These are basic descriptions for each of our volunteer teams. When applicable, we’ve modeled our teams based on existing standards provided by Burning Man, and have provided links to their descriptions as well as our pages for each team. If you’ve read through everything here and linked to from here, but still have questions, we’ve provided contact information so that you may reach out to an Area Facilitator directly.
Our vision is to move away from recruiting volunteers via Facebook posts and we hope to open the gates knowing that all key volunteer roles are filled. By defining our teams and giving co-leads the support and autonomy to create their own teams based, teams should be filled with people who either know each other already or are passionate about helping in a specific capacity. As we move towards this vision, the Volunteer Coordinator roles take a different form.
You know a ton of people – or are good at meeting people – and are good at identifying their interests, strengths, and weaknesses. You’re an excellent communicator as you’ll be helping route volunteer submissions to the appropriate team leads and making sure those leads follow through to activate volunteers. You’ll help team leads with scheduling and recruiting if they need it. During the event, you will communicate constantly with team leads to learn about additional volunteer needs and help get walk-up volunteers to the appropriate location. You will stay on top of team leads post-event to organize, compile, and record volunteer hours.
We envision a team of three people:
- You know everyone, or seriously subscribe to the “I’ve never met a stranger” mentality. But not just a lot of people, the right people. We’d like to avoid the shotgun approach of volunteer recruiting by finding the right people for each position.
- You’re amazing with data entry. Every shift might look perfectly filled before we head out to the property, but those volunteer sheets will be a mess by the end of the weekend. You’ll decipher the mess and enter the data so we can keep track of volunteer hours.
- You will primarily liaise between your co-coordinators and the various department leads who need your volunteers. Especially in the days and weeks leading up to the event, you’ll need to be readily available as requests from departments come in and volunteers have scheduling issues.
Infrastructure Area Operations
Area Facilitator: Jennifer Boyer
You are the official welcoming party! Collectively, you will keep traffic flowing from the road until parking, check tickets and waivers, provide orientation to new burners to our event, and make everyone feel welcome. You remain calm and friendly easily because you’re the first people participants interact with. As much as applicable, this is based on Burning Man’s Gate, Perimeter and Exodus and Greeters teams combined. See our Welcome Home Crew page.
You’re the first to arrive and last to leave because you’re in charge of infrastructure. You’ll be asked to help with all nature of projects, being handy and a problem solver is beneficial. Standard issue all-black uniforms are not provided. Take a look at Burning Man’s DPW page as well as ours. Please contact current department lead EZ with any questions or to get acclimated.
LNT / Earth Guardians
Litter seriously pisses you off, but you’re able to educate instead of lecture. Your shifts will include MOOP sweeps and helping to educate participants who may be experiencing issues with being their own Earth Guardians. Gloves and bags are provided. Here’s Burning Man’s Earth Guardians page as well as ours.
Safety Area Operations
Area Facilitator: Morgan Patten
If you already know what a “Green Dot” is, this might be the place for you! Our Sanctuary is a place where people can feel comfortable despite a possible overindulgence. Your time will be spent maintaining and participating in what we hope to be the ultimate “chill zone”. People will come to you exhibiting an extreme range of mental and emotional conditions (medics take care of the physical conditions) and you’ll need the patience and people skills to comfort them until they are feeling Radically Self-reliant again. Learn more from Burning Man’s ART of Green Dot.
Rangers are our first response members of the community. You and a partner will monitor a section of the event to be as helpful as possible. This may be as simple as helping someone with a tarp that keeps catching the wind or as intense as being the first on the scene to a medical emergency. You’re the first to respond to incidents, and may coordinate with a variety of other departments in certain situations. This is a very important team within our community – Rangers are not law enforcement, but some of the first trained people to respond to situations that call for assistance. For more information, see Burning Man’s Ranger information and our page.
Fire & Perimeter Safety
You are our on-site fire department! We’re looking for at least 60 individuals to learn what it takes to burn safely, split up into teams of 20 for burns on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. You work to ensure fire art is safe, fires are contained, and burnable art is safely separated from participants via a human perimeter. Please read through Burning Man’s Fire Art Guidelines (yes, and all of those sub-pages) and Perimeter Support Group pages along with our Fire Team (CATS) page.
Based on liability concerns, both for the event/BOI and our medical volunteers, our volunteer crew of medics are available for only the most basic of first aid needs. Anything more serious will be handed off to our highly qualified team of paid outside medical support staff. See our page for more information.
Art & Community Operations
Area Facilitator: Sara LaRoux
You work with our community of artists before, during, and after the event. You may be helping to come up with solutions to logistical problems in transporting art, holding a board while the artists hammers a nail, or helping to MOOP sweep after an installation has been removed. We are planning to model this on Burning Man’s ARTery (Artist Services). Also see our Art page. You can reach department co-leads Buttercup and Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions; please fill out the leadership survey to participate.
Large Scale Art & Effigy Department
This team will be lead by our veterans to help us determine some “best practices” for burnable art including getting volunteers to assist with builds, giving an overview of fundraising efforts we’d like to incorporate this year, and discuss logistics of build week, event operations, and cleanup. This department operates within the Art Department listed above.
You may be asked to help with decor, work the info booth, help musicians carry their gear, refill community coffee/tea/water, and anything else related to our version of Burning Man’s Center Camp. Leading up to the event, you may help with signage, scheduling, and recruiting of artists/performers/speakers. See our Indaba page.
Theme Camp Liaison
Our theme camp team will review all theme camp registrations and work with camps to make sure their vision is well-defined and they have the resources they need. We’re looking to increase the quantity and interactivity of our theme camps, if you have ideas that can help us reach this goal, this might be a great opportunity for you! For questions please reach out to Sean (AKA Kurt D) or fill out the leadership survey.
As the event gets closer, we’re going to need to figure out where to put all of the theme camps, art, tents, cars, and RVs. This team will design the map as well as working with our Welcome Home Crew to help people find their designated areas upon arrival to the event. If you’d like to help with this effort, please email current department lead Tommy for more info or fill out the leadership survey.