The folks working the Gate are great people … and you might not realize this but they’re ALL volunteers. And they work HARD. Take a moment to learn more about this amazing crew, and you might just find that volunteering for the Gate is right for you!
This great video (thanks to the LOVE project) highlights the work of some of the volunteers who make the gate run. We’ve also got the transcript of a nice interview with Shimmer, an Exodus Pulsing volunteer working the job. Finally, you can learn the nuts and bolts of how the Gate works in our Gate FAQ. If you’re interested in volunteering with this hardy crew, visit our Gate participation page or visit the V-Spot on playa, in Center Camp next to Playa Info.
(WARNING: Volunteering may lead to meeting really incredible people and developing an amazing sense of accomplishment and belonging by helping to make BRC possible. You have been warned!)
Our LOVE crew showed up Monday of Labor Day, 2011, and talked to Shimmer at the last Pulsing spot. Here is what she said made her volunteer experience tick:
Narrator: OK. Great. So hi. So quickly, what do you love about volunteering here at Burning Man?
Shimmer: It’s a great way to meet people without having to search that out. You go in and you meet a whole group of new people every time no matter what place you volunteer at. And I’m a first time Burner, so for me, that was really good.
Man off Camera: Shimmer, open up the next lane over. They’re going to go straight through.
Shimmer: OK hon. (to Camera) He’s my ex-husband. My first ex-husband. [laughter]
Shimmer: Yeah. So–
Narrator: So you’re working with your ex-husband?
Shimmer: Yeah. I have 2 of them. [laughter]
Narrator: Are they both here?
Shimmer: No. Thank God. One’s enough. [laughter] He’s a third-year Burner and he told me about the Burn, and I’ve always wanted to come, but I have a 17-year-old daughter, so this is the first year I’ve been able to actually make the commitment to get here. So I’m pretty excited. It’s a wonderful weekend.
Narrator: What was the catalyst that brought you to Burning Man?
Shimmer: We have a thing in Oregon called the Oregon Country Fair, which is kind of like this, and I went camping there last year. So I figured I’m going to do this this year because next year my daughter goes off to college and I’m going to play before I need to be a serious
Cars: People honking and waving as they drive by. Honk! Honk! Honk!
Shimmer: (waving and smiling) Yay!!! Stay in your lane! [honk honk] Stay in this lane. Stay in this lane, bud. (talking to husband) I’m going to hop over to the other side.
Shimmer: (Talking to cars) Hi. Stay in your lane. Thank you. Stay in the lane. There you go. Woo hoo. Stay in this lane. Stay in this lane. Nice. See you guys. Stay in your lane for me. Thank you. Hey, stay in this lane. Woo hoo. You’re home. Almost. Stay in this one. There we go. Come on. Come on.
Shimmer: The thing I’m learning about volunteering and being here for the first time is that I’m actually a lot more powerful than I thought. Well, I think I am pretty powerful. But the smallest thing that I do could actually change someone, so that’s really cool. When I can smile and somebody smiles back, that feels very powerful.
Narrator: Is anything in this experience changing you?
Shimmer: I think I’m going to be a better mom to my teenager [she laughs] because I’ve watched lot of young people out here be very responsible, even though you can be totally irresponsible out here. And I think it will help me be a lot more relaxed in my default real life with people who may have issues. I think I’ve learned a lot about being real calm in the presence of all sorts of chaos and wonderfulness.