Specific actions required of all MC 2014 members now )'(

I’m really excited to be a part of More Carrot again and to see so many amazing people already lined up for this year’s camp. We’ve got a beautiful combination of returning Carrots and virgin Carrots, and I’m very much looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you, planning and preparing for the burn, and doing our Carrot magic in the dust!

Tom’s recent letter addressed foundational elements of who we are, what we do and why we do it. In this letter, I’m asking for you to take specific actions that are part of the behind-scenes prep work we do to prepare and collaborate —

Camp introductions and interviews

Key on everyone’s list of things to do is to —

  1. Answer the three questions we ask of each camp mate (about 15 mins);
  2. Set up a phone or skype call (or Google Hangout) with me/Jessie/Mama J to confirm some key points we need to address and answer any Qs you might have (30-45 minutes); and
  3. Add your personal information to our master list spreadsheet (about 15 mins).
Start reading

Have you seen our camp’s blog? Here you’ll find important information about our camp and your participation, helpful links, updates and announcements. There’s a checklist of things to do and have on your near-term radar here.

Pay your camp contribution

Our camp gift from each campmate is $400 this year. To see all the amenities, camp infrastructure elements and logistics that your gift supports, read here (scroll down). We are collecting each person’s funds starting now, with a payment deadline of June 30th. You can pay in increments of $100 or more, if that helps with your planning and budgeting.

How do you want to contribute and participate on a team?

As we prepare for this year’s burn there will be many opportunities to participate. On playa too, there are many aspects of camp maintenance that require tending, care and thoughtfulness. How do you see yourself contributing? For example, we need people to post information on our WordPress site, to collect camp contributions and track who has paid. We need lighting designers to come up with cool ways to light up our dome’s exterior, bike maintenance people to prep for and clean after the playa. Someone will be managing our public Facebook page. Will it be you? Are you a builder? We have structures that need to be planned and built. Finances to be tracked. Research to do. And much more.

I assume that many/most/all of you are busy and perhaps even feel overwhelmed with all you have to do … and now to prepare for Burning Man, as well! (Though, in my experience, that can be an exhilarating type of overwhelmedness.) There’s going to be a lot asked of you in the coming months, plus your personal prep and team participation may task your time and commitments. Please read the camp emails, be honorable about your commitments and what’s involved to participate in our camp (including the pre-burn admin, reading and emails) and be engaged. Get to know your campmates. We’re going to be spending one amaaaaaaazing week together in the desert!

Spring (… or Autumn, depending on where you live) is just days away. It’s a time of shift and a time to start preparing in more earnest.

Love to you all,

Mama J

PS – Stay tuned for upcoming emails about teams and such. It’s important that we have everyone’s introductions in hand and interviews done or scheduled when we start building out the teams.

Advertisements

Packing to get your gear on the truck

It is important that you get onto our truck as much of your personal gear as possible. This means suitcases, tent/camping gear and non-perishable food and alcohol. It’s much better for you that the truck carry your gear versus transporting it in the car, SUV or van carrying you into the playa.

Why? You might ask. I’ve been on the late entry team twice and it can be a sight to see when all the miscellaneous stuff each person plans on taking to the playa suddenly adds up and needs to fit into a car. As you know, coolers and suitcases and the shape of most cars aren’t the best match when it comes to fit. Imagine three coolers, three suitcases and tons and tons of personal shopping, bags, and drinks being shoved into a car along with three people who are headed off for a six- or seven-hour ride. Even if you think you’re a master packer — and you may be — there is a point at which physics takes over and only so much stuff can go into so much space.

Sooo, what’s the solution?

  • Pack wisely.
  • Distinguish between what you need in Reno vs what you need on the playa.
  • Pack a smaller day pack or suitcase for your Reno-only needs.

  • For the late arrival people, buy non-perishable items (canned food, drinks, dry food) earlier in your shopping trips so that they can be put on the truck.
  • Keep your ticket (or will call confirmation number), ID and, if needed, Early Arrival pass in your day pack that will be with you when you arrive at the gate.  

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 3.24.22 PMAlso, please remember to —

  • Label the heck out of everything. Everything! Your tent. Your suitcase. Your cooking team’s dry goods supplies. Your liquor. Grab some extra cardboard boxes from liquor stores or when you’re out and about and get your newly purchased provisions into labeled boxes.
  • Condense your bags and purchases into hard-case containers. All loose personal items packed on the truck MUST go into a hard container (something that is stackable and durable). In other words, we do not accept a grocery store bag stuffed with your possessions as something that can be ferried on the truck. The camp has some  cheap plastic bins for people to use. If you have a choice and can accomodate it, pack your gear in a durable hard plastic container. Label it with your name.
  • De-MOOP as much as you can in Reno. Do it in the car when your caravan of people are moving from one store or errand to the next.  Remove all plastic, packaging, cardboard. And do so with a diligence that amazes and surprises yourself and your fellow carrots.

Emergency contact info at the playa

******Update this info for 2014

Take a minute and read this piece from BMorg re how to give your family (or others as you deem) your  emergency contact info at the playa. BMorg makes no guaranteed promise that an emergency message can or will be delivered to you, but you can help make it possible. Here’s the email I’ll send to my family.

Dear ( )
If, for any reason, you need to get an emergency message to me between August 25 – Sept 2nd (day), this is how to reach me. Send an email to 911@burningman.com, and state that you want this message delivered to —

Jessie Newburn
in the More Carrot camp (part of the French Quarter Village)
Located at 7:30 and A

Thanks!
Jessie

Shipping items directly to Reno

If you are shipping items (your own or for a More Carrot project) directly to Reno, this is what you need to know:

We ship to a specific UPS store in Reno.

Place the order so that it is sent here with this info on it –

(Your Name)
c/o More Carrot Burning Man Camp
561 Keystone Ave
Reno, NV 89503

Make sure that you are only sending things to the UPS store at the above address (there are others in the Reno area, but none store things for the Burn).

Dates: August 1 – August 15. That’s it. Allow enough time for items to arrive by Friday, August 15, 2014, and add a US or Canadian cel phone number to your order. But don’t have items arrive before August 1.

Please note: No COD/cash on delivery are accepted. You need to prepay for all your orders.

Group meals and cooking teams

One of the sweeter parts of our camp is our group dinners. Each evening, around sunset, we provide a warm, delicious meal for our campmates. This is the one meal each day provided by the camp. And while you’re free to be about the playa, eating dinner wherever you choose each night (save Monday night when we have our opening ceremony dinner), we have very high percent participation in our group meals each night. Here’s what you need to know —

Summary

  • We provide dinner to all of our camp mates each night we are on the playa (Sunday through Sunday).
  • You’re on your own for breakfast and lunch.
  • Dinner is provided by the cooking team that is making the meal for that night.
  • Each Carrot needs to be on one cooking team to cook dinner for one night. Sign up now and here.
  • Cooking teams are responsible for the entire meal, from planning, to purchasing, to cooking, to cleaning.
  • Monday night is the only night we request that all Carrots are at camp for dinner.
  • Meals must provide a range of options for meat eaters, vegetarians, gluten-free and so on. Span and layers are the name of the game.
  • We provide a basic kitchen set up with prep areas, cooking and serving utensils and containers, heat, light and a dishwashing station.

Details

Sign up for a cooking night/team

Our camp opening dinner on Monday night, 2012.

Our camp opening dinner on Monday night, 2012.

Please find a group of about three or four Carrots with whom you’d like to provide one of the camp dinners. You’ll need to sign up for the night you’re cooking. As you decide your meal plan, the general menu that you’re offering will need to be posted by one of your team members. A Mexican-themed may be great, but three in a row is not so great. While everyone needs to be on at least one cooking team, there are people who will help cook an extra night at our Very Important Carrots dinner. The camp contributes for the food costs above and beyond a normal meal that night.

Costs

We don’t charge for a “meal plan,” per se. Each person pays their share of their cooking team’s costs, and in so doing, then “eats for free” all the other nights our camp offers dinner. Expect to pay around $45 +/- per person for your cooking team contribution.

Start to finish

All cooking team are responsible for —

  • organizing into a team,
  • planning a meal that satisfies meat eaters and vegetarians alike,
  • shopping in Reno to cook a meal for approx 30 people,
  • bringing or purchasing any specific spices and condiments you need,
  • prepping (some teams cook and freeze food) and de-mooping in Reno where possible,
  • storing all your food on the playa, including any food that requires coolers,
  • cooking your meal,
  • serving and — really —
  • cleaning up the kitchen *fully* afterward (including grey water being dumped, all clean dishes put away, trash bags taken to the trash tent area … the whole kit-and-caboodle); and
  • Making sure the kitchen is “leftover-free” when you are done cleaning.

Leftovers

Extra food left in pots and serving dishes after the camp finishes its meal are potentially tomorrow’s MOOP … and wet, heavy, stinky trash during Exodus. It can be a challenge to make the right amount of food, but it’s pretty easy to find people camping nearby, or even passer-bys, who may wish for a plate of hot delicious food.

If you do choose to leave food out overnight, please do so in a way that supports night-time snacking: clean, organized spread of the food. If any food is not eaten overnight, and/or if there are dishes in the morning, it’s your cooking team’s responsibility to clean them up.

Cleaning the kitchen

Overall, it’s important that you leave a very clean kitchen when you are done, particularly, though not exclusively when the farmers market is open the next day. The ready-to-eat market needs a clean, uncluttered space to start prepping food at 7 a.m. So help them (and yourselves) out by leaving a clean kitchen.

Think about what you are cooking and then think dishes and clean up. Oily food makes for oily dish water. Tomato-based sauces are hard to clean even with dishwashers and lots of soap. How many pans will you use? What can you prepare ahead of time — either in Reno or earlier in the day — so that you can reduce the amount of dishes to do once the meal is finished? Some teams get together in the early afternoon, do much of their prep, clean up and then do final assembly and cooking. You inherit your own clean up, so plan ahead.

Be “home for dinner” Monday night

Do what you want any night of the week (though we do hope you’ll have many meals at camp), but on Monday night, the first night we are all together, be home for dinner. We have an opening ceremony that night, and it’s one way we launch the week together.

Think Span

You’re cooking for a group of approximately 30 people with a diversity of meal preferences. Meat eaters, remember the vegetarians. Vegetarians, remember the meat eaters. Each meal needs to include —

  • A robust and plentiful form of meat. M-E-A-T plus,
  • A generous form of vegetarian protein plus,
  • A thoughtful and varied set of side dish options so that every person can find a full and satisfying meal in what your team offers.

Some teams offer drinks (alcoholic drinks such as wine or beer, theme-based drinks or aperitifs and/or coffee/teas). Some offer dessert; some don’t. Some have themed events. Some don’t. The main thing is that our Carrots are all able to get a satisfying, yummy and healthy dinner each night and to have the choices that work for their dietary preferences … not yours. 😉

Allergies and Sensitivities

The Kitchen Team will provide a summary document of the food preferences and allergies that camp mates provided. Stay tuned for that information.

All cooking nights are not the same

Take note, each night for being on a cooking team is a bit different. On the earlier part of the week, fresh vegetables and meats will be easier to handle and store. Toward the end of the week, keeping the same ingredients in good condition could be more challenging.

  • Sunday, camp set up — Minimal kitchen set up available; smaller team for prep; smaller team to feed.
  • Monday night — Opening ceremony. Big (and special) meal. Much prep to be done in Reno. Think fresh and extravagant.
  • Tuesday night — Normal cooking night.
  • Wednesday night — Normal cooking night.
  • Thursday night — Our Countless Carrots March is earlier in the day in the late afternoon. The Carrots will come home right around dinner time and be hungry. We are considering doing a late lunch or big brunch that day for the camp meal rather than a dinner. TBD.
  • Friday night — Normal cooking night.
  • Saturday night — The Man Burns. A big kitchen clean-up means you’ll probably be late to the Burn. If you don’t want to be late to the burn, plan ahead.
  • Sunday night — Think leftovers, using up what’s around. Maybe have a base meal and then ask for donations and unused food. And it’s our “last supper” together. Some ceremony and celebration. By Sunday, keeping food fresh might be more challenging.

And most importantly,

Cook with love!

Sign up here for a cooking team.

Gifting on the playa

For the virgins — and those new to More Carrot — you’ve read by now that one of the 10 Principles of Burning Man is gifting.
Gifting
Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

Our farmers market is a huge gift and you have paid for this both with your cash (camp fee) and with your time. Whether you’ve been more involved in the pre-playa planning or are more the get-it-done do-er type that on-playa suddenly comes to life with a sense of what needs to be done and when, you’re contributing to a wholesome and healthy gift that our camp provides on playa.

Our deMOOPing flash mobs and commitment to deMOOP not just in our camp and village, but in the wider playa (especially in high traffic areas such as The Esplanade and near large sound camps) is a gift. Our Countless Carrots March and pre-party is a gift of interactive play.

You can, of course, choose to make and gift other items, or a skill that you have to offer, or, who knows, a warm and kind smile for someone deeply in need of it at the perfect moment. Gifting comes in many forms. As does receiving. I do want to allay any concerns that some of you may have around being “prepared to gift” with objects. As I’m sure you’ll come to experience, gifting someone a cool plum or a lettuce wrap is a lovely and wonderful gift indeed.