Planned Melonhood 2018: post-playa survey results

Number of Melons who completed the survey: 65

Number of Melons in 2018: 80



6. If your plans changed on your way TO or FROM Burning Man, please explain:

I messaged a burner coming from Vegas and planned to ride with her from Reno to BRC. I bought a Megabus ticket SF to Reno but forfeited that because when I landed in SF my burner friends from Dubai happened to be on their way to BRC and picked me up!

I came on the bus but I left earlier than expected with XXX in her car.

I changed my return plans to drive back with the CaliTruck to San Diego.

Flat tire on the road to!

I missed my flight on the way in- I could have made it in 8 theoretically.

I had not planned ahead of time when or how I was getting home. The 9 hours of exodus was influenced by RV breaking down on the way to Reno.

Unexpected delays from BRC to San Francisco caused significant increase in travel time

To: Left later than expected due to driver not being fully prepared at previously agreed upon departure time. Not a big deal From BRC: I arrived with intention to hitchhike to Reno from the gate. However, in the first few days at camp it struck me that a slew of these new friends live in Reno and I consequently started asking around. Initially I was going to catch a ride with XXX, but on Sunday night they decided to leave then instead of our initially agreed upon departure time of early Monday morning. (I say this without a smidgeon of shade.) I asked around again and ended up catching a ride with XXX We left around 4 AM. ] RV broke down throughout our trip back, which meant it took around 6–8 hours to make it to the main highway to Reno. Once we got to that highway, it didn’t seem like it was going to run again so he called AAA. XXX was also with us, and since she lives in Reno she graciously called XXX to pick us up.

I made two trips in and out this year. I made the mistake of leaving after the temple burn and should have waited until the next morning.

Bought a pack of socks. I did not plan on buying this pack of socks. I am thankful I bought these socks.

Had to leave 1 day early due to work

I left later than expected and left earlier than expected

10. There is a lot of information that needs to be shared before Burning Man (i.e. the emails from the Planned Melonhood listhost). Do you have any suggestions on better ways to distribute that information?

An open-sourced Google drive that everyone can add to.

AOL instant messenger? Or how bout chirp from Nextel? Not really- a quaint mailer might be funny, although expensive and laborious and moopy.

Both the emails to the listhost and notifications of facebook posts showed up in my email inbox with a [planned melonhood] header, making it difficult to distinguish official emails from frivolous facebook posts.

Emails are great:) Also the melon Facebook group is nice

Emails are perfect for me! Can read the non-sensitive ones at my leisure.

Emails were great and very helpful! Thanks

Emails with friendly Facebook reminders work well in my book!

Even if for some busy default-world-melons and virgins the heaps of information can be overwhelming but in still convinced that email is a good way of communication and (I believe) burningmelon.org also has all important info. Maybe we could try to always link burningmelon.org in emails for information which is available there but I'm sure you already do. Oh and i love the tl;dr!!!

Great use of the recipe / cooking prep suggestions (eg cut this at home to save time and water on playa) - I loved the organization there - very helpful!

I do not

I find that the emails work just fine for me. I read them all and file them away for future reference, if needed. No need to change in my opinion!

I like the way that things were spaced out throughout the months, so it wasn't too overwhelming. I also liked the TLDR at the top to summarize. I don't think any other platform would catch everyone. Minor suggestion, using email color or formatting to help communicate the important items more clearly. Also would suggest more clear structure and timing re: dinner emails - it seemed like things were a bit disorganized with group + dinner captain, without clear timelines. Could also be earlier vs. a last-minute rush to the burn.

I loved the emails and was filled with gratitude BEFORE even getting to playa because of all the work the XVC put in to get us all organized. Thank you, thank you.

I think the XVC does a great job with this, and if folks are unprepared it’s because they didn’t follow along OR their referral did not take their responsibility seriously.

I thought the emails were good! Also appreciate the Melon website.

I thought the emails were the best way to communicate.

I'm happy with emails

It would be convenient if they were all posted somewhere together (in addition to emails). Does this already exist? I was on top of my email reading when they arrived but upon subsequent digging thru email threads to find a specific detail, the struggle was real.

It would be nice to have an email that goes out shortly after camp registration opens that says roughly when to expect emails about major camp things (dinner, build weekend, bikes, storage, registration pt 2, etc.)

12. What were you the least prepared for?

No, but the clear emphasis on checking emails was helpful.

No. Email is a universal way of communicating important information (except if someone lives in China).

(searches brain for things, finds nothing)

No. Emails are a part of adult life in 2018 and if you don't read them then you don't need to be in our camp.

Carrying a water vessel that encouraged large and rapid consumption and easy refilling.

Please start sending emails earlier and not sending them in just last two weeks. Thank you.

Chilly nights/mornings!

Slack for comments and chat; Email for notice updates Use a Mailchimp-like email distro service, open rates and by whom can be tracked in the free version

Cold weather.

Speaking with friends was really helpful to get me prepared. Although I was not super diligent in reading emails (I can improve that) I would think that email is the best way to communicate this information.

Colder nights

Could nights

The emails can certainly be long, but they seem to be the best way to get the info in people's faces. The website is an excellent backup/permanent resource.

cuticle destruction

the melon emails are awesome

Dust creeping into my tent.

We do the best we can. There's no one way to get everyone on the same medium and guarantee everyone reads the emails. Although- perhaps if we sent the emails as HTML bodies, or with a listserv host like mailchimp, we could at least get analytics on who reads them and who doesn't?? How do those things work?

Dust. I could have used more changes of clothes.

13. Was there anything you wish you had packed?

dust. cold.

You guys already do a great job

Felt good this year - I'd like to bring my own bike next year - with more storage space and lights.

You guys crush it!!!!

1980’s era ski bunny kit

Food for after the man burns. Lighting myself at night.

A better dust mask. And a better tent with less mesh. And an extra fleece or lightweight blanket.

hmm. nothing

A bigger jacket! More intricate gifts C Batteries

I didn’t have a proper dust mask for this year and the scarves and handkerchiefs weren’t good enough.

a few more AA batteries and a shiftpod

I forgot hand sanitizer this year and accidentally bought transparent tape for ad blocking

A real jacket or coat. Padding for beneath my sleeping bag.

I forgot my dust mask. :-(

A sheet to cover everything in the tent during the day.

I forgot my toiletries at home, user error. Nothing else.

A shift pod.

I forgot to buy Baileys for my coffee - but then my friend brought me some when she arrived on playa on Tuesday. So, all in all, I did okay.

Back up lights for the bike (mine broke).

I lost a headlamp half way through and needed to barrow a friend's.

Better baby wipes. A warmer jacket/robe. Better lights. Maybe an instrument? My own bike?

I needed more lights on my person and my bike

better dust storm goggles, better night time lights for bike/outfit

14. What did you bring that you won't bring next year?

I would get a better tent suitable for dust/sand conditions.

Brighter light for inside my tent. More cold, fuzzy beverages and juices. Bike lights that are more durable with easier to replace batteries. Renting a bike that actually has a kickstand. A larger day / night bag.

intensity of dust storms

1/2 of my clothes

It being too hot in our tent

chapstick (thank god for XXX's gifts) broader assortment of condom types/brands apple cider vinegar 2x as many socks as days; was only able to change post-dinner about half my days this year

100 more protein bars than I needed

LED lights for bikes and me

A cute paper parasol that is not mine but has lived in my box for 3 years. I also will not bring costumes that do not breath- apparently it's hot out there.

Lights at night, but I was adequately warned; and costumes, but hard to know how to dress till you get there

cuticle cream

A little less food. A little less sunscreen / lotion.

My lips were like the state of California - that is to say, they were on fire. Was also woefully underprepared for dust (mostly emotionally).

Different shoes

A respirator and respirator backups.

My tent was crap. It was too small and the zipper broke so it wouldn't even zip closed.

Disposable cameras.

a yurt


Dry shampoo

alot of excess camping gear

Nothing important

El-Wire for bikes. Extra pairs of sunglasses. Apple cider vinegar!! Sealable portable cup

Cutlery, Too many hand-sanitizers

Sleep deprivation!

extra car keys

energy bars

Sleeping in the heat

Forgot earplugs, could amp up wardrobe in future

Extra food

15. Do you have any additional pre-playa planning thoughts? Any additional information we should share ahead of time? Suggestions on effective ways to share that information?

The cold at night

I pretty much had the basics I needed


The cold nights. Just barely had enough layers to not be too cold out in deep playa.

Just hand sanitizer ha.


The cold right before dawn!

LED lights and a warmer jacket


A list of things to bring turned out to be the most helpful. I made use of the melon site's list, which was the most helpful because it also mentioned what *not* to bring, and a friend's list as well.

The cold, but only because I didn't wanna wear my bulky coat and I hadn't brought enough layers to compensate.

LEDs Better Costumes

Hippy sunscreen. 85 larabars.

The cold. Last year I had a warmer tent, and this year I lent my warmer sleeping bag to my friend, so getting through the night was a bit tougher!

Less cloths and duct tape.

An interesting idea may be to have a 2nd time burner "translate" emails from the XVC to a more tl;dr format? I.e. two different perspectives on same topic. Just a thought- I know those emails are verbose for good reason and a pain in the ass to write, and I'm grateful to not write them.

Hopefully not as much anxiety. I brought wayyy too much peanut butter.

The psychological changes pre and post burn.

Less food, more fun outfits

I brought twice as much clothing as I needed... I brought an old phone that I thought I'd use to take pictures but I ended up using my regular phone. I brought mylar blankets and rain ponchos that I didn't need, but I guess it's better to have them than not have them.

the vibe

Long underwear top. I had long under wear bottoms

Battery recycling station, I made sure to bring my batteries home Dinner Captain checklist for "on the day of" would be helpful for newbie captains

the wind and the dust. It was just sooooo windy.

More AA batteries

Can't think of anything…

I prepared for a colder burn, had some clothes left over

Type of Tent LEDs

More bike tubes.

Dinner is very organized. Breakfast I was not sure about the process or what was available to eat that was the camps.

I would bring less personal food

Wish I'd had more, thinner layers for evenings. Otherwise, everything was smooth.

More cold weather gear, more lights to wear, food I actually want to eat, & XXX's party pope attire

Don't forget to prepare mentally.

I would pack less food, less wipes

Work, work, work.

more dust masks

Explain the kitchen like you were giving a tour to the playa health department. It's a bitchin kitchen and I think we should brag about it. The meals, cleanliness, efficiency, community eating/sharing, and leftovers, for starters. Talk about the purple dot crew and consent before the playa. It was also a bitchin addition to camp that could be 'advertised' more.

Less duct tape and a better travel bag for personal gear.

More inflatable melons More coconut oil Towel

less food. i always bring too much dried fruit & nuts.

More labels for my stuff, so it didn't get lost. More hammocks :)

Less whiskey. (I know.. right? Who says this?)

Hm, I think the number one thing in my mind is the sheer number of snacks we had left as a group. I feel like excess is inevitable given the fact that more is better than less but maybe a reiteration of the need to be very intentional with food that is brought could be good (or even sharing a picture of the snack table at the end of the week if there is one, just as visual reinforcement?)

More layers.

Long johns and a neck warmer (too much cold gear)

more lights! lights on my bike and lights on my night jackets. more cool outfits. better shoes for walking!

Most of the clothes (especially the default ones). Most of the backpacker meals (tasty bites are WAY better).

More long underwear, per above. More shemaghs. Some kind of flooring/surface for inside & outside my tent door to manage dust.

My belly fat hahaha

I have no suggestions - I thought sufficient information was communicated pre-playa in an effective way.

More long-sleeves

Nice base layer clothing. Didn't touch 'em and won't be bringing any next year.

I relied heavily on friends that had BM experience as my source for preparation and I think that the information that was given was sufficient.

My cat

Reduce quantity of clothing items, essential oils, vinegar (didnt use it), extra towel

I think having a standard camp-themed label on a standard label size (e.g., 30 labels per sheet) for everyone to print off and label their things at home. (I can help mail merge if someone helps with the design next year.) More information re: don't bring too much food and be prepared to share your communal food early OR take it back home.

My dust mask.

So many default-world clothes! So many freeze-dried meals.


So many goddamn mugs; what was I thinking? Quite so many perishables; getting through them all was a challenge. Onesie. I bring it every year and never f-ing wear it. Who am I kidding, though...


I think we share info in a million different ways; it's up to melons to be radically self-reliant in seeking out that info, which we present pretty clearly and in an organized fashion.


So. Much. Sunscreen. And food I don't even want in default world

Non-hippy sunscreen that didn't turn my skin blue/have zinc as the active ingredient.

Some things for the bike repair station: Crank bearings not necessary, also I got too much grease and lubricant (but we can use it foreeeeever)

I thought there could be more specific info tailored to virgins. I.e. I didnt know there was a melon ball until it came up on facebook thanks to someone asking a question about it.

Not really


Perhaps change my clothes up a bit to have more loungey items to just throw on in a hustle.

Such a large quantity of food

It might be really nice to have a shared google sheets packing list that the Melons could collaborate on. I came up with my own packing list but as a virgin burner and virgin Melon it was hard to know what I really needed to bring and which ones to get. I know we have this list (http://www.burningmelon.org/burningmelon/burning-melon-logistics/packing-list) but more details about like what types of lights are best, what goggles are good, etc. would be really helpful.

playa coat, better mask

To many clean clothes to wear after we got off the playa.

Soda and sparkling water to refresh and settle the stomach.

Too many clothes

Soda pop!

Too many leggings. And a giant onsie that’s not ideal for the porta potties:.

Keep stressing that you need a lot less food & outfits than you think! No matter how much I remind myself of this, I still overpack & overplan

Sometimes I wanted a big warm coat, but mostly I got by okay with sweaters. Ball bearings for my bicycle, lol Refreshing non-alcoholic drinks to put in the communal cooler. I think folks want more of this than we realize (I certainly do), and we might promote bringing beer AND other things.

too much clothing

Less is more

too much food.

More information on clothing and weather forecast ;)

Swamp cooler

Too much personal food that I never touched, but I took back home - there were lots of leftovers and communal food. Reading materials that I never actually touched.

More lights for everyone! Extra sheets to cover items and protect from dust.

Warm clothes


unused costumes

nope! I thought it was great

Way too many energy bars; my kindle.


Start sharing information earlier. The earlier you start the conversations and hype trains, the more people will understand the size of the operation and develop stronger desire to participate.

Thank you!

Thanks for all you do.

The melon-organized events were awesome! I do wish I knew/realized we were considering additional events outside of Melon Ball so we as a camp could've maybe voted on what else to host in addition to those confirmed. I recall some emails about how we should allocate funds, but nothing specifically about guide book official things.

There are a lot of amazing packing lists out there from vetted burners. Including that as a melon vetted list separated into essentials vs. protips (e.g., a good tent pee jar), and comforts would be reassuring for new melons.

Very well organized

19. Any thoughts you'd like to share on camp's physical location, size, or layout?

All seems good to me (I've never had it any other way!)

Drop the 1/3 of camp population who wasn't around, didn't contribute, came late, etc.

Great location! Very central, but not so close to esplanade so it had a nice and chill vibe at night.

I appreciate that despite having two massive trailers, they were placed in a way that still invited people into camp. It was transparent and inclusive. I loved it.

I do not think it is appropriate for us to be near Kidsville, nor do I like it much.

I liked it! It felt like there was a 'private quarters' where we all slept, and the communal camp space, and the open space. Good blend.

I liked the added shade this year. I also found the common areas to be better organized/set-up than last year. Overall, I liked this year's layout much better than last year - I feel like it facilitated an inclusiveness at camp, particularly during dinner, that was missing last year.

I liked the layout this year better than last.

I liked the location, close to porta potties. Neighbors were nice and not to rowdy so I could sleep when I wanted to.

20. Any thoughts on camp infrastructure? What should we focus on expanding next year? Is there anything you don't like?

I liked the location. But, I think we could intergrate the non tent dwelling Melons a bit better. Circling the wagons, so to speak, could remedy this as well as providing a wind barrier for camp. The position of the trailer really broke up the space and left a good deal of unused space.

Battery recycle Prepackage handsoap containers premix with water so that soap lasts all week Burn barrel duties seemed laissez-faire compared with the rest of the duties Confirm 2 ice runs a day before Playa arrival

I love camp.

I love the area, honestly, though I would love to be a bit closer to grown ups than Kidsville. size is great, and I think the layout worked out well this year

Better info available for dealing with wastewater/changing barrels and where all that fun stuff is

I really like the layout.


I suppose it's hard to be always close to the porta-potties, but if it's possible, that would be conveniently nice!

Could have used a bit more seating. At a few of the dinners there weren't enough places for everyone to sit and eat. Perhaps the kelp forest could be expanded.

I think we were a bit tight with the new Melon dome - may want to increase our camp size to avoid squeezing in tents, especially when the edges don't get shade. I don't think we could have reduced the front yard space much more, especially when we used it for the Melon gifting and aerial area. I think we weren't too far from Esplanade, which was nice. I also liked that we took up the entire back and front, allowing us to get quickly to places and bathrooms.

Double Melon Domes towards the end of the burn were a great 1-2 punch during those hot afternoons. More tables to sit/hang/eat at would be great, too. Seating in general can be added

helipad hahah

I thought the amount of melons was good, but I definitely only interacted with a core ~40. I didn't have an issue with only knowing half the camp, but if the intention is to know the whole camp, maybe there should be some activities that integrate people better? Hard to have those activities without feeling like a lame RA in college, but maybe it's worth it.

I feel like for a camp of ~80 people, we might be able to accomplish a bit more in terms of gifting to the community. Gifting melon pieces is lovely! Maybe we could have a melon-ade stand, or gift melon margaritas, or something along those lines.

21. What about nearby camps? Did you spend any time with our neighbors? Any of them super cool? Fun? Irritating? Loud? We may pass this on in the Black Rock City placers post-burn survey.

I LOVE the hammocks!! I feel good about everything else - though maybe the communal bar should better explained/emphasized pre-playa so that it is used more - it seemed like a lot of liquor showed up in the last few days.

I wish we were in D ring but otherwise perfect.

As much as I hate kids, I loved being next to a relatively quiet camp area. The neighbors who did the Frankenpets were awesome! Just a couple, but super nice and great neighbors! Let's camp with them again! I liked our neighbors who ran the bacon smores, but I wish I had gotten to know them more. I liked how quiet our area was.

I would prefer the camp be closer to esplanade

I'm thinking we need a swimming pool. And a casino. And melon camp has always really needed its own international airport.

If the Montana Dome comes back, it would be nice to have that be more accessible to passers by.

In my opinion, I don't think the Montana dome was needed. Maybe I missed out on the conversations with Melons or others who got great use out of it, but I think that is an area where energy can be placed elsewhere.

It does feel weird to be across from Kidsville given the way that a lot of us choose to partake in evening funtivities.

bacon smores people were cool

It seemed like our street was pretty dark and quiet. I would have liked to be on a busier street, maybe closer to an intersection with other cool camps around us. Re:layout, I think it was a little strange to have the Melon Dome so close to the street when it seemed to be mostly for melons to hang out in more than people passing by. It might have been nice to have the Melon dome closer to the living room with the entrance facing into camp, instead of out of camp. There were a lot of small group seating areas and I think it would be nice to have more of a big living room.

It might be nice to have more playa tech seating and a bigger "living room" so that more people can lounge around together.

Being in a quiet zone is bitter sweet. I love being able to sleep at night but you have to travel to find parties!

It would be nice to have the water closer to the kitchen. Also maybe foot-pumped shower? This would also maybe be a thing that would be nice for doing dishes or with the BFS: https://www.nemoequipment.com/product/helio-shower/

Cool neighbors, loved the sweets from kidsville across the street

Didn't really spend any time with the neighbors.

light were great this year! The timer was awesome! Love the hammocks, I want more and I want them to be in shade most of the day. Maybe a chill area and a more bumping area with music?

Floasis was very fun and friendly and at 4:30 and G

It was all good in terms of location.

Hot dog camp was fun, I got flogged with my head in a bucket, then a shot of tequila was squirt into my mouth and I got slapped. Also good hot dogs

it was great!

Lighting on both sides of camp. Having a lit entrance/marker on both streets would be super useful for navigation.

I enjoyed my afternoon drinking at other camps.

it was great!

Lights at night were great! They allowed us to meet up with people throughout the night, multiple times even in one night, and some of the best nights were when we were all just chatting and laughing in groups in between adventures. Definitely wouldn't have happened if it was dark. Also felt safer. Shower looked nice. Appreciate the coverage on multiple sides vs. just curtains that move with the wind. I loved the sound and how easy it was to plug in and use it. It really made the Melon Ball fun, too. I loved the domes because they're a nice beacon to let visitors recognize our camp. It wasn't really hot enough to use them, but I loved the Montana dome as a place to sleep before leaving. I really wish I had visited the Montana dome before that last night. Also wish the Montana folks had asked for greater camp help, because I didn't know if they needed help or how we could help get it done faster. I think they could have gotten it done quicker if they had just asked. (I could have also asked them for help.) We could expand the front shade area a bit to make for more pleasant Melon gifting and Melon Ball.

I like being next to kidsville!

Just right

I like our location just fine. Moving up to C or D would be very nice, but we have low interactivity so that's probably not in the cards

Kitchen, water,cleanup might be due for a review

I loved the LED disco ball lighting the way to the bathroom :-)

Liked the slightly changed layout this year compared to 17.

I slept along H on my last night. At one point an art car went by and they were so loud I could have sworn they would run me over. Glad my tent the rest of the week was further in.

Location near Kid’s Zone was excellent as there was less noise.

Love our location. It's both central and quiet! I will be interested to see how the layout changes next year with the new structure additions

It was fun being beside the placed camp of two people who had the stuffed animal events. It would be cool to do a "block party" next year with near by camps.

Love, love LOVE our location. Being across from Kidville and close to the Ghetto is so ideal. 5:00-7:00 radials also make it much less daunting to get elsewhere in the city. Layout was really good for what we had. I think next year we could work to make even more frontage on the back side and insulate tents even more. We may need to go back to 200 x 200 if we're gonna do this whole Melondieval Times thing... just saying; jousting requires some space!

Liked everything about the infrastructure

It was fun to have a bunch of other fruit-based camps in the area.

Loved the new shower system - though we got dangerously close with the grey water this year, despite having an improved collection system. Didn't love the hard shade, but we made it work. More playa tech. I know people hate building and assembling it, but we lacked adequate camping chairs, and the chill space felt more congested than in years past. Happy to lead a playa tech build day next year, with the agreement that it then becomes part of the greater collection housed in Trudy's belly.

Kidsville was a delight this year Our neighbors that threw the smores event were very chill Our immediate neighbors between us and Burning Sky were also excellent! (FYI: They were not keen on Burning Sky as good neighbors.)

Loved the location (near bathrooms, but not too close) & size: our tent village was cozy, but plenty of room to hang in the common areas. Two domes was ace.

Kidville rocks. AEZ is full of interesting, fun folks. Definitely fun being close to DPW - parade was a perk. No complaints or praise about the rest of our neighbors.

Melon Dome 2.0 needs to be front and center! Also, can we just burn the kelp forest and move on, please?

Love our neighborhood, love our area. Neighbors' generators sucked. Love love loved being next to Kidsville again.

Pretty well organized

Maybe another cleaning workflow at the kitchen, sometimes it was very dirty

Neighbors were great

Size (people and dimensions) felt perfect. Got to know almost everyone pretty well (at least those who hung out at camp) and we utilized the space well, which also encouraged folks to get to know one another.

Maybe one giant melon dome instead of two that the public can also use? Shade structure that protects the side walls of camp?

neighbors were great! I don't have any specific feedback, but two different neighbors came by to say they enjoyed our camp and liked our melon ball!

Maybe side panels for the seating area? Or something else to keep the dust out of the seating area during a dust storm.

Size was perfect. Montona melon dome was under utilized.

Nice people from Australia. Wish I would of know about the sky divers earlier and that you can go up in the plane with them sometimes. Maybe we should have a neighborhood board telling who is who! Then we can be like Mr. Rogers !

Melon art car! More inflatable furniture, less playatech.

Still a great spot and great layout.

Microphone is needed for some campers. Moving the energy farm out of the center of camp. This important resource took up a lot of valuable space. On the trailer perhaps? With a rad observation deck?

No complains with the neighbors but didn't get to hang with them too much

The only thing I would have changed would have been that there was a bit of a divide at camp with. There was the Trudy side that had the rv’s and the Montana dome. I would try to better consolidate.

23. If you only showed up for part of your shift or didn't show up for your shift, what happened? Is there anything we could have done to help you work your work shift?

No complaints!

More camp art. Hard shade was very appreciated and should definitely stay.

The semi trailer was a nice divider between a "front/back yard" but I feel like it was placed too far forward (toward g). The Montana dome felt a bit excluded from the camp, and I feel like the melon dome was a bit small to facilitate large group hangouts like the other dome could.

Not too much interaction with neighbors, but one of them had loud deep house electronic music till very late in the morning, I could sleep but some of my friends I know couldn't sleep, maybe that could be addressed to BRC...

More chairs... maybe some inflatable ones?

Wrong place, wrong time. I would have helped with the on-playa strike but had to leave on Friday.

More comfortable communal seating. Blow-up couch? More cushions for the existing benches?

Nothing irritating.

We could do a better job of creating a flow for people to pick up their bins from ChiCargo and CaliCargo. CaliCargo was behind the burn barrel and some people got confused between the two and drove through camp to get from one to the other. Maybe we can create signs for each?

More hammocks would be nice. Can we get the showers little higher so it drains into a hose into the gray water containers? A faster pump to spread extra clean water when we are breaking down camp.it would save time. Possibly a better dolly for the big water barrels to move around and to use when we need to get rid of extra water. It’s nice having extra water vs not enough water!

Our neighbors were great! 'Art of Destruction' was super helpful, fun, and it was a helluva trip trap. Sound Therapy was tight as fuck. Those guys were incredibly kind and their percussive sound gave our camp a heartbeat. Kids Camp gave me candy every day and I want them near the melons forever. Burning Sky was cool too, but I didn't really spend much time with them.

While I enjoyed our corner lot better last year, this year's size & layout were fine. However, maybe next year we can venture outside of Kidsville & a little bit more into the action elsewhere.

More hammocks. Those are bliss. & i think we could really make the Montana dome cool as hell next year. A giant melon dome?!??!? Fruity disco ball? Watermelon speakeasy? The possibilities are endless! Also, if we host another melon ball, we should move some seating towards the bar

Our neighbors who did the mutant stuffed animals were awesome! I also liked the kidsville people who did the "give candy to strangers" booth. I also liked the camp with the cookies/s'mores and bar games a little further down G toward 5:00. I appreciated the lights and music of Illuminaughty (by the portos) because it helped me find camp!

More playatech seating would be cool! It felt like it filled up fast and there wasn't always enough room for the number of people that wanted to spend time together as a group.

The "family camp" at G&540 was such a wholesome camp to spend time in. Some of the most genuine people I've ever met.

24. How do you think the take down of camp went (strike on Saturday, Sunday and final load in on Monday)? Is there anything we could have done better? Is there anything that went wrong? Suggestions for improvements for next year?

More playatech, perhaps a smaller kitchen area for personal cooking.

The camp next to us was very friendly. I am referring to the camp that had the stuffed animals, where you pick a head and a body.

More shade never hurts. Perhaps we could look into more new options for shade- ours collects a ton of dust and can be frustrating to unpack and pack.

The neighbors setting up a station for creating hybrid stuffed animals was a wonderful plus.

A great improvement over last year. Can't think of any specific recommendations, beyond encouraging continued focus on efficient/effective stuctures to streamline setup & strike.

Nothing that I did not like. I would have liked more optional bonding activities as ice breakers

The stuffed animal folks were so friendly! I'd like to be near more adult camps though. We have a great physical space but it's a little quiet around our parts of town (which has its perks of course)

Oh me oh my, yes. I really like the Montana dome, and support showcasing it more. It feels more grandiose and naturally cool than the OG Melon dome. I would like to explore what we can do with it! Maybe we can put one dome on each side of the aerial rig out front for a nice geometric/spherical affair? I have very meh feelings about the kelp forest. It’s not clear to me what the objective is, and I think camp art efforts might be better put toward something else. I loooooove the kitchen

Expectations for Sunday could be better set (more than 4 hours needed), or kitchen can be shut down on Saturday, or both. Saturday is still the preferred strike day.

The stuffed animal people next door were awesome.

Felt like Saturday strike quit early and Sunday strike was forced to stay late and finish. Bins from Saturday weren’t organized and we had to repack to match the labels on them or to take from them to match Sunday labels. Poles and furniture from Saturday weren’t packed right and had to be fixed by Sunday crew.

The tiny camp next to us with the mutant animal activity was great. Kidsville was an unexpected pleasure. It was pleasantly quiet most of the time.

Replace playa tech with inflatable furniture. It's to much easier and takes less space. Also maybe additional cushions for the domes.

They were cool and not loud

Folks seemed pretty motivated and efficient during the Saturday strike. It was a fun work environment!

See above - I really liked the lay out this year.

Unfortunately this year, I did not.

I feel like the strike situation, especially Sunday, was a bit of a let down. It took twice as much time as planned, and wasn't as much of a fun "yay let's work together!" vibe as it could have been. I am very keen to contribute to the take down of camp, but it felt like the whole day was consumed because it was an exhausting project. Perhaps it could be turned into an event that even non-strikers are tempted to stay at camp for, to hang out.

Simpler, better fresh water to wastewater system.

Yes. I visited several of the neighbors. I thought they were nice people. We were definitely the noisy neighbors

The additional dome was cool but would've been good to have set up sooner! Maybe the Melon dome and the Montana dome could be merged somehow into one heat-reflective, swamp-cooler'd melony hemisphere.

I feel like the Sunday strike crew was left in a bad spot. We spent a lot of time re-working things that should have been done on Saturday. The shade bins were packed wrong and needed to be re-packed. The piping in the bellybox was put in haphazardly and needed to be fixed before the flat pack bike rack could go in. The other flat pack gear needed to be cleaned and organized. This caused more work for the Sunday crew causing strike to go on much longer than it should have. We were not told that the shade above the tents was coming down on Saturday, this caused all the playa dust to be spread all over any and all gear stored outside peoples tents. Next year it would be helpful if strike plans were conveyed to the camp so that we can be sure to be prepared. My suggestion for the kitchen. Eat dinner early on Saturday, once dinner is complete, everyone in camp helps clean up, consolidate food, pack kitchen B, then take down the kitchen tent. Everyone uses the kitchen, so I think it would make sense that it's a team effort to take the kitchen tent down as a team. Cooking dinner early on Saturday also provides anyone on ranger duty a chance to eat before their shift. Additionally, at least one member of the XVC shift leaders was striking their tent on Sunday while the rest of strike shift was working.

The Montana dome is sick! But I wonder if we need both..?

The Montana dome was a bit obsolete. Maybe remove it. I also am Curious to see if Trudy could have been parked differently.

the montana dome was amazing expand if possible

There seemed to be a shortage of travel chairs. I brought one but often when i tried to sit in one, they were all taken. I wonder if some people loved using those chairs but didnt contribute one themself??

We could really use a magic wand for set up and strike. I'll talk to some people.

Why the air conditioning was not working in Melon dome?

I only witnessed saturday, but it was a whole ass strike

I think it went well at least on Saturday. I did hear that more help was needed on Sunday.

I think shifting more of the Sunday strike to Saturday would be beneficial - like switching to Kitchen A on Saturday, and having Saturday night dinner be a simple thing. Similarly leaving the Melon dome up until Sunday would be really nice. Without shade it became almost impossible to nap on Saturday and, had the Montana dome not existed, a lot of us would have been SOL. Alternatively...taking down shade on Sunday?

I think strike should be the same amount of time for each day, ( maybe a tad more work on Saturday) there are lots of little odds and ends that get overseen on Saturday leaving the rest of the slack to be picked up by the Sunday crew.

I think the work/people schedule was backwards. We should have more people working on Sunday or more work being done by the Saturday group

I think we should do dinner as late lunch on Saturday and try to have all of the communal kitchen pretty well packed before strike on Sunday.

I thought it went well! I enjoyed being on kitchen duty.

I was not apart of it, no comment.

I was very upset to be woken up on Saturday morning because the shade structure had been taken down. Two nights of shadeless sleep is a high percentage relative to nights spent on playa! I can’t sleep in the sun, and I heard others mentioning it too. I resorted to sleeping in the Montana dome, which seemed to be a popular choice. I understand y’all want to get it taken down in a timely manner, but perhaps something can be switched in the strike schedule? If I could complain about one thing, this is it. Though I was very happy to be responsible for it this year, I think the bike repair station should be included in general strike tasks, do-able for anyone. I am happy to author Melon tips or some other sort of instruction/enough knowledge for anyone to wing it for coming years.

I would give credit for CaliCargo truck unload :) Strike on Saturday went nicely - although it looked like people ran out of things to do, while some of us continued to clean/work. I think having a backlog list of things that need to be done would be helpful, because it sounds like Sunday was a lot of work.

I've received some feedback that Saturday strike was not super beautifully supervised, leading to errors that had to be corrected by Sunday strike. There were also apparently strike leaders attending to personal stuff during their lead shifts, which - regardless of whether it was actually happening - isn't great for melon morale.

If you are at Camp on Sunday, even if you didn't sign up, it's impossible not to help. You just need to pitch in. I was happy to...

It felt like those of us who chose to stay were punished with the responsibility of closing up camp. We should accept & acknowledge that there is work to be done Sunday night and Monday morning, limit the number of Saturday shifts, and anyone staying through Monday should have to take a later shift. We should also re-work dinner Saturday to be a simpler cook process, and break down more of the kitchen on Saturday. This was the biggest time suck on Sunday. There were huge improvements, but that only left room to notice the other areas we can adjust.

It might be nice to have the Saturday strike folks also do a MOOP sweep.

It seemed go to okay. One issue though. The shade is very fast and easy to take down, relative to, say, kitchen strike. There's no good reason to take it down from tent area two full days early. Makes it hard to sleep in the last two days, which makes the rest of strike even harder.

It seemed like a lot of work! I wonder if there would be ways to streamline it or do more of it off-playa like have a cleaning party back in Chicago after the burn that lots of melons come to (have it as a formal work shift). Lots of the things we cleaned on playa would be much quicker and easier to clean in Chicago with a pressure washer. Plus they'd get a lot cleaner cuz what seems really clean on playa still looks dusty in the default world... Also, I think it would have been nice to leave the shade up until Sunday afternoon and had everyone at camp help take it down all together so it would happen later and faster.

It was definitely an improvement, but we've still got a ways to go.

It went fast. I helped for a few hours and it was very manageable.

melons kicked ass

More balanced strike over the 3 days. Sunday was a lot and so was Monday. To many people seem to strike on Saturday when you couldn’t take to much down. Need to figure out how to get the people shipping on Trudy to arrive earlier or in time. Some of them were very nice and helped. Others just dropped and ran away . It would be nice if they all offered to help in some way.

No complaints, the whole group worked together

No suggestions, it was very well planned ;)

Not well. I was pretty disappointed that one of the appointed leaders was striking their personal tent while others worked. I offered multiple times to take on projects, only to be told “not yet” or “I think only X number of people are designated for that task”. Many of us were pretty salty about the fact that the Saturday crew was let go at 1:00, but there was an expectation that Sunday crew stay as long a necessary to strike. The leadership around strike needs to be stronger and more focused.

Perfection! Carry on

Post the template of assigned tasks in the Facebook group and email chains. I can prepare myself for strike if I know what all the tasks are.

Quick, organized, good direction, good teamwork. We were so efficient, we did a lot of Sunday's strike shift tasks as well!

Sat strike was a breeze! Felt like we could have done more but I'm not sure timing-wise how the rest would work out (like what we still needed through Sunday regardless).

Saturday strike seems easier and has more people than Sunday and Monday. Perhaps limit the number of people on Saturday and add a shift for Monday?

Shade structures over tents should be struck down Sunday and not Saturday if possivle. It was really tough sleeping from Saturday into Sunday as I was expecting that shade to be there until the end. Hottt.

Strike down went well. Everyone was fully engaged.

Strike is well organized. I was sad to see the melon dome and camp sign come down so early on Saturday's strike.

Strike on Saturday went really well in terms of speed, efficiency, and everyone working together. Felt happy to do it. Only thing was that while everything had to have come out of a labeled bin, it was hard to find some of the matching bins to pack back up. Maybe a bin master position to check bins out and back to each of the strike projects/groups?

strike on saturday went well

Strike was better this year but Sunday was left with a disproportionate amount of work. Anyone who worked Saturday and happened to be around on Sunday got guilt tripped into working both strike shifts.

STRIKE WAS FUN!! I dunno if it's because XVC made out lives so much easier this year one person available who is familiar with how this shit works would be great. But honestly I know the experts can't be everywhere at once & next year I know how to take it down too

Strike was great this year. Everyone participated and gave "whole ass" so we did more than originally planned

Strike went much better this year than last year. If there's any way to keep more shade up until Sunday next year, that would be great, but as I am completely ignorant of the logistics involved, I understand this may be impossible.

Sunday was very busy and seemed to have not enough hands. I worked the whole time with a five min break but had to leave by 2pm and there was much more work to be done.

The Saturday crew didn’t follow Michelle’s superb bin packing instructions

There is always room for improvements. Some of the pipe from Saturday strike was loaded into the truck incorrectly, so we had to unload and reload on Sunday. Also, some pipe was left outside of the truck and we had to finish taking the connectors off and load it into the truck. Shade square boxes didn't seem to be counted correctly, so they should be repacked in Chicago before next year. Sunday's strike was really long. Next year, maybe we can add a 2nd shift on Sunday and a formal shift on Monday to help with everything. We were striking on Sunday from 10am until 5:30pm. Luckily there were a few people that had already done a work shift that helped us finish everything.

There were more people than tools/ladders to take down the shade structure, so there was quite a bit of standing around. With more tools and a game plan, we could have started on opposite sides and had it down even faster.

This strike was my first. It seemed to go smoothly.

Very efficient this year (saturday doing most of the heavy lifting seemed like a good idea) - maybe have Saturday crew take the domes down as well.

Way better than last year, which in turn was better than year before. #wholeass

We had a great strike day , because every melon showed up.?‰-?Š

We struggled to find the bins for strike, we could have been done faster if we had been able to locate all necessary bins.

Work load across Saturday and Sunday strike is uneven. I think we should break down the full kitchen on Saturday. Perhaps leave more of the shade up until Sunday.

31. Tell us about your experience with people who were wearing the vests (pink and green) --were they easy to find? Helpful? Anything that should be added to Pink vest orientation? Anything else we should know?

Absolutely helpful!

All good

Been a melon before so we didn't have to go too deep. Got tour of camp this yearso that was great.

Bold observation here- I thought the non-XVC Melons that took over mid-week and later-week were stronger, seemed more eager, and covered more of the bases. I saw a lot more enthusiasm in the role with people that had not otherwise taken a leadership role in camp.

Easy to find - got a more complete orientation the next day. Felt nice knowing there was a designated someone to ask questions of and that I wouldn't be bothering anyone.

Easy to find, and helpful!

Easy to find, helpful, and I think everything was covered except maybe the cold brew.

Easy to find, yes. Helpful in getting oriented. Really nice concept!

Easy to find! Just needed to be a little more prepared/organized. Perhaps each Vest shift person should have a clipboard with all necessary information to cover, locations of pertinent areas in the camp etc that both the Vester & Vestee sign off on at the completion of orientation? Might be a little bureaucratic but something along those lines might ensure better/complete orienting.

Especially later in the week, vest volunteers tended to lounge around in a haze.

Every time I had a question a green vest would point me in the right direction.

Everything was fine, people and info were easy to find

Extremely helpful. It was so nice to have a point person to go to and not bug a member of XVC with questions.

Friendly and informative.

generally helpful

good good good

good system, always easy to find

Great system!

Green vests seemed to work well to distribute the work load. I didn't consult the pink vests much but it wasn't my first rodeo.

Happy to help & very welcoming but not the most thorough

33. Tell us about your experience wearing a vest--what did you do? Would you do it again? Suggestions for someone who might do it next year? What should be added to the binder?


Helpful and easy to find. Loved Joe's line about if you have a question, before you ask Drew/Michelle/XVC, find someone with a similar question and figure it out together.

Add a retractable retractable sharpie to each vest

I answered a few questions and learned about some specific tasks I hadn't done before. Delegated some things, helped with others (but stayed visible and available). Was just as enriching for me as I hope the people I helped! Definitely do it again next year

I appreciate them helping answer my questions

I arrived before vest shifts started.

I didn't have a clue about the ChiCargo/CaliCargo process. I was not able to answer basic questions from people attempting to pick up their boxes. Proper information may have been in the binder but a pre playa clue of how that system works would be helpful.

I arrived early, but I didn't seek out the pink vest because I knew what needed to be done.

I arrived just before people left to go out (12:30ish AM). I met a pink vest and it was great, but had he gone out, I would have been confused. A "Welcome to Camp!" sign or sketch on the white board that gives tips on what to do if you show up and people aren't there. I know there is usually ALWAYS someone at camp, but if you show up and they left to eat, pee, or sleep, a quick intro would be helpful. It's just something I heard mentioned a few times.

i didn’t always know what to do, but people i asked did. some additional info, or access to the full binder in advance might have helped.

I fielded questions and got people to help with camp projects. Noting the lock box code somewhere in the binder would be helpful. Vests are super hot - perhaps a nylon mesh situation :)

I did not interact

I like the attached vest. But maybe more explanation on some of the cost responsibilities. Some of them I knew nothing about and hadn’t been oriented on them at my first/previous year of camp.

I didn’t realize vest people were a thing before coming to camp. Not sure if I missed an email...I don’t know what checklist the best people had.

34. Why did you choose not to sign up for a shift?

I don't actually think there was a vest on when I arrived and/or I didn't seek them out. ALL of the vests were lovely people. I heard rumor Wed's 3-8pm green vest was very handsome and charming, too.

I probably won't do green vest again; I much prefer the pink vest responsibilities. Being fresh for the shift probably would've helped a lot, and I didn't take great care of myself the few days prior.

Chose to apply myself elsewhere this year and let other people step up. Also, still acted as "responsible person in camp" when the green vest was missing or fell short.

I honestly don't recall what color vests Drew, Michelle and Brandon were wearing when we arrived. It was pretty late.

I tried to engage the people at camp to interact and meet each other. Got to orient a couple of folks, went great, would do it again

Did not hear that I could. I probably did not listen close enough to the dinner announcements or read my emails thoroughly.

I really didn't have much interaction with vests

I would definitely do it again, though the day dragged on. I was exhausted by the end of my shift, and felt really tied to camp all day in a negative way. I would consider shortening to 3x 3hr. shifts instead of 2x 5hr. shifts. I would do two in a week if that was the case. Also, I was not oriented into the position. It was pretty easy based on the checklists provided, but I feel more guidance and structure would be helpful for the individuals so they can be most helpful instead of just being a middle man to Drew & Michelle

Didn't feel too comfortable as second-timer as I thought I still don't know much about camp and the people. Next year I don't have an excuse I assume.

I really enjoyed being a vest :) I like being the original friendly helpful person that people meet when they first get to camp. I did this year see a number of people napping on their pink and green vest shifts which is a little discouraging because during my shift I tried to help out wherever I could, but of course taking breaks for sitting down and eating are very necessary

I had a zillion other things, and none of the remaining shifts fit in my schedule

I haven't been a Melon in a couple of years, so I don't think I was a good person to help answer questions with all the new wonderful changes/additions to the camp.

I knew I'd help out around camp in other capacities

I would do it again The binder was helpful, but getting a walkthrough before starting my shift would have been really helpful. It's tough to retain reading information for a one time use.

I think making sure we go thru the entire list of information for everyone would be helpful. Also providing instructions and best practices for picking a tent site, setting up shade, and setting up a tent using tent nails would be helpful in getting people up and running ASAP.

I volunteered as a kitchen captain and felt like that was enough on my plate.

I was only at camp for a few days and was just getting off a stressful time in my real life - did not think I could do a good job!

It was fun, though I ended up having vest, dinner & works shifts on consecutive days, so it was a big chunk of time to give to camp — would space it out more next time. I enjoyed taking on a bit of responsibility in camp, and definitely felt more connected to the operation because of it. I did feel like I tended not to have the answers to questions people were asking, just because of the sheer variety of things people came to me for. I'm not sure if there's any solution to that — you just do the shifts and learn stuff over time (aka fake it 'til you make it).

I think the system was great! I didn't use it much, but I thought it was helpful to have someone deputized to answer questions.

35. Any other suggestions/solutions relating to in-camp project sign ups, work shift requirements, etc.?

Most of the shifts were taken when I decided to register so I focused on other things

I wore a pink vest this year and I hope I did a good job ;)

All campers should be required to either set up camp or break it down.

Overcommitted already

It is nice to have someone to turn to with questions.

As a virgin, it took some time to figure it all out (and by "it", I mean that thing in the desert!). I would have been happy to have some work shifts suggested to me ahead of time. As it was, I wasn't really sure what my role at camp was supposed to be. I would have liked to contribute more!

It was very helpful

It was pretty chill. Melons were pretty willing to help out when asked. The shift seemed very long though.

Little experience

Be nice to have a list printed of who’s bike was who so when breaking down we can avoid confusion on bikes left unattended. Some people were just sleeping so we did not know whose bike we should leave alone.

It was pretty quiet during my shift. I'd definitely do it again!

Love the system!!

Mostly just hanging out at camp. There were no new arrivals during my shift, so I just had to deal with a few random things. I'd do it again.

Love the vests!

Bigger white boards.

My vest shift was hard. We had a crazy dust storm during it and we had to make sure everything was tied down so it wouldn't fly away. Camp was also still being built so there were a lot of things to do. It was great, but I was very tired afterwards. I liked the table of contents in the binder this year. I wish the front cover of the binder could wrap around so it didn't take up so much space when trying to look up info.

Manny did a great job. Went through the checklist and thoroughly oriented me.

I appreciate the melons' gift of helping sparkle ponies on their first burn but I cannot believe it is worth the constant stress of making them understand how much work is involved before, during and after the burn.

My orientation was very casual and at the end of the pink vest's shift, but I think it covered everything! At one point some new melons arrived and I couldn't find a vest so I orientated them myself and told them to keep an eye out for the vests, otherwise vests were easy to find.

I think things like green and pink vest shifts might be good to put out even earlier. stuff that's virgin-friendly I think is fine to keep timed as-is. Strike shifts definitely could've had better communication. I think getting this finalized earlier and giving people some advanced notice of what their responsibilities might look like would be helpful for productivity, efficiency, and melon satisfaction.

Yes, I would do it again. Binder was amazing.

no comments on this.

36. The Melons tried the participatory budgeting process again this year, how do you think the process went? Do you have any thoughts on submitting proposals, voting on proposals and being awarded money? Do you have any suggestions for improving on the process, timing, etc.?

no feedback

None of the vests talked to me.

I would stress that going thru the checklist for orientation is important to everyone being informed. I would also maybe create a separate board for projects that need to be completed. Also would maybe sign-up Melon gifting pre-Playa so we aren't stressed in finding enough melon cutters and melon gifters.

overall good experience, but I had to change the black barrel wastewater once and they didnt know the protocol, went elsewhere for help

A better effort to let us know who received budget for what and where can find it on playa would be awesome! (Hope I just didn't miss this in an email)

Maybe a bigger sign that includes all work shifts on the info board?

Overall, I think the vests worked really well this year. There were a few times where I couldn't find a vest, but after a little searching I found them. It seemed that a lot of people arrived between 6pm and 9pm. I wonder if we could extend the pink vest shift or adjust the shifts to cover that time? I think it is hardest when people arrive in the dark and don't know what to do. Maybe we could print the camp map and put it in the info board so it is easier to know where to put your tent if no one is around?

Don’t know enough about it.

More project awareness earlier!

Good initiative think we should simplify the voting process with voting on FB or something more visible for smaller decisions.


I didn't join til after that was complete! I'm sure it was great, though

No other suggestions!

I didn't participate in process, so no thoughts. Now that I've been to burning man I have a better idea of what I can contribute and whether I want to apply for a budget!

Pretty helpful


So nice to have someone to help deal with random little things. Maybe add something about smoking to orientation. Let people know to use ash trays and not burn down camp.


I didn't participate, sorry.

Nope! All have been covered.

I didn't really pay attention to this process.

Some were nice, eine a little bit bossy

Nothing I can think of!

I don't feel that there is as much transparency in the budgeting as there should be.

Super helpful, and super easy to find. A great orientation that cut to the chase and didn't waste time. Much better this year than last year!

One thing that struck me during the strike shifts: I found that I really enjoyed working on stuff in camp with other melons. Most of the time we're all running around the city doing our various things and never get to have an integrated camp experience (besides dinner). During strike we got to do that: work together for our own [the camp's] benefit. Makes it feel like not just a mandatory work shift!

I don’t know much about this.

The orientation was so informal that I didn’t realize it was an orientation, so I still had questions later.

I thought the process was very easy to understand. We budgeted a lot of cool stuff to hand out and build.

They did a great job

I wish we had asked for more money.

They seemed to do a good job. The real metric is how Michelle and Drew feel about the peace and quiet they got when the green/pink vests were handling things.

Sign up earlier, get people involved earlier, make it feel like they're responsibility too.

I would like to see more info, earlier, pertaining to art grants.

They were easy to find and the rest of camp was also very generous with the help they offered in getting us set up I did not get a walkthrough on water change until I sought it out for myself

Some folks are just a bit half assed.

Ice envelopes were great. Participatory Budgeting was fine. Would like to know was it fair and equal for everyone, I hope it was.

The workload for my dinner crew was really light. Might consider letting people sign up for melon gifting, labor supporting other events, or big camp projects instead of dinner shifts.

It went well! I got some much-needed money to help get XXXXXXX. Ideally would be a week or two earlier, with a week or two more time to make a proposal.

They were great.


They were helpful.


They were nice but having the board set up in the middle of camp really helped.


Very helpful! The pink vest orientation covered most things I ended up needing as a first time melon, and the green vest usually was able to give information immediately or help me find the desired information in the appropriate place in the binder.

No suggestions, no problems

Vest shifters were pretty easy to locate whenever I needed them; I didn't receive orientation, but didn't really need one.

This process seemed fine to me.

Vest-wearers were findable when I needed them. Often they (we!) didn't know the answers to questions but could help in finding answers…

Thought it went smoothly; would like to start it earlier next year.

Vests were available when I needed them, great program

We need more melons (including myself) to participate. Some discussion in the facebook group before submitting proposals might get people interested.

Yay, good!

Worked great! I'm submitting next year :)


Yes, it was great. Let's do it a few weeks earlier and let's vote next year.

44. How did the experience being a dinner captain go? Any surprises you weren't prepared for? Do you have any suggestions for improvements on any part of the process (pre-playa planning or on-playa organizing)?

2 ice runs a day changed up the work flow, but we had so much time Getting no advance notice on team, requirements, shopping list before the team made me feel like I was behind the 8-ball early Got mixed messaging on necessary water levels for dish washing station

Doing dinner later in the week is hard to get full team participation - not everyone attended my mandatory meetings and not everyone was reliable during their assigned shifts. It was also hard to do a dinner while melon ball was happening and resources were being used - same for comingling of washing duties. We also were washing hours after dinner, which was a bummer since we missed a burn.

I think it went very well! I like cooking, being in the kitchen, leading a team. I had read about ice before I arrived, but when I read the on-playa literature on ice management I found it overwhelming and confusing. I asked Ashley and she said that that information was out of date and to just do whatever is necessary to keep it at or below 40ºF. There was money in the box for more than one ice run, but the sheet only mentioned one. All of this was absolutely fine after I talked to Ashley and she gave me the simple version. I am glad we had extra spices, because the recipe did not contain nearly enough. We probably used at least 5x what was in the recipe. Had a great team :)

45. How did you feel the Melon dinner experience went this year? What worked? What didn't work?

It wasn't clear to me initially that there were supposed to be 2 ice runs each day. Folks pre-signed up to volunteer for a morning ice run, but would have been helpful to pre-recruit an additional 2-3 volunteers to do an afternoon ice run as well. This could just be updated on the Ice run PDF that was sent out.

- Chopsticks was a brilliant idea - Less bean dip - In general, fewer dishes in larger quantities make it easier to cook in appropriate amounts for the crowd. 5 lbs each of two dishes is not equivalent to 10 lbs of one dish, because people will take some each, guaranteeing the depletion of something before the end of the line. - It always irritates me how much attention vegans get for what really amounts to a strong preference. Gluten intolerance, nut allergies… those are real "restrictions". I have my strong preferences too — all organic everything, grass-fed dairy/meats, pastured eggs, naturally-fermented heirloom-grain sourdough breads — and I'm also standing on firm moral ground, but it sure is easier for everyone if we're all a little less picky on playa! (I doubt anyone actually wants to wade into this morass, but I might as well put it out there ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

My melon team struggled to voluntarily purchase our cold dinner items. Nobody volunteered for the cold stuff so the responsibility got dumped on the captain.

We finished more quickly than expected. There was also a miscommunication about whether we were serving dinner earlier than normal.

A little overboard with dietary restrictions. My group made scrambled eggs with milk and without. Any chef will tell you best scrambled eggs have no milk. I'm sure the hard liner lactophiles can deal with no milk in their eggs for one meal. Also seemed silly making regular bacon AND Turkey bacon, although I know people take their bacon seriously at camp. I think the carnivores could deal with one meal of non porcine breakfast meat. I've also recently discovered veal bacon which is a dead ringer for pork bacon, but I can see the v word not going over well.

All in all dinners were pretty fantastic. Well done to the dinner captains.

Announcements at this time worked well.

Cooking for 80 people is VERY difficult. Menus should be scrutinized for that.

Dinners were great. Thanks for the chopsticks. Fuck washing shit!

Division of work went well in my dinner! I would like to point out that during the pre-BM survey, I wrote that I'm celiac (have gluten intolerance), and this hasn't been taken into consideration in any of the dinners. I could obviously choose some food from what I saw at the dinner table, but there weren't any signs on the potential presence of gluten ingredients, and specifically, during the Friday dinner (Mac+Cheese) I couldn't eat anything (because I couldn't eat pasta that has gluten)...

Everything great!

Everything worked

Food tasted great. Efficient flow of the dinner line.

Great experience, perhaps started preparing too early for our dinner, we had tons of time (started at 3 PM)

I forgot where I put my communal food. Maybe we can remind people to write the day of their dinner on it and have a place to put it in the kitchen? I love communal dinners! We can still work on the dish washing station. It got pretty nasty and people didn't really know what to do.

I liked it! It was nice to have one cooked meal a day.

I liked it. Made more enjoyable by knowledgeable and active captain (go smokin joe!)

I love our dinners!

I personally don't like breakfast for dinner so much - but it works ;)

I think all the dinners were delicious! I felt bad for some of the groups, which had to meet in the morning to prep vs. teams that could just meet in the afternoon. I wish we had planned dinner earlier and set earlier deadlines vs. rushing right before we all left for the playa. I would also maybe set aside laminated placards for food-restrictions (e.g., Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy, etc.)

I think dinner is one of the things we do best. I don’t really have any complaints. I love sharing with non-Melons, but I think that perhaps we should have them get in line for food after Melons. We had a lot of leftover cooked food, but I loved having it around.

47. Did you feel communal food (cooler and dry goods) and communal drinks were effectively managed? Why or why not?

I think most dinners went off really well. Even ours, which started a bit touch-and-go was amazing. Breakfast for dinner, while delicious, was by far the most wasteful; i think it could be minimized and still be great. Maybe omit the oatmeal portion next year (or at least reduce it). Nobody likes leftover oatmeal, and I doubt anyone's SO enthusiastic about it that they'll be bummed about not getting it at dinner. Red bean soup, while delicious, was in dire excess. We were trying to finish that stuff for DAYS, and I eventually threw away the very last bit post-event after mixing as much as i could stomach into my leftover oatmeal. LESS FUCKING COLESLAW. I'd rather a few people go w/o sides than have that ungodly amount of cabbage leftover.

communal food works great! I love waking up and making leftovers for people. I love the addition of The Rock!

cooler labels were great. but not every cooler was labeled from the start so that was confusing.

Didn’t use either much. Shared ~20 cans on Sunday/Monday but after that decided to keep my drinks in my own cooler since the communal cooler never had anything I wanted.

I think that it was wonderful, but I think maybe the quantities on the main dishes were underestimated since it wasn’t so hot out and appetites might have been higher. I think also some non melons crashed our dinners, which may have effected the quantities.

drinks cooler was great this year. It was always stocked with beer and ice. Maybe encourage more folks to bring mixers/soft drinks to share? The leftovers cooler was also pretty well organized and never seemed to get out of hand.

I think we should give more thought to the friday dinner shift that coincides w melon ball

I thought it worked well! Our morning meeting was very poorly attended, so I felt i didn't know many members of the team, but we pulled off dinner well.

eh. Didn't go through orientation. But i could have asked. It was never important enough to figure out.

I was disappointed by a few of my team members idea of participation. Salad estimate was off. I haven't had time to fully reflect on the dinner process but I will have more for you soon.

I didn't have any problems with the coolers, though I didn't use them very much. I ought to bring some drinks next time tho!

I didn't realize until late in the week that the communal food was communal - had been hesitant to break into snacks earlier. (d'oh)

It was amazing! Best of any camp I've ever been to or seen.

I didn't rely much on communal food but I knew where it was and I feel it was managed well

It was good - can we figure out composting next year?

I didn't totally understand what I could and couldn't eat in the coolers (besides leftovers), and whether I could add anything to the coolers of my own

it was great my dinner captain ran a tight shift

I do!

It was great, everything was well planned.

I think a big distinction for communal food is: ready to eat or not. If there was a chalkboard listing food that has already been prepared (i.e. leftovers) people would be more likely to eat it up.

It was really great.

Knowing what we had access to in the kitchen ahead of time could be helpful (e.g., number of pots and pans) since we have high volume cooking. No major hitches otherwise.

I think they were managed better this year than most. That said, there were a few things in the drink cooler that should've been in the kitchen communal cooler, and vice versa. our bagging and organizational system seemed to work really well; I don't recall any catastrophic food leaks as in years past. I'd like to see slightly better organization of the communal dry goods; a bunch of dinner teams put their stuff in the communal space, and that caused some confusion. We need to have a system for dinner dry goods (maybe just a small bin below the counter for each night? Or just say that the person who brought the dry good hangs onto it until it's time to use it?) so they don't get mixed in with communal dry goods.

Lacking protein. Meat sources ran out before the line ended.

Leftovers were great to have available for lunch or snacks.

Loved the shared meals!

I thought both the coolers and the dry goods were a definite improvement since the last time I was there.

XXXX team was smooth and efficient, everyone pulled their weight and then some! Much thanks to awesome dinner captain XXX for keeping us on track, too

I wish the paper spreadsheets were more clear about which coolers were for what day vs. communal. (Some of them fell off throughout the week.

My dinner captain was fun and communicating with all the cooks. The clean up could have been better. It was difficult to clean dishes and we emptied the bleach when we should’ve.

Ice based coolers are a bit of a stretch for 80 people

It seemed like lots of items were shoved in and too many items packed together where items went missing or just went bad without people throwing out there old items.


No complaints at all! Everything went smoothly & efficiently & our dinner captain was great, organized & always available for help & guidance

More/clearer signage would be nice, to know exactly what we were welcome to consume.

Our dinner captain was awesome! But we were told the day prior that dinner would be early, so we planned accordingly. Day of, that plan changed leaving us frustrated and like we wasted time.

49. What did you feel worked in the kitchen this year? What didn't?

No. Needs better labeling, and more than one person managing the process in case that person happens to be asleep in a hammock........... Each cooler should be individually labeled, with a list of items that should be put in it. Additionally, there should not be a communal cooler for "shared food" just a leftover cooler. If we do shared food coolers, we should have a label where people can write their name and contribution so they are responsible for it. Dry foods need better labeling, so that dinner dry goods (which should be kept in your tent until your dinner night anyways) don't get mix up with communal dry goods. Also, more communication to campers about sharing communal food EARLY in the week.

A member of cleanup shift dismissed other cleanup crew that offered to keep helping clean and we were left to washing a ton of pots and pans with only 2 people. It didnt feel like teamwork and took a lot longer with less hands on deck.

Overall a great year. The Chinese Feast was the star meal, IMO. Hoping to get some new recipes in the mix for next year. Felt Mac N Cheese night was really heavy. Also, no more soups and no more bean dips.

All kitchen supplies were well laid out. Ventilation in the kitchen during the day was a bit rough (understandably). Some sort of creative cross-airflow solution might help this a bit.

Overall, I had a wonderful time with my dinner team. I thought everyone worked really well together. My only constructive comment - there seemed to be a TON of food left over from my dinner shift, and I highly doubt it was all eaten before the end of Burning Man. I would vote to simplify dinners, to the extent possible.

Perhaps more labeling of communal vs dinner coolers would help. signage?

combining ice and dinner worked. It would be nice to find a way to make it clearer what dishes/utensils belonged where. Perhaps color code them somehow? Or put photos on the outside of the bins where the items are stored. Also, figuring out a better system for setting the dishes out to dry would be nice.

Perfect! Dinners were filling and had good nutrition to keep going! Also, there were usually enough leftovers to do breakfast or lunch, so I only needed to worry about half of my own food intake for the day.

Pre-playa communication, signage, and enforcement could be improved.

Didn't work well the dishwashing station

Pretty effective.

Pre-playa communication about non-dinner goods. The communal cooler, ice, and good meal planning/storage tips.

Dinners were magical. That daily structure was my favorite part of the Melon camp. The labelling of coolers and shelves and bins. Tough to navigate.

Pretty good. I was. It always sure what was communal during the day for breakfast or lunch. Dinner was great!

Preparation of dinner went very well on my team. All the dinners I had I absolutely loved.

During our kitchen shift it was sometimes a bit crowded with Melons who were snacking and kinda in the way. I had to get over the gross factor of prewashing in the "sludge container" but was less apprehensive knowing there was bleach in the other container(s).

Seemed to always be stocked (wow!) so I think this worked well. This was such a wonderful concept and incentivized socialization in our common area. And an easy way for people to know what and how to gift to camp.

Some of the stuff needed to cook was being used during meal prep. We should clear the area for the dinner team and that everything is needed is available.

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

Such ease. We had some issues with converting units at first but it all got sorted out ;)

Everything seemed pretty smooth. Dish washing station was unpleasant and difficult with big pots, but I don't know that there's a better system...


A dishwasher :P

The kitchen facility is stretched to feed so many people at one time.

Everything seemed to work just fine! I didn't notice anything egregious.


A quickwash station got cutlery-only.

The quality has gotten better. Combining ice and dinner is a solid move. Dinner quantities seemed about right and I appreciated the leftovers that were available.

Everything worked well for me

The communal drinks were perfect, but it was not always clear how leftovers in the coolers were handled.


Very smooth Had a great group of people that made life easy Seemed like dinner captains were on the ball about veggies and vegan options + notifying camp when those resources were in shorter supply than meat options

Having a closed kitchen rocked

There should be signs in the coolers to state if the food stored there was communal or private, I got confused several times to try to find some leftovers, for example, on the Friday night that I couldn't eat the dinner...


I felt it was more organized and tidy


was great

They were fine

I like the kitchen. Less cluttered this year, less crap this year. I hope we work further towards minimalism.

Everything I needed I was able to find

Was very good, but if you were working on a project or strike other people had seconds before some had 1 st course. Probably just needs to be mentioned as camp rules and fairness.

Yeah, loved the cooler schedule chart. What was in the mystery "do not open" cooler!?

I liked how the tool board was reduced to just the key items vs. being a full array of all the tools. Improvement-wise, I think making sure the coolers don't leak water from their spigots would be key.

Garlic powder


Higher temperature cooking oil.

Worked great. We made a bit too much red bean soup that didn't get eaten, but that can be tweaked in future menus.

I think the kitchen worked very smoothly. Peanut or safflower oil would be good to have. I had to blacken some corn and ended up burning the bottom of a pan. dull knives are annoying.


hot sauce

Worked very well. Having each dinner be dependent on the key person DINNER CAPTAIN means there's a chance they'll screw up and it'll go poorly, but that's for the dinner crew to complain about, as long as the food gets made.

51. What was the best thing you ate on the playa this year?


hot sauce

I think we ran out of salt, so we should get more next year. More medium sized bowls (between the XL and medium size we have now). The XL bowls were too heavy to carry when loaded up with watermelons. Redo the kitchen hanging signs so all the utensils are color coded/labeled. Maybe we can try a new kitchen setup next year? Towards the end of the week, someone moved 2 tables into the middle of the tent and that seemed to work.

a godly breakfast sandwich - don't remember name of camp


I think we ran low on paper goods and hand soap at the end of the week.

A sausage grilled on the ashes



All the bacon


More hot sauce variety

I thought the kitchen layout was better this year and contributed to a more inclusive, collegial environment. My only constructive note would be to try to simplify dinner a bit more, to the extent possible.



My vine cooks.

Bacon & taco night



I will bring dish gloves in the future for clean up day. Sometimes kitchen soap/ cleaners make my hands peel, so I didn’t volunteer to kitchen clean up.

Bites of hot pancake in the deep playa



If memory serves, prior years have included 3 sets of dual-burner stoves. I'm not sure why there were two this year, but I do miss the three set-up. Especially on dinner crew or when breakfast got busy.

Breakfast for dinner.



Bryan's Chinese feast or Umer's Thai food


images on the board for utensils. Instructions for cleaning stations.


Bryan's team's dinner was a tiny smidge better than Umer's team's Thai dinner...


kitchen still up on sunday was extra work for Sunday strike


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

Cabbage with mustard seeds


Labeling of spray bottles was a bit unclear, as was bleach content. Could have been clearer.


Chinese feast!


Leftovers cooler was very nice this year.


As I commented before, there should be signs in the coolers to state if the food stored there was communal or private, I got confused several times! I would suggest changing the Mac+Cheese to a more inclusive recipe, including people with celiac disease (like me)

Chinese meal


More air flow!



Yes -- everything was clearly labeled.

More organized breakfast rules. Dinner worked great!


Better orientation on dishwashing! A lot of people didn't know to spray off soapy water into the first bin in order to preserve the second two bins.

curry (?) - Umer's meal. Also loved Jambalaya and Chinese!

Yes but, to be fair, I didn't drink that much from the communal cooler.

More snacks and melon diversity.



Curry night!

Yes, addition of ice scoop was great. It would be really cool if calicargo (or anyone with a little extra space) would buy and transport communal drinks for those who are taking the bus.

Our dinner team could've used some more burners on the stove. The supplementary stove was good for individual cooking but insufficient for large-scale cooking.


Buy water in bulk and setup a water system that delivers clean water to the cooking area and a separate line to the wash station that is built on top of a black water tank.

curry was yum. and so was the Chinese night. That black bean dessert was a fail though.

seemed like there was lots of leftover food toward the end. seemed like potential for waste, thought maybe not a problem if it got eaten or donated.

One of those cat clocks where the eyes and tail tick-tock back and forth

English Muffins from Sunrise Diner

Yes, bc of community effort to maintain

The basic layout was good but I think a dedicated cleanup station would be better.


Can't think of any!

Fresh fruit

Yes, but I felt guilty taking leftovers/seconds

The cold brew was AWESOME. Loved it. All the meals were great and I really liked having leftovers that I could snack on.


Champagne fountain

fried rice!!!!

Yes, I did. There was always cold beer in the communal fridge and tons of food to snack on.

The grill was great - the hanging rack (as in years past) was also great. Snack section could use some shelfing.

Seeing rack for clean dishes

Dishwashing station got pretty gross but maybe some didn't know how to empty/change it out? And dinner idea - BBQ!!!!

Gifted vegetarian pizza in deep playa

Yes, I didn't have any issues with communal food/drinks.

The kitchen was very well organized.

tablespoon and teaspoon measures

Ensure that all dietary needs are both accommodated and clearly marked. One dinner, the captain wasn’t able to answer if the meal met my dietary needs or not. So I didn’t eat.


Yes, lived all the ramen

The kitchen worked quite well I thought. The drying space would've benefited from a little more surface area.

There was no raw bar this year, wtf? Also no carving station? Are we animals? People like prime rib!

Grilled cheese sandwich under the Rainbow at 7 am!

Yes, seemed just dandy

I enjoyed the rice-based dishes a lot. I felt like it was probably also easier prep to just make a few things (i.e., rice, veggies, tofu, meat) and then let people create their own meals. Perhaps more of that?

The oven and the stove tops on top were underpowered. Probably would be better off with two additional burners. Otherwise it was a great setup!

Grilled pb&j

yes, there were always things there if i wanted them

The utensil board was great this year. Seemed simpler than years past. Everything was there with out having overkill.

Hot dog at trash fence sunrise (didn't plan for an all-nighter til too late)

Yes, very happy with clean drinking ice set up this year.

I'm glad we were able to bring another handwashing Station. Dishwashing station needed more rules and consistency.

Tricky to find some supplies. That’s it.

Ice cream made by Liquid Nitrogen

Yes, we just need more cider

I've got a few but I'll share them elsewhere!

We need to sharpen the knifes a little

Jambalaya yuuum

Yes! Though it seemed to take a lot of time and energy.

Ice water drainage should have a pre-playa plan

Worked: tables, utensils, stoves. Didn’t: cleaning station(bigger/ deeper wash basins).

mac 'n cheese & Indian Feast were my favorite dinners; that said... a friend made me pie on playa - that was pretty killer


It might be nice to include dessert in Melon dinners, but I say this as definitely a person who cares a lot about food

Would've like another burner, and a second area in the kitchen for personal cooking so that the dinner team could have their space and work in peace.

Mac & cheese


Maybe a hotdog and hamburger day?

Magic Playa S'more


More potatoes.

Melon Dinners


More vegetables!

Our dinners!

Yes. Communal drinks were always stocked and iced.

Need a better dishwashing station. Perhaps worth investing in an actual metal sink unit. Want to do a Greek Food night, and an Italian night, maybe a BBQ night. I'll make it happen :)


Yes. I did need some guidance at first on how to read the schedule but once I got that I was good to go.

Sausage fed to me on Sunday in camp

Yes. Ice cold beer up until my last minute. Beverage situation was a 10 out of 10. Always ice in cooler.

Need to revisit Saturday communal meal to better fit with Strike.

Sausage Party' hosted by 'The Pussywagon' in deep playa

yes. more ice in the communal drinks cooler!

Nix the pancakes. Though breakfast for dinner is usually a crowd pleaser. I didn't see how they were cooked but a large griddle would be best, I just don't know if the one dinner justifies the cost.

So much bacon



Tetris made breakfast after a wedding

Overall, great job of being organized.

Thai Chiken meal

Pre make some easy dinner or left overs for the last day crews. Kitchen gets broken down earlier that way. Keep liquor for last 2 nights, especially after the Temple burn. It was really great to hang out at camp and talk as a group.

Thai dinner

54. Did you learn anything about any of the Ten Principles this year or something about yourself because of the Ten Principles?

Recipe idea: American Picnic/BBQ - burgers (veggie, too), hot dogs, potato salad, mac salad & the like

Thai dinner!!!!

Replace mac and cheese night.

Thai food!

A lot, I made them a focus of my day to life. I really enjoyed he principal of immediacy and was challenged with the principals of selfrilliance and inclusion.

The chart on the coolers was not design for lower intellecual comprehension. Although our camp was highly intellectual, some things are better if designed so that a 10 year old could figure it out quickly, e.g. which cooler had the extra public food in it

thai green curry

Decommodification is a concept I learned and practiced on playa and have carried into the default world.

Thai night!

for sure

The cold brew and Gatorade were so helpful and great. We had basically all of the important essentials and comforts.


I can pitch a tent!

The fresh vegetable dishes were all incredibly good. Grass-fed beef is the only beef I eat, so having it available was a very pleasant surprise.

That grass fed beef dinner night.

I felt at peace and comfortable with everyone, I need to disconnect from electronics more often. It was a wonderful feeling and allowed me to be in the moment at Burning Man!Awesome experience, thank you!?Ž?‰

The handwashing stations were amazing! So nice to have clean hands. I think the pancakes were undercooked, or breakfast for dinner would have been amazing. If I were to lead a dinner, I would try to look into make-ahead options that could be frozen and reheated so that dinner could take 1.5-2 hours to make instead of 4. Cooking with the crew was still fun though, so the time commitment wasn’t a big deal. -️

That Thai curry dinner was pretty great!

the bacon from a bloody mary, or umers curry

I got a nice dose of participation via vest, dinner & strike shifts, and I found it to be pretty enjoyable!

The korean dinner

I learned that I can do more with less. The camp offered SO much (which is great), but it was easy to fall back on.

Trash setup: We need to improve messaging for what goes where. People are colossally dumb about trash sorting. I did a lot of burn barrel work, and found I always had plenty of stuff to pull out of the fire. It's to overcome our default-world waste-management training of "just throw it the bin and let someone else deal with it", but it's so crucial in BRC (proper porta-potty use is similarly difficult for some people, for the same reason)

The thai curry

I learned that there are some areas that I need to push myself more, participation and live in the present

55. Do you have any thoughts on The Ten Principles? Can we communicate them to fresh Melons and other Burners better? Should we?

the thai dinner - that green curry was YUM!!

I made an effort to participate more and get to know more people at camp this year, and I felt much more rewarded as a result.

The Vietnamese dinner was great

vegetable like broccoli for the mac&cheese

I think I do every year. Hard to put a finger on it this time around, though. I had a lot of conversations around consent and immediacy, though, especially as they both relate to photography. I learned about raking for MOOP this year though!

A common man explanation might help. Maybe info cards hanging around camp?

Thursday dinner.

Was not impressed with breakfast for dinner. Carbs didn't hold up well. Hardly anyone ate oatmeal, again. We were left with a pile of the same breakfast ingredients as last year. A savory oatmeal (basically risotto using oats) would go over very well.

As optional reading, sure. Adding commentary on the principles from a Melon’s lens helps them become less abstract and more melon-y.

Umer’s thai food

I worried less about the people around me who were not living the 10 principles the way I did (were constantly taking photos/wearing feathers/being cliquish/etc) and focused on enjoying myself

Can we? YES. Should we? YES. I think the ten principles should be in one of the very first welcome emails that we send to new (and returning) melons. With succinct explanations for each.

umers thai dinner

We had 2 extra coffee bags this year, let's reduce coffee we bring by 1 full bag. The dinners were excellent! We did seem to run out of some food before everyone got enough. Maybe increase the proteins and veggies a little? Loved the Chinese meal and the cucumber salad during the Thai dinner. It was so refreshing at the end of the week to have cold cucumbers. Eh I usually love breakfast for dinner, but it seemed to take a lot of time to prep and it didn't keep me full all night. If we keep it, we should lose the oatmeal and replace it with something else (grits?). I think last year the breakfast for dinner crew also brought fresh fruit, which would have been a nice addition. And more veggies!

watermelon margarita slushy that I made by hand cranking and running on a human-sized hamster wheel

Immediacy - being in the present moment takes a conscious effort. And I really do want to continue practicing Leave No Trace day-to-day

Constant reminders at the end of emails or Facebook posts might really drive the message home more.

Immediacy is such a foreign idea outside of the playa & I wish that wasn't so.

Decommodification stressed me out before BM because tiny logos are on EVERYTHING. I was putting tape on all of them, but sometimes the tape came off and threatened to become MOOP. Buying new, non-logo’Ed stuff wasn’t budget or planet friendly. Thankfully once at Burning Man, I realized that people only cared about covering the really egregious logos. I think that principle comes from a good place, but it can create a lot of contradictions when trying to enforce it.

Immediacy. Don’t try and make things happen. Go with the flow.

More about immediacy and participation. Intentionally took very few pictures, actively attempted to connect with more melons and participate around camp more.

We should strive for more simplicity. I felt this year was a great improvement.


Explain the difference between the Man burn and the temple burn early. Explain what the temple is before getting to playa.

You can get small tetrapaks of milk that stay fresh without refrigeration. I don't take my coffee with milk personally but I bet they would be appreciated if we can take the extra non-burnable trash. Also, maybe some Kirkland-brand protein bars for the communal section? I feel like I was great on veggies but it's hard to incorporate protein for lunch.


56. What advice would you give to a new Melon?

I brought a few friends as burning virgins to the Melons this year. While I tried to prepare them for what to expect, and to communicate the 10 principles to them, some of it got lost in all of the logistical prep. It would be helpful for camp to have the 10 principles posted somewhere physically, to show how important they are to the identity of the community, especially to newbies.


Be open to new experiences. Say yes to the person who wants you to stop and do whatever.

No new lessons

Be open to new experiences. Talk to people who have gone before. Try to go to a build day, it's a great way to meet fellow melons!

Nothing new, but I love the reminder prior to burn.

i liked having discover the different meanings of each principle through talking to people around the city and exploring

Be prepared, don’t stress, and let go.

Radical self expression is hard

I struggled to connect radical self-expression and immediacy to the Melon experience, but maybe that's just the lens I saw this through

Bring an open mind and leave expectations on your kitchen counter at home. Respect people's boundaries, assert your own, but don't be afraid to expand them a bit. For Goddess' sake: WALK. Leave your bike at camp a few times, and see where your feet take you!!!

Some give, some take.

I think just stressing that they really are at the core of the event and should be thought about seriously and an important part of pre-playa prep.

The default world is a terrifying place. :)

I think learning about these before the mad rush and how campmates have expressed this in the past, would be great.

Bring more wipes and a better face mask.

The importance of gifts removed from price but that was more from Tedx - Black Rock City talk than from being onsite It was interesting seeing some Melons try to not be self-reliant early on and then see that behavior manifest in growth or otherwise as the week continued

Bring no expectations in to the playa with you.

I think there was a lot more emphasis on participating and inclusion this year, and it definitely made for a better experience for me. Just keep doing what you did this year - it worked!!

Burning man is a lot of work.

Was blown away by the communal effort of the camp - I felt like a citizen of the space immediately, and how to live calmly and open-mindedly on the playa was instantly modeled to me. Thank you for making my first burn so magical!

I'm all in favor of the ten principles. They help create the magic. Just introducing them as "part of Burning Man" seems enough. People who came to Burning Man presumably are game to partake in its principles.

Canvas tent was helpful for keeping dust out. Fans in tent are helpful. Approach a pink vest upon arrival. Melon ball on friday. Having your own cooler is nice but not necessary. Bring a vessel that allows for large water consumption (not only a hydration tube). Consider packing stuff on bike that lives there so youre always ready to go and dont have to run back and forth to tent procuring items throughout the day. Wear clothes that make going pee very easy. Hand sani is a must. Hat is very helpful. Costume tents can hook you up.


Many melons do a great job thinking about, adhering to, and embodying the principles. I think that camp could benefit from a culture shift towards thinking more about how the principles apply and how well we're practicing them. Drinking game with watermelon based shots perhaps?


Yes but I'm still working on that

Contribute to the camp that gives so much! And ask how you can help

Maybe a quick and fun Virgin 101 class as part of the orientation or something? Certain principles seem to be missed and maybe a quick refresh early in the week would help.

Yes, because IMHO learning anything from Burning Man at all is learning because of the ten principles

Dance more

Yes, thinking of life in terms of gifting (especially to strangers) is a shift for me

Melon camp lacked inclusion/community. I am a natural extrovert and yet it was SO difficult breaking into the cliques of the camp. Sometimes I felt activity excluded and even condescended upon, especially by a couple xvc members. I felt more welcome at a handful of neighboring camps, despite my efforts to be a part of the melon community.

Do not bring middle-weather attire. Bring beach attire and winter (not autumn) attire. Do not bring coffee.

Yes! I don't really have specific words to describe what I learned, but throughout the week I felt that I understood the importance of the principles and their relevancy to me in new ways, especially radical self-reliance, immediacy, leaving no trace, and decommodification. We should decommodify the trucks and tents at camp better!

Do not have expectations. Participate, volunteer, but do not overwhelm yourself. Freaking out is almost never warranted.

Don't be shy, make new friends! Melons are great. Try to sleep sometimes.

Melons are very welcoming but tend to stay in groups among themselves. And when we lure passers by with juicy fruity melon slices, we tend to be shy of conversation. Again, there were a laaat of melons napping during the ball. Maybe we should host it earlier in the week?..

Don't come in with any expectations other than maybe you'll be dusty. Say yes to new experiences.

Yes! I learned a lot. More than I can write in this little box...

don't panic, talk to everyone you can, say yes (within personal comfort level and limits)

No real thought to share via a survey but definitely can communicate them with new burners.


Don't spend too much time at Camp. Get out there so you don't fee fomo.


Don't succumb to FOMO.

Some people don’t really care about all ten principles

Get A lot of LEDs Spend lots of time buying good costumes. It will improve your burningman experience

Talk more about them in camp

Go out on your own a few times. It can be easy to get sucked into hanging out at camp but there's so much going on at other places and other cool people to meet too.

The importance of participation, especially in camp. We had one Melon who never showed for their dinner shift.

They are great, but new Melons have to adopt and acccept them as part of their commitment to the camp.

Go with the flow. Help out every day, even in small ways. Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Don’t be afraid to enjoy silence, alone or in the company of others. You can sleep whenever and wherever you need to.

Tough question: getting people to internalize the Principles is important, but you don't want to beat people over the head with them. I feel like our camp is pretty well organized around the Principles, and the best training ground for going deeper is all of Burning Man itself. (If Burning Man can't instill its own principles in attendees, what can we do?) Perhaps one small step in the right direction would be to make a sign for each principle and put them up around camp in places where people will see them, and be reminded.

Have an open mind, don't be afraid to make a new friend & start a conversation with someone you don't know.

Immediacy, live in the moment, put the phones away

It is not easy to camp in a desert environment for a week.

Yes we should. Maybe we should post them on the board or nearby? I was camped near a bunch of new people from other countries that seemed to know little and I picked up theirs feathers and trash daily and helped them often, I felt heundidnt know much.

listen to your body

Make an effort to talk to melons you don't know. Participate in a build day, to the extent you are able. And enter Burning Man with a completely open mind - how much you gain/grow is directly related to how much you open your mind, in my opinion.

Yes, I think there is value in communicating them more strongly to new Melons — especially LNT. This year I saw a new Melon with large chunks of glitter in their hair, and a lot more moop than last year.

Meh this is a stickup see, for over all your time and money! :)

yes, What about Consent, the 11th Principle?

pack less, enjoy more, trust the Melons

participate - step up- help out.

Pitch in and have fun!

Radical Self-Reliance is REAL. Ask questions. There are people who are happy to listen.

read all the emails!!

Read the emails. Read JRS. Ask questions. You got this.

Recognize that you’re basically walking into a family reunion. It’ll be fun to be there, but you may feel like you’re on the outside looking in until late in the burn when you’ve gotten to know some people.

59. Any thoughts or suggestions you'd like to share to improve camp next year?

Relax, enjoy, don’t judge, be open, participate at multiple levels in the camp. Explore on your own. Catch a sunrise on the playa. Sleep well, drink plenty of water! Do stuff with your fellow Mellons! Especially the 2 burns as a group.

(dumping remaining thoughts here) I would like to stop changing our name/theme every year. I think something like “Melon Family Recreational Movers” is fitting. A+ organization and shipping, as usual I would like more art, more folks excited and contributing to art. I don’t know how to make this happen, but I think about it lots. note to self: express interest in volunteering with BRC departments IN ADVANCE, remind friends I would like more of folks holding their referrals accountable, and slightly fewer new folks. I think it might make sense to have an early bird sign up for veterans. Distribution of labor is hard. How do we make folks who show up Monday or later know that there is still work to be done, that they can/should help, etc.? I still felt a lot of pressure to be doing things in camp after Sunday, despite the fact that I had (happily!) logged endless hours already. CaliCargo went pretty smoothly, but a cumbersome thing was money management. I think we could streamline it by sending folks their food stipend digitally at the start of the journey and using a Melon debit card for gas and other truck costs. I would like more interactive frontage! A big, warm, cozy fire area would be nice.

say hi to melons anywhere around the city

Set personal goals and Expectations and participate as much as you can

Sleep more.

So much of this experience is easier for a first timer than in many other camps or solo experiences. Just be patient with yourself and willing to learn and help whenever/wherever.

Take time to chat with more people at camp - I wish I had.

Camp. Was perfect, no issues

Talk to the people in camp

Can't think of anything right now..Love you guys. Camp this year was really really good!

Volunteer at camp and on the playa. Know that the Melons have your back but keep jumping for more.

Communication with 80 people is always a challenge, but I think we can always improve. I'd also really like to work hard on weeding out/preventing sparkle ponies - we get a few every year, and they're always obnoxious AF to deal with on and off-playa.

We're very well-organized and have a strong internal community. Therefore you'll have a strong foundation for your on-playa adventures, and a safe, supportive & comfortable place to come back to when you've worn yourself out!

Drying racks of some kind in the kitchen. More dance parties.

Woke hard, play hard, melon hard

Give each new virgin Melon a Melon Cap on the first dinner night they arrive as welcoming them to our camp and being a part of Melon Family.

Have LE Feedback forms available in the binder

I love it!!!

I think best practices for shade setup is important, because it can take a lot longer if it's built incorrectly, and it's the most frustrating thing to do right when you get to camp. (e.g., slide all the bungees in the shade fabric before you lift it up, have 2 people to lift it up on two ladders, use longer bungees for the corners, go around at least two poles for the corner bungees, use the longer poles for height, etc.)

I'm bringing hamburgers.

If Montana Dome is back maybe we could move it to the front so we have a lounge area that's not sleeping like the Melon Dome.

It would be awesome to include wood/duroflame logs as something everyone should bring or send in cargo. I missed having a home base to sit around a fire at night.

It would be great if I had the possibility to buy or "rent"/borrow a melon's bike who's not going to playa this year. Or I'd be willing to buy a bike next year and leave it with someone in the states (as in from far-far-away) and I'd also gift it to the camp in case I would not come the year after. Sounds like a hell lot of logistics but in case you knew how to facilitate this, e.g. through pre-playa communication. Maybe there is no need for this as most melons come from the US and don't have issues bringing a bike to playa.

Keep being awesome!

Let's make breakfast for dinner breakfast for late lunch on Saturday and strike the whole kitchen down to Kitchen A at the same time. Also let's not have anything get built after Monday.

Maybe a big early-week melon event or cruise to something to get new and old acquainted? Mini melon art tour or bar crawl or something.

Maybe a camp event on Monday or Tuesday to introduce everyone?

Michelle and Drew need to do less work and enjoy Burning Man more!?ˆ?«they are stars but we don’t want them to burn out!

more hammocks

More watermelon! Hehe. Thank you for everything!!!!!!!

More welcoming space for passersby to stop and spend some time. up the watermelon gifting game: watermelon slushies! Watermelon art car!



Smaller population, more focused on core participating members, less supporting the sparkle ponies.

So many :)


Try to make load out easier. Buy water in bulk. Create a dedicated wash station

We should consider a permanent camp name. The annual pun thing is fun, but eventually (soon!) we're going to run out of decent puns, and it's confusing for other people. I've tired quickly of having conversations like: "Hey you guys are pretty cool, where are you camping?" "We're camping with the Melons." "Hmm I can't find you in the directory." "Oh that's because we change our official camp name every year... this year we're [insert name]." "Interesting… so how am I supposed to find you next year?" "Dunno? Study the directory for melon puns and then check out all the candidates? Good luck HAHAHA…" It strikes me as antisocial to undermine the main function of a name: something for others to refer to you by. We've got such a strong identity, let's just commit to it!

Work shift idea: to mitigate the on-playa strike woes, a work-shift option could be a Chicago cleaning day. For example: cleaning benches and stoves on playa is terribly inefficient and ineffective, especially if melons are willing to travel to Chicago to clean those items in the default world with lots of supplies (a pressure washer!) I would spend 2-3 days with melons in Chicago cleaning, over a strike shift that's frustrating, antisocial, and could take 2.5 times as long as scheduled.