We’re doling out generous servings of L-O-V-E with stories from Friendlandia and Pink Heart, two heartwarming theme camps whose communities celebrate love, in all its forms.
Honoring Your BFF (Burner Friend Forever) at Friendlandia
(Excerpt written by Melissa Gunsell)
Sometimes romance falters, but friendships often last a lifetime. Pausing on a dusty street to recognize and celebrate those relationships has proven, thousands of times over the years, to be one of the most joyful, heartfelt experiences on the playa — even for Playa-bros!
More than just a camp with a cute name, Friendlandia puts a spotlight on the beauty, love, steadfastness, and longevity of some of the most meaningful relationships of the human experience. Friendlandia aims to honor other forms of relationships and partnerships as highly as we honor romantic partnerships.
Our heartfelt “Friendgagement” ceremony encourages Friends to commit to one another and express their dedication and non-romantic love for each other. Friends share moments of vulnerability through the exchange of vows and Friendship Bracelets, and in this process, become BFFs (Burner Friends Forever).
“We believe the world would be a better place if Friends more often expressed their appreciation, dedication, and love to one another.”
Emanating Dusty Fuchsia Love at Pink Heart
(Excerpt written by John Halcyon)
When we were fantasizing about what kind of Gift we wanted to bring to Black Rock City, we thought of a whimsical organization that promoted sacred, sexy, silly love vibes in the world. Sort of like the Red Cross, except focused on “disconnection relief” instead of disaster relief.
We choose hot pink (fuchsia, specifically) because it has all the “love” connotations that the color red has, only without any of the aggression. Pink is whimsical. It confronts stereotypes, and is loved by children. Thus, “Pink Heart” was born.
Countless people have fallen in love on our pink fur couches. I know of at least a few wedding proposals that happened when the couples returned in following years. And we host dozens of weddings under our pink fur heart arch every year. Some elaborate, most spontaneous.
But we are not specifically a romantic place. We hold space for all types of love. Just as people bring their own meaning to The Temple, everyone also brings their own facets of Love to Pink Heart. Black Rock City citizens are drawn in and free to find Eros, Phileo, and/or Agape love. Most importantly, they find permission to fully love and be themselves. That is what makes everyone so beautiful in Black Rock City: their gorgeous, shining truth.
We believe that Gifting has that magic ability to teach people unconditional Love. So we embrace and teach the Gifting Principle through our water bar, vegan ice cream social, and vibration station. The only thing greater than receiving an ice cream cone in the middle of the desert is giving one, then watching someone’s face lights up! When we truly grasp that others’ joy can give us joy, the whole world changes.
One of the most beautiful expressions of Pink Heart love happens on our yearly “Pink Ride.” Hundreds of people dress in pink and parade through the city. We shower compliments and say “We love you!” to everyone we pass. It is like a magical pink ribbon rippling through our dusty streets, echoing a divine chorus of, “Weeeee looooove youuuuu!” Then we take over Center Camp and swirl up in a massive pink hug swarm.
While it may be awhile before we are sharing 100-person group hugs in Center Camp again, the memories and passion of camps like Pink Heart (and Friendlandia) keep our hearts beating and our love flowing. We love you, and we’ll be saving you all a vegan ice cream cone.
We also invite you to join any of our virtual group hugs and gratitude (hosted digitally, three times daily) at zoom.hugnation.com!
Cover image of a Pink Heart wedding, photograph by Jeremy Minnerick