Camp Symposium

Black Rock City Camp Symposium


The Camp Support Team is excited to announce the 2021 Black Rock City Camp Symposium (formerly Theme Camp Symposium, because there are many types of camps in BRC)!


Saturday May 22nd, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm  PDT

In this pivotal year, the Camp Symposium will bring together Black Rock City’s camp community to connect, learn, and showcase big initiatives shaping the future of Burning Man.

What does being a Burner look like since we won’t be building BRC? How can we make BRC more diverse and sustainable? What are camps doing to share resources? How can camps survive another year without a Burn? What else can Burners participate in to keep the burn alive?


2021 Camp Symposium Workshop Descriptions

We’re excited to share the content we’re cooking up for the 2021 Camp Symposium. Without a Black Rock City to build this year, the need for camps to remain connected is strong, and we’re here to help. Here’s a sampling of the content:

  1. Workshops sessions on community-building, camp culture, sustainability, radical inclusion, and staying engaged
  2. An interactive lobby to meet and connect with other camp leaders!
  3. A dynamic workboard to initiate collaborations and un-conferencing 



What are We Doing Here?

Panelists: Blissfits Retirement Village, BRC Weekly, Celestial Bodies, Comfort and Joy, Death Guild Thunderdome, Burning Man Project

To burn or not to burn, that is one question. Beyond Black Rock City, what are our core identities and competencies as a culture and community? How and where does our connective tissue activate/congregate us in the world? Let’s take a deep, philosophically centered dive into our evolution and who we’re becoming in a (hopefully) post-pandemic world.

Getting on the RIDE: Radical Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Theme Camps

Panelists: Black Burner Project, Crossroads, Gender Blender, Que Viva, Yummi Ruminations, Burning Man Project

Our panel of experienced Burners will help provide perspectives on what radical inclusion looks like in Black Rock City and how to begin the work to increase diversity in the wider Burner community. What does it mean for theme camps to embrace diversity? What challenges might people face on their RIDE journeys? How is RIDE more than simply about numbers?

Tackling Sustainability from the Ground Up: The Green Theme Camp Community

Panelists: Green Theme Camp Community

TCOs from several dozen camps have gathered and formed a grass-roots community around transforming Black Rock City toward a regenerative future. Come hear from what’s happened over the past year, what theme camps can do to help achieve the 2030 Sustainability Roadmap, and how to get involved as we set our sights on prototyping and building the model theme camp ahead of 2022 camp planning.

Introducing the Burner Network and the Great Give Back

Overview of a new grant program for Black Rock City camps, a call for skilled services and donations for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, and a video interview on what the Paiute Tribe would like us to know about visiting Northern Nevada this year.

Burning Man Project Updates

  • CEO Marian Goodell, Event Operations Director Charlie Dolman
  • Burning Man Hive + Hive Labs
  • Burners Without Borders
  • Virtual Burns
  • Supporting Art in 2021

Help!  I Need Somebody, Help!

Looking for answers, support, resources, advice, inspiration, connection? The Camp Support volunteer team is here to help with an abundance of resources for all camps and campers. 



Activate Inclusion

Panelists: Comfort & Joy, Prototopia, Rainbow Oasis, Sloth Dance Society Village, Vomiting Sparrows

Join us as speakers explore the depths of diversity and inclusion. We’ll help your camp create actionable plans to not only invite members of diverse communities in but help foster an environment where they want to participate and stay. We look forward to exploring how we can learn to redefine our spaces with wide open doors and space vast as the desert itself for all to feel welcome.

Becoming a More Welcoming, Inclusive Burner

Panelists: Comfort & Joy, Camp Contact, Religious as F*ck

If Burning Man is going to be more diverse, we as individual Burners need to become more informed about the impacts of our own attitudes and actions. This breakout will look at how we can be more welcoming of others through a lens of Radical Inclusion AND Radical Self-Reliance. We will offer some frameworks of understanding and tactics that can help us reduce harm and make our communities safer and more caring.

Born in the Dust: Going Beyond BRC Into the World

Panelists: Paradise Motel, Sextant, Talk to God, Burners Without Borders

We’ll have some speakers who will tell you about some of the diverse things their camps have brought Burning Man principles to completely off playa ventures: one camp who has brought their playa offering into the Default World – New Zealand specifically, one who built a company with playa principles and one who created a charity drive which not only exemplifies our principles but aims to give back to the local communities and peoples that live around Black Rock City. At least 1/2 of the time will be allotted for breakout participants to share how THEIR camp has brought the Principles to off -playa projects, so be ready to share those!


Camp Networking: Connecting Your BRC Camp to the Broader Burner World

Panelists: Blissfits Retirement Village, Burning Man Project Regional Network, Rootpile, Houpla

With no BRC to take your camp to this year, but the world beginning to open back up, we present some ideas on how to connect your camp with all the Burner efforts going on outside of BRC. Looking ahead to 2022, we also will discuss how you can connect with other camps to make for a more successful return to the playa.

Camps as Community

Panelists: Camp Kantenah, FAFA Camp, Houpla, IDEATE

Are you looking for more from your camp? Do you want to grow it off playa into a community or a career? Or to just have more impact in the world? Come join us to listen to three camp leads discuss the evolution of their camps to communities with a commitment to something greater than Burning Man.

Dues and Do’s: Camp Finances and Fundraising

Panelists: Fluffer Camp, Brain Freeze / Black Rock FX, Hex Collective, Rootpile

As camps take another year off from visiting BRC, many are struggling with funding and ensuring that they can pay for their expenses like storage. There is now greater urgency for camps to find new ways to fundraise but also become more efficient. Join us as we discuss these topics in a lively panel discussion.

Firekeeping: Conflict Management in a Conflicted World

Panelists: FAFA Camp, Black Rock Rangers, Virtual Events Support Team, VW Buscamp

It’s getting hot in here! Did a camp discussion thread get out of control on you this year? Are the winds of change blowing up your community? Let’s hone our skills in conflict management. We’ll get tips and tricks to navigate and foster healthy transformation in our camp communities.

How BRC Camps Evolve

Panelists: Children of Chaos, Martini Village, VW Buscamp, Wonder Camp

This session will focus on how camps evolve over successive years on the playa. What have we learned about getting bigger, getting smaller, adding new components, changing leadership, and moving beyond BRC. Each panel member will briefly describe the evolution of their camp over 10 or more years, summarize the most important lessons learned, and then participate in a group discussion with questions from the audience.

Reinventing How We Burn, Together in Hive Labs

Panelists: The Hive Labs Team and moderators from the Sustainability and RIDE Labs

What emerges when we constellate around the shared goal of igniting cultural change? Burner magic happens, in all it’s imaginative, eclectic, and purposeful iterations. Join us for a panel with the Hive Labs team. We’ll tell our origin story, share a glimpse into some of the remarkable conversations and projects that have arisen in Hive Labs, and invite you to jump in for the next iteration of our community collaboration and co-learning labs.

Rituals and Grief in a Year of Pause

Panelists: And Then There’s Only Love, BRC Crisis Intervention Team, Fire Arts and Safety Team, Temple Guardians, Zendo

The cycles of life, death and rebirth are honored annually with ritual burns. But what to do when our ritual pilgrimage is not possible? Join our panel to help shine a light on grief and loss in these times of separation.

Sustainable Infrastructure: Building a Model Green Theme Camp

Panelists: Hotel California, IDEATE, Inflation Station, It’s All Made Up, Olympus, PlayAlchemist, Prismaticamp, Square One, Burning Man Project

An interactive conversation with Green Theme Camp infra group leads and project leads on how to measure your impact, prototype and design sustainable and regenerative systems, and how TCOs can lean on each other in support of a sustainable Black Rock City!

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