Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Worry Less -- Camp S'more!

Some of the wonderful Burner folks behind Virtual del Fuego came together this August for a small, COVID-sensitive outdoor party called Worry Less -- Camp S'more! I interviewed Diana Smiles and Scruffy Rob to find out how it went.

The land had enough space for six to ten campsites with plenty of space between them. It also offered the option of hanging a hammock in the woods. For their first in-person pandemic-era event, they ended up with five campsites about 100 feet apart, plus a double-pop-up shade tent (two 12x12 ez-ups). Hosts arranged a firepit, a table with free masks and hand sanitizer, and most crucially, a rented portapotty.

Being awesome at this, they also made wristbands and stickers. There was a giant mushroom that glowed at night! There was live music and performance art! 

Rob made breakfast sandwiches for all; other foodstuffs were BYO. Everyone brought their own chairs, drinks, snacks, paraphernalia... Masks were required in the portapotty. Otherwise, it was up to the participants. 

Take-aways from the event:

* Various creative lighting effects really made this small party feel like a real Burn. Rope lights were hung in the trees, strings of lights on tents, etc. -- and of course that giant glowing mushroom. Next time, more costumery!

* Bigger shelters would have helped; when it rained, there was not enough space under the two 12x12 shade tents for everyone to social-distance. (People who are in the same "quarantine pod" should be encouraged to get close together!)

* Set up expectations and guidelines up front, and communicate them clearly to everyone. (For instance, making sure that everyone knew they had to wear a mask in the portajohn; establishing whether dogs needed to be leashed, etc.)

* The portapotty rental was around $150 for the weekend. Various attendees chipped in. It worked well, but could have used a better doorjamb (rock) to keep the door open when not in use.

* Intoxicated people may need reminders not to get too close! Don't be afraid to tell them to give you space.

* Talk MORE, since you can't always see people's facial expressions.

* In lieu of hugs, there was a lot of "aura tickling." Offering an elbow-bump was also appreciated, because it was silly and still let people make actual physical contact.

* Everyone has their own comfort levels, and wishes that everyone else was at the SAME level. But we can all work together and accommodate one another's different comfort levels. We can come together as a community without putting one another at risk.

Sticker for "Worry Less - Camp S'more!" by Cyntergomes

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