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Below is a letter from Bman on theme camps. I will try to forward them to camp mates via E-mail, but will also try to post them here as they come.
If you are not on the camp email list, send your address to Email (at) Contraptionists.Com.


Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 21:57:23 -0700
From: Rachel Ruster
Reply-To: themecamps@burningman.com
To: themecamps@burningman.com
Subject: [themecamps-announce] TC ANNC
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1 OK 82 lines Text
2 Shown 95 lines Text
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Dear Theme Camps,

This letter is being sent to you because you checked a box on our questionnaire alerting us to some activities that may have consequences for you as the theme camp organizer, and us as the infrastructure for Burning Man. If you are playing with subject matter that is explicitly sexual in nature, you should be aware of some information about Nevada and our event.

Burning Man has always been and is still radically inclusive. Everyone is welcome. Many people's lives are changed by this one principle alone. In order for this community to thrive, each individual and theme camp has a responsibility to ensure that it contributes to the survival of Burning Man. With this principle in mind, the responsibility for dealing with unacceptable behaviors falls upon the shoulders of participants, as well as the Burning Man Project. Our message has always been that everyone is responsible for taking care of themselves and that the immediate community itself should handle most problem situations.

I write this letter because I can see that many camps might not think that they fit into this category. Your ideas may be innocent or based on idealism. This letter is sent to help you touch base with our present reality. The laws in Nevada regarding sexual activity and minors are quite explicit. Children may not be exposed to such behavior, nor are public sex acts permissible. Were your theme camp to violate these standards, both its members and organizers could be subject to criminal sanctions. On the other hand, law enforcement officials have repeatedly assured us that, as in previous years, simple nudity that does not appear to be related to sexual activity is not an issue.

When evaluating our Black Rock City citizens, it is clear that not everyone is prepared to handle extreme situations as well as others. Compromised states of consciousness can mitigate good judgment. Misunderstandings can easily occur and cause severe ramifications for those involved, including the person/people hosting that theme camp, as well as the Burning Man Project. The worst-case scenario would be sexual harassment or rape.

Please be conscious of the environment you are creating and be prepared to manage that space. That means keeping your eyes wide open and observing your theme camp closely. Creating an environment where people are encouraged to let go of their normal inhibitions could run the risk of creating a situation where someone may not consent to everything that is occurring. Intoxicated people may not be able to control what is happening to them. The best approach is proactive; a Black Rock Ranger should be called immediately if an unwanted situation develops. Our Black Rock Rangers are volunteers and are a part of our community. There are Black Rock Rangers that are experienced in handling these sorts of incidents and they will be available to assist you.

Be careful about situations involving people under the age of eighteen. We require that theme camps take responsibility for steering anyone under this age away from their camp if it is only appropriate for adults. This person should also be prepared to inform adult participants of the nature of activities within their camp. In addition, adult-only activities should be completely shielded from public view. You have the right to refuse to grant anyone admission into such a private space. We ask you to use discretion and common sense in this matter and, in presenting your camp to the public, to avoid creating an attractive nuisance.

Unfortunately, there have been some bad apples in our Burning Man barrel. There have not been many, but there have been some. This year law enforcement may be looking more closely to see that we are all acting with due respect for the law. Make clear choices towards awareness and safety part of your planning. Actively manage your camps, take full responsibility for your actions, and please report any problems that occur.

I welcome your feedback,

Harley K. Dubois
Black Rock City LLC
Community Services and Playa Safety