CS at BM Camp – Cultural differences

The following is a slightly edited email sent by Loren, aka “Mist-er”, one of the newest members of the group  — a Burning Man veteran, who has been learning more about our specific approach to going to Burning Man.

Our group is deeply focused on service we provide to others at Burning Man (praying, sharing, washing feet, supporting 3 talks by Christian Science lecturer John Tyler, CSB).  This new member has been eager to share additional Burning Man volunteer opportunities with our group, which we are indeed happy to learn about.  His email below gives a neat perspective on some of the different types of camps people can participate in at Burning Man, and how ours is a little different from many.

Enter Loren:

I think I finally “get it”.

The Christian Science at Burning Man Camp is a relatively small camp of 10-20 campers on the Playa plus about the same number of support persons off Playa (plus God).

Previously I camped with much larger camps, first with an arguably plug and play camp run by a for profit bus company based in San Francisco. They are approx $900 base price (extra luggage and bike transport extra) plus ticket (ticket cost is additional) with tent camping and no showers. The bus company has been going there for 20+ years so are “grandfathered” in with the Burning Man organization. There is not much affinity between camp members.  Members are those from farther away in the US and Canada, and also Europe and Asia, who want the logistics set up for them. Food and liquor are provided, and one of my personal objections was that I was paying for liquor with no option to opt out (maybe I paid involuntarily $100 extra for the booze???).

The next year I camped with a moderate size theme camp of people committed to providing an alcohol-free atmosphere.  Going by bus especially the first year of Burner Express with (at the time, now modified somewhat) severe luggage and bike restrictions presented challenges around food and water which I choose to not repeat with them this year. (They are less communal in terms of sleeping, food and water, for them it is just reserve a space, bring in your own stuff, food and water, pack your own stuff out, which did not work for me as a bus rider well).

This year, my camp at BM is CS at BM, with a smaller group which needs to focus on its own internal infrastructure first with the motivations of getting an “in” with Center Camp or The BORG a lower priority.

Now that I “get it” I will try to keep my discourse in the CS and BM camp list emails and on the calls focused on our camp infrastructure rather than side track folks on other arguably desirable but not essential stuff. Notwithstanding this, I will still make a brief discussion of opportunities for volunteering at Center Camp on the next conference call.

Thanks
Loren Mist-er

We’re very grateful to have Loren as the newest member of our group!


 

lorenLoren (Mist-er)
Loren (Playa name Mist-er) has been attending Burning Man since 2012. He lives near San Francisco and is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University. At Burning Man, he volunteers at the Center Camp Coffee Shop. This year, 2014, will be his first year at Healing Foot Wash Life Truth Love Camp.