do you know what new camp members expect of you when they join our camp?
  • When do you communicate these expectations? Who communicates them? How do you communicate them effectively?
  • What continued communication and reinforcement is necessary to maintain culture?
  • How will you know if your acculturation efforts are working?

Let's get to know our speakers today!

Candice Love aka "Candyass"

1997 was my 1st burn. Came out with a group who wanted to thwart the techno and trance with live funk music, aka, FunkCamp. We then brought The Blue Man Group back into to world fully loaded from our time on playa. I was part of Fandango Village; FunkCamp, Acid Cabaret, then Plug 4 before breaking off to create The Blissfits Retirement Village in 2008.

Only missed 1 burn, 2016…on the gut feeling that I shouldn’t go to the burn 7 months preggers with twins. We arranged a plane to fly my husband directly back to Burbank if the ‘shit hit the fan.’ Indeed it HIT the fan. Twins were born the week of Burning Man 2016. Thus, they’ve only know their 1st and 2nd birthdays on playa. We’re nuts. They do better out there than we do. Go figure.

Blissfits Retirement Village

John Styn aka "Halcyon"

I'm a 20 year burner. I've helped run a number of camps, co-founding Pink Heart Camp 10 years ago. Long time creator of Burning Man Tips & Tricks videos.

At Pink Heart we are passionate about the Principles and about the power of a group of people when they work together to collectively Gift. We truly believe we are working together for personal transformation, heart expansion, and world change.

Creating a culture with a group of people who come together to create something is different than acculturating people who join later. We now have a "new members must be sponsored by current members" policy to help with this.

Jim Wheaton aka "Wheat-thin"

My first Burn was 2010, when JOBI was just an informal, unplaced camp offering nothing and hitting the land rush. I took it over in 2011, urged that we start offering something to BRC and settled on the coffee and tea sunrise service, and added the subhead 'Coffee, Tea or Me.'

We scored placement our first ask on the 9:00 Plaza. We work hard on acculturating all our new members, including new to us and experienced Burners, into our community.

No one invites people into the camp -- the whole camp does in ways I will explain. Every newbie gets a camp shepherd before, during and after Burn. We have people from all over the country, and indeed all over the world, which is something for a camp of only 25 or so.

We have an all-year culture, including a winter retreat for returning vets to plan, plot and play for the coming year. I have also been a build lead on Temple in 2015, and helped build BR Lighthouses in 2016 and Temple in 2017.

(Playa coffee grinder)

Jeremy Meehan aka "Swerve"

I love connecting the best people I know to one another. Co-founding a theme camp has been one of the most satisfying and exhausting creative endeavors I've gotten to be a part of!

I administer communications for the Sacramento Region Burners and Regional Contacts and recently have started helping with the Theme Camp Resources Support Team.

Comfy Cozy Voodoo Lounge is a 35 member camp community that stays connected and creative year round. Our acculturation process has centered around a favorite saying I heard once. "All stress is the result of misplaced or mismanaged expectations." Once we've taken the time to truly communicate and understand our expectations and hopes for one another then we're able to CREATE MAGIC together.

Our camp is unique in that we are now led by a 7 member council. Each member has equal authority and ownership over the long-term direction, assets, mission and evolution of our camp. This is my experiment in radical diffused leadership model - wanting to try an alternative to other models of camp leadership. It is a challenge and I'm excited about it!

Now let's get to know YOU!

Created By
Jeremy Meehan

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