Melon Camp Registration

Here is a recent example of our camp registration process


Our camp is welcoming, but not open to the general public: we grow via referrals from former campers.  So hopefully you're reading this because you're already in the loop via email!

Typical process for joining camp

(names invented to make this more fun) Anne Veteranski camped with the melons in 2015 and had a great time.  She's returning in 2016 and wants to bring her friend Janet Newbson, who has never been to Burning Man and doesn't know any other people who have camped with the melons. Here's what typically happens:
  1. Before March: Anne submits Janet's info via the brief Prospective Melon Form, vouching for Janet as Not An Asshole.
  2. March-ish: Anne and Janet receive an email asking them to complete a brief Opt In Form which signals they're OK receiving camp-related emails for 2016. They each complete the form.
  3. April-ish: There's a series of semi-serious, semi-silly emails about selecting a camp name.
  4. Late April, early May: Anne and Janet receive an email asking them to register for camp by completing a detailed Registration Form, and then e-paying their dues. Once they've completed the Registration Form they are added to the 2016 email listhost and 2016 secret Facebook group.
  5. From May to late August: Lots of email, lots of FB posts, lots of packing and prep.
  6. After the burn: Janet is added to the Melon Alumni secret Facebook group and an email is sent to the 2016 email listhost asking for prospective melons for 2017, and the cycle begins anew.

Registration form & paying dues

What an exciting moment! General notes below:

Reduced Dues

As our camp has grown, the cost to camp with us (ie. registration) has increased to support an ever-more-awesome playa home. Like a patch of casabas, crenshaws, and sharlyns, one of the best things about the melons is our beautiful variety. We realize that the registration cost may be prohibitive for some and we want all prospective melons to be able to make it to the burn! Some guidelines for this option:
  1. Did you apply for a low-income ticket to Burning Man?
  2. Would the registration fee prevent you from camping with the melons?
  3. Are you underemployed or unemployed?
If you can answer YES to any of these questions, you may want to consider the reduced dues option. Please note that we are testing Reduced Dues on an experimental, honor-system basis. Please opt in only if you think you need it. Seriously, don’t ruin it for everyone.

Anyone can donate to support Reduced Dues--even if you're using Reduced Dues yourself (almost like a DIY sliding scale...).  If donations exceed the Reduced Dues need, excess will go towards camp infrastructure.

e-Paying your dues

In 2016 there are two ways to pay dues:
  1. An online form that accepts any major credit or debit cards, for a processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30.
  2. Direct bank-to-bank transfer from any clearXchange bank to the email listed on the registration form.
Here are the specific banks and transfer services:

If you don't use one of the above banks, but would rather not pay the processing fee, perhaps you can team up with a friend who does use one of those banks? They can pay on your behalf from their bank, and you can repay them with the method of your choice (if doing this, please include the registrant's email address in the note accompanying the payment).


Full refunds are available before the camp registration deadline (8/3/16), and will be provided automatically for those who paid dues but did not end up receiving a ticket. For those with tickets, first contact the Ticket Fairy, then send a written refund request via email: reply to the confirmation email (subject line: "Thanks for registering..."). Refund requests will receive a reply within 48 hours. Repayment will be via the original payment method and timing may vary based on how you are paid.

Sparkle Pony Penalty

To encourage timely payment, dues paid after July 15th will include a $20 penalty. This is pretty much 100% avoidable given the above refund policies, and the below ability to modify your registration. Camp benefits from having funds at a reasonable time in order to purchase necessities for camp and build cool art projects versus the very last minute.

Modifying your registration

After initial registration, you can make modifications.
  • Modifications not related to payment: For things like transportation, days on playa, etc., modifications are 100% DIY:
    • Click the link in your email confirmation
    • Be sure to select "I am... Modifying an existing registration"
    • Modify your registration
    • Resubmit
    • After resubmitting, you will see the same confirmation page and receive the same confirmation email as you did when initially registering
  • Modifications related to payment: Modifications to bikes, boxes, and dues require manual intervention by the XVC, please respond to the confirmation email with a written request.


Q: I don't have a ticket yet, should I register for camp?

If you're serious about actually going this year, yes!  Committed, organized, resourcesful people are very likely to get tickets by August, even without the help of camp.  By registering and joining camp, the odds are even better, thanks in large part to the dedicated efforts of our volunteer Ticket Fairy.  If the unthinkable happens and by August you don't have a ticket, then your dues will be refunded (see above).  For more info on our camp's perspective on tickets, visit the ticket page.

Q: Why aren't there links to lots of this stuff?

A: Our camp is welcoming, but not open to the general public, so we distribute our opt-in and registration forms via email.

Q: WTF, do you really need 3 different forms?

A: Maybe not, but probably, as each accomplishes different goals at different time windows. Prospective Melon Form captures interest at any time; Opt in Form allows us to confirm people are actually interested (not just flirting at a party) and cuts down on spam to previous year listhosts; and Registration Form is the real deal.  Here is 1,600 words on how the entire Internet is basically made of forms.

Q: Why is there a fee for using a credit or debit card?

A: This is the fee charged by Stripe, the credit card processing company we chose due to it's easy integration and low processing fees.

Q: Why don't you accept Venmo/PayPal/Bitcoin/Dogecoin as payment for camp dues?

A: Venmo has had security issuespolicy issues, and only opened up to business use in 2016. PayPal is a pain in the ass: some payments incur fees, others don't, funds are held in a weird separate PayPal account, withdrawals from that account are limited (especially annoying as dues tend to come all at once), etc, etc. As for cryptocurrencies, we're holding out for Pastacoin: "In FSM we trust."

Q: I have further questions/objections/feelings about e-payment.  My local mom-and-pop anarchist credit union--

A: Let me stop you right there and recommend some radical self-reliance.  Ask your IRL friends if they'll e-pay on your behalf, and you pay them back via your anarchist credit union.  Or maybe register for camp and ask around in the secret Facebook group for a melon willing to do the same--that would have the added bonus of mixing in some communal get the idea.