From last year to 2019 – New Things!

We have been talking about the new frontage for camp and upgrades. Compare one year from the next and where we want to go. The camp started with a bunch of car ports strung together and alluminette covering the yoga area. We have already progressed quite a lot.

Camp as “Monkey Bar in the Land Of Monkey”in 2018

This (above) is our tale from last year where in we were trying on a new identity. Having been Sun Guardians for 5 years previous we tried just doing tea. Going forward we’re anticipating a much stronger presentation that will carry the camp into the future.

2019 Proposed plan

Almost all the elements are in place. We have made our greatest leaps in presentation every other year. We are very excited at the possibilities.

Inside the temple space in 2017 with Kali Maa as our featured entity.

It all seems less sparkly as it seems in concept. Alas, we are slowly refining each step.

2016 Temple and frontage

A new view of camp

Maybe you saw the proposed street view of the camp with the green walls a while back? Since then there have been a couple changes that are pretty relevant. We also had to adjust for weather and spacial needs in the residential area. All compromises intended to make things flow better.

Even the version above had to be altered with concerns over the wind flow that we are anticipating. Couple that with the loss of 50 feet of street we lost but gained going back behind us. Things had to change. 

I do not know who owns this graphic. It was making its rounds on Facebook.

I believe we will be facing Mountain Side like we were last year. Either way I want to be prepared and try and create a solid space safe from the wind. Since wind can blow significantly and we have solid structures it behooves us to just be prepared. 

Assuming the wind is coming in the direction the graphic portrays at the top it will hit our lower right corner graphic shown. The monkey head will bare the most stress from it, so it needs to be positioned solidly. 

And into this… 80 feet across on a 100 foot facade. 

Choosing Teams

So you want to camp with Monkeys this year? We are doing something new to make the work/life balance of being on playa better for all. We are a theme camp, which means we have a gift that needs to be staffed that is a given representation of us to the playa. So we have broken all the responsibilities in camp down to teams.

example sheet

When you login to the worksheet you will go to page 1 (cover page) and choose a team to be on. We need people to spread themselves out through the teams. Weekly you will have responsibilities with your team listed below that will be yours at the direction of your lead through the week.

2ndly: your team will host events through the week together as explained here (link). Everyone will work about 30 minutes before and after an event to make sure we have full coverage.

3rdly: the camp keepers explained further down.

NEXT: You (and your buddy) need to figure out what meal you are taking over and what your menu items will be. This has got to be done soon because we have a meeting coming up talking about food. Do not make anything wildly complicated and best if you can make and vacuum seal frozen before.

Be radically self reliant and be clean to make sure everyone in camp stays healthy and safe.

What are Camp Keepers?

This is a new role in camp for 2019 who are people who will be sticking close to camp for the day and will support the Mayor of the Day. This includes camp concierge duties (caring for guests) and maintaining the safety of camp day and night. It may include tending a fire of needed; though whomever starts the fire should finish it. You are part of a team of 3 people who will support each other through the day.

Camp Application & Design Update

In an effort to meet the deadline for camp submission a design and plan was submitted quickly with the intention of hitting the high points. Since then a few realities have hit.

  • The initially chosen colors were not available
  • The amazing monkey head design we initially got was too expensive to produce

Here is the latest update which is coming together quickly:

the new look / feel
Our events schedule and link to Facebook Public Page

Joining a Theme Camp

Burning Man has a definition of what it means to be a theme camp at Burning Man both written and implied. It is very hard to strictly define what a camp needs to deliver in order to be laced or kept in good standing; one just sometimes knows.

The definition offered by Burning Man is listed on their web site linked here: (click). This is from the outside of the camp looking in.

When we complete our application we have to have interactivity commensurate with our identity and message. We have to meet certain basics in order to get placed.

We have a schedule posted here: (click).

Here is an example of the schedule. See the link to Facebook for the most updated scheduling.

What you should expect

Part 1: Every day we will things that need to happen in camp. There are the basic day to day things from making sure things are clean to accept guests and things that make sure the camp has drinking water. Housekeeping things. Food making things. Safety things.

Part 2: Each time we have an event a team of people in our camp will be host, safety officer, barker, server, concierge, technical support and more. These will last about 2 hours per shift. There will be a Mayor of the Day who will be there for support and general guidance.

New Process for 2019

In the past we have has scheduled Tea Services and Events separately. This year we are combining the two of them into an elevated experience. Instead of farming a ton of people off the street for drinks people will join us attending a scheduled event and either be served or get tea from our bar that is incorporated into the temple/dojo.

  • EXAMPLE: There is a event scheduled for 11 am in the temple
    • By 10am that morning 10 gallons of tea were made and 5 gallons will be used per service.
  • Teams report to site by 10:30
    • 1 person: make sure sound, electrical is set up for the event instructor/lead
    • 2 people: outside with 1 as barker and 1 as safety making sure bikes are parked off the street and in a safe place
    • 2 people: inside with one as bar tender/server and other as concierge (who will be greeting people and helping guests get situated and comfortable).
    • Recommends switching roles as needed.
  • Teams will begin all event duties 30 minutes prior to scheduled event
  • Tea will be offered and served to any guests in the Temple if they desire
    • We will have a limited supply of paper cups for guests that will go to the burn barrel after
  • When event begins:
    • tea service to guests will stop
    • 1 person remains at the bar for anyone who wants more tea who is part of the event
    • 1 or 2 persons remain inside to assist instructor or guests as needed
    • 2 persons remain outside of temple to make sure people inside are not disturbed
      • it is okay that someone wants to join late if there is space
      • if there is no room people will be denied access
  • When the event is over:
    • support teams will remain and continue to assist and make ready for next event:
      • for up to 30 minutes after or
      • the next team arrives for the next event
    • tea service will resume for up to 30 minutes following event
    • tea will remain at bar until gone

Tea portions are 4 to 8 ounces. Count to 4 when pouring from the spiket

Some teas may be served with boba or geletin but MUST be kept on ice.

There must be a complete hand washing station at the bar and servers must have clean hands.

This will place you at the temple for 2 to 3 hours as part of your camp duties by the team you sign up with. More about that this week and details on Sunday.

Camp Application for 2019

As of April 15th I submitted the camp application. It had to be done by April 25th and this was a time where it JUST had to be completed with the information I got. There will be come more changes here and there. There will also be more detail in the close future. See the 2019 page to see how the camp is taking shape.

This is the plan that was submitted. But a few revelations have come up but will not change drastically. 

Our list if events is on Facebook:

2018 Notes

I would like to take a few minutes to reflect on 2018. There were a couple comments about it being unorganized and a bit of a shit show. There is talk about a few people moving on to new camps or starting their own camps. When I see this kind of thing, get feedback that cuts, it allows me to step back and decompress AND consider what we can do better in the future.

I own that I had moments of assholiness as I tried to make some things happen. I have on occasion crossed a line that would be appropriate. This is why I am so grateful to the people who are leads who have the power to tell me to take a walk. Heavy is the head? Right. But that is not permit to poor behavior.

Consider that as we prepared to go to BM in 2018 we had some problems. Among them, was too many moving parts. Between the art car and new storage needs we were changing our branding it became convoluted. Perhaps it was too much for camp attendees who may have felt overwhelmed.

In 3 cases we had people who took on projects and in the end completely refused to follow through or it was more than they could take on. Some of that was core camp infrastructure items like the shower and water delivery. This is not to call anyone out, but to give perspective how important it is to stay involved.

  • why not let it fail?
    • A: Because in some cases we look very bad to or it leads to a safety hazard for people in and around our camp
    • A: In some cases failing is okay, but losing our good standing means we lose DGS and Placement
  • where were we in danger of losing our good standing?
    • A: The evap pond and excess water
    • A: Frontage failing and our presentation on street engagement

IF I have created something that feels like people cannot feel heard or participate then I need to change. I started that process and feel I am making a new path ahead. But those disenfranchised by it can move forward with me and the camp leadership (as it evolves).

Matt is a much more tempered person than I am and I like to think we balance each other out. Udai is so thoughtful and open and I think he gives us perspective that is very meaningful. New leads this year are going to be more and spread out so responsibility is also dispersed.

And I will say that people move on all the time to other camps and start their own projects. I think people who are inspired to move on all the good luck they can carry because this is not an easy thing to do. I hope to mentor people into taking over entirely so this camp can continue living on even after my days are done.

Thank you all.


1st Meeting of the year

AGENDA (fluid)
I added a couple co-hosts to consider adding to the agenda.

The following is the agenda for out 1st camp meeting of the year this week. There is a lot to talk about. This will allow us to finally close the door from last year and start looking ahead to the future.

Welcome to Monkey 2019 for Burning Man Metamorphosis
1. Who is coming back for 2019
A Have you completed the Camp Application yet?
2. Suggested changes for camp moving forward
A. What did not work in camp
i. Camp Communication needed improvement
ii. Expectations of camp roles need to be better defined
iii. Commitments to volunteer roles and following through
iv. Leadership need to more effectively know its limits
v. A code of conduct
a. No one should be abusive to anyone else in camp
b. Refusing directions from a camp leader is a problem
c. Anyone making another camp member feel uncomfortable is a problem
1. all of the above can get someone kicked out of camp and no refund. 
2. Scott in camp in 2018
d. There are some standards leadership will apply to the application form.
3. 2019
A. What is our focus? Yoga or Tea or… 
i. Suggestions or plans from anyone else in camp?
B. Camp Theme
i. Last year “Monkey Bar” – win or loss
ii. “Temple of Monkey” – Scott
C. Art Car
i. Discussion
4. Budget, Camp Fees, Projects
A. Budget projections early see:
B. Camp fees should be paid as soon as possible. It goes into the bank account and can be viewed on the spreadsheet how it is used. 
i, storage, services, transportation and camp design are all paid for by the camp fee
ii. Fund raiser suggestion

New Web Site

This new web site for 2019 is coming together. I wish I had the bandwidth to do this last year. Maybe the message would have not been as muddled as it was. This year I am working on making sure communication is crystal clear.