2018 Report for Placement:

Planned Melonhood at 5:10 & G

Hello Placement and other curious participants! Use the table of contents at right to jump a specific section.


  • Engaged with 2,000+ participants via 5 events in the printed Where, What, When
  • Supported the Dancing Forest, a large-scale deep-playa art installation
  • Transported 10,000+ lbs of gear for 95 non-camp participants, fundraising $1,572 for regional non-profits
  • Volunteered for 200+ shift hours outside of camp
  • Greened our burn: 63% of us took the BxBus, we used solar and wind for power

Events, interactivity, art

We had 5 events listed in the printed Where/What/When
  • It’s Watermelon Time
    • Over 5 days we sliced, distributed, and burned/composed rinds of 25 watermelons
    • We served an estimated 1,600 participants
    • We followed the State of Nevada Health Department guidelines, including getting a permit.  No inspectors visited but we’re certain we would have passed with flying colors
  • Study Hour with Charts

    • Small but mighty: only one non-camp participant showed up to do homework on the playa…  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • Beginnermediate Aerial Arts with Melon Crusher

    • 18 participants learned a thing or two and gave themselves a spin on our aerial rig

    • Participants were given conditioning exercises to build strength in default

    • Students were invited to an informal skillshare later in the week (not in the WWW), to practice their new tricks

  • Story time with Button

    • Many children-at-heart showed up for a splendid time!

  • Melon Ball

    • The Cantaloupe Pantaloon Saloon served up custom recipe melon flavored cocktails/mocktails and melon-themed games

    • We estimate 350 participants came to party

  • We were proud to provide logistical support for the Dancing Forest, a deep-playa interactive art piece made by one of our campers
  • Our 24/7 public interactivity at camp included:

    • Aerial rig

    • 18’ covered dome chill space on G with swamp cooler

    • 24’ covered dome chill space on H (successfully built by a team of virgins!)

Shipping fundraisers

    • 4th consecutive year of ChiCargo

      • We shipped 202 bins and irregular items (including 4 public art pieces!) on behalf of 78 participants not in our camp

      • We donated $1234 to the Chicago area burner non-profit BURN

    • 2nd consecutive year of CaliCargo

      • We shipped 68 bikes, bins, and irregular items on behalf of 16 participants not in our camp

      • We donated $338 to the Chicago area burner non-profit LALA

Camp & campers

  • More about us:

    • This year we came from 5 continents!

    • When the man burned we were 23-61 years old, 32 on average

    • For 38% of us, this was our first burn

  • We continued our favorite traditions
  • We distributed orientation and oversight tasks via our Vest System
  • We completed a camp-specific post-playa survey to understand what we can do better in 2019.  We collected thousands of data points and 40+ pages of written responses--check out the anonymized survey results
  • Volunteering around BRC

    • We volunteered over 200 hours in departments such as: Fire/Burn Perimeter, Center Camp Cafe, Rangers, Lamplighters, Temple Guardians, Gate/Perimeter/Exodus, Earth Guardians, and Zendo Project

  • Greening our burn

    • 63% of us took the BxBus, the rest carpooled in just 7 vehicles!

    • Most of our on-playa power was quiet and renewable: 600W of photovoltaic solar panels plus a new 600W wind turbine

    • We hardly used our gas-powered generator: about 7 gallons of gas for the whole week!  When it was on, we put it in the center of camp, under a super quiet “dog house” baffle (an original playatech-style design, working on publishing the plans!)

How we'd like to improve in 2019

  • Strike: by many measures this was our best strike ever, unfortunately the balance of work was still off: maybe not enough work on Saturday, definitely too much work on Sunday. We’re going to revisit our assumptions and processes so that Strike 2019 will be more fairly balanced.

  • Participation opportunities: We had so many amazing camp-hosted events and so much interactivity! The melons who volunteered were rockstars, yet others felt they missed the boat. Next year we’ll better highlight all the fun opportunities to participate, with a specific focus on earlier and clearer communications via email and potentially other methods.

  • Dishwashing in communal kitchen: We haven’t quite figured out the best way to get all the dishes clean, but we will make it a priority in 2019.