Melon of Troy 2016: post-playa survey results

Basic Information

How many times have you attended Burning Man?

Average = 2.5 years
Median = 2 years



How old were you when the Man burned this year?
Average = 30.4 years
Median = 31 years




Roughly how many hours did it take for you to get from home to Melon of Troy?
Average = 23.6 hours
Median = 18 hours





Roughly how many hours did it take for you to get from Melon of Troy to your home or your next destination?
Average = 22.8 hours
Median = 20 hours



Which was most useful? Why?

Survival Guide
Jackrabbit = varied content
Experience -- you figure out a lot of things by trial and error.
Melon fb group
Facebook group and website
Melon mandatory emails
Melon of Troy mandatory e-mails (though I felt they were abundant and at times too dense)
Past Experience and Talking with Friends
Mandatory emails and talking to friends
A combination of all
Past experience
burningmelon.com because it was more personalized
Melon of Troy emails as I have been before and the most pertinent things to me were the changes in our camp
All of them, really. It helps to have multiple sources and opinions. The melon emails are incredibly helpful.
MoT mandatory emails
Friends
Talking to friends. Hearing personal, first-hand experience from people I know (and how know me) was tremendously helpful - especially for my first time at Burning Man.
Facebook group, because I already knew the ropes in terms of preparing and the FB group was the most effective at getting me PUMPED to MELON!
Friends. They could answer my specific questions about what to expect.
Personal Experience (tailored to my burn needs) and BurningMelon Website (reminder in case I forgot something, good on essentials; info from melons was pretty on point my first year).
Melon site was great, gave me the foundation to ask the specific questions I came up with.
Mandatory Emails, I was most concerned with camp specific details.
Facebook, easy
As a virgin, the burning man survival guide was most useful; as a new melon, burningmelon.org was super super helpful to acquaint myself with the unique nature of melon camp culture.
Friends, google - concise; lots of other sources are crazy verbose
facebook group. many small reminders instead of one big list.
Google
Melon of Troy Facebook group
The Facebook group. Because it was interactive and sort of real time.
Talking to friends, able to clarify and more engaging / Facebook group was super useful, i check it few times a day
Talking with Friends and then Googling. Googling for giving the overview and then friends for perspective
Garth's blogs :)
Past experience was most useful overall. Camp emails highlighted new info for 2016.
Google searching/the internet. Could be as specific as I needed.
Friends and packing list from online.
old dusty notebooks. because they are dusty.
troy emails and fb group. Since I've come before those were the biggest sources of new information.
The optional facebook group actually had a whole ton of posts that answered my questions before I asked them. And comparing the Melon of Troy Website to the Burning Man survival guide helped me cut down on non-essentials
Melon of Troy website
Camel bag to drink
facebook notifications
Not sure if anything could have helped more than just going once and knowing what the deal is. Last year, I took notes about what to bring/not to bring for next year, in the days after I got home. Those helped.
Talking to friends -- past experiences provide the most useful advice!
General Google searching & Melon of Troy Mandatory emails. Google was great for answer broader, general BM questions. Melon of Troy provided a lot of information specific to the camp and helped me feel prepared to be a part of the community.
Melon of Troy website was the most useful as it specifically detailed all of the information regarding camp + the BM itself. Was perfect!
Packing lists found on websites and searches; and talking to friends, because together these two things gave me the best sense of what I really needed to bring, what I might not really need to bring, and how much I might need to set up to get going when I got there.
All of the above
talking to friends, always better talkin then reading
Various Shared Packing spreadsheets, can't miss certain items.
Friends who'd participated - learning fr their learnings
Mandatory emails - so nicely written :)
Melon of Troy facebook group
Garth because Garth
Talking to friends
Emails were most helpful because they were thorough and focused.
My own googling, and melon of troy mandatory emails and MoT facebook group!
All!
Talking to friends whom had been to Burning Man previously. Because I could use their experiences to inform my prep.
Packing lists I previously found online.
speaking with friends, I'm rather stubborn and so I have a hard time doing preparations if I don't understand the reasoning behind them
facebook group -> packing list




What do you wish you packed this year, but didn't?

more costumes
A better bag to hold my stuff
A comforter.
More shorts
Better fanny pack
hand broom to sweep dust out of tent. Shelf or table for in-tent (intents!) storage
Bike basket?
Bike Flag
Better food. Clothes (my luggage got lost)
More crazy and fun costumes
One a day contacts
Headdresses & healed gold buckle boots
One of those dorky head light things
A padded bicycle seat..
Can't remember ...
a dust mask!
batteries
Nothing! If anything, I over-packed
Binoculars!
Gifts to give people
Nothing really, I was prepared. If anything I wish I packed less.
Solar charger for phone (camera).
stick sunscreen for face ease
More backups of essentials; headlamp, goggles, dust mask.
Cigarettes and hand sanitizer
Sneakers
Rv
Photocopied driver's license.
an extra pair of boots; this was the first year I wasn't able to alternate between footwear, and my feet definitely noticed. I also neglected to bring a watch, which would have been really helpful for making it back to camp for certain things.
Látex gloves
A better bicycle!!!!!!
BIKE'!!!!! Wish I knew more about the importance of having a bike.
more light for my bike
Fur Coat
A cheese plate.
Fan for our tent. It was SO hot!
Better outfits, less food.
headlamp in carry-on, not in bin. a pillow.
Costumes
More expressive clothing and style, tastier snacks than fruit and nuts
More costumes!
More costume
blow up couch
A small compact camera, a fur coat, an inflatable mattress, a larger tent, ice cream, tissue paper, aloe, more lotion, work gloves to keep my hands moist, a cup with a copy of my ID taped to it, premade burritos, a selfie stick, walkie talkies, a golf bag, a pitching wedge, some golf balls, a more elaborate EL wire setup for both me and my bike (so friends could know where I am), tarot cards, a Ouija board, bocce ball
More salty food easily cooked with hot water
More light-up wearables (less loose EL wire nonsense)
n/a
Two of everything. Bigger tent. Infinite supply of tampons.
Less shit
less food
Nothing I can think of, was prepared.
Warmer clothes for variable evening weather
A better dusk mask
I had WAY more than I needed
binoculars; telescope; apple juice; dry scrape bin and scraper as first step in dish washing process; a better shade structure for the side of my mobile domicile
More light
Less
More comfortable boots :( Better bed (my air mattress kept deflating!)
Drugs
A camp chair to contribute to the common area
I think there was something, but I can't remember what it was. I did pretty good.
chapstick
Salve, more socks

Was there anything you weren't prepared for at Burning Man?

No
no
Nope!
Didn't have outerwear for cool but not cold night
The crazy drama on Saturday
Nope
Amount of biking
Drinking all that water, trying to not sleep off automatically at night
Unwritten expectations of camp members
Bike seat was so uncomfy!
How awesome it was?
The lack of sleep
Not really.
Not cold at night
Exodus nosleep amber alert
I wasn't prepared for how awesome melon camp would be! (but seriously, I'm usually pretty well-prepared for the burn. I'm too type A not to be)
deep house
nope
Nose bleeds lol
Even though I had all my dust protection / survival gear at burning man, it wasn't always in my backpack. I could have done a much better job packing given you never know when the dust storms will begin. Also, a cheap bike is not a good idea. It's incredibly tough conditions out there and a bike is a vital tool not only for fun but for survival.
The sand. It's still coming out of my clothes
costumes
I didn't prepare my day/night pack and personal lighting as much as I should have. I always felt like I was underprepared in that respect, but it wasn't due to lack of information.
The amount of dust (no idea how I couldn't understand that). How hot it would be in the middle of the day.
No, I was prepared for everything.
I don't think so
Extra goggles
Not particularly.
The heat!
I wasn't prepared for people to need me as much as they did. And I didn't bring enough tampons.
Night time dressing and layering
The sheer quantity of drugs
The "drop in" experience
(:
How well run the camp was.
Dust
Being my 2nd year I felt well-prepared
No.



Any other suggestions/solutions for pre-playa logistics?

stress the importance of a good bike - didnt feel Melons did that enough
Need a more formal system for organizing and labeling the contents of the Cali truck
The e-mails were useful, but felt a little repetitive at times. To be honest, there was a bit much to digest. I think they could have been a bit more concise and there would have been less confusion at camp (clearly some people had not read the emails). Overall great content and important stuff, though!
Could have used ideas on specific gifts that would be needed on the playa. I felt like I could've planned that better
I wish people were more open and helpful about where they were coming from. It's really challenging carrying everything from the burner express bus. Would have been helpful to put one box in a car or rv last minute. Like if we had a spreadsheet including "where are you coming from" "how are you traveling" "when are you leaving"
If there were anway to force people to read the emails I would say that may help. Aside from breaking into people's homes and holding their eyes open.. I personally would have done more (and will next year) pre and post organizing/set up/clean up/etc if I had known a timeline in advance since I live far away. It was my first year as a melon so I didn't quite realize how much work wasn't being spread out enough amongst campers. Now that I saw it I will do more going forward and adjust my travelling according to where/when I can be helpful.
Nope. You guys did an amazing job!
I packed a lot of things I wish I hadn't packed... such as a lot of food I was too lazy to make and alcohol I didn't really want to drink. Not a camp issue, more about being realistic with myself.
I would've been down to come to camp a day earlier than the gate opened exclusively to help setup the camp infrastructure, but this option was not publicized to the camp, so I assumed it wasn't an option.
Resources page on the site with links to good threads or sites from around the web.
Nope
If there are any things that Reno people can do more of, I'd like to be able to help I realize it's difficult with the camp being primarily chicago and so-cal based.
less emails; more concise emails - it takes way more time than necessary to read through and get info that could be expressed briefly - I'm worried some people don't even look at them
No I think I did pretty well..since I live so far from playa
More infor and stress on importance of bikes. Everything else was awesome and i love the melons 
No
Social gathering to get to know people (in addition to build days)?
maybe some sort of doc for campers to collaborate on bringing items? Maybe camp is too big, but a sheet or doc where people are like "I'm bringing 5 lbs of goldfish" and someone else can say "I'm bringing 4 jars of pickles" or whatever. Stuff like that gets lost in the fb feed...
Pre-select Dinner Captains before assigning teams- no one on our team stepped up initially.
More time/support to plan dinners
I was very impressed with the communication and organization throughout, but especially pre-playa.

On-Playa Logistics

Arrival and Orientation


Any other suggestions for on-playa logistics? Was there anything that your MOP orientation and the MelonTips failed to explain adequately?

It was odd the camp didnt all get together to introduce everyone at once. the lack of activities like this was unfortunate
Not really!
Could not find the melon tips when I arrived and throughout the week I did not see as many as expected.
Not really sure how to make this happen, but it would be nice to discourage people from leaving their shit out all over the playatech tables and in other public areas.
Orienting people on playa may be too late. Perhaps printing out the orientation script and distributing it in advance / making it available on website would allow people to review it and then get a "refresh" on playa.
Pictures of the inside of the truck would have been helpful. So we knew where bikes and containers were stored ahead of time.
from what I experienced/overheard if people were unsure of something it was easily cleared up by a melon or the melontips. I think the orientation overwhelmed some upon arrival, as I watched them go from station to station. I think it's important to have the MOP - it's a nice welcome/transition for incoming people - but maybe stress that they should do it after setting up and calming down a bit so they can take in all the information without forgetting it.
Nope, it was awesome! Big improvement from the year before. Wish I had that kind of orientation tour my first year.
Better sense of what needs to be done around camp, things randomly appeared on the board.
visual water barrel-changing diagram posted might be nice (kinda difficult to grasp seeing one run-through)
Nope, my MOP just kept getting distracted!
No
10 principles
I think a melon tip or two for dishes (in both dish stations) might have been helpful; I saw a lot of people doing dishes in the opposite order (washing in bleach first, getting the whole thing unnecessarily dirty by not scraping plates, etc). I also think there need to either be more gray water barrels, fewer people, or a whole lot more fear-of-god emphasis on not filling them willy-nilly. OR, maybe the cost of getting them pumped like we did this year just gets built into the camp dues...? This one's less of a suggestion and more of a suquestion: does it make sense to assign on-playa duties ahead of time, kind of like we did with dinner shifts? Or is that just too type A for the burn?
clearer explanations to newcomers no one works for them - all making this happen together
No..I think you guys did a great job with MOP..if anything I think that people should use some common sense for certain things .
I thought the camp ran smoothly
In addition to having Melontips, I think a "camp bible" would help remove the information sharing burden.
It was hard to get introduced into the group most of the time. It would've been great if there was more introductions to other camp members, if you weren't able to attend as many build days.
I didn't notice the MelonTips, mostly. Were they hiding in the dust, or the dusty recesses of my mind? If one fails to be irritated by an object, it has become a part of you, incorporated into your immune system.
I saw very few melon tips cards this year. I saw them originally at the start of the week, but by the end they seemed to have been moved or removed.
MOP Orientation left me a little confused about refilling water and washing dishes, but I learned those things pretty quickly so it wasn't a huge deal. I think some sort of tracking system for hours, like putting a star sticker next to your picture for each hour you volunteer or something, might help add some slight accountability to the honor system. I felt like the camp was so big that some people got away with not participating/helping and did not honor the system :(
I didn't feel very comfortable in the kitchen until my dinner night (which was way late in the game). I think I was unclear on who was bringing what, and I brought so little with me, so I felt like I couldn't use things. I didn't fully understand where all the different utensils and plates and such were kept, nor how to clean up properly after myself without wasting water or contaminating something. Possibly some early group snack-making could ensure newbies feel comfortable with the wackiness of playa food prep. The last thing we'd want is someone to be nibbling on granola and going hungry because they don't feel comfortable cooking something hot, but when I look back I realize it was kind of part of the reason I didn't eat enough the first several days.
It would have been great to have had a welcome buddy - maybe a previous first year that could be a general go to or friendly face at camp.
My MOP didn't give a comprehensive overview
My melon orientator was very nice and tried to be helpful but wasn't actually very helpful at all :(
I didn't personally have to suffer the consequences of this, but I was definitely worried that noobs and virgins failing to follow instructions would be a burden on the campmates who had to pack up and clean up afterwards.
Melon Tips seem like a good idea to put on paper but I didn't read a single one. Most everybody's first instinct is to ask someone for help.
Teresa was my orientation melon and she did a fantastic job.
I know there was talk about everyone getting orientation. However, after 3 years in our camp, I think I would find mandatory orientation annoying.
No, I think everything was made pretty clear, and everybody made themselves available for questions

Community Participation

Projects/Responsibilities within Melon of Troy

How many hours did you contribute to volunteering at camp?

Average = 28.8 hours
Median = 12 hours




Any other suggestions/solutions relating to in-camp project sign ups, 10 hour requirement, etc.?

At the end of the week having a clearer sense of what jobs need to be done, when and how would be nice.
Nope!
more clarity on break down/ 10 hour requirement
More categorized lists of things that need doing might make it easier for less-invested melons to contribute
Felt about right. I guess I questioned if 960 people-hours is actually required to accomplish what we did - but I think I'm not fully appreciating the amount of pre-playa work that many folks did to make Melon of Troy successful. I also feel like *some* people that showed up later (after camp was setup) that didn't do pre-playa work didn't get a chance to put in 10 hours (I could be wrong about this, I have no data to back that hunch up).
How to do everything manual.
Perhaps lesser pressure to immediately do something "to contribute towards your 10 hours". I felt that I did contribute wheneve I could, and I loved to help out, but the few times I hung around in the common area relaxing I felt coerced into more work. It felt like saying no at some times when you were trying to unwind or sit and process things was seen in a bad light
I am still confused as to whether time spent working preplaya counted towards the ten hours requirement. I think we need more teams to do stuff especially like break down
I think having a sign up sheet for tasks and days -- like the ice runs -- would be helpful and maybe hold people to more of a commitment. I also signed up for camp on the last day (sorry...) so I missed out on some opportunities to do pre-event things that I would have liked.
No suggestions.
List out what they are ahead of time and have people commit. Also add estimated time allotments so people are comfortable they met the 10 hours. I had to search for projects and still don't know exactly how many hours I did.
perhaps assign ice runs?
Have the kitchen always closed, lounge area too open. Would be nice to have more closed shades area. Like those big army tents or a bigger dome.
I had a bit of anxiety about whether or not I'd be able to complete my 10 hours (only to be reassured later that I'd done more than plenty). Other type A folks might find comfort in an in-advance sign-up sheet. Or even just a way to sign up for other stuff, like we had with ice runs.
There was definitely some confusion related to the guidelines of the 10 hour program, and how that was communicated, versus what seems to have actually been expected. There were a lot of apparent unwritten rules and double standards
I think it would be a valuable exercise to estimate the hours needed to set up, maintain and take down camp, and then prescribe required time based on that number. I suspect that 10 hours may have been a little bit light, although improved organization of tasks in 2017 would help us work more efficiently.
I think, overall, communication could be clearer prior to going to Build Days. Maybe an outline of what camp NEEDS in order to get successfully to burning man (e.g. "We need to do: x, y, z prior to burning man) will put a bit of healthy pressure on lower involved folks. Then, the the Facebook page can be updated with how those items are going/checking them off the list bi-weekly/monthly so everyone can see progress. Once we got to BM, I felt like the leaders of Melon camp, and a few select melons (I feel like I could've put more effort in, so I'm not counting myself in this group) were very much put on the spot and put so much energy towards putting camp together and keeping it running smoothly that they weren't able to have the best experience at BM, whereas the majority of camp members didn't feel the same kind of responsibility towards camp as those others. It made me a little sad because that's not really in the spirit of how I saw the BM principles (communal effort, not only going out, having fun and expressing yourself). I think there can be a healthy balance between requirements (which I'm sure many saw as not that important/annoying, but are actually EXTREMELY important), and fun. And I think that healthy balance can come from showing newbies and veterans alike the progress and effort it takes leading up to BM, rather than getting frazzled and pushing people while there, and then not seeing the results because people say "It's Burning Man, I can do whatever I want, no one can tell me what to do!". Maybe there can even be a new position(s) within the XCV devoted towards healthy accountability or something. I don't think this SHOULD fall on the leadership team, because you all are doing amazing work holding the Melons together (i.e. more Melons should step up and take responsibility); but unfortunately, it's the something the leadership team must deal with. So, enough rambling from me!
In my hour estimate, I included driving to/from SF-Bay for CaliTruck, as I would otherwise have flown direct to Reno.
Any pre-playa projects that could be done by one person in a remote-ish location would be super cool
With the 10 hour requirement, there was no way to really track how much one had accomplished, and even upon completing it, one could still be expected to assist. I think that assigning everyone scoped, accomplish-able tasks with clearly outlined success criteria would have been a better way of organizing work in the camp - as well as fostering a general environment of being willing to help out through kindness and making people feel loved and included.
See my answer on the previous page. Felt there were so many people that a lot of them flew under the radar. Some way of illustrating how many hours people have worked, and allowing them to self-track in a public way may help hold people accountable.
We can talk more about this but I think some language around the requirement being a minimum would help, plus some additional explanation of the significance of making these contributions. Perhaps people need a better understanding of the risks we all face when things start to fall apart, and of the need to sometimes drastically scale the work up if challenges arise. I think one of the best parts of how it was described initially was the examples of "maybe you do early stuff, maybe you do late stuff, maybe you space it out in chunks all week long." Obviously we can't be comprehensive in creating examples, and should be transparent about that. But giving people more scenarios seems like a good idea, not only because it's concrete, but it could also give everyone something more to point to if conflicts arise.
I feel like there should be some sort of check off list of names and how people are contributing. Not like a clock in sheet. But something that others can see what other people are accomplishing maybe to encourage them
I have a lot to say on this topic, but without sounding like a total dolt, I sometimes felt confused while at camp during the day figuring out how to be most effective. I realize there were a lot of tips around and emails emphasizing the 10 hr requirement, but I think for people like me, an overview during MOP of evergreen opportunities to support - like always ensuring the shower has water or dish washing would have been useful. I've also considered what it would look like to have evergreen assignments or regions of camp. I realize that these conflict w the ethos of self reliance and perhaps a spirit of fun, but I often felt like there was invisible fb happening around camp support, so it's possible people like me could have benefitted fr this.
Give people clear ways they can participate - I heard a lot of new melons didn't know what to do. One person said they even pretended to help for an hour. Another thing I heard from new melons was that they though old melons could be really grumpy/hard to approach when they wanted to help. Also, there are times there is a lot of pressure to do camp-related things because a lot needs to be done, but for people who got most of their hours in early, the pressure can feel unfair
I was only there for less than 3 days, which made everything feel very compressed. I would have liked more time to be a useful member of the camp.
There is an obvious disconnect between melons expectations (generally new melons) and the playa reality. It seems to me that a large number of melons have no clue how much work was involved pre-playa, during the burn and post-playa. I believe this is due in large part to the size of our camp. Including someone means taking responsibility for them which means we have to manage them. Management sucks. If there is a single team member whom doesn't have the same operating standards as the core of the group, management is forced to try and bring them up to our level. That's not an easy thing to do nicely. I know this is all rather obvious but I'll say it anyways: Smaller group, higher standards, less stress.

Volunteering at Burning Man


Roughly how many hours did you spend volunteering outside of camp while you were in Black Rock City?

Average = 7.7 hours
Median = 6 hours

Dinners and the Kitchen


What did you expect to find in the kitchen that wasn't there?

A personal chef.
Nothing!
iced coffee at the end of the week
healthier communal snacks
I heard there was going to be cold brew coffee but I think maybe I just over-imagined what that setup was going to look like :)
Small pots and pans to cook personal amounts of food.
Clean wash water. I changed it almost every day but it was gross and often left gross.
Sharper knives
Kitchen was well stocked!
More kettles, there was high demand in hot water.
Lighters
I eventually found everything I needed, but the pots/pans/dishes took some rummaging on occasion. I really loved how the kitchen utensils were hung and labeled (though I cut myself on a broken zip tie twice; maybe a different hanging implement would be good?). Perhaps a similar organizational system could be implemented for cookware and dishes. It seemed really effective as long as people adhered to it.
More bacon.
Nothing, it was just hard to find certain pots and pans at times, but overall, I had everything I needed.
a dozen amphorae of Damascene wine, one containing a talisman, another a viper
I wish there had been more of the Gatorade powder
I didn't get orientated in the kitchen so I didn't even know there was a communal area, other than the leftover food from dinners.
Wok
Smaller pots for cooking single portions (for non-dinner cooking).

Any other suggestions/solutions relating to food, drinks, coffee, kitchen, dinners, dishwashing station, pantry, coolers, bar, etc.? Dinner ideas or recipes for 2017?

A place for people to store their warm beers so anyone can toss them in the cooler? Clearer cold brew instructions? More Gatorade? Perhaps a Thanksgiving dinner?
Nope!
There was a conflict in my dinner team. It would be nice if something like that happens, the conflict could be dissolved by switching the person with another team
So much food was leftover at the end of the burn. I would like to find a solution to this issue next year by donating food to pantries or better organizing food supplies. Maybe a google doc where people can add the communal supplies they are bringing....
moar mixers
Definitely need one extra cooler for communal drinks! And some days the leftovers were too much. Maybe prior planning or re-evaluating the quantities of ingredients
Please be careful with spice. I got sick from the Indian food. People don't understand the issues with grey water. They need to be better communicated in advance of playa.
Wish the gatorade mix didn't run out after day 1. Coffee container was life! Not sure the ice scheduling really worked in the coolers. They got nasty and I found myself opening many without ice. Concerning.
I ate better in the desert than i do at home...
Hippie mash? I.e., fried-rice-style quinoa, plus lots of fixings.
communal coffee was great!
The leftovers in coolers were a bit daunting - at times it was hard to figure out what things were and dig through the very full coolers. Maybe a sign on the outside would help, and better cooler organization inside. Also, one time I accidentally put gatorade in my cold brew coffee instead of water. It wasn't THAT bad, but maybe we could label the current contents of the water / g-ade coolers better?
Have some dues go to communal items like peanut butter, oatmeal, snacks so everyone doesn't buy them separately.
a tarp of some sort beneath cooking/food prep areas (and trash) could ease the final mooping
We need to bring more mixers!
emphasize on the burningmelon website and/or emails how much leftover food we always end up with, and maybe include peanut butter in the "what not to bring" list. Also, tupperware might be worth bringing. There were a lot of liquids and other soupy leftovers put into large zip-locks that ended up busting open and making for a gnarly cooler clean-out situation.
Let's definitely just repeat the meals! No need to reinvent the wheel
Include the dinner cost in the fee / team in charge of Coffee
The dinner nights should be themed with food, costume and may be music. It will increase the interest and participation
Felt like camp had way too much, then it was hard to deal with at the end! Unfortunately, I think this happens a LOT at Burning Man, so maybe put more on folks to take care of their own food, and then provide bare essentials for cooking? Leaders did a great job in any case!
I would be happy to mix proper cocktails at a bar, serving the camp or the city. Dishwashing stations served a more ritual function later the week, although our belief in ritual is strong, as it should be, and none to my knowledge were taken ill. Paper plates and bowls were a blessing for the kitchen. Can we not acquire a block of ice, 2 meters on a side, which chills a volume of space continuously without human intervention?
Thanks for reintroducing the Gatorade. Would be nice to have a system to segment off some of the ice for personal drink use. Wasn't clear whether certain cubed ice was potable or not. Would recommend more people bring mixers rather than liquor next time.
I loved everything! Only suggestion would be an italian/pasta night :)
See previous - early-in-the-week food making demo, or volunteers in charge of inviting virgins to observe them making non-dinner meals, some kind of outreach like that to make sure people are truly oriented to the kitchen. It's just more complicated than simply knowing where something is, like the melondome or bathrooms. I'm a kinesthetic learner! I need to do it, not see it! :D It may be a bit coddling, but I think it would have improved my experience, so it may improve someone else's next year.
1 propane fo each stove
It would be great to know what's going to be there to share in advance - that way people don't bring their own coffee and things like that
More fresh ice in the beer cooler.
Breakfast was the worse meal. It wasn't substantial enough. Nobody wants to eat oatmeal for dinner no matter how yummy the toppings. Period.
omg i thought every night was AMAZING. taco night, indian food night, breakfast for dinner night should happen EVERY YEAR PLEASE!!!! <3
More bacon
I thought the mac n cheese was the only low point of all of our dinners
This might have existed, but it wasn't clear to me if there was a cooler for personal food or shared food that wasn't dinner food (not drinks).
More electrolyte powder

The Ten Principles and Melon Of Troy


Did you learn anything about any of the Ten Principles this year or something about yourself because of the Ten Principles?
Absolutely loved and tried to embrace Radical Inclusion whenever possible :) Leave no trace was important to me as well. Picked up trash throughout the playa when I found it. Felt great about it!
The more I have to do and help with the more I engage with others.
I realized how comfortable I felt in my own body in a space that was not judgmental, and it felt weird coming back to the default world. I loved the environment at the Melon camp; it was very supportive, safe, and fun.
They're really hard to keep to
It's what, 3 weeks after the burn? I'm still living with these 90%. I hope to continue although I assume some will dwindle.
I was pleasantly amazed at how much I was immediately accepted. It was awesome. I think I learned to be more open and accepting because of it. I was also so happy (for lack of a better word given the situations) with how the couple ranger incidents were handled. It was such a group effort to make sure everyone was safe, comfortable, and taken care of. It was really a band together moment late Saturday night and Sunday morning that ended with the best possible outcomes given the situation. Help and support was available and provided whenever needed which helped immensely for everyone whether or not they were directly involved.
I was able to participate and contribute more this year than before, and it felt really good!
I learned of the existence of the ten principles, and I love them. Excited to be applying them to my life after burning man :)
Yes, I felt that I had a deeper experience with Participation, Immediacy, and Radical Inclusion.
radical inclusion means everyone, even those who may appear "unburnery"
Yes, practicing immediacy is real and good! Was disappointed about how the stranger was perceived. Why couldn't we be honest with the guy and take him to the health tent? Due to some lack of community participation (cleaning/work) do we need a melon bonding experience as part of MOP?
Yes
Constantly learning !
Yes, immediency
yes
Civic responsibility resonated with me more this year than any year prior. At times it was stressful, but it also contributed meaningfully to the satisfaction I have from my trip to the playa.
I think I learned some things for sure. I wish this question had a "Why did you choose the answers you did?" because I feel like I need to explain myself. I don't have anything bad to say about the XCV. I think you all did a fantastic job building, running, and including everyone in a camp that seems to be the biggest in its history. However, the reason why I listed "not enough" to some of the principles is because I often felt very closed off when in camp/trying to introduce myself/put myself out there in camp. Part of this is on me (hence the learning: I can be very shy/awkward and feel uncomfortable when around new people, and while BM didn't teach me this, it certainly showed how that can affect my experience and is something I desperately need to work on) and how I can be selfish when gifting (which is not really gifting, if I expect to get some kind of positive experience out of gifting). However, I also felt that many others in camp could not be very "giving" with their inclusion, and I sometimes felt judged because I wasn't part of the "club" enough. I tried my best to be open, but I'll admit that it was hard at times to do that, and rather than try harder to fit and participate in camp, I went my own way and participated elsewhere. I feel that maybe I just didn't devote enough time and effort to getting to know people, or maybe that there weren't enough outlets to introduce myself prior to getting to BM. This is probably not so much on the leaders of camp, but maybe the culture of camp because of the size/other factors that I'm not considering. So the point could be moot to you!
Definitely more talk about the principles this year. I think I can recite them off better.
I learned that gifting can be so much more than physical objects, and the best gifts that I can give are from who I am.
I always learn more things about myself when I come in contact with rules and guidelines for living
I learned that radical self-reliance isn't about trying to take care of all your needs by yourself, it's about learning to ask the right people for help when you need it
Yes. I learned a lot more this year about immediacy, and communal effort. Being a part of a camp provided a micro-community within BM for me to be a part of, and created a whole new level of experience for me.
To me, self-reliance now means I get to decide how much I want to ask of myself before turning to others. Others may turn to me sooner, but that is not for me to judge or take example from. I ask a lot of myself in life, and some even say I need to give myself more of a break. And maybe I should rely on others more - but my gut says to me that the most satisfying experiences I have in life are often when I persist past the point where I thought I'd have to give up. I haven't always had the best persistence, but at Burning Man, that is all I did. I persisted and persisted. Not just because I had to, but because I could. And I was kind to myself and others throughout. Even in such an out of control environment, I don't know that I've ever felt so in control, just by choosing my own level of engagement like that.
no
Mostly where these appear / reveal themselves in my daily life (or not) and where there is room for incorporation.
Gifting was a big part of my experience. I never new asking a stranger to dip there hand into my purple bag would evoke such feelings
Yess
I experienced so much more Communal Effort this year by being with Melon of Troy. There is strength in numbers, and the Melons put so much into the community of Burning Man.
I read a bit about them before coming to burning man, and they are an important why I came. I think that they are all important and relevant but I'm particularly interested in immediacy, as it relates to mindfulness
Yes! Immediacy

Do you have any other thoughts/suggestions on how we can better communicate the Ten Principles to new Melons?

Perhaps some (optional) activities around camp to demonstrate the principles?
Some kind of art that expresses them all, perhaps even similar to brett's where it asks you to go do something when interacted with.
Perhaps during orientation, talk about the ways in which some people emulate these principles. For new burners it takes a few days, but could definitely use guidance :-)
Tie them to our mission and specific tasks
Make a snarky video. Burners love snark. People remember videos. Maybe break out in song.
I think if anything some were underprepared coming in - no blame whatsoever on first time burners. Again, I think everyone can be as prepared as they need to be with the amount of information that is sent out prior to arrival. It's all there!
I noticed some melons had taken a fancy multi-cloth flag thing from another camp, after a bunch had fallen down in a wind stormg. They took the beautiful cloth and used it to cover their own tent. They told me about it as though it was a ground score. When I asked them about whether they might want it back, they suggested that because it was a ground score, it was fine. I think they thought that "gifting" also kinda meant "taking". As in "these folks are all so chill and generous, they're not going to mind if I take their stuff". This is clearly not not true. When I thought about it later, I realized that I should have made the point, at the time, that the Burner-y thing to do would have been to find the camp's owners and return the multi-textured cloth flag.
The Melons are a naturally planny bunch, so maybe we could do more to promote immediacy (not sure what though). On inclusion and gifting, we should have one or two events. We should also have a bigger sign for the melon dome next year to make it clear it's open to the public.
Could post them somewhere central in camp.
I think it can't be forced, that everyone has to come to each in their own time. I think that the camp does an excellent job of embodying the 10 principles and making people aware of them and that is a beautiful thing.
LOUDER MELON SONG X FREQUENCY =FRUIY BASED LOVE
Signs, orientation
Leave no trace is the principle that I see on the fastest decline (not necessarily at melon camp, but everywhere). It's always been important to me to mitigate the frat boy effect by working extra hard to make sure I'm able to pick up everything I can. I think encouraging melons to bring proper moop bags (like Rachel - what a gem!) to pick up moop outside camp would be great. Maybe even have a daily melon moop outing up and down our street? Or have a daily dinner competition to see who picked up the most moop out on playa that day! Awards (not necessarily material; even a name on a board would be cute) for "most useful moop," "most moop gathered," "weirdest moop," etc could be really really fun. In short: make moop pickup exciting and not a chore.
I think that creating a melon manifesto that shares who we are and what we do, aligned with the 10 principles, would help draw those connections for new and returning melons.
No, I really don't. I honestly feel like every new Melon I met was very accommodating/generous/worked hard, and I feel like us newer Melons get a bad rap for not caring, when it is often the opposite. I also feel like communicating the principles comes naturally with the needs of camp, and that the leaders were especially good at getting things done. So no suggestions here.
Artificial constraints
I think with camp so big it was easy to lose the communal effort, civic responsibility, and self-reliance aspect. If camp is a little smaller that might work better.
Be more inclusive of new melons in arenas other than the orientation. Some melons were downright rude.
It might be a good idea to give melons a better understanding of the principles they would be following when they do things around camp by listing those principles at the bottom of melon tips associated with those activities.
no
Inclusion and community are ones that I had some difficulty with within our camp. I think there is an oppty to reflect on this as a camp esp as the camp grows, tribes form and new melons continue to become a part of the community. Also while diversity doesn't appear on the list, I think this is another consideration worth examining.
I suggest we have a more formal way of ensuring new Melons internalize these concepts
Teach them early on
I think we should try to have more stuff for others in our camp frontage. Also, the hammocks were too far back for non-camp members to use.
I feel like the ten principles were never fully explained and were frequently referenced as something to consult on your own time. Going through them one by one with examples might have been helpful

Looking Ahead

What advice would you give to a new melon attending Burning Man for their first time in 2017?

Just do it.
Have fun, let go
Don't think of the camp as "plug & play" the dues and fact that things are up and running when you arrive just mean everyone else busted their asses before you got there. Pitch in - everyone will appreciate it! The melons are *extremely* organized and that's part of what makes them so fucking awesome!
Be ready to help. Remember you're part of a community. But also have fun. Ask for help, ask how you can help. That will lead to more connections as well.
Pace yourself
Don't be afraid to be yourself. This is the best place for that. Spend more time with people who you've never met, and meet new people. You'll have the most amazing adventures with them
Be aware we are not a plug and play camp. We expect you to participate and help out.
Do your frickin research no matter how stressful it is! Learn as much as you possibly can to survive and bring the right things. Prepare for anything (mostly weather wise).
Read the camp emails and find out what you actually need so you don't overpack
Read the emails :)
Be generous and have no expectations.
Read all the material, extend yourself to interact with other melons and look for ways to contribute to the camp.
Prepare for more preparation and more expense than you anticipate, and start thinking about the burn early. Go in with an open mind. It's hard not to have expectations, but try to leave them aside. Listen to the Melon Camp, they know what they are talking about and it will help you to be prepared. Participate and help out wherever needed, and be prepared to rely on yourself more than you might at first expect. Burning Man is not just a big party. It can be much more than that, but don't try to make it so. Just have few plans and engage with whatever is around you at any point in time. Let it happen.
Have your own burn.
learn, participate, enjoy
Prepare to participate and be compassionate
Embrace it and be open
Go deep playa. Dont be ashamed to sleep.
Robot Heart plays boring music. Don't bother.
Come with as few expectations as possible, be ready to say yes to a lot, and be willing to participate fully in whatever is in front of you. Practice radical self-reliance, and DO NOT BE A SPECTATOR.
To listen and to use common sense. .nobody needs to babysit you..if you see moop ..PICK IT UP if something is out of place/broken fix it or put it back ..Don't be afraid to ASK questions.
Get boots that cover your ankle and a bike
Don't overpack food
Be ready to participate. Its a communal effort and you are not a tourist who goes somewhere, takes pictures and leaves your shit behind :)
Clear eyes, full hearts. Can't lose.
Go to events/meetups/build days prior to getting there. Even if you don't have the time, try to make the time. It can really turnaround an experience by finding and meeting lots of people beforehand. Also, ffs, bring a fan or some kind of cooling device if you're tent camping!
Don't forget your ticket. Goggles, dust mask, sunscreen, gloves, 2L water carrying capacity, 1-ply toilet paper. Bring one-third less food than you think you will eat. Salt & Savory. Don't buy "Burner" fashion. Remove packaging and any unnecessary plastic before packing. Everything will be irrevocably covered in fine, alkali dust. Bring only gifts that you love to give. Don't forget your ticket; that's all you really need.
if you don't know ask, helping is rewarding, and the melons are the best :)
Come without expectations
Relax. Ask questions. Make friends.
let go of expectations
Keep a journal - set and write down your intentions for the week beforehand. Use that journal as a guide to keep you in line with those intentions. Make sure you get sleep each day. No amount of partying is worth sleep deprivation in such a harsh physical and emotional climate.
Look for ways to participate and don't get trapped behind your cellphone camera.
Solo time is important, but take the time to just hang out at camp and be a part of the group you are camped with.
Try to spend even more time alone than you think you want to at first. It will be challenging to take pictures and write ideas down, but try hard anyway. If you can't afford to bring two of everything, consider what you may have to do to fix or replace something if it breaks.
To be a tad more selective when it come to who we accept as melons. Some folks say they're willing to work but in the end really just create more work for other people to do for them .
Ask to see some of the veteran packing lists, they are very helpful.
Openness physically and emotionally matters - embrace the people and things are aren't familiar and lean into discomfort. Some of my best moments emerged from explorations involving both.
Plan your gift, don't just come to party/do drugs, take the tenants seriously (MEMORIZE+INTERNALIZE THEM)
It takes a few days to drop in but after that, it's amazing. Always camp with the melons :)
Don't bring glowsticks. Do make your own el-wire. Don't put unwanted food and drinks in the trash. Do be a good user of resources and eat all of the food and drink you've started.
Pack light, help out, and trust in your fellow melons.
Don't feel pressure to gift, just be open and soak it all in while you can and try to give back where you can. It's okay to take more in than you can give back your first year.
Dive in head first
Be prepared to work, and even more prepared to play. Be open, participate as much as you can, and soak up the melon love!
There will probably be an adjustment period but try to relax and think positively as soon as you can
Bring very warm clothes

Do you have any suggestions for next year's camp name?

OctoMelon
Discomelon
Gotta wait for next year's theme
Melon Masters
Melonopolis
Meloninn
Planned Melonhood
Melonic (like melodic)
I just sat there way too long trying to come up with a new one; I am guessing Melon and Sons will win either way
I was a fan of disco melon
Melon Collie, "If life gives you melons ...", Convicted melons
Planned Melonhood or something on theme
Disco Melon 2017
Melontopia
not yet
Melon drop ...bc of the meme below
Cougar meloncamp
Melon-collie, Scattermelon, Sour Melon, Surly Melon, Melonoscopy, One in a Melon
Melonely
Baller Melon
Salty Melons
DISCO MELONS
Melons all the way !!!
Melonita
Call it whatever you want. I'm making Melon & Sons Recreational Moving t-shirts.
Nope!
Of Mice and Melons; Melonious Thonk;
Melon-oma... and we should hand out sunscreen
what is a first degree melony?
Camp Ottermelon
Melon and on and on and on (this is the best i could come up with on the spot i need more time!!! i love puns!)
Melonius Funk; A Well-Regulated Melonitia; Melon Nation Army; Melonalia (Bacchanalia theme)
Meloncopia
Melonia Trump
Melon Ball Z
Border Melon Collie and the Infinite Tacos
I appreciate our theme within in a theme but let's be honest, did you see a single display of anything Troy? I, for one, did not. Once more, it seems we're spreading ourselves too thin. Between the festival theme and our melon obsession, why do we need to come up with an arbitrary melon name that nobody understands nor takes seriously. I vote we fly our melon flag high and leave it at that.
Walter Malone
Forget melon let's call it lemon
Melon Ballers
Mad Melon (Mad Max inspired.)
Melontasia

Additional Suggestions

Any additional suggestions to make future melon camps even better?

I can haz an art car?
There was a fair amount of VERY PUBLIC drug use in camp and elsewhere. I think some encouragement to not do that so publicly would be good. I'd be happy if we hosted a single, melon-themed event (party?) that made it into the who what when where. If for nothing else, to have an answer to the annoying question of "what does your camp do." I'd like it if camp were smaller....I like knowing most of the people I camp with, and it got a little overwhelming with some of the less-invested members.
There were one or two incidents around camp (not Saturday night/Sunday) that were a little awkward and I think made some people uncomfortable/annoyed. Specifically the public shaming that was had for things like bikes being parked in the wrong spot, leaving an empty beer can around or forgetting to put something back in the right place. While I *100%* understand why these things aren't cool at-scale with 96 people and it's slippery slope of what's acceptable, I didn't see any mass-abuse of any of the accepted norms the entire week. Most of the time when someone did something wrong, someone else would come along and fix it (no harm, no foul). The camp was overall pretty damn clean and problem-free from my perspective. When those issues did happen to occur with specific people around, I noticed that there was a tendency to some to yell at the top of their lungs (or get on the PA) during dinner to call people out for making a mistake. Don't get me wrong - reminders are a good thing and I didn't meet a single melon that wouldn't follow the rules if they were kindly reminded of them when they messed up. However, there were a couple cases where people felt like they "fucked up" and were doing things wrong when they might have just made simple mistake - because they're at burning man and had a few beers which happened to cause them to forget to throw away their last beer can or park their bike in a bike rack. All this said, I do fully understand that some of the senior melons that made Melon of Troy *EVEN POSSIBLE* are under a lot more stress and pressure than the average melon. I give those folks the benefit of the doubt that they were just fed up with providing as much time and energy as they did and having to live amongst a few people that maybe broke a rule or two here and there :)
Throw a party or event one day
Exodus is a disaster of hurt feelings and unbalanced workloads. We need a very detailed and specific plan for how to make the breakdown and leaving part of camp better and easier for everyone. It would be helpful to have some way to distribute daily tasks without a couple leaders of camp needing to be constantly going around and making people do stuff. Some leaders did a good job of getting people to help (like Janelle) while others made people feel unwelcome and excluded. We need to do a better job of creating an inclusive environment. We could really use a better sound system. Ours was a little pathetic. In past years we had dance parties and more fun with music in camp. We should make the investment. Camp has a melon dome - how about some events in it? We can improve our living room. How about an area that is outside but shaded, with walls made of the same stuff we use to make ceilings, and some rugs and big pillows and stuff? We can make some comfortable outdoor lounge area.
Dinners were like the best thing ever! Everyone knew not to sleep thru a dinner cause magic was going to happen in your mouth. Realized a bit late in the game that the shade structure bungees could hold 2 tarps. One for two holes. This saved a lot of time, energy, and latter moving. Someone should make this clear while giving direction. Our location rocks. Mostly because we were on A. When you get to the higher letters that looks not so good and boring and far. I wish I got to learn of everyone's occupations. I feel like that's the biggest part of someone and I failed to ask the question most of the time so I feel I didn't get to know one particular person very well. Maybe a fun survey can go out where everyone can see the populated spreadsheet. This could include the basic facts and some fun facts. Good networking and conversation starter. Many moments where leaders got pissy. I know you all have SO MUCH work to do and do an amazing job, but sometimes I got really disheartened by what I was hearing. Not sure how to fix that, just saying. Thanks for everything over and over again!!
1.) Tom Rosenthal needs to camp with us next year and 2.) I know that camp was probably a little too big and there were some issues with certain parties, but I'm not sure of a great way to address that. I know there are some parties who may not be invited back which is totally justifiable, but I would be cautious doing so and would try not to exclude others unless absolutely necessary.
Tear-down (and its resourcing) could use a bit more structure.
I think the melons are an amazingly organized group! In fact, the fearsome organization of the melons is of the things I talk about when I talk about Burning Man! I would definitely recommend the Melons do anyone who wanted to do Burning Man the right way. A couple random thoughts: * The orientation program was awesome. Definitely a great way to welcome people to camp, and get them in the mix from the very beginning. * The last time I camped with the melons (2014), we didn't have any RVs. I honestly wasn't a huge fan of the addition of RVs. They were noisy and took up a lot of space. But my biggest complaint was that my tent was right next to some exhaust pipes. I couldn't help but wonder if I was getting a generous dose of carbon monoxide as I slept. I don't want to violate the principle of inclusion here; we had some great people who came in RVs this year. I just wanted to spark a discussion about the costs/benefits of RVs, and about possibly optimizing the camp setup, accounting for people's respiratory health. * I'm sure I'm far from the first person to think of this, but should we consider getting a proper food permit, and having official watermelon-gifting events, that people can find in the program?
More weddings!
Couches in the common area
I think the camp is perfect. I love that the camp is not a loud music camp, but music can really set a great atmosphere. It would be great if we could invest in a slightly higher quality sound system for next year so that it does not distort when pushed to a slightly louder volume where situations require it to be louder.
make expectations known/more explicit? also this location was primo!
Can we request to be near Monkey Business again? Music was excellent and the banana was a perfect beacon.
I thought most people had an amazing burn! I will never not take the burner exp bus again! Unless driving early van. I will try to recognize when the melons are overwhelmed and help as possible. 2 people complained to me about the bothersome gentleman. I laughed at them bc yeah, sometimes a drunk guy locks you in annoying conversation, just life. However perhaps. I should have 1) encouraged them to speak their truth 2) help out seeing how we could get the guy to move along. It's is my 1 regret from the burn.
Make it smaller
I think the root of some of the bigger issues was how many people were there. As a first-time melon, I was hesitant to comment, but many veteran melons confirmed that this caused a lot of people and tasks to fall through the cracks.
I find the frontage user experience of our camp to be ambiguous and confusing. There is no clear public/private space. The kelp forest is neat but feels somewhat disintegrated—off on its own and not big enough to really look inviting. The dome was really cool! But the entrance was sort of facing towards our camp and made it unclear whether outsiders were really invited to come in or if it was for our camp's usage. Infrastructure-wise, our camp is amazing. But it seems like all of our efforts go to building, and little thought is paid to the design of the experience or interaction. This also goes for gifting. We say "bring melons and maybe go give them out". Maybe it's just that I don't like this gift (giving or receiving) or that the "what do you do with the rind" issue is an annoying one, but I don't find "some individuals giving away melons in the deep playa" a gift worthy of a 100-person camp on A. Next year, I would love to see the dome be more prominent. Perhaps the kelp forest is the entryway/antechamber to the dome? Or maybe, generally, the frontage interactions could be more integrated instead of just an assortment of random things. (While I'm at it, I think the magnetic table doesn't really work and is disappointing.) So maybe next year fewer, better interactions that work together? Also, maybe having a more public sitting space from which we can heckle passersby would be nice. Maybe a row of shade structure along the frontage? That's separated from the more private shade?
Have 2 communal breakfast/lunch during the week so we don't have that much leftover food by the end of the week. .and put a trash/recycling by the bike racks.
As mentioned before, clear communication regarding 10 hour program Minimizing unwritten rules Some members of XVC should be more gentle. They scare people. It's not necessary. I strongly believe the Chicago XVC members are overworked. We should be paying people to do some manual labor.
I think Exodus should be as structured as the dinners. Breaking down people into teams, having a central figure managing the work, and having a schedule of what needs to be done.
I know you've worked hard on this, but there still was too much dust in 2016. Please focus on reducing the dust in 2017.
Man, I have so many and then not that many. I outlined a lot of my suggestions in previous answers, but I can go over more here. 1) PLEASE OFFER SUGGESTIONS ON AIRFLOW IDEAS FOR TENT LIVING ON THE WEBSITE. We were idiots and didn't bring something for this, and it made it extremely difficult to take naps during the day, which, if you want to have any hope for going out at night, is essential (at least in our case). The shade was excellent, but I can't believe I didn't have even a small battery operated fan. Seriously idiotic. 2) If there could be more information surrounding how dinner works, that would be great. Ashley was awesome about outlining everything for us in terms of ingredients/steps/etc., and the dinners were delicious. It was also on your captain to know how that was going to work once you got there, so if your captain was new to it, it could be disorganized. It would be cool just to get a generic rundown of how dinner usually goes/how long dinner is anticipated, and a little bit more detail on expectations of each kitchen role. 3) The last minute headlamp suggestion was an amazing thing, and saved our lives when we got stuck out in a dust storm one night. Alternatively, my light up outfit broke, and I got so many comments about how dark I was/I didn't really have an alternate option when that happened. It would be great to get more suggestions on easy light up options (e.g. someone had wrapped themselves in fairy lights, not sure if that's what it's called, and it was brilliant/super bright/low effort light. Something where you can have a few on hand and just easily fix your shit/have light if one craps out). 4) It would be more than amazing to get some ideas on what to do when there. I know, it's kind of difficult to do this, but I also felt like a lot of the veterans knew good parties/food places/etc., but it was hard to get ideas when you're out there. Idk if this is possible, but would be nice to have some suggestions on what to do for newbies. 5) Can there be a BIG THANK YOU to the leadership team? You guys rock, and are probably wildly unappreciated. Thank you!
Tents in rows was great. (Thanks, Button.) Trash compactor. A Street was nice. Bananaphone 4eva. More coffee? Cold-brew ran dry. Ambiguity of the water/gatorade/coffee urns. More hammocks. Dinner crews rocked. Flashmob livingroom tidy. Where do all the orphan beers come from and where shall they go? Potable water tanker filled on playa? I want to be confounded.
I think that we had a few small problems this year with non-violent and nonthreatening communication. No one is gonna clean up their mess or take responsibility for it if someone threatens to kick their ass for making that mess in the first place. Maybe a melon resource for destressing or getting out melon frustration would be nice. Screaming pillows, a punching bag (or a map to one at the pink gym or other camp), a running buddy. All these would help people healthily express their frustration without hindering camp cohesion.
1. Really appreciated the Melondome this year. Was an invaluable resource for me and several other melons in terms of giving us a safe, comfortable place to rest when the temperatures were too hot. My tent was located on the East side of camp with no shade between it and the sunrise, which made it inhospitable to sleep in most of the day. 2. Would be nice if the Melon photo board was closer to the common space, so that people could see it and learn names while chilling in their chairs. 3. Would be nice to have a chalk or dry erase board in the common area for Melons to share their plans for the day, as a way of inviting other Melons to join them, or to let their friends know where they'll be at a certain time. 4. If our camp wanted to potentially add a brunch shift into the volunteer schedule, where people volunteered to make coffee, cook eggs, bacon, toast, or pancakes, etc. every morning from say 10 to noon... I wouldn't be opposed. Would be great to have some sort of lowkey secondary communal meal. Wouldn't mind chipping in extra $ or bringing some extra groceries for that. 5. I thought it was nice to have designated Melons who could talk to people about issues regarding consent. I volunteered to be one, and was not called upon. I think that with a camp this large, it would be useful to offer some more expanded service for people whose emotional needs aren't being met or who need help being steered in the right direction to get their needs met. I don't think it would be appropriate to have someone as a point person for a camp crisis, or someone playing the role of camp therapist, or anything like that. I do think it would be useful to have some sort of outlet for people who need advice about larger "How to deal with Burning Man" issues. I spoke to many Melons throughout the week who were going through non-immediate, camp-related emotional issues (e.g. not able to get enough sleep at camp, not feeling welcome at camp, frustration with camp logistics) who probably could have used a more direct outlet for their issue. I think having some sort of listening board (whether that's one or a few designated Melons, an anonymous suggestion-type box, or an operator-type sheet that could redirect Melons to the appropriate person for their issue) would be a helpful addition to camp, and add a sense of harmony and cohesion. Maybe the word I'm looking for is an RA. Or HR. Or something of that ilk.
I think I had a little bit of trouble with the size of camp this year. I met tons of great people, but I also struggled to feel comfortable hanging out in the living room because there was a constant flow of strangers. I also didn't feel as much of a sense of community this time around; there was a lot of instruction about how to take care of camp, but I consistently saw the same few people doing most of the work. Fairly or unfairly, I sort of came away with an impression that a lot of camp saw it mostly as a place to sleep and eat. After the Burn, I spoke to some other Burners who are part of huge camps, and they said that's just how it goes with those sizes of camps. So on that front I think camp was as well-run and organized as humanly possible given the quantity of people. I think personally if I were the dictator in charge I would shrink it back to 60 or so, but I understand that's just sort of my personal preference and not very inclusive.
I loved everything about this camp. Y'all are so incredibly organized and I'd love to play a bigger role next year! All of my notes should already be covered in previous questions.
call me! looking forward to hear what other melons' thoughts are ;)
You guys are amazing, thank you for everything.
Overall, I'm grateful for the incredible and life changing experience that camp created. This has left an indelible mark on me and is something I'll remember for ever. The parts that were difficult at camp revolved around acceptance and moments where I felt melons were shamed for their lack of participation or where it felt like there was a judgment - this was often expressed verbally and it made me quite uncomfortable. I think there are less passive, more palliative and productive ways to handle this that don't dampen the experience and ask take into account the difficulties with being both new and existing in an unfamiliar environment and provides space for forgiveness, support and positivity.
Let's plan an event/camp gift together!
Less people please :)
fire
Camp layout: A big ass orange tractor trailer is pretty and all but I wish it weren't the first thing everyone saw. I would have liked to see it either perpendicular to A or nestled between the kitchen and tents. We also could do a better job of utilizing the trailer as a structure. We drove two stories out to the playa and we're not getting on top of it?? Dehydration Station: Somebody tried to set up a melon graveyard out front of camp for dehydrating dead melons. Great idea! Unfortunately, we started dumping all of our compost on it and it just looked like a mess. It would have been awesome to have an area exclusively for our melon rinds right out front for everyone to see. Keep the rest of the compost out of immediate eye site. Art: I thought we focused too much on taking care of melons and not enough on contributing to the community at large. If giving away melon is how we contribute then let's have a standard protocol. Everyone MUST bring a melon. Everyone MUST find time to gift the melon they brought MOP: I was not impressed with the orientation. We kind of glossed over some stuff, ran a quick demo here and there and then kind of set people loose. Most of orientation was systems explanation; this is how the water works, trash works, kitchen works etc. My biggest issue was that the orientors did not seem particularly knowledgeable about what they were supposed to be teaching. Melon Tips: I would advocate for a simple laminated poster to replace most all of the melon tips. Nobody is reading those little posters.
I think the camp needs to be smaller. I didn't feel like I really got to know anyone, there were too many people, I could barely recall anyone's names even with the photo roster.
As our camp grows, I kinda feel that our camp is slowly becoming more segmented. As I explained to Drew, I think we should encourage (adhoc) outing organizers to announce (on the microphone) where they are going after dinner (assuming they want to include random Melons). This way new (and shy older) Melons are reassured they can join these groups. Of course, Melons are still free to form their own exclusive groups if they really want that.

Meta Survey


Any other suggestions/solutions relating to future surveys?
More animated GIFs
This survey was wonderful and I love (LOVE) that the melons are data-driven :)
I think we should add a question about whether the question about the length of the survey was too long.
This survey was fun! It wasn't too long, but it too me longer than 8-12 minutes. Maybe I'm a slow survey taker. I left comments for almost everything and actually looked up/counted dates, etc.
Keep it coming you crazy melons!!! 
More Katy Perry
Great job!
Choose your own adventure style! Tell me which Game of Thrones character I am.
<3
Really great GIF selection.
On the "Ten principles" too little/just right/too much page, I would've liked more levels like the other questions. Just saying "too little" felt kinda wrong for one of them cuz it was like a teeeeeny weeny bit v the other one being a little bit more know what I mean?
you are kweeng of information collection <3

DateCount
September 23, 201624
September 24, 20167
September 25, 20168
September 26, 20169
September 27, 201620
September 28, 20163
September 29, 20161