Kidsville Survival Guide

(AKA Kidsville FAQ)

Welcome to Kidsville!

Burning Man is a wonderful family experience.

This Kidsville Survival Guide is a companion to the official Burning Man Survival Guide that everyone must read every year—as the BM Survival guide changes yearly. The BM survival guide is available here: http://www.burningman.com/preparation/event_survival/.

You should also read the first timers guide here: http://www.burningman.com/first_timers/.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

What is Kidsville?

How Do We Camp in Kidsville?

First Come, First Serve

How to get onto the waitlist?

How Can I Contribute to Kidsville?

Greeting

Donations

Volunteering

Where Is Kidsville in Black Rock City? (New in 2017)

Kidsville Geography

Kidsville Mantra!

And Yes, There Are a Few Rules

Generators in Kidsville

Noise

Exhaust

Where is the Nearest Trashcan?

Where is the Nearest Toilet?

Where Can I Find a Babysitter?

Kidsville Is Not a Babysitting Service!

Wristbands for Kids

Where’s My Kid? aka LOST CHILD PROCEDURES

If Your Child Becomes Lost/Separated Within Kidsville

If Your Child Becomes Lost/Separated Outside of Kidsville

If You Find a Lost/Separated Child Within Kidsville

If You Find a Lost/Separated Child Outside of Kidsville

IMPORTANT!

Child Safety

Tickets / Early Arrival Passes

When do Kids need a Ticket?

Can I get a ticket from Kidsville?

Can I get an Early Arrival Pass from Kidsville?

Staying Healthy at Burning Man aka Dust, Heat, Sun & Kids

Don’t Get Playa Foot

Protecting Our Small Children From Dust

Apply Sunscreen

Wear the Goggles

Drink the Water

Baby Bathing

Baby Hydration

Diapers

Diapers as a Litmus Test for Your Kid’s Hydration Level

Where to Put Soiled Diapers During BM?

How Many Diapers Should We Bring?

Other Diaper Advise

Other Important Stuff to Bring

Clothes, Playa Wear, Costumes for Kids

Stuff Not to Bring

Bike Trailers and Getting Around on the Playa with a Kid

Set Up a Kid Friendly Camp

Photography in Kidsville

What does a typical day look like in Kidsville?

Kids and Burning Man Culture

Playa Bikes

Getting a Bike

Tenting

Renting an RV

Carpooling and Ridesharing to Burning Man

Arrival & Departure: are campers able to arrive & depart at any time? what is the entry & exit like--hours in a car line?

School starts the week of the burn, how do I manage?

Late enrollment:

California Individual Education Plan:

Going to Religious Observance:

Food - Burning Man food ideas

GENERAL NOTES:

Breakfasts

Light meals

Big meals

Snacks

Spitfyre’s Food advice:

Puzzle’s Food Advice:

Miniman Burn

I want to gift food - Do I need a permit ?

Travel

Prevailing wind

Last but not least TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Glossary

Credits:

Boring legal stuff

What is Burning Man ?

What is Kidsville?

Kidsville is a village of theme camps and individual family camps. We provide a community for families to bring their children to Burning Man. Kidville is a safe haven from which to explore the magic of Burning Man. We generally have over 200 kids camping with their parents, ranging in age from 8 months to 18 years, which means lots of playmates for all ages.

Each family is responsible for its own needs. We don’t have any organized childcare, meal plan, common power grid. etc. Bring everything you need and pack everything out!

Kee N. writes:

We made it to Burning Man a day late, and the space we were going to camp in Kidsville was kind of occupied by others so they put us somewhere else and that's where we set up camp. Our new neighbors helped us get set up, and gave us ice cold drinks when we were done. Our son hung out with lots of kids at Kidsville, and they would periodically go on adventures. Our new neighbors included us in their meals, we all baby sat for each other, and we would take kids on adventures. Frequently other camps would come to Kidsville and entertain. The flaming hula hoop lessons were memorable, as was the carbonated watermelon. Some nights the kids would dog-pile on the trampolines and sleep out in the open until around 2am when it would be too cold and our son would come back to our shelter to sleep.

Essentially, Kidsville is the place to be if you have a kid so that they can hang with all the other kids. When your kid is having a good time, you'll have a good time.

Kidsville parent with carpet to protect against playa feet and hydration bottle ready, kid in approved hat and sunscreen.

Unknown Kidsville photographer, used without permission.

How to connect with us:

Visit our website to register and get a campsite!

http://kidsville.org. Facebook account required.

Join our Yahoo Group to receive important updates from the Mayor of the village, ideas, advice, comments, feedback from fellow campers.

Yahoo group page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kidscamp.

Facebook group for Kidsville: http://www.facebook.com/groups/25810109272/.

Facebook group for Black Rock Scouts: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blackrockscouts/.

How Do We Camp in Kidsville?

You must have a child ( 0 - 17) to camp in Kidsville. Online self serve registration opens in late spring at http://kidsville.org. A facebook account is required for login. Choose your own space online in advance. You must list all the adults in your camp and your children as well. We need all the information requested in order to rearrange the map to make room for everyone as required. When you arrive at Kidsville, the Greeter on Duty (G.O.D) will guide you to your spot. Each adult in the village must do at least one Greeter shift for the village.

First Come, First Serve

Once Kidsville fills up and there is no room left on the map keep monitoring the Yahoo group and the map as people cancel and release tiles up to the very end.

How to get onto the waitlist?

In order to get on the waitlist you must register and follow all of the steps required, then you will automatically be on the waitlist.

DO NOT PLACE YOUR OWN CAMP / GRAB A “FREE SPACE” - The Freindly greeter on Duty (GOD) will place you.

How Can I Contribute to Kidsville?

Greeting

In order to be sure that each camp gets to the right spot, we have greeters—that’s you. Each adult in Kidsville is required to do a two-hour greeter shift. Sign up for your shift(s) under the Greeter tab of the web site: http://kidsville.org.

Donations

There is no mandatory fee to stay in Kidsville, but donations are strongly encouraged.

Kidsville can always use more cash!

Please send your donation through PayPal to queenkidsville@gmail.com.

Cash donations are used for:

Material (non-monetary) donations are always welcomed:

  1. Firewood for the burn barrel
  2. Markers
  3. Zip Ties
  4. Rebar
  5. Duct Tape
  6. Dark Chocolate for the Queen

Volunteering

Help with tear down on Saturday before the Burn. Answer the call of the Queen when she needs helpers. De-Moop every day, all day, and all night! Keep Kidsville super clean!

Make a kid friendly activity or serve a snack during the week.

Black Rock Scouts Explorers needs more volunteer leaders. Facebook group for Black Rock Explorers: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blackrockscouts/.

Where Is Kidsville in Black Rock City? (New in 2017)

New Address: Kidsville’s official address in 2016 is 5:00 & E 

In reality, the village of Kidsville spans the block from 5:00 & E to 5:15 & G, with the main entrance at 5:00 & F. Note: F street does not exist between 5:00 and 7:00 in Black Rock City.

Driving directions: Head up towards Black Rock City from the Gate. Take the first right at the fork towards 5:30 - 2:00. Turn left onto 5:00, keeping track of the cross streets. Just past G, look for the blue Rainbow colored Kidsville flags on the right, marking the entrance to the village. If you drive past the second set of porta potties at 5:00 between D & C, you’ve gone too far.

Kidsville Geography

Up, or northwest on the Kidsville map points towards the Man. Wind typically comes from the southeast, so have your tent and RV doors point towards the Man. Kidsville’s right boundary is 5:00, and its left is a service access road, approximately equivalent to 5:15. There is no camping on any service access or inner access roads of the village.

Kidsville is made up of 4 quadrants.

 

Families may camp in any quad they choose, as there are children of all ages in each.

Kids gather at the trampolines, parents at the burn barrel... How hard can it be?

The Spiritual Center of Kidsville—the trampolines.

Unknown Kidsville photographer, used without permission

Kidsville Mantra!

Kidsville is not a Babysitting service

Long Live Queen Dawn

Kidsville is not a Babysitting service

I promise to de-moop every day

Kidsville is not a Babysitting service

No Lost Children (repeat 10,000x times)

Kidsville is not a Babysitting service

And Yes, There Are a Few Rules

“We started off trying to set up a small anarchist community, but people wouldn't obey the rules.” Alan Bennett

We have very few rules but they are very important and strictly enforced by the firm hand of our illustrious Queen.

  1. The first rule of Kidsville is: We are not a babysitting service.
  2. The second rule of Kidsville is: WE ARE NOT A BABYSITTING SERVICE!
  3. No Open Sexual Acts*
  4. No Illegal Drug Use 
  5. ALL of the rules defined by Burning Man also apply while in Kidsville.
  6. Be cool. Bringing extra compassion and energy for others can be the best gift that you can bring to Kidsville…and dark chocolate for the Queen.

Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?  Still lots of room for fun?  You betcha!

*Per Bureau of Land Management permit, Burning Man must provide an area where children are protected from strictly adult behavior. Kidsville is one of those places.

Kidsville has a long and friendly relationship with law enforcement at Burning Man. All law enforcement agencies pop in often and are always encouraged to return. Drugs and Kids don’t mix. Kidsvillians make sure it stays that way.

Read more on the BORG’s home page here : http://www.burningman.com/preparation/blm_stipulations/blmstipulations.html.

Generators in Kidsville

Three things to think of if you’re considering running a generator:  neighbors, noise and fumes.

Noise

Is your generator loud?  If you can’t hold a normal conversation while standing next to it, chances are that you (and everybody else for that matter) will not want to be camped with it. Check the noise level of your generator with the table below.

100db Power mower, outboard motor, Deep End:  Ouch!  Leave this fucker at home.

90db Blender, car wash:  What???  I can’t hear you!  Yeah, leave this one at home too.

80db Garbage disposal, factory:  Possible ear damage. Still too loud.

70db Vacuum cleaner, TV or radio:  Annoying but tolerable for short periods.

60db Restaurant conversation, office, background music:  Okay for occasional daytime use.

50db Quiet suburb, conversation at home:  No problem.

40db Library, bird calls:  Approved by librarians.

30db Whisper:  Yeah baby!  Any time, day or night!

Locate your generator away from your neighbors. If you plan to run a generator, fire it up and then check in with your neighbors to find out if it will bother them. Sometimes a simple change in location or orientation can make a big difference.

Over 60db?  Don’t run your generator at night - EVER! Kids and parents are trying to sleep.

When running your generator during the day you should keep the noise and fumes to a minimum.

Exhaust

You really have to careful not to gas the people the in tent next door, we are parked very close and you have to watch where your exhaust ends up. Sir JJ built one of these Exhaust systems in 2010 for the same reason, and only ran the generator for a few minutes each time.

http://www.barthmobile.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/3631087061/m/8381039061?f=3631087061 

Important!  If your generator starts automatically, be sure to shut it off at night so that you and your neighbors aren’t rudely awakened!

Where is the Nearest Trashcan?

Inside your vehicle! - This is the world’s biggest “Leave no Trace” Event

All garbage, recycling and compost material are to be taking home with you, you might be able to get rid of some of it for a fee in Gerlach on your way home. No dumping it on the side of the road.

Plan on sorting as you go so bring stackable containers.

Where is the Nearest Toilet?

Porta potties closest to Kidsville are typically across from Kidsville in the 5:00 & D intersection–marked in the satellite photo at the beginning of this guide.

Where Can I Find a Babysitter?

Kidsville Is Not a Babysitting Service!

Repeat 3 times every night between now and the burn.

However, if you are hoping for a night off to explore the playa with other adult friends, post on the mailing list at kidscamp@yahoogroups.com to create a babysitting exchange with other responsible parents. Paying for babysitting at Burning Man goes against the 10 principles. (Bringing a pre or post paid nanny is OK)

Spitty puts it well:

Arrive assuming you are 100% responsible for your kids 100% of the time... Then, once you get there, meet and greet your neighbours...and work something out that meets everyone's needs.. BUT... If you are going to leave your kids in Kidsville there HAS to be an adult who is fully aware they are responsible for said kid...and make sure your kid knows exactly who is responsible for them and just make it as solid as possible.

Wristbands for Kids

Upon your arrival in Kidsville, all children will receive a wristband that identifies them as members of Kidsville. The wristband has the Kidsville logo, and reads, "If I am lost, please contact a BRC Ranger". These wristbands are NOT to be used as 'schwag', or given to non-Kidsville members. Extras will be available at the Mayor's Mansion and with the G.O.D.s.

All children will be required to wear these wristbands 24/7. If your child becomes lost or injured, it may be the only way BRC Rangers can determine where your child is camping and locate YOU.

And lastly, but probably the MOST important information, is our Lost Child Procedures, below. Please read this, and memorize it. It can make all the difference between reuniting a lost child with its parents within minutes or HOURS!

In 2012 BRC introduced a new program called Family Unification Network, (F.U.N.) that will allow families to register their child at Ranger HQ in Center Camp. If your child is found far from home without a responsible adult, Rangers will be able to look up his/her wristband and know instantly where you live.

Where’s My Kid? aka LOST CHILD PROCEDURES

If Your Child Becomes Lost/Separated Within Kidsville

IMMEDIATELY:

  1. Search your tent/RV/camp area.
  2. Ask your neighbors to search the surrounding areas.
  3. Locate your Quadrant Leader, Greeter on Duty, and/or Mayor/Queen to put a call out to the entire village.
  4. Send adults outside of the village to search the nearby areas: porta potties, surrounding streets and camps.
  5. Contact a Black Rock City Ranger or L.E.O.

If Your Child Becomes Lost/Separated Outside of Kidsville

IMMEDIATELY:

  1. Search your immediate surroundings.
  2. Ask nearby adults to help search.
  3. Contact a Black Rock City Ranger or L.E.O.

If You Find a Lost/Separated Child Within Kidsville

IMMEDIATELY:

  1. Try to determine if the child is a Kidsville resident: Ask the child. Look for a wristband.
  2. If the child IS from Kidsville, locate the parent, Quadrant Leader and/or Mayor.
  3. If the child is NOT from Kidsville, locate a Quadrant Leader, Mayor and/or Black Rock City Ranger.

If You Find a Lost/Separated Child Outside of Kidsville

IMMEDIATELY:

  1. Try to determine if the child is a Kidsville resident: Ask the child. Look for a wristband.
  2. Ask nearby adults if they know the child.
  3. Contact a Black Rock City Ranger or L.E.O.

IMPORTANT!

When the Rangers are notified of a lost child, the gates of BRC are IMMEDIATELY SHUT DOWN!  NO ONE IN! NO ONE OUT!  Your lost child not only stresses you out, but causes a burden to everyone else in the City!  KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR CHILD AT ALL TIMES!!!!

Child Safety

Safety Third, Mom closes her eyes while burner kid climbs a dangerous structure.
Copyright 2010 Jesper “JJ” Jurcenoks, used with permission.

Tickets / Early Arrival Passes

When do Kids need a Ticket?

Children 12 and under at the time of entry do not need a ticket. Children 13 and above need a ticket. There are only adult tickets.

If your tween looks older than 12 make sure to bring proof of age–Passport, Birth Certificate, etc.

Can I get a ticket from Kidsville?

Only crew members and theme camp members qualify for Kidsville allocated tickets.

Contact the Queen if you are interested in becoming a crew member.

BM ORG has allocated a very small set of tickets to major theme camps who contribute significantly to the event. These theme camps can then distribute the right to buy these tickets to a FEW key members.

Can I get an Early Arrival Pass from Kidsville?

Early Passes are for crew members and theme camp builders only.

Staying Healthy at Burning Man aka Dust, Heat, Sun & Kids

Take care of yourself, and the playa will take care of you. Remember to drink water, wear sunblock before applying your costume, carry your: water, hat, goggles, dust mask (or equivalent), lip balm, snacks, headlamp and blinky. Read on for more details...

Dusty times in Black Rock City

Copyright 2009 Sooze, used with permission

Don’t Get Playa Foot

Playa foot is the chemical reaction of the exposed foot to the light alkali salts of the playa causing a slow caustic reaction, potentially leading to dry, cracked painful heels and toes. Moisture will speed up the caustic reaction. Best solution: don’t go barefoot. Flip-flops and open sandals expose your feet to a lot of playa dust, while less than actually walking on the stuff. Wear those fabulous socks and knee high boots or shoes to keep your piggies clean and strong. This goes for your kids too!

Don’t let the kids build sand castles of playa dust. Put a blanket down on the playa to make a play area, and shake the blanket out regularly.

Wash everyone’s hands and feet at least once a day with water to get the dust completely off. A little moisture mixed with a layer of dust is not good, so wash your feet clean.

Consider counteracting the alkali by spraying your feet with a light acid, such as white vinegar. Most Burners swear by a vinegar soak for the feet: 1:3 vinegar:water is a good mix.

Once you have cleaned off the dust from hands and feet, many parents like to rub Udder Balm on exposed areas of hands, feet, elbows and knee caps. In addition to its antiseptic properties, Udder Balm will add a protective layer on the skin, minimizing the damage from playa dust.

You should be able to get Udder Balm in every drugstore from Walgreens to Walmart.

Protecting Our Small Children From Dust

The dust will not kill you. Nobody has died from dust inhalation at Burning Man.

For the smallest ones, a baby sling is ideal as you can pull the fabric up to cover your baby’s face and keep the dust out.

Anything from bandanas, surgical masks, industrial dust masks, to scarves and shemaghs work. A gas mask is overkill from a dust perspective, but is really cool from a costume perspective.

Kidsville Granddad ready for dust-storm

Copyright 2009 Stacie Sanborn, used with permission


While forcing toddlers and small kids to wear masks can be a chore, if not a total failure, pediatric face masks do exist. Pediatricians and pharmacies usually have them in stock.

Best idea to make it work on the playa: play cops and robbers at home before you go. Everyone’s in disguise!

Bring natural almond, coconut or jojoba oil and q-tips to swab their little noses, and yours, to combat dried-out nasal passages. Ponaris nasal emollient is also excellent.

For facemasks for the 5+ kids, Burners suggest a bandana around the neck to be pulled over the mouth when the dust flares up. Just let your kids know: the dust won’t kill you, but it tastes nothing like pixie stix.

Queen Dawn recommends this mask made by a friend http://www.vogmask.com/.

Apply Sunscreen

Start the day with plenty of sunscreen all over. Avoid putting body-sunscreen on their little foreheads, when they sweat it will run into their eyes and burn. Use a face sunscreen or paste stick (looks like a giant chapstick).

Wear the Goggles

The playa dust hurts the eyes too. Anything from ski goggles, over 1st world war snoopy goggles to industrial dust goggles will do.

Again many smaller kids think it is cool to look like Anakin Skywalker in the Pod-races.

Start the goggle wearing game at home.

Kidsvillian Maxiimo likes these googles: http://www.kroopsgoggles.com/

Black Rock Scouts Judes recommends these $10 googles: http://bobster.com/riding/goggles/bugeye-goggle-black-frame-smoked-lens.aspx

Kidsville Kid fully equipped with goggles, Camelbak, bandana

Copyright 2011 Stacie Sanborn, used with permission

Baby Goggles?

Some baby’s will wear goggle others will not, don’t fret it.

5 month old kidsvillian Revio proudly wearing his goggles./

Copyright 2012 Mata Smith, Used with Permission.

Drink the Water

Experienced Burners recommend 2 gallons/person/day for drinking, cooking and washing.

Staying hydrated keeps everyone’s mood in the right space for having a great time. For kids this is even more important. As they may not remember to drink, drink, drink–try the following:

  1. Start training your kid to drink water out of a bottle while still at home.
  2. Enforce the trampoline rule: No water, no jumping. Works every time with all kids.
  3. Supplement water with electrolyte mixes.
  4. Dilute Gatorade or equivalent with water.
  5. Bring the juice boxes that kids are not allowed to drink the rest of the year.

Kidsvillian Speederbill says: Drink a Gatorade product mixed 50/50 with water.

Kidsvillian Atomic answers:  I would use EmergenC over Gatorade any day, no sugar in EmergenC. I still water it down twice the usual or the kid drinks them too fast.

Judes suggests: Powdered Gatorade is cheap at Target.

Once the kid is 5+ years old then they might like the idea of having their own Camelbak. Remember to check that the reservoir does not run out of water during the day. Electrolyte drinks will not destroy the Camelbak.

Skip that 48 bottle case of water—Recycle Camp accepts only aluminum cans. So you’ll just be packing all those plastic bottles home with you. Consider investing in 5 gal bottles with a hand pump. Or buy 2.5 gal jugs with a little thumb faucet/spout and lots of refillable bottles.

Baby Bathing

We appreciate your ambition!

Use an inflatable toddler-sized pool, camp shower, folding stool and small rug to prevent gray water from the playa. Late afternoon is best, before the temperature starts to drop. Dr. Bronner’s kids soap is gentle, and make sure to wash hands and feet well. Use vinegar and water mix in a spray bottle for the final rinse. Be sure to moisturize with lotion or olive oil, then dress warmly for evening.

Or train your kids to become real burners from the start, and go a week without bathing like the rest of us ;-)

Baby Hydration


David and Nuria

Copyright 2008, Nana Kirk, Used with Permission

Hydration is the key to your baby’s happiness.

We adults all know the rule of the desert: For every caffeine or alcohol drink, take the equal measure of pure water. But what do our littlest burners need? Prevent dehydration, avoid tainted food and diarrhea, minimize sun exposure.

Dr. Mom recommends:

  1. Pedialyte is a rescue maneuver, try to not go there! But in case serious hydration is required, bring the baby's fluid need equivalent in Pedialyte. If she drinks about four 8 oz bottles of formula a day, then bring an additional 32 oz per day of Pedialyte.
  2. Dilute breast milk (meaning yourself) and/or formula with more water. Drink 8 oz of pure water before and after EVERY time you nurse. Truly, studies have shown that the breast milk is modified on a meal to meal basis, sometimes richer, sometimes more dilute. Your baby needs more fluids in the desert, just as you do.
  3. For toddlers and eaters: Think fluid in all you provide. Crackers and chips rob fluid, so offer wet and moist snacks, like applesauce, grapes and granola bars. Think single serve Jell-O, popsicles, yogurt squeezes, juice boxes. All the snacky foods that would normally not get into the cart are perfect for the playa.
  4. Diarrhea is BAD. And dehydration happens faster with diarrhea. So do not eat tainted food. Do not eat questionable food. Do not even think you can keep milk or meats cold enough past about day two on ice.
  5. Taking probiotics, pills or chewable tablets, starting two weeks before Burning Man and continuing through the week will keep your digestive system happy and healthy—and should help fight off any minor intestinal issues.
  6. To be prepared, ask your MD for a prescription for Donnatol or other medication for traveler's diarrhea. Activated charcoal works great for diarrhea, but getting a kid to swallow a capsule? Unclear.
  7. So avoid foods that have set your child off in the past. Burning Man is not the time to turn your kid into an adventurous eater. If and when you do get diarrhea, CEASE AND DESIST ALL SOLID FOODS and drink broth, beer, and anything with Tabasco. (This advice is not authorized by Dr. Mom, but I believe it to be true!) Continue until you have a normal bowel movement. And drink your real 2 gallons of water per day—that means no foot washing with the allotment!
  8. Minimize sun exposure. Cover your skin. Cover your head. The brimmed bonnet is perfect for your baby, along with light colored, long sleeved outfits. Billowing white costumes are the best to keep down moisture loss through our skin. And definitely do not put your baby in a backpack for a playa art tour. Shade rules!
  9. Watch for lethargy. If even slightly concerned, Burning Man Medical has doctors, nurses, medics, medicine and air conditioning. Stations are located behind Center Camp at 6:00 and at 3:00 and 9:00 plazas. Look for the neon blue cross on top of the buildings.

Diapers

Diapers as a Litmus Test for Your Kid’s Hydration Level

A diaper will not tell you if your kid is under-hydrated; no tears or dry lips are better indicators. But many many full-wet diapers means your kid could be over-hydrating. Then you run the risk of running out of diapers, and more diapers means more stinkiness to carry home.

Where to Put Soiled Diapers During BM?

Three bits of advice from past Burners:

  1. Store them in 5 gal paint buckets with lids. (a favorite)
  2. Place soiled diapers in a medications/ first aid bag.
  3. Put dirty diapers in double plastic bags, and make sure they are kept in the shade and away from our noses. (under the car?!) If they are outside, TIE THEM DOWN! We don’t want diapers free ranging.
  4. Never ever ever put diapers in the porta potties!!

How Many Diapers Should We Bring?

Bring what you need. But we notice that parents not camping with you will come a-begging for diapers. Be prepared for that conversation.

Other Diaper Advise

Some people bring cloth diapers and just dry the wet ones in the air. See Dirty diaper storage for the poopy diapers.

Other Important Stuff to Bring

Listed below are some essentials for safety and other things for fun:

Be prepared to lose things! Bring backups!

Clothes, Playa Wear, Costumes for Kids

Stuff Not to Bring

Things that go bad in the heat. Things that moop. Therefore:

Bike Trailers and Getting Around on the Playa with a Kid

Bring a bike trailer.

Best times for touring the playa are early morning, late afternoon, evening and dusk. Avoid the midday heat. Remember to put lights on your bike and trailer so you don’t get run over.

Read the “Who, What, Where Guide” to find kid events, which will be clearly marked.

Larissa asks: Has anyone dared bring down a Chariot/Burley type child bike trailer to the playa? Were you able to un-playafy it afterwards?

St. Kiwano answers: I don't think I'd dare to NOT bring one yet. Yeah it'll always be a bit

dusty. It also gets some cleaning from us, including a vinegar wash and re-greasing of pivots and bearings. A little dust and a little work still beats the hell out of going without a bike trailer.

Gwendolyn answers: On the bike trailers---yes yes yes yes. Who cares what they look like when you get back--ours has been indispensable! Last year I hauled a third grader and an almost 3 year old around the playa--plus all the stuff you need to take them out and about. One afternoon I even rode several boxes of wine across the playa into a dust storm with my 60 pound 3rd grader in the trailer too! Great at night for the little ones to be sleeping in while you explore. Cannot say enough about the necessity of a trailer. Start now by constructing better shade that won't catch the wind and has a reflective, fun, lit decor.

Other options:

Set Up a Kid Friendly Camp

Photography in Kidsville

Rules to follow always:

What does a typical day look like in Kidsville?

  1. Despite plans on getting up and out early before it gets too hot, the excursions out onto the playa last night makes people sleep in.
  2. Early birds meet the graveyard greeter shift at the burn barrel, coffee changes hands.
  3. Spitty starts cooking Canadian bacon
  4. First kids gather at the trampoline.
  5. Mutant Vehicles comes by sometimes just to show of their Mutant vehicles sometimes to give kids and parent a ride.
  6. Parents and kids from all over Black Rock City start to gather in Kidsville for the next highly publicized and anticipated Black Rock Scouts Events.
  7. Creative parents who have already cut they planned kid activities in half from lack of energy in the heat, somehow managed to corral a group of kids for some cool, fun creative activity somewhere in Kidsville.

In 2010 the Hot Monkey Sox was a runaway success activity in Kidsville.
Copyright 2010 Jesper “JJ” Jurcenoks, used with permission.

  1. Some parents and kids go off to their volunteer duties, others hook up their bike trailer and go out to the playa, armed with a theme-camp map.
  2. Suddenly a guy comes by with a parachute and starts giving the kids rides

Suddenly a man shows up with a parachute to give the kids rides.
Copyright 2010 Jesper “JJ” Jurcenoks used with permission.

  1. Some of the kids take a midday nap on one of the trampolines.
  2. Newbies and old-timers help each other, make off-color jokes, and hang out in each others shade structures. Everyone hydrates.
  3. More Black Rock Scout and Kidsville events.
  4. As it gets dusk, Dino’s Drive-in starts with an animated movie.
  5. People start gifting alcohol and people are having a jolly good time.
  6. Night Excursions onto the playa takes place.
  7. Kidsville starts to quiet down, people gather around the burn barrel with their favorite item of sin, sir JJ comes back from the late night shift at the DMV and joins the group.
  8. Solar lights prove their worth as people stagger back to their tents and RVs, remember to cover those sharp stake ends with empty bottles.

Kids and Burning Man Culture

Playa Bikes

The best playa bikes are not mountain bikes. The big tread on the tires will work against you when it rains, and the gears get gummed up with dust. The best playa bikes are old beaters with wide tires and no tread.

Getting a Bike

There are many alternatives to getting a bike from Walmart and donating it afterwards. Loads of options here: http://www.burningman.com/preparation/travel_info/reno/reno_Bikes.html.

Here is the entry from Jack Rabbit Speaks January 2011

RAT'S BIKES NOW OPEN FOR BIKE RENTAL RESERVATIONS FOR BM2011

 

Our friend Rat sez:

"Rat's Bikes for Long-Distance Burners is open for all the "Get It Done Early' Burners, with preference given to Burners crossing an ocean to attend. For more info or reservations, contact: nv_desert_rat@nvbell.net.

 

Jump on it, folks! Rat's bikes go fast!

Also check out the many discussions on eplaya.

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=12475

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=38466

Tenting

Sean-a-tron writes: We camped in a tent last year and it was perfect. The secret was putting the tent under a monkey hut or some other shade structure (getting it out of the direct sun), taping up ALL ventilation/windows with fabric and duct tape, and only opening it when we are going in to sleep. We had another tent for all of our clothes and supplies. Because of the limited access i.e., only opening in the morning and evening when the wind is calm, our tent stayed clean and relatively dust free. We also tried to always clean our feet when we got in with water and a wet rag, which minimizing the dust inside the tent. Since we had it under a monkey hut, the tent was cool enough to sleep in till 10am or so. Daytime naps were always taken in our shade area outside.

Renting an RV

Remember to allocate 8 full hours to cleaning dust out of the RV (deplayafying) before returning it to the rental facility or lose your deposit.

Here are some RV Rental possibilities when all the RVs are reserved in Reno, SF and Sacramento.

 

Some folks I know found a last minute RV rental in Boise, Idaho last year. Boise has an airport, WalMart, Home Depot, etc. It is about an 8 hour drive to Burning Man.

 

The year before some of our campmates found an RV late in the game in Salt Lake City, UT, which also has an airport, and stores galore. It is a 9 hour drive from the Playa.

 

Las Vegas is just under 9 hours from the event, has a great airport, and is loaded with facilities for RVers.

Carpooling and Ridesharing to Burning Man

Currently there is no organized Carpooling/Ridesharing to Burning Man specifically for Kidsvillians, but ask on the mailing list or checkout http://burningmanrides.com.

Arrival & Departure: are campers able to arrive & depart at any time? what is the entry & exit like--hours in a car line?

Burning Man officially starts on Monday 8 days before Laborday at 1 minute after midnight, you will not be let in the gate before that time, unless you have an early pass from Burning Man. Since 2012 gate has started let people in from 6:00pm on the Sunday before the official opening to avoid the midnight traffic chaos that resulted from Hardcore Burners who would time their arrival for Monday Morning 00:01 am, so be the first in the gate.

Everyone wants to get in first and they all end up in 6-12 hour lines. However sitting in line is part of the fun, and there will be Burners all around you in funny costumes, joggling riding unicycles etc. Line will be at least 4 hours most of Monday and Tuesday, and will hopefully be almost gone by Wednesday.

4 hour Line to get in Monday in 2010
Copyright 2010 Jesper “JJ” Jurcenoks used with permission.

It is possible but not encouraged to leave the burn during the week and come back there might be a fee, see the Official Survival Guide for details.

Exit is the same, Sunday after the man burns will have line going out and Monday after the temple burns will have a line. Part of the experience. Line pulsing means that you will only move your car every hour, saving fuel and preventing the cars from overheating, while giving the people in the line a chance to mingle. Stories of 12 hours to get out are common.

School starts the week of the burn, how do I manage?

Clarity writes:

Last time my boys were on the Playa, we got turned into the truancy officer, and this was even though we told them ahead of time that they would be out, and they finished all their work. In the past we were allowed to take them out on "independent study" for the week.

But what happens is that the schools only get money for kids who's butts are in seats. Thus, they lose money for that week when my kids are out. I suppose it adds up district wide, not that there are that many Burners in my district, but that there is a truancy problem.

I found that the district was far more sensitive about it once they got to middle school.

Late enrollment:

When you enroll your kid for the new school year, make sure to enroll them to start tuesday after labor day weekend, not the first day of school at set by your school district. They can do absolutely nothing and your are not truant.

Lynda warns: Lots of school districts won't keep your child's place if she/he is not present on the first day of school. Trust me you don't want to deal with the hassle of that. I did it once when we were stuck abroad.

Read everything you can on the district's website because employees don't always know the regulations.

California Individual Education Plan:

Another Parent Writes:
Nowadays in Cali, key is to have a formal Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each kid covering the time they will be out of school. You develop the plan with the teacher(s) and maybe a counselor (middle school and above). It is just a daily schedule of regular school work for the week and projects you develop with the teacher. The IEP gets the school paid as if the kid was there. You don't have to pay the school to "replace" lost attendance dollars.

 

I cast it as "education travel" (an IEP category) - which BM certainly is. For instance, last year 4th grader Anakin did "infrastructure of BRC" (previous years included "Art of BM" and "Oregon Trail"). Each day we rode to a different part of BRC (DPW, Center Camp, Commisary, Playa Info, Airport, etc), he did a little interview and took pictures, and when we were back in camp he would write a page for the project. I would fill out the IEP document for the day, listing the work and time involved. You always record 5-6 hours of activities (length of a school day). Which is how long it takes to cruise around BRC anyway, with all the art, theme camp, beverage and portapotty breaks. Short of things to list? "Reading" is a good time filler. When you return to the default world you turn in the school work, BM project work and the IEP timesheet.

 

My middle-schooler Charlotte also went to BM on an IEP, she had more real homework in the mornings but it still worked fine- and her counselor was a Burner to boot. And when they were younger kids the IEP was simple, they often just drew a BM picture with a caption each day (plus reading time).  

Key is to be proactive by asking for the IEP - they may not volunteer that it exists because a little paperwork for the teacher and school.

Note: Not all states uses IEP or is as Flexible as California in the respect.

Going to Religious Observance:

Use the argument that Burning Man is a religious observance for you and your family. Most Schools see religious observance as a valid absence reason.

Calling Burning Man a religious event is not as crazy as it sounds.

Burning Man has the following Characteristics of a Religion. (see Wikipedia for more details:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion)

1) Organized Belief system, e.g.. Leave No Trace, Gifting, Self-sufficiency

2) Organized Behavior, including

        a) Scripture e.g. "Survival Guide"

        b) Holy Places, e.g. Black Rock City

        c) Places of Prayer, e.g. the Temple

        d) Congregations  - 50,000 people is a big congregation.

        e) Rituals - too many to list

        f) Traditions, too many to list

3) Followers (e.g. Burners) derive their morality, ethics, interpersonal laws, and preferred life style from their shared ideas about the cosmos and human nature

4) Unifying symbols  e.g. (BM Icon, the man.

5) Sacrifice (the burning of the man)

Burning Man can be categorized as a "New religious Movement" as opposed to "World Religion" and "Indigenous Religion"

Ph.D in Religion at California State University Northridge, Lee Gilmore describes Burning Man as a kind of "Pagan" religion  http://wildhunt.org/2010/06/burning-man-paganism-and-the-study-of-religion.html 

John W. Morehead, Western Institute for Intercultural Studies, compares Burning Man to Religion on this fine document http://issuu.com/drmichaeltcooper/docs/morehead_burning_man/1 

there is also a non-online book that covers the subject : Kozinets, Robert V. and John F. Sherry, Jr. (2004), “Dancing on Common Ground: Exploring the Sacred at Burning Man,” in Rave Culture and Religion, ed. Graham St. John, New York and London: Routledge, 287-303.

Graham St John and Francois Gauthier http://www.journaldumauss.net/?Burning-Man-s-Gift-Driven-Event

Many references to more works at the bottom.

Conclusion.

If you truly believe that a week of Burning Man every year is better education for any child than a 1st week of School, (and I do believe that) then stop calling it a Camping Trip in Nevada or a Family Reunion.

Any School Leadership and Truancy Officer will rule that Camping or family reunion is NEVER more important that compulsory school, especially after months of summer vacation.

However if you call it a Religion then no Militant Truancy Officer will go against the Constitution’s First Amendment.

If you go with the "Religious Observance" don't specify which one, remember knowledge is power, don't give the school the power, the less you say the better, don't give them any ammunition.

 

Just say: "My daughter/son will accompany the family to an important religious observance she will be leaving after school Friday the week before labor day, and will be back Tuesday after Labor Day, we appreciate your understanding."  No more, no less.

 

If they ask which religion, just say in your most calm and assertive voice "We are very private about our religious matters, thank you for understanding. Looking forward to seeing you again after Laborday"

 

If they ask if you are going to "Burning Man" because your daughter is so excited that she can't help talk about it. Neither deny nor confirm, just be calm and assertive and say "Our religion is a very personal and private matter, thank you for not asking any more questions."

 

Don't ask for homework for the period, it will induce unnecessary stress, kids should not be expected to make homework during a week-long important religious observance.

 

If they ask you to do homework, calmly say, "We will be so embedded in our religious observance that there won't be time, and thank you for suggesting it"

Food - Burning Man food ideas

Mike wrote: Last year being the 1st for our family I totally nerded out on the prep. One of the things I did was to get all the Burning Man food recommendations people gave and sorted and compiled them before figuring out a menu.

 

Lots of good ideas and we did some but in the end found for us that we would like to keep it even simpler this year. (We will probably be having hotdogs and PB&J pretty much every day.)

 

Here's a list -

GENERAL NOTES: 

 

Great kid foods are; Go-gurts, crackers, energy bars, fig newtons, trail-mix, nuts, jerky, juice boxes, fruit leathers, and apples.

Vacuum sealed pre-cooked deep frozen foods for re-heating and consumption.

Snack bars, trail mix, dried fruit, Astronaut ice cream, jerky, peanut butter

Dehydrated foods, rice, and something like Tasty Bite packs (optionally with a can of shredded chicken) make a quick and tasty meal.

 

Cold cereal, hot cereal

Camping Milk or Soy milk (doesn't need refrigeration)

Fruit, canned and fresh

Veggies like carrot sticks

 

Juice (canned juices like Kern's freeze very well and can be used to help keep your cooler cold)

Tang, other powdered drink mixes (to help encourage you to drink enough fluid)

Canned and dried soup

Cup a noodles, other instant meals

Bagels (more durable than regular bread)

Cream cheese, butter

Peanut butter and jam

Power Bars and such

Dried fruit, raisins, etc

Gorp, granola, soy nuts

 

Breakfasts

Cheerios

Dehydrated strawberries and/or apricots

Boxed Milk (Horizon Organic, no refrigeration necessary). Move a few into the cooler each day and have cold milk for breakfast the next morning.

Coffee

(may be repeated)

 

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Oatmeal (Quaker Oats, instant)

Dehydrated Strawberries and/or apricots and/or raisins

Milk or juice

Coffee

(may be repeated)

 

Scrambled eggs with Whole Foods cooked bacon bits

Parmesan garlic & herb Pita Chips (Stacy's)

Milk or juice

Coffee

 

Strawberry Toaster Pastries (Nature's Path)

Milk or juice

Coffee

 

Pancakes (Bisquick Shake-n-Pour)

Dehydrated strawberries and/or apricots

Syrup (Mrs. Butterworth's -- couldn't find maple in plastic)

Milk or juice

Coffee

 

Light meals

Gazpacho (Sierra Rica)

Smoked Oysters (Crown Prince) on crackers (Ritz)

 

Salami with Monterey Jack cheese on Triscuits or Wheat Thins

Corn (canned)

 

Miso noodle soup (Dr. McDougall's, instant)

Crackers with salami and Monterey Jack cheese

 

Pasta in Tomato & Cheese Sauce (Annie's, canned)

Beef jerky, regular (Whole Foods)

Mango slices (Trader Joe's, canned) or applesauce (Trader Joe's)

 

Rice noodle soup bowl, garlic or spring onion (Trader Joe's, instant)

Beef jerky, teriyaki (Whole Foods)

Mango slices (Trader Joe's, canned) or applesauce (Trader Joe's)

 

Peanut butter on rice cakes

Green beans (S&W, canned)

 

 

Big meals

Bengal Lentils, Kashmir Spinach, Pandora Pilaf (Tasty Bite)

Papadums (Indian flat bread by Tiger Tiger)

 

Burning Ham Salad (homemade)

Crackers (Ritz)

Corn (canned)

Pineapple (canned)

 

Ground turkey tacos, Crispy taco shells, CheeseGround turkey tacos, Crispy taco shells, Cheese

Steamed rice (Annie Chun's, ready made)

Hot dogs (Hebrew National, low fat)

 

Cheesy Ravioli (Annie's, canned)

Hot dogs

Baby corn (canned)

 

 

Snacks

In the heat and excitement of Black Rock, kids may not feel hungry, so it’s best to snack them all day. Although we should try to avoid extra packaging, when it comes to kids, it’s better to go with individually wrapped foods. They are easier to pack and take with you on the playa, and when your kid spills his goldfish, he won’t contaminate the whole container with playa dust or make a huge mess.

Fruit leather

FruitaBu smooshed fruit

Raisins

Dry roasted, unsalted almonds

Chocolate chocolate chip cookies (Newman's Own)

Chips (Garden of Eatin') and salsa (various)

Pita chips (Stacy's) and spinach dip (homemade)

Water Idea: What worked out really well was using a bunch of frozen water bottles as ice. They stayed frozen longer than the rest of the ice and could be taken out of the total amount of water we were planning to bring.

Spitfyre’s Food advice:

Us Canadians use one pan for everything...a large teflon frypan..so, for breakfast, we cook a LOT of bacon and since I don't want to cart home a ton of bacon grease, we simultaneously make "egg in the hole" which uses up the bacon grease...one piece of paper towel wipes the pan and spatula clean...then at lunch, lots of grilled cheese sandwiches and there are MANY variations you can do, like putting salsa or pesto in it..or using garlic butter instead of reg butter...YUM!!! Then at supper time, Chunky Soup or anything else quick and hearty...again, clean up of the pan is a one wipe affair..

We lick our plates and cutlery clean and then wipe with a baby wipe... No water used, no waste water created! :D

For us, it must be very appealing and flavourful and ultra fast to prepare.....and we expend brainpower to make sure clean up is easy..

Spitfyre

Puzzle’s Food Advice:

From a simple kitchen with a two-burner stove, no electricity and no grey water tank...

Pre-cooked burgers, just heat and serve

Hard boiled eggs, peeled and frozen in tupperware - great little protein bombs when you need some sustenance.

Steak cut into strips in a baggie of marinade, frozen. Pull 'em out and grill 'em.

Baby carrots -keep forever, great snack right out of the cooler.

Pre-cooked (notice a trend?) sausages - great on the grill

Mini gas grill (thanks Lora and Gordy) - quick cooking with minimal cleanup/greywater

Spray bottle to wash dishes (thanks Spitty) - minimal water usage and greywater

Puzzle

Miniman Burn

Because some of the smallest ones will not be able to stay awake for the Man burn, Kidsville has a tradition of making a small Miniman burn Friday evening at dusk.

The Miniman with emphasis on MINI, he has to fit inside the burn barrel as that’s the only burn platform in Kidsville.

Copyright 2009 Robert “Dino” Dean Velasco - Used with permission

I want to gift food - Do I need a permit ?

Giving food away, or trading for food is the same as a restaurant in the eyes of the Health Division, and permits and cooking standards will be enforced. Nevada State Health Division (NSHD) policy on communal kitchens is as follows: Any camp that is serving meals on a large scale (to 125 or more fellow campers at every meal consistently) must also obtain a permit. Go to http://health.nv.gov/BFHS_EHS.htm, and scroll down to the flame icon for specific "Temporary Food Information for Burning Man". It is believed by veteran Burners that sharing a meal with fewer than 125 people from your own camp (no strangers from outside of Kidsville) does not require a permit.

Travel

The desert is hot so plan on driving the last section late afternoon, night, or early morning if possible. There will be less traffic and no chance of your car overheating.The kids will sleep and if you time it right, you’ll get to your camp at dawn. Camp set up is much easier before it gets too hot. Don’t overestimate your energy, having seen single parents trying to setup a camp alone after driving all night is not a pretty sight, ask your neighbors to help you setup and/or watch your kids.

Road Gear – Pack a gas can, water, coolant, flares, tire iron, tools, gloves and your spare tire where you can reach them.

Glove Box – Burning Man Tickets, Burning Man notebook with schedules/contacts, drivers license, car registration, insurance, road map, Burning Man Survival Guide with directions to Black Rock, your camp-plan map, pens and sharpies.

Playa-arrival kit (things you’ll need immediately) – Goggles, bandana/mask, baby-wipes, gloves, sunscreen, lip balm, shorts, fresh socks/undies/toothbrush (if drive straight through), sun hat, water bottle, head-lamp, a Red Bull, Emergen-C, energy bars, half-gallon of water per person in your car, toilet paper.

Travel Comfort Items – Neck pillow, blanket, warm fleece jacket, water bottle, road music, pain killers for stiff joints.

Stop in Reno to gas up, replenish your ice, do last-minute shopping, have a hot meal and pee. Eat something salty and have the kids start drinking water continually. This will keep them hydrated for arrival.

Prevailing wind

I bet you didn’t want this detailed an explanation but here it is.

Most of the winds come from south-central Nevada (Known as the Carson/Tonopah zephyr) (and, due to high heat and low humidity creating a huge lift effect, pick up much surface dust, even heavier than normal materials), and, blow NW, until encountering the Sierra Nevada range near Honey Lake.

At that point, orographic uplift and the increased humidity from Honey lake cause a vortex, which spins "waves" as such, due east about 50 miles where said vortex usually loses its momentum and all suspended particles precipitate, almost completely due to the higher humidity trapped in said vortex and the hygroscopic effect of any salt saturated (read playa) land forms and formations below....

In the valley that makes up the Black Rock Desert the wind from these vortexes moves north-easterly towards the open playa. Meaning the winds on the playa in the Burning Man event area is south-westerly.

Due to the orientation of Black Rock City with 12:00 pointing north-east, and Kidsvilles placement within Black Rock City, and since you always know what direction the Man is, the rule of thumb is that the prevailing wind within Kidsville is from the outer ring road and towards the Man. (not the miniman) On maps of Kidsville the Man is “up”

Last but not least TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Resting as a Kidsville parent is your obligation, do it for your kids sake. No excuses.

Copyright 2010 Jesper “JJ” Jurcenoks - used with permission

Enjoy your burn!

Glossary

G.O.D Greeter on Duty, Person on 2 hour shift responsible for welcoming new arrivals to Kidsville, including showing them to their space, attaching armbands and marking the map with the arrival.

Greeter Gestapo Shift the shift between Monday 12:01 am and 8:00 am (the first night hours with most arrivals, the worst G.O.D shift)

Moop Matter out of place, anything that does not belong in the desert from sprayon confetti to sunflowerseed shells. This is the biggest “leave no trace” event in the world. So you better not leave any trace. Put an oilpan or large piece of cardboard under your car if it drips oil, to avoid spending hours cleaning that up.

Demoop Pick up moop. you are required to demoop every moop you see all the time, and then spend an additional 2 hours of demooping at the end of the event before leaving.

Sparkle Pony - Someone who is so much into costumes and looking good that they forget basics like sleeping bags, food and water and will have to rely on camp-mates for survival.

Darkwad: Any idiot who wanders around at night without lights.

Kidsvillain: The evil twin of a Kidsvilllian.

Credits:

The Kidsville Survival Guide contains work made by originals.

Information was gleaned, stolen, collected, paraphrased, lifted, homaged, copylefted etc from the Kidsville mailing list, e-playa, collected wisdom of kidsvillians, old-times, newbies, random places on the internet and everything in between.

Made by Kidsvillians for Kidsvillians.

Boring legal stuff

The parts we made ourselves is public domain and you can use it anyway you like, you can’t have the parts we stole, and damn if we will tell you which is which.

What is Burning Man ?

Very nice Documentary on what Burning Man is all about made by Russian Television (51 minutes)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0NdVn2O1WY