Melon Camp Confidential
Bike racks and domes and shade, oh my!
What is Melon Camp?
Melon Camp is a ridiculously well-organized, seriously silly, highly literate group of melons of all varietals. It is also a Burning Man theme camp with ~8,000 sq. ft of shade from the sun, nightly communal dinners, an awesome kitchen, water for drinking and showers, a sound system for chill tunes and dance parties at appropriate hours, and several truly awesome art projects. We've got a manifesto.
What Does Melon Camp Provide?
Without water you're not going to last long on the Playa. The Melons truck hundreds of gallons of water into the desert so that everyone has plenty to drink, cook with, and shower with during the week. You don't need to worry about bringing any water beyond the amount you'll need to drink on your way in to Black Rock City.
Second only to water in importance for your comfort and safety! Melon Camp has 8,000 square feet of shade made from aluminet, a lightweight material that blocks 75% of the sun. The easy to set up and take down shade structures cover our tent and common spaces.
Our common space is lit at night and includes a few Playatech couches, many hammocks, a carpeted Melondome, a patch of (plastic) grass, a very warm burn barrel, lots of art but not that much seating - BYO Camp Chair. It also boasts enough bike racks for every Melon, a photo board to help meet a Melon, a vanity to brush your teeth at, a clothing exchange, bike wrenches and a pump, an extensive and ridiculously organized set of tools, and of course a first aid kit (safety third). We also provide enough stakes to secure your tent. Oh, and we have a shower.
Every night when the sun sets over the mountains, the Melons gorge themselves on a delicious feast cooked by their fellow Melons.
The Melons have their very own, very well stocked, Kitchen Tent (playa name: The Dusty Bucket) the sides of which can be sealed up during an inevitable dust storm. Inside we generally have between five and six propane burners (along with fire extinguisher), an extensive set of pots, pans and tools, two massive rice cookers, and enough cooler space to for everyone's dinner (we recommend using your own cooler for food you might not want to accidentally share).
In addition to our beautiful Dusty Bucket, the Melons also provide salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, minced garlic, an Italian spice blend, olive oil, peanut butter (seriously, don't bring any), hot sauce and cold-brew coffee.
Plates And Utensils
For eating on and with, we've got more than enough paper plates, paper bowls and chopsticks for everyone. After you use them, you can wipe the food off and dispose of them in our burn barrel. If chopsticks aren't your thing, we've also got knives and forks to go around.
Bar And Drinks Cooler
To put your booze on - preferably in a plastic bottle! Camp doesn't actually provide any hooch (that would make our dues way higher!) but everyone pitches in some and we've never run out.
Every Melon is expected to take at least one bag of trash from camp with them when they leave. We make it super easy though by sorting everything so recyclables go to Recycle Camp, burnables get burnt and the actual trash bags are extremely manageable. Just remember NO GLASS!
Our speaker isn't the loudest on the playa by any means, but it does the trick. What do you want to hear?
Yeah, art. You got a problem with that? Why don't you bring some of your own then.
What Do Melons Eat?
Melon Camp has dinner, cooked by other campers, each night of the week. Our dinners are tasty, boisterous gatherings and making dinner has become many Melons' favorite camp feature, with some of our banquets from recent memory including a vegetarian Indian feast, a Korean bibimbap bowl and then some, a mac 'n' cheese extravaganza with vegan and gluten-free options and the always popular taco night.
In addition, the beautiful Melon kitchen has salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, minced garlic, an Italian spice blend, olive oil, hot sauce, cold-brew coffee, gatorade and peanut butter (seriously, don't bring any panic butter).
Melon Camp does NOT provide breakfast or lunch. Melons are instead encouraged to bring snacks and food to share - and we do! Popular breakfast and snack foods in camp include your basic ABCs (avocados, bacon, pretzel bread cheddar sandwiches) as well as jerky, dried fruit, flavor blasted goldfish, eggs, bacon and whatever you want to bring. Also watermelons.
What Does Melon Camp NOT Provide?
Breakfast, lunch or snacks
Enough camp chairs for everyone to sit
All the things on our Melon packing list
Does Melon Camp Do Anything Else?
Not sure about the tone there, buddy. But yes we do. Melons bring art to Black Rock City and volunteer. We host events and we also have been known to give out cool watermelon slices to passersby. And also that whole run a regional shipping program for Chicago-area burners thing.
Do You Have Pictures?
Sure do, all over this site! And also we have some more camp infrastructure shots below:
Tents under aluminet shade structure, plus three of our comfy communal hammocks
Another look at our mighty aluminet shade structure in action.
Some of our well-organized kitchen tools in 2015.
Our ridiculously well-organized kitchen, The Dusty Bucket, in 2016.
Our color-coded trash system.
Some Melon bikes and bike racks at dusk.
And finally our Shower set-up, seen above in 2015, is far more luxurious than it appears!