Advanced Gifting: Why Not Adopt a Burning Man Virgin?

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about being Jaded. Have you heard the following from anyone in your circle of Burner friends?
“Yeah, been there, done that. I’m just going to stay in camp.”
“Oh, I saw that last year.”
“Wasn’t the art better in 2005?”
“Ugh, I’m so over it.”

Photo by Brian Vincent

Maybe you’ve even been guilty of it yourself.

Perhaps the soft, smoky tendrils of a tendency towards snark and eye-rolling are starting to creep into your brain, strangling the wide-eyed enthusiasm and the knee-jerk joy.

Is your “yes, and” being slowly replaced with “NO”?

Do you spend entire days in camp, lying on a couch and reading comic books rather than going out to play?

There is a solution, my friends!

Adopt a Burning Man Virgin. It’s as simple as that. 100% guaranteed cure-all for the Jaded that ails you.

Find someone new to the event and take them under your wing, teach them your secrets, answer their questions, listen to them shout “EEEEEE!” with excitement. This process is extra-helpful when started before the event (see the bottom of this post for resources), but also grants great benefits when befriending a newbie on-playa.

There are hundreds of Burning Man-centric internet sites that Virgins can spend hours poring over, creating lists, getting overwhelmed, neglecting their other life duties. Nothing compares, however, to getting feedback from someone who’s been there and done that. Someone who will listen to an overly-excited newbie without sighing and saying “can we please talk about anything EXCEPT Burning Man?”

Take them thrift-store shopping. Give them goggle advice. Hand down that awesome costume you no longer wear. Look at tents together. Discuss the relative merits of different flavours of Tasty-Bites. Insist on good tent stakes and a bike lock. If you’ve adopted a Virgin that’s not local, settle in for some chatty emails and a pile of shopping links and gear review sites.

What’s in it for me, you might ask? What does my bitter, jaded, black cat on a dark night of a soul get out of acculturating a newbie? Once you’re on-playa with your Virgin, be it one that you’ve carefully nurtured before the event, or simply one adoped on-playa, spend time running around with them. See things through their eyes. Bounce on the trampoline. Practice saying “yes, and” rather than “no”. Heck, leave camp! It’s a big wide world out there.

Seeing a Virgin running into your camp, wigglingly excited for the 40 different events from the What, Where, When Guide that they’re going to do that day (reality: they’ll do none of them and get distracted by blinky things or bacon margarita happy hour instead), is the best way to start your day out right. That energy is infectious. It will cure you of your Jaded, your Bitter, your It Was Better Last Year.

You might have heard that there are going to be a lot of newbies this year. Instead of fearing for the integrity of our event, why not use this as an opportunity to acculturate one or three new Burners, while gaining these fabulous benefits for yourself? Gifting isn’t just about trinkets and booze. Gifting time, attention, knowledge and care is what will keep our community vibrant and thriving well into the future. Plus besides also, it’s fun.

Best places to adopt a Virgin or be adopted:
Burning Man Facebook group:

About the author: Brody Scotland

Brody Scotland is a native Californian and recovering shy person who enjoys hugs and snacks. Brody first attended Burning Man in 2004, found out that she doesn't actually know how to “go to Burning Man,” and started volunteering in 2005. Her mission in life is to increase the amount of happiness in the world, and she would like someone to teach her how to carve a wooden bear with a chainsaw. These two things are not necessarily related.

86 Comments on “Advanced Gifting: Why Not Adopt a Burning Man Virgin?

  • Crissa says:

    I’ve been wondering what I can do off the playa this year. This sounds like a great project! There’s going to be alot of virgins needing help this year – they won’t all be like I and my spouse, who’d only camped under inclement and primitive conditions before and so fit right in.

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  • DesertDave says:

    Last year our camp adopted a virgin sparklepony who was camping in her car. The car was stuffed with costumes, and little else. For two days everything was fine and she at least seemed grateful.

    Then one morning she showed up in camp completely wasted and with 2 frat boys in tow. The frat boys consumed as much as our stuff as they wanted and she ended up fucking one of them in our chill space and basically trashing the place.

    By the time we awoke to what happened they were both doing lines of coke on the bar that was totally exposed to the street. LEOs came by and arrested both of them and then brought in a team with dogs to search all of our tents. One of our campmates had a few joints in his tents and was also arrested. The three of them we’re taken away. Our campmate returned later that day, followed by the virgin sparklepony.

    Her friend was booked on felony possession and taken off the playa and our campmate was fined $300. She wasn’t fined or reprimanded at all. She was so hungover when she got back to camp that she puked on the bar and passed out on the couch for 8 hours.

    When she came-to she was so badly dehydrated that she couldn’t walk. We had to load her onto our MV to drive her to the medical tent.

    She was then gone for 2 days, and returned with another guy just in time for dinner. We told her she was no longer welcome in camp, and her new guy threatened to burn down our camp. She told us we were all fucking assholes, among other things, and they went off into the night.

    On the last day she returned to her car and then came into camp accusing us of stealing her pot and some of her costumes. Since she had locked her car we asked how she thought that was possible. She told us all to fuck off again, jumped into her car (she was clearly drunk) and sped off, leaving a bunch of junk behind for us to clean up.

    So excuse us if we don’t adopt another virgin this year. Thank you for understanding.

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  • Irish says:


    aur camped adopted a male virgin last year. he came into our camp naked and had no camp. he hitched a ride and his plan was to rely on the kindness of strangers through out the week. to be honest, that seemed kind of brave and we welcomed him into camp. he stayed with us most of the week and was pretty cool. we got him clothed and fed him and taught him the ropes, and even invited him to camp with us next time.

    he needed a ride back to reno at the end of the week and i welcomed him to ride with me. we stopped off at the DPW outpost to drop off some booze and other supplies for the clean-up crew, and there was a lady standing there who asked us if we had anything to smoke. i gave her a cigarette, and she asked, “do you have anything ELSE to smoke?” that’s when my new friend offered her a joint. and that’s when she arrested both of us.

    she called in a few LEOs and they searched my vehicle. i wasn’t worried because i don’t do drugs out there and certainly wasn’t bringing any back. as it turned out, my new friend had stashed about an 8th of pot in my glove box. when they asked who owned the pot, my new friend said it wasn’t his.

    considering that my van was locked the entire time, there was no way this bag could have made it into my box. so i we were detained and since it was my van, i got the blame for the pot and had to pay $1000 + attorney fees and appear in court. i almost got jail time.

    my new friend was silent all the way to reno, but recently emailed one of our camp leaders regarding camping with us this year. our camp leader was able to get the guy to admit that the pot was his. since he did so via email, i’m working again with my attorney to have the possession charged dropped, and our virgin friend charged.

    so moral of the story – if you’re going to adopt a virgin, you’re adopting a person you know nothing about. you’re trusting in someone who has not earned your trust. it’s a gamble out there. it’s easy to think we’re all trustworthy friends on the playa, but you never really know until the cop asks, ‘who’s bag is this?’


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  • TonyTony says:

    The article is about virgin burners, not letting strangers camp with you. Two VERY different things.

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  • BZ says:

    During some of my roughest times on playa (overcommitment, bad weather, etc.) being around folks enjoying their first year at Burning Man has saved the day and my mood for me over and over again. I now know to seek out new folks, to spend time talking with them, and listening to their playa stories. It’s good stuff.

    The story talks at length about working with folks who will be attending the event for the first time both before and during the event. This doesn’t mean camping with them, or putting yourself in a position where someone you’ve never met before can get you involved with LE.

    Oh, and never let the naked guy with no gear camp with you.

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  • Tad says:

    many virgins go out there and adopt their own veterans. it’s more of an active process rather than waiting to be chosen.

    we’re a pretty open camp and have our bar facing the street and all kinds of people come by. it’s great. one criteria virgins will use in choosing to adopt a camp is the attractiveness levels of the females in camp. last year, a virgin fell in-love with my girlfriend and became determined to woo her from me. so he came over all the time and tried to appear like he was interested in anything other than banging my GF.

    i’m not insecure and am not one to tell some little fucking rat like this to fuck off, so i humor him all week and try to include him – all the while he’s checking out my GF’s ass in front of me. now THAT is radical inclusion.

    so he has this obsessive crush on her and got it in his mind that he and she would spend all saturday night together – alone. so he roles out with us on saturday night and i could tell something wasn’t right. he was very jittery and looking at me like i was the enemy. sometime just after the burn i make the suggestion that we go back to camp. ohtony wasn’t around when i made the suggestion and i wasn’t aware that i needed to expressly inform him, so we went back to camp.

    we were in the back of my rig when this virgin comes and and starts making a huge dramatic scene about how we left him and how my GF is the love of his life and just basically going apes shit about having sex on the playa was so important. he totally crashed the evening and turned the last few days of the event into shit.

    so not only do you need to be cautious of the virgins you adopt, you need to be cautious of the virgins who adopt you. don’t be afraid to kick people out of camp who vibe you.

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  • Mr. Mackey says:

    Drugs are bad, M’kay

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  • Bit-o-Honey says:

    I’m a virgin burner this year and could use all the help I can get. Where exactly is the main stage?

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  • harinama says:

    Well it’s obvious that we need to give burgins direction and support, but be very careful not to allow them to interfere with our camp or cause us problems with leo. This year is ALL about burgins, who will make up 40% of attendies. This problem will not go away, and we should be forthright in confronting them when they act outside of BRC principles.

    Unfortunately, many sparkle ponies out there care more about getting laid and wasted than about your feelings or actually contributing. I have had this issue in my camp before. I refuse to be a burgin refugee center, but i also will help out those in need however i can. As a ranger, i’m sure i’ll see my share of those lacking in common sense.

    Let’s support good behavior among our new friends, and send the wastoid selfish one’s out into the open playa. They can hole up in the temple and find compassion there. They’ll get tough love in my camp!

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  • Nyx says:

    Great article, Brody!

    So after the horror stories and virgin-bashing, consider this: I was a virgin in 2005. The two experienced burners I had decided to camp with were friends of friends I barely knew. The woman had seemed nice at first glance – alas, the moment we stepped foot on playa, she turned into a raving lunatic and instantly burrowed in her tiny tent. Her son took off on his bike and stayed away, leaving me to pretty much set up the entire camp – including pounding rebar till my hands were raw – by myself. In a dust storm.

    I wanted nothing more than to go home. Then the neighbors – two lovely gay boys – showed up, saw my desperation and promptly adopted me. Veteran burners that they were, they guided me the entire week, took me out, showed me around, dragged me to parties and the dance floors, made me part of their wedding, whispered playa secrets in my ear, and instilled me with an awe and appreciation for the playa I have not been able to shake since (nor would I want to).

    This year, I will be returning for my 8th (consecutive) burn. The event has changed my life in more positive ways than I can articulate. Had it not been for those two kind neighbors however, I would have probably left the playa the second day, never to return.

    So every year, I try to give back by adopting a virgin. It’s generally not really planned, but rather a mere accident – maybe a friend wants to go, or a friend of a friend.

    As the event has changed over the years, I admit to having that dark and horrible jaded feeling creep up my spine at times. This year has been particularly bad, given the overall ticket chaos. Yet our camp will host several virgins (all friends of friends), and I look forward to mentoring them.

    We sometimes forget in the event-induced euphoria of openness, love, generosity and (at times) altered states that the community on the playa is still a regular community, and BRC is still a regular city, with all its good and bad. Yes, help out your fellow man, adopt that virgin – but *keep your wits about yourself*. Don’t just blindly trust – instead pay close attention to your instincts… because that virgin is *a complete unknown* and if you get the feeling something is off, you owe it to yourself and your camp mates to kick that virgin OUT OF CAMP.

    I would suggest to instead try and vet your virgin before the Burn, as the article suggests. This will give you a chance to not just give them tips on how to best keep their beer cold or stake down that tent – you will also get the chance to instill the principles of a sound community into them. It will keep your virgin out of trouble, and omit any of your worries that they will somehow ruin your playa time.

    Maybe the BMorg should set up an “Adopt a Virgin” program?

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  • Andrew says:

    Are there really that many more virgins this year than any other year? 40% sounds like a lot, but I can’t believe that it’s really tha much higher than usual.

    This is the first year that data on virgins/veterans has even been collected as part of the ticket sales process. BRC population doubled over several consecutive years in the late 90s. Virgins HAD to be over 50% of the population then and it didn’t ruin the event.

    The 2007 census asked what years people had attended the event. 2203 people indicated that they had attended in 2007, while 984 attended in 2006, and 768 in 2005. Less than half had attended the previous year! Sure, there were some veteran burners who had taken the previous year or two off and were returning in 2007, and the census has sampling bias issues (I’d guess virgins are somewhat more likely to go to Center Camp and fill out a census than veterans). But with those census numbers, even accounting for sample bias and vets taking some time off, it’s hard to believe that virgin population was that much smaller than 40%. The 2005 census has the same question with similar results.

    Population growth has been pretty minimal since 2007, so maybe there has been a higher % of veterans in recent years. Still, my camp has probably been at least 1/3 virgins over the past few years.

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  • Dusty Rusty says:

    I will be eternally grateful to the kind Burners that educated me before my first burn. I was lucky enough to be working among a large group of veteran Burners. They helped me prepare properly. They accomodated my one major concern. And on the Playa, although the fates conspired against us camping together, they made sure I was relocated to a good camp location, checked in on me frequently, and made me feel welcome and a part of the event.

    Because they prepped me well, I knew that the best n00b gift I could provide to the community was some form of volunteerism. As a result, I spent some time every day picking up moop. When I volunteered to take the moop that a couple of Rangers were carrying around, the Rangers directed me to Earth Guardians where I replaced my plastic trash bag with a less likely to rip cloth bag.

    Last year I made sure that the 4 nOObs that camped with us 3 returning folks (making a small camp of 7) were as informed and prepared as possible. Only the one last minute substitution ended up being a bit of a problem and uneducatable about his cigarette butts (but thank goodness no LEO problem.)

    I urge all veterans to reach out to a n00b before they get to the Playa. It will make their Burn better, and maybe it’ll make yours a little better, too.

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  • I’m skeptical of full-on adopting a virgin — and the testimony of the first couple replies is why.

    However, I did find a virgin in 2010 who welcomed me to follow her around.

    Be warned, though: virgins are fast. I managed a good hour or so basking in her wonder and excitement, but we got to some bar that had lots of ladders and she spryly bounded through. It only took a couple times unavoidably distracted in ferrets-on-crack-mode myself before I finally lost her for good.

    Good luck, little virgin! I wish you well!

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  • free spirit says:

    As people pointed out, people can take advantage of others both ways (taking advantage of vets, and taking advantage of new attendees). I think all people should approach this concept with caution, especially new attendees. I think the community doesn’t want to see illegality and harm come about.

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  • Andie Grace says:

    Desert Dave, sounds like you found a bad apple, but don’t write off newcomers based on one lame-o! I agree, nobody’s talking about camping with total strangers, exactly — I wouldn’t personally choose to camp with someone I”d never spent time with pre-playa, because camp dynamics and social graces are a delicate thing. Screen for drama llamas and no hot messes, you might say, or if you DO choose to tackle such a person and take them into your camp, be up front and totally clear up front about expectations including responsibilities, partying, shared space, contributions, etc. Never know who’s going to surprise you in this world. Great post, Brody!

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  • Dustin says:

    I lie to every virgin I meet. I find that the interactions are much more interesting when you say “Really!? It’s my first year too! What’s your favorite part so far?” than when you say “This is my 15th year”.

    Besides that, I think it’s sink or swim. I’m happy to tell people why I do things the way I do when they ask, and help people in obvious distress – but I think finding their own way in the chaos and deciding what kind of experience THEY want to have is a beautiful part of attending for the first time.

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  • although shitty situations it’s actually really cool to hear that people take on total strangers (wow!). every year i bring at least one virgin FRIEND to the playa and this is how i read the article. i guess it’s analogous to raising a child in that you get to see the world again through a new set of eyes. sharing in the innocence and excitement of a virgin instead of the bitching and complaining from jaded vets is definitely the way to go.

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  • Junebug says:

    I was a virgin last year and came in with a pretty good established group of burners. Needless to say, most of them already had plans about what they wanted to do and with who so I was a little left out at first, that is, until this couple took me in and pretty much chapperoned me everywhere. I brought enough whiskey knowing that it would be awesome for gifting and in the end I got to score with 2 lovely ladies. Thank burning man.

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  • Janet says:

    I’m adopting my mom. She’s coming for her first burn this year to celebrate her 80th birthday. We have three days of clothing altering/costuming coming up, and she’s going to hear a lot about the 10 Principles.

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  • raidergirl13 says:

    This will be my first time attending Burning Man and let me tell you, the last thing I want is to be hooked up with some know-it-all veteran. Especially somebody that I don’t know! A veteran could ruin my time just as easily as a virgin could ruin yours! I’m personally excited to go out there and experience the event the way I choose, meet and hang out with the people I choose and do and see things that I choose. Wasn’t that part of the fun when you veterans attended for your first time? How much fun would that be to have somebody try and tell you everything they’ve learned by experience over there decade of attending. If that was the case I would have listened to everything my parents told me without ever trying to experience new things for myself!

    I have absolutely no intention of relying on other people for food, drinks, water, bathroom or anything else. I don’t understand why so many people think that first timers are incapacitated or something. I’m pretty sure that the majority of these virgins are actually friends of burners and people that have been convinced to go by their friends. Based on some of my reading and conversations with friends, I believe there is a large percentage of veteran sparkle ponies that have been attending year after year and haven’t ever helped contribute by making a mutant vehicle or partake in a theme camp! I think the focus should be placed on the veterans that don’t contribute. Just like in other area of life, you can be replaced, somebody can do it better…you veterans are replaceable!

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  • Mr Kind says:

    Judging by some of the comments, maybe ‘adopt a vet’ is a better program. Maybe they/we have more to learn. Or re-learn, rather. @DesertDave & @Irish I’m not proselytizing, because I know you know this, but branding types of people, based on the actions of one person, is irrational and pernicious. Your stories would be well-punctuated with the numerous lasting, positive impressions you’ve had with first timers. Personal story: Last year, we picked up a hitchhiker at Walmart in Reno. This so called ‘stranger’ fit like a glove, instant member of the family. His contribution to our camp was immense. Building, cooking, playing music. In a heart felt thank you at the end of the week, he confessed that our kindness and hospitality had changed his life. Those words, that knowledge, that feeling, is the reason you take in newbies. Adopt a virgin is a great idea.

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  • Salamander says:

    Love this. Last year we started our own camp and were placed out in the boonies (which was AWESOME). On the first day we had the nicest guy in the world drive by our camp and ask us where he should park/camp/etc., we helped him find a spot and later helped him fix a flat bike tire. The badass had come all on his own from Washington D.C., fully prepped and ready. The next day we moved him into our camp and he became a huge part of our first year helping with set-up, tear-down, all events, and MOOP.

    Point is, DO IT, adopt a virgin. There are a lot of awesome ones out there. You all know how to spot a sparkle pony, they need to be tended more than adopted. Give the sparkle ponies some water, take them to medical if they’re thrashed, but keep your eye out for awesome people that will make great burners year after year.

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  • Shaymana says:

    I had the great pleasure of participating in a new lover’s first burn on the playa. She and I had a date out early in the week. Being my 11th burn that year, I was all oriented to the dizzying lights and familiar attractions. She and I were both just approaching the summit to our peak as we stepped off the Esplanade. She was speechless, and I asked her if she was OK. She just nodded, and with wider than normal eyes, she indicated the entirety of our surreal surroundings. I stopped. I took a breath. Then I slowly circled around, seeing it all again for the first time. I was filled with joy! My heart swelled and I shouted at the top of my lungs how much I loved all of you! (yes, you. did you hear me?) and I was given the gift of newbie eyes for just a moment.

    While avoiding troublemakers, I agree with the author. Embracing a virgin and sharing with them their experience and lending yours when needed can be an amazing, rejuvenating, de-jadifying experience.

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  • little wing says:

    Uh, yeah umm, good luck Raidergirl13. No one said you were incapacitated. We just relayed some insane (but true) experiences with some virgins. We all remember our first Burn. I had 5 days to prepare and I did well because I managed reading every last word on the BM website and I had a loving fun organized camp to celebrate with!

    So, when your tent blows out to the trash fence and all it’s poles are in little pieces- if you even *find* it again, or you can’t find your bike after parking it near an art car that is now driven a mile away, or can’t find your way back to camp because the Man has burned and all the street signs are gone (darn those pranksters!) Leaving you with no sense of direction, or it’s raining like a mofo and you have to stop because your bike is not going anywhere….well hmm…get reading lovely lady! :-) More to this experience then food, drinks & water…not that those aren’t essential- the right food, drinks and water that are though.

    The playa will show you what you’re made of, and what you’re not made of- I’ve been saying that for a while now. The playa is a unicorn that sometimes turns into a coyote. ;-)

    Please come with an open mind, open heart and eyes. It’s an wonderful place. It’s been built with a lot of love for 25 years. Most of those who have been before hold BRC in very high regard- it’s a lot- if not all of our life. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about how much I want to go back home. Careful, it may capture your heart that way too and you will begin to feel the same.

    Please bare with us-We are concerned that some people won’t understand what time and effort by thousands of citizens it takes all year long to make this happen, that there will be way too much comfort (RVs PnP camps, etc) to experience the pure physical, emotional, and spiritual elements that the playa provides. Forgive our smug-ness and we will let yours go, too. Welcome home and see you in BRC. Love, lw

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  • Buff says:

    Damn. Some of these terrible awful virgin burner stories are horrible. Really depressing. No good deed goes unpunished. Even in magical burner-land. Just goes to prove my un-holy trinity theory: Three things there’s lots of in Black Rock City is dust, assholes and awesomeness. It’s what makes the city hum!

    But let’s not bag only on the horrible virgins. There is all kinds of other horrible that deserves to be highlighted as well.

    In my experience, the worst thing about some jaded vets is the same as the worst thing about some adults when you’re a kid. They take the wrong angle with their valuable wisdom. They gloat in being bigger, better, smarter, stronger. They practically revel in it. The cool adults, on the other hand, the awesome jaded burners whom aren’t so insecure, they don’t talk down in completely awful mean-spirited ways, they don’t build themselves up too much. They honestly don’t think they are superior or more entitled to being alive — or at the burn — than anybody else.

    But they will eff with you. Oh yes… this they will do. They will challenge and guide you — cause they know what’s out there… and sometimes we all need a lil’ tough love (or snark, or sarcasm) to survive. Playa or otherwise.

    But if you can’t handle playa shitstorms from some jaded wrinkly old fuggs… then you’re in trouble because the playa itself can — and will — really, truly kick your ass. Twelve times. So toughen up. And knuckle up…

    The best thing about jaded vets is when give ’em the krazee and snark and blustering blustiness right back. That stunned reaction you get. Often it’s an astonished look of surprise, then a slowly cracking wild grin, an amused shake of their head. Then, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a playa hug, or a beer and maybe — if you’re really lucky — they’ll give you totally effed up directions that send you in the opposite direction you were trying to go.

    Bastards. Those stinky, filthy rotten jaded burners. Tools! each and every one of them (but not really).

    Hearts, bunnies, unicorns, flamethrowers, dust, dreams and nightmares to you all!

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  • Ilo Gassoway says:

    Virgin here would live to be adopted and guided. Live in Reno 63 male. I can cook and like to be around friendly people.



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  • Jake says:

    Wow, there are some whiny “veteran” bitches on here. Wah! Wonder how some of you fools survive in the real world? Doing dumb shit at Burning Man, being a sucky judge of character, none of it negates the point of the original post. I had a great time as a “virgin”, yup, it wasn’t rocket science, and an equally great time as returning burner. As will most of you, non whiny, common sense having readers.

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  • Shoegunk says:

    I say adopt a young but old timer like me (30 but been 12 times)! I still need a garsh darn ticket! Lol. I kinda have given up at this point… but in seriousness, take a new comer – I think that is what BM is suggesting with this article with all these missing tickets after the lotto is that I honestly think they think that the STEP program is going to not work out so well. So do take someone new… but let it be someone you know and trust… That is my suggestion, even if it is your 10th year on the playa. I have brought so many of my friends… but never would I allow bringing a stranger to sleep near me unless all of my other friends vouched for them. I have seen some horrible things with that.

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  • Shoegunk says:

    Lol Jake – you just whined. Just saying… ;) Hope you have a good burn!

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  • Shoegunk says:

    I feel like I need to correct my comments… YOU CAN and SHOULD (if you can) “adopt” a newcomer even if they are already at the event. Just learn early on if you can or should trust them. If they repeatedly end up wasted or bring drugs into the camp then boot them. This last burn, we adopted TONS who slept on our couches… But you can easily weed out the ones who are willing to work/cook/clean quite easily. Just do not be afraid to tell them to leave. And I am the first one who will admits that I am too nice. But I will not risk my life for a stranger… THAT being said… Shit the amazing people I met, cannot beat that. Just be safe. Everyone is a newcomer once. It is the ones that come alone that I don’t trust…

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  • julianajulie says:

    We all want to be the best at something or the most informed but sometimes forget that we can only learn through the absence of knowledge.

    Everyone needs to focus on what they want to accomplish by attending BM this year, Virgins and Vets alike.

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  • SnorkleBob says:

    2011 virgin burner here. I have to tell you, as a virgin this past year it was great to be tied into a group of veterans. Camp coordination, meals, costumes, medical aid, foot-rubs, it was a blast. Over 50% of our group was virgins. They (the seasoned crew) showed us the ropes, kept us in line when needed, and generally opened our eyes to how great it is to be home. I’ll be a lifelong burner because of their dedication to making it a great time.

    Also, to the girl with the didgeridoo who serenaded this poor virgin for 30 minutes during a brief dust up, you are forever in my mind!

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  • Max says:

    I would separate folks you already know but never been there from total strangers you never seen before. Come to think of it – camp is a responsibility also, and inviting over someone who might get half of you arrested and would not remember a thing next day could be something to give a second thought about. Like nope, it ain’t my bag, officer, and there you go.
    On the bright side plenty of positives come from seeing your friends wide eyes and hearing faint “wow” next to you…
    I would say – bring a friend or two, expand the dusty circle of like-minded, good folks are hard to come by and we need them all there.

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  • whimsical buggy says:

    love this article. fuck being jaded…but sometimes everybody needs a reminder. black rock city will never stop being special.

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  • ziptie says:

    I am a birgin. I’m really bummed to hear all the negativity towards new burners. How am I supposed to buy coke, and where can I buy a bike, and food at BM. These are all things I don’t know, and how am I supposed to find out if everyone is against newbies.

    ps where is the campground?

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  • monketpants says:

    Is this burningmans attempt to make people feel better because their friends they usually went with didn’t get tickets. Now they want you to take some asshole that has never been, then feed, dress, and babysit, I think not. I’m glad to be jaded, that way it allows me to see through the bmorg bullshit, and how they are trying to destroy something that was once amazing and now has been transformed into this over inflated micro managed event, that has new rules, more cops, less of the people who made it what it was. Like any other society, it’s destine to fail.

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  • Celine says:

    Well, new rules new cops, huh! Destine to fail! We need to rethink, review, restart, refresh everything! Once it starts to fail, it will fail all the time. So, i know that to many rules meaningless, and ruin the spirit of everything also.

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  • Skrunchie says:

    You know last year was my second year. I heard a funny quote on the playa: ” Nothing is scarier than a 2nd year Burner.”

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  • harinama says:

    I should amend my post to say that last year our camp was 30% burgins. It went flawlessly, and their energy was amazing! They were all vetted pretty well before, however. We did have one sparkle pony, who sadly happened to be a veteran. She is no longer a part of our camp. I have little tolerance for folks that cause trouble and/or do not participate in camp upkeep and activities.

    I welcome those burgins that have done their homework and are at least somewhat prepared for the elements, and the 24×7 environment. This is all about personal responsibility, and they should know it. The quality of their experience depends upon it.

    Without new blood, burning man would get stale and stagnant. This year will be very different, with new energies and new faces. Lets see where that flow can take us!

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  • raidergirl13 says:

    @ Little Wing, You have some magical way to get your bike rolling on the muddy playa when it’s pouring like a mofo? Now that is one trick I would like to learn cause I’m familiar with the coyote ways of playa and that would be nice to know! Even my fatty mud tires have a hard time on the wet playa!

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  • Desert DAve says:

    @Andie Grace
    “sounds like you found a bad apple”

    i don’t think comparing apples to apples is appropriate in this case. she was no apple.

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  • little wing says:

    Hi Raidergirl13. No, no magic- but lots of citizens try to ride them and gunk up their bikes. The playa collects on the wheel like play dough. The more your ride, the more it layers on. Uh OH! This can also happen- although briefly- if you are behind a water truck…Stop and wait- the playa will dry out after the storm and there will be a double rainbow. Some other tips below!

    1. If you want to walk on wet gooky playa- put plastic garbage bags over your shoes…it will slip off and allow you to be a little mobile albeit slowly around your camp. Now, more about bikes…

    2. Get a can of DRY lube for your chain from your friendly bike shop. Lube is your friend. The other stuff will gunk it up, capturing all the playa dust and making it stick to the chain causing it to eventually snap. One can is plenty for many.

    3. Other items to bring- an extra tube, pump, patch kit. Flats suck.

    4. A small lock- I saw some at the dollar store today- loads of them. I doubt people really steal bikes, but lot of people who don’t ride on a regular basis don’t recognize their newly purchased / borrowed bike- especially in the dark.

    5. Which brings me to- light up your bike YES! and make it safe at night AND recognizable when you’ve left it with 500 others by adding some solidly attached decor. I have a battery operated whirling pony light stick…it’s the only one out there…laughing just writing that.

    6. A bell or Ah-oooga horn. Fun to greet others and easy friendly way warn the people stepping out in your path without looking. Also at dollar stores.

    6a. A kickstand. Really a nice thing to have. Especially if you are all locking your bikes together with one lock or adding / taking thing out of your basket.

    7. And a basket to carry your extra layers, water, bags of ice from Artic, (mine’s big enough for a small Playmate cooler)

    8. Last one- if you are not a cyclist in your own town- practice riding your bike before you get here. I am sure there are lots of people- understandably so- do not ride a bike daily. There are lots of citizens on the road and understanding your primary form of transport and how it rides, shifts, maneuvers, breaks is a sensible thing to do and will save everyone from a few unnecessary crashes.

    I hope these little suggestions are helpful not only to you, but to everyone 1st timers and vets. If someone wants to add to this list- go for it.

    End note: Every day on my way to my morning loo run I take a reusable gallon ziplock bag with me to pick up MOOP on the way back to my camp. Ciggy butts, wrappers, sequins– you name it, it’s on the ground…Last year’s favorite piece of MOOP picked up that week? A bicycle pedal. I still have it. :-D

    See ya in BRC.

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  • Ken says:

    Camp Charlie, home of Charlie the Unicorn art car, is ready, willing, and able to adopt some excellent virgin Unicorns.

    Last year was my 4th, but first year running an art car and a camp. We had close to 50% virgins. And you know what? They were pretty much all great. Wide eyed, excited to help, happy, playful, fun. Scampering around. Many said it changed their lives. There was some stress, but hey, when is there not?

    The one person who we refuse to have back was a veteran. He’s lucky we didn’t dump his dead body in a hole and cover him in lime somewhere in the desert.

    Just sayin’

    First, pick wisely. Before we invited anyone in, they had to be known, vouched for, or have done some work. We only had one douche bag slip through, and in hindsight, it was obvious.

    Second, get happy, people. I’m a big believer in “the more you change the way you look at things, the more the things you look at change”. Whether you like it or not we’re going to have more first timers then there has been in a long time. If you think it will be crappy, it will be. If you think it’s going to be good, it will be. Attract the good ones, boot out the bad ones. How you want to handle it is up to you, but as for myself I’m going to give out some hugs, jerk chicken, unicorn horns, bacon wrapped hot dogs, art car rides, great beats, spankings, and wrong directions. Good times will mean good times.

    Good virgins who want to join us can find us here

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  • Kalamitee says:

    hahahahha…. I could only read the first handful of stories before I laughed myself senseless….. seriously people! Never ASSUME that just because someone is at Burning Man that they should be trusted. In fact…. (this is my 13th burn)…. I’ve become FAR MORE CAUTIOUS over the last handful of years because of similar stories that do nothing but tell me that this beautiful event that once filled my heart with nothing but joy is now a place like most others in the world where you cannot feel completely free to do as you please without judgement or fear of being prosecuted and you have to LOCK UP YOUR FREAKIN BIKE as well as make sure that every single thing of value you own is PUT AWAY and LOCKED securely somewhere safe. It’s sickening to me… but I still love Burning Man. I love it and always will. It’s still my favorite place on the planet. I just carry a LOT of security with me…. locks, keys, combinations, hiding places…. etc. And I would NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER take on someone in my camp who I didn’t know well…. who didn’t come with a shitload of references…. EVER!!!! And if you are one of those people thinking, “I heard you can show up to Burning Man with NOTHING and everyone will take care of you.”……. DON’T FUCKING COME! PLEASE! I’ve had my share of these types hanging around my camp….. more than once…. and no matter how you slice it…. THEY’RE MOOCHES. RADICAL SELF-RELIANCE is the way of the veteran…. and if virgins could just understand that more often…. the community aspect of this event could still stand a chance….. WHEW….

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  • Mutant vehicle owners of America says:

    This is gonna be a weird year on the playa.

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  • Gninja says:

    In my experience, adopting a newb is a worthwhile endeavor… just be selective and take some time to get to know your virgin before you do something you might regret. Look for someone who seems at least moderately self-reliant and has qualities above and beyond a nice ass or a bag of drugs. If someone seems largely unprepared to take care of her/himself, you will probably be sorry if you get involved. There certainly are some weird, creepy, useless effin’ people out there who should be avoided.

    Obviously, be wary of anyone who wants to talk about drugs! If someone walks in and immediately asks for or offers drugs, they’re either a cop or an idiot. Call them out on it and they will usually move along, (or you will have an opportunity to educate them). Taking candy from strangers is not worth the risk. If you need drugs on the playa, be self reliant and bring your own.

    If you use good judgement, common sense and your gut instinct, you could be rewarded with a lovely friendship that lasts a lifetime. I don’t regret befriending virgins for an instant. A few of them have been kinda strange but many are my dearly loved playa family now.

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  • Thermal says:

    @Irish: why on earth did you still give that jerk a ride to reno after he dumped his drugs on you??!!
    (you said after that he was “silent all the way to reno”)…

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  • Irish says:

    @Thermal because i don’t moop people on the playa.

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  • Mystic Warrior says:

    Hi, I am a Burning Man virgin. I am excited by how positive everyone is. My buddy went last year and handed out feather boas, but he said they weren’t super popular and he had to stuff most of them down some portapotty – oh well. He told me that Burning Man is one of the only places on earth where you can show up with nothing but a good attitude and rely on everyone around you to provide what you need to survive and have a good time. I’m really looking forward to experiencing the Burner vibe. I don’t know if I’ll participate other than looking at all the cool stuff and taking pictures but I’ll probably try to sell my extra tickets to someone for not as much as I would normally ask for at some other concert. Looking forward to partying hard with you all – peace and respect!

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  • King Cobra says:

    @Mystic Warrior

    Feather boas are a hit with the chicks. I give them out if women show me their tits. It’s a blast! Burning man is a great place to pick up on drunk babes and babes totally tripping. I told one chick that I founded Burning Man and she totally made out with me. You’re gonna have a great time!

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  • deathlikescats says:

    I’m a noob. Byrgin. I want to go to experience the art and wonderful weirdness that I have heard about since 2004. These stories from the veterans about flaky, crazy virgins and jaded veterans make me sad. it’s like I’ve come too late.

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  • Peace says:

    @ Mystic Warrior and all

    First welcome…Burners do fur, not feathers. Feathers become relentless MOOP (matter out of place) and are hard to clean up. Burning Man is a party, but if you are just comming to party, sell all your tickets and hang out at the local frat row. Black Rock City is a sacred place where amazing things happen. Whatever you think it is, it’s more than that and you have to come with an open mind ready to participate and contribute…or don’t come. If your friend suggested he did fine by living off of other Burners, he was deluding himself. The people who helped him thought he was a useless sparkle-pony and hope he doesn’t come back or learns to fend for himself. Your duty as a virgin is to learn everything you can about survival on the playa. If you show up unprepared, yes Burners will probably help you, but they won’t like it. It’s one thing to be naive, but to deliberatly be a burden is very uncool. If you are attractive and show up unprepared, you will find help, but you are risking becomming the toy of some creeps. Radical self-reliance is a core value. It’s character building and real Burners want to help those who have at least attempted to be prepared. If you come unprepared with the idea this is just a party and you can live off the kindness of others, you will not experience Burning Man and you will not have a good time. We party, but we pay for the party with hard work. If hard work in an environment that is constantly trying to kill you doesn’t sound fun, don’t come. If you’re up for it, we welcome you with open arms. If your post was fake, no matter, the idea is what matters.

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  • Peace says:

    Mutant vehicle owners of America Says:

    “This is gonna be a weird year on the playa.”

    Agreed…aint it great!?

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  • Mystic Warrior says:

    @King Cobra: That sounds super awesome. I love beautiful crunk babes. Party on!

    @Pearce: Don’t worry, man. I’m not a jerk and I’ll make sure I’ll bury my trash and clean up after my dog so that I don’t make a mess.


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  • Peace says:

    My leg has officially been pulled. Love.

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  • Miles says:


    “Burners do fur, not feathers. Feathers become relentless MOOP ”

    jesus! stop being such a rule-nazi.

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  • Bronto says:

    I wish I had a Yoda when I went out first time.

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  • deathlikescats says:

    either someone’s trolling (Mystic Warrior, King Cobra) or they’re actually sucky self involved people. either way I’m out.

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  • Ali Baba says:

    I’ve had a great [if occasionally trying] time bringing *known* first-years before.
    I’ve also encountered the “just there for the party and to mooch” type–two guys showed up at our theme camp in 2007 or 2008, asked if they could come in, and proceeded to go through our chair-pockets, take swag, and stare at my bikini-clad chest. SO not fun.
    “This isn’t a bar” and “this is a working camp” became necessary phrases.

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  • Forklift says:

    Wow, Desert Dave I didn’t see you in our camp last year so there must have been more than one of these sparkle ponies running around. The few of us that have tickets have decided not to adopt any more virgins as well since the two we had last year managed to suck all the joy out the burn for those of us that feel responcible for those we bring to Burning Man. And with the huge influx of virgins the Burn will be having this year I invision a really busy time for the camps that welcome all under thier tents. I would suggest an essay contest for all noobs that want to join up with a camp just to demonstrate that they know the ten princibles of burning man, I.E. you do understand what this is about, right?

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  • belkabelka says:

    Our camp is called Orphan/Endorphin camp, in 2011 it was actually a group of 3 camps at 5:15 and Istanbul.
    Orphan camp accepts absolutely everybody who doesn’t have a Playa family, virgin or not. There’s no cover.
    It’s been a blast for two years in a row.
    Closer to August we will post to eplaya and will accept 2012 orphans.

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  • greentea says:

    It was really cool to read this article, but discouraging to read the comments. It sucks to hear so many of you have been hurt by virgins, but all this negative energy is a real bummer.

    I’m a virgin this year, going with a friend who is also a virgin. We want to participate in Burning Man because we have heard so much about the incredible people, life changing experience, radical inclusion, art, and love. None of our veteran friends got tickets, which was super disappointing. We have hoped, despite this ticket fiasco, that burning man will be still be amazing.

    My friend and I are both outdoorsy folk who understand, to a reasonable degree, what we need to survive in the desert. I’m sure we will come across unexpected challenges but we plan to be entirely self-sufficient and not mooch off of anybody. We are already preparing gifts and hoping to join a theme camp so we can volunteer our time, energy, and talents. We are both people-loving, earth-loving, and art-loving folks. We try to practice radical inclusion in our own city, every day. We are NOT coming to burning man to do a bunch of drugs and get laid.

    After all the negative energy that has been going around about burning man this year, especially towards virgins, I’m questioning whether or not I want to go. I am afraid people will be rude to me just because I am new. Is that what you all are hoping to achieve? Are you trying to convince virgins to sell their tickets?

    I have already had several would-be-virgin friends, who are beautiful souls that would embrace burning man’s values and share their gifts, give up their tickets because of all of this hate that had been spread all over the internet.

    I worry that the negative energy towards virgins is going to have the opposite effect people are hoping for. The virgins who are suited to burning man, who love others and embrace burning man’s values, will give up their tickets because they don’t want to be part of something negative. Those who hold onto their tickets will be the virgins you are all hoping to avoid, because they don’t care. Burning man might lose some very special people.

    I haven’t decided if I will participate in Burning Man this year. My friend is convinced that once we get on the playa, everyone will forget about this ticket crap and accept us with open arms. I hope he is right!

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  • Skuzzy says:

    Sounds like “Plug-n-ply” to me

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  • Weldboy says:

    I was working the DPW collection 24 hours a day for the 4 days it was in place. I think we closed down sometime on Tuesday. You where not at the DPW collection station if you where arrested. That would not stand there. Not sure where you where but it was not there.

    With that said,
    I have been inspired by this blog and ll the stories above and as the only greeter/DPW member I am going to set up the DPW adopt a sparkle pony program. If you come a cross a obnoxious sparkle pony that need to be re-principled, just drop them off at any of the DPW approved camps list below.

    Junkyard (They prefer boy ponies)
    Heavy Equipmet
    Plumbers Crack
    Power Camp (ask for Toad)

    Power Camp had a very successful sparkle pony adoption last year.

    I hope all have a great time this year and remember, “play nice”


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  • nikOpeaches says:


    I second that proposal. The Sparkle Pony Adoption Principles Program (SPAPP) is the only sensible option for proper re-education of wayward spectating ponies. A detailed regimen of Ceralyte consumption, pork products, MoopStick training, morning meetings, and Doing the Wrong Sh*t Right is currently being developed and will be in place for Fertility 2.0.

    Trash fence corrals will be used to house the wayward ponies during the necessary re-education period. Upon completion of a short internment, SPAPP will produce participative ponies with a rabid distaste for MOOP and amplified electronic music.

    SPAPP: Training your useless pretty things that Burningdude is much much more than furry leg warmers and DJ Skrillnectar.

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  • Reincarnator says:

    Reincarnation and Penance Camp welcomes virgins with these rules:
    *You must supply your own ticket.
    *You must have a great, fun attitude and strong work ethic in adverse challenging conditions. Pain in the asses will be ejected.
    *You must be 18 or over.
    We will reincarnate black rock playans by having them confess their sins, do a penance/punishment/dare and then crawl through a giant vagina to be reborn.
    We will also do parkour (running, climbing and jumping over, around and crawling under obstacles), body painting, a bike race, a playa patrol dispensing alcohol first aid and costume parties: any historical
    theme, pirate, clown, santa, zombie and non politically correct costumes.
    Our first meeting is in Los Angeles April 10. Our other base is in Dallas.
    We’ll also be at Elysium in CA and Burning Flipside in TX.
    For more info email your travel/camping/burning man experience if any, what skills you have and why you would be a valuable adoptee to playapatrol at gmail dot com

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  • Kitty Dingo says:

    After 7 burns, I’m going to re-virginate myself this year! I’m going to meet all my neighbors, read the who what where guide with a sharpie in my hand, smile at everyone, not complain about noise, trash, or unlighted bikes (instead, enjoy the music, pick up trash, and gift glow stuff to dark people). I’ve never lost my enthusiasm for B Man, but I realize after reading these posts that I’ve allowed a bit of cynicism to creep in.
    When I read the post about the newbie looking out in awe on the Esplanade at night in full LED glory, it reminded me of taking my sister to B Man her first time. We were crawling through traffic on the highway between Gerlach and the playa when we came to a spot where you could see BRC in the distance. My sister got tears in her eyes.
    She said, “I’m so happy that people built this. That it’s really real.”
    It’s really real. I’m gonna be really real too.
    Love to you all–I’ll be the one smiling at you . . .

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  • Peace says:


    Your friend is right. Don’t worry about the negative comments on this blog. Those aren’t real Burners anyway and you probably wouldn’t want to hang out with them. As long as you come prepared having read, digested, and followed the guide, and as long as you are willing to work for your fun, you will be welcomed and supported. You said something in your blog about understanding to a “reasonable degree” about survival in the desert. You should know there is nothing reasonable about this. You need to be prepared to a radical level. Don’t worry about gifts or gifting first. If you show up with no gifts, but are prepared to survive and participate you will happier, and the Burners you meet will be happier, than if you had lots of gifts but were otherwise unprepared. This is a great place where the environment is trying to kill you at every moment. If you are ready for that, we welcome you with open arms. See you on the playa.

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  • Hello All!
    I’m going to be a burning man virgin this year, and unfortunately a lot of my friends we’re unable to get tickets. I want to have the full on burning man experience. I’m looking forward to meeting a bunch of friendly faces, and helping out wherever possible! It would be wonderful to have a few people show me the ropes :)

    love, light & blessings <3

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  • MadMaxine says:

    Though I’m not DPW, I’ve been involved in developing a Sparkle Pony halter-training program. But it’s good to know where to send the hard cases to, especially the jaded veteran sparkle-ponies, who are too old and tough to make bacon out of (you were wondering where all that bacon came from, weren’t you? :)

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  • Kilroy says:


    “This is a great place where the environment is trying to kill you at every moment.”

    If that makes you feel like you’re engaged in some kind of dangerous camping adventure, that’s fine. The reality is that it’s not very difficult to survive whatever the playa throws at you. The whole event is basically fool-proof. The worst you’re going to run into is a dust storm that causes you to lose your direction for a little while.

    Probably the most dangerous element are drunken gate crew and DPW who have zero regard for participants. These people will actually steal your stuff and assault you.

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  • Dr. Cuervo says:

    Greetings Brody.
    Last year,coincidentally, we, the ChainsawMargaritaGuys hosted our daily happy hour
    and one day, just to liven things up, we had chainsaw margarita happy hour and bacon strip. Our margarita senorita’s passed out strips of bacon if you stripped. We would like to know if this was the bacon happy hour that you speak of? Did you happen to enjoy one of our frothy chainsawmargaritas on the Playa last year?
    Dr. Cuervo and Chainsawmargaritaguy.
    (last year’s address 7:15 B street.)

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  • Thermal says:

    It would be fabulous if all the vets showed up as virgins, without anything and expected the virgins to take care of them. Turnabout = fast education.

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  • Lalov says:

    I’m a virgin (have been trying to lose my virginity for 10 years and finally this is the year, hells yeah!) It is possible that a friend or maybe two come with me if they get tickets (they’d be virgins too), but so far it seems that it is only going to be me. I don’t mind being adopted. I’m not crazy, like the stories I’ve read. I’ve tried pot and shrooms before, but in all my life I’d say no more than ten times all together. Drinking I do, but socially and if I get drunk I only get funny (or so I think). I guess I’m a pretty safe virgin–I can’t afford to get too crazy and end up in trouble cos of my career (therapist). I also wouldn’t end up with crazy veterans. I just want to get the most out of this experience, especially since I have been wanting to go for 10 years and finally I get to this year.

    I feel like I’m in a job interview.

    I’m from Chicago and I’m planning to drive there. I figured that if I can’t get together with anyone, I’ll wonder all day long, trying to get to know as much as I can. I’m looking into the guide for newbies, so I’m hoping to come as prepared as possible.

    Well, any advice? Suggestions? Comments? :-)

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  • Ignatius P says:

    Hey to all vetz and virgz!! I just so happen to be turning 18 on the eve of burning man (august 26). WHAT LUCK! Ive been looking forward to this for many years! I plan to come as prepared as possible, but i know there is goin to be many unknowns i just cant prepare for. Im coming all the way from alabama to experience the great manifestation known as burning man. Since alabama is a huge part of the bible belt, not many people here are free minded and open hearted as i am (honestly i dont technically plan on returning, if i find a better alternative such as a commune, band tour, or some other psychedelic scene). If anyone wants to give me any tips, share a story, or even adopt this virgin (hell, you can even criticize me for all i care) through me a line at

    Iggy P

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  • Mutant vehicle owners of America says:


    May all beings have fresh, clean water to drink.

    May all beings have food to eat.

    May all beings have a home.

    May all beings have someone to share love with.

    May all beings know their true purpose.

    May all beings be well and happy.

    May all beings be free from suffering.

    Today I shall do what I can to make this so.

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  • B.chill says:

    This will be my first year at BM. It’s harsh to hear negative stories, but there are idiots anywhere you go these days. Avoid them. If someone gives you bad vibes or doesn’t feel right cut them off. It seems many habitual burners have become jaded and have closed minds after a negative experience. I really hope there are not too many negative people on the playa this year. To the people that have been burned, I hope you were able to reflect on what went wrong and how it could be avoided in the future. I also hope that everyone strives to have an open mind as well. I have always believed BM to be about having an open mind. Open to new people, experiences, friendships and life changing memories that will last forever. That noob that you may have colored incorrectly and turned away may have changed your life, but you may never know now. As far as people coming unprepared, that’s unacceptable. Perhaps everyone coming into the gate should be checked for enough water and food for everyone in their party and refused entry if they do not have provisions. Enough for now, I look forward to the experience that is Burning Man and sharing that experience with anyone who will allow it with an open mind.


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  • Creeping Jenny says:

    @ Dr. Cuervo- I was at the Bacon Strip that loverly day, and enjoyed a tasty strawberry margarita and stripped for my bacon with caramel sauce. Thank you for the gifts and for imploring me to try caramel bacon!

    @ nikOpeaches- LOL. We met deep in the French Quarter one night last year when I was carousing with Formica and Igneouss and you gave me a hug and a shot of something that resembled whiskey *shudder at the strong stuff*. I would like to volunteer for the SPAPP staff this year in educating sparkle ponies on how to burn properly and embrace the 10 principles. Don’t just stand there– participate, biatches!

    @mutant vehicle owners of America: I absolutely love this beautiful and poignant prayer.

    @the birgins: Welcome! Please do yourselves and the rest of the playa a huge favor: start reading everything you can RIGHT NOW about preparation, the ten principles, etc and talking to vets about playa tips. The first timer’s guide is required reading (there WILL be a quiz later!). While Burning Man is a huge party, it is really not a party at all, and the work that goes into making this party happen comes from a community of people who are dedicated to hard work and the shared experience. Get involved at your local level if possible to see what it takes to make a small event come together and stretch your burning muscles before the big burn. Come prepared and be ready to contribute, however you are able. Otherwise you’ll be branded as a sparkle pony and sent to the corrals.

    @everyone else- I’m not jaded. I’ve already adopted my virgin for the year, and they’re going to be fantastic at burning. We are currently in training. Just be highly aware of who you’re throwing your lot in with so as not to get burned. I say welcome home to the birgins and the veteran burners alike! We were all virgins once, and though I was well prepared and totally self-reliant my first time out, the vets who took me under their wings nurtured me and sent me back from the dust completely transformed into an exemplary burner. There are some things about the playa the vets teach while in burn that you just can’t learn from reading blogs or JRS. I now have the responsibility of mirroring those lessons learned and sharing them with our new dust brothers and sisters. Much love to you all. Can’t wait to see you at home. <3

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  • Seph Rich says:

    Why not adopt a Virgin? Virgins are boring. They’re to starry eyed to play to play with the balls.

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  • Mutant vehicle owners of America says:

    Creeping Jenny,

    Thank you for noticing. That entitles you to unlimited transportation on the playa. Look for the Wonder Wagon @ 4:30 & J. – Driver

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  • Dr. Cuervo says:

    @Creeping Jenny.
    Please look us up again this year and stop by for another chainsaw margarita.
    Bring your friends!

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  • Mercedese Witty says:

    I guess I am baffled on this… everytime I go to Burning Man (this year will be my 5th year) I feel like a Virgin as soon as I get there because everything is different. Once in a great while I might see an art car I saw the year before, and I see some of my friends because we all camp in the same place each year, but other than that, it is always fresh, new and magical to me…..I can’t imagine a time when I would ever feel any different…. I am a typical “Born Again Burner”.

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  • Mutant vehicle owners of America says:

    Being a burner means that you are on PROBATION this year thanks to the Borg. BLM has put the event on probation because of too many burners at the 2011 burn. How did that happen? The management team for the Borg can’t count or are just greedy and let the overpopulation happen and damn the consequences. You just can’t fix stupid……

    You can read the article in this Sunday’s online edition of the Reno Gazette/journal

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  • DB says:

    Lalov et al., Don’t be worried about camping alone or without an organized camp. You will meet some of the nicest and most amazing people at Burning Man. My virgin year (2005), I arrived in BRC alone in the middle of a disorienting dust storm. I was immediately adopted by the couple camping beside me. We cooperated with camp duties, meals, exploration, and conversation and they offered aid and advice without in any way being overbearing. It was an amazing experience. My second year I brought one friend who was a virgin. Again, the camp besides us opened up and adopted us. You will have a great time. This past year I joined up with a larger camp and helped with building the dome and the art and again had an amazing experience.

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  • Dr. Baron von Realz Esq. says:

    I have an abusive relationship with the playa. No matter how bad she kicks may ass I keep coming back to her. I am the lead in a theme camp and I bring in as many virgins as I can. I do my best to screen out sparkle ponies and frat boys. I have yet to have a bad experience with virgins that are part of my camp. I repeat over and over again the misconceptions about law enforcement drugs and under age actives. I email out stories I have collected over the years about what could be the ramification of your illegal actions. I have found that responsible minions are responsible people if they take the time fill out an application and at least pay something towards the shared cost of the camp they seem to make good camp mates. I specialize in out of the county burners and I have made many lifelong friends. The problems I have is with squatters that need a place to camp. If I have room I hate to see it go to waste so if someone ask and seems chill I am good, but some feel they are entitled any empty space. I think what they don’t understand ultimately, as the camp lead, I will be held accountable for actions of everyone in the camp and could be held liable for the actions of others and I really don’t want someone in the camp who is going to cause drama I feel a certain responsibility to make sure everyone has a safe comfortable space to return to. It has been my experience that squatters are roll of the dice about a 50% chance that they will cause some kind of drama in your camp. So I guess what I am saying is screen the people you let into your space virgins or not you could make a new friend or if you feel uncomfortable cut them loose but be tactful about it smile be polite if they get dramatic don’t respond just get a ranger and explain the situation to them. That said the virgins in our camp makes every burn like the first. I love to see the default world melt away and watch them float above the playa. We love virgins mmmm yum!

    Dr. Baron von Realz Esq.

    “The playa is like a beautiful heartless lover”
    – Dr.Baron von Realz Esq.

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