The Monkey in Monkey Bar

Why Monkeys? Why this? I feel this camp is finally hitting it’s point of maturity where it is ready to go into the next phase of its reality. We were Sun Guardians for 5 years. That was a camp that provided the playa with a Hindu Temple (Psuedo) with devotion to honoring the Hindu gods that we featured every year. There was meaning behind each one like Ganesha’s fun nature and reminder that we can over come barriers in our lives. Like Hanuman’s playful and devoted nature (loyalty to so important to me),  and then in 2017 we featured Kali Maa at a curious time. She is the goddess of death and destruction, but also life and renewal. It was not my intention to end Sun Guardians but it became the right time to do it.

Sun Guardians felt heavy. It was very serious and it was part of my journey about learning to run a successful Theme Camp. Success in the fact that we were able to bring this thing to Burning Man and keep people alive and safe. My goal was to create something everyone could stand in front of and be proud of. That learning experience was fraught with wins and losses. I found such joy with my camp mates and so blessed especially with the people that took on leadership roles in camp. I also failed some people and those were definitely the hardest lessons out of the whole thing.

Through this journey I learned a lot. I learned to listen and be a little more patient. I learned to pull back and get another point of view. The voices that have been there to lead me off the ledge have been profoundly appreciated. I do not have to be an authoritarian to make a camp successful. My personal fears and anxiety does not need to lead me through this process.

So here comes Monkey Bar. This camp is now designed to be more light and fun. Monkeys are cute and fun. Monkeys live in Troops and are very connected to each other. They frolic, play, and yet contribute to the community as a whole. In 2017 I took Wednesday off from camp and ate a piece of candy that apparently had a lot of something on it that made the following 12 hours quite the adventure. In the course of the I saw a manifestation of Hanuman AND the Monkey King that gave me a huge sense of peace and safety. So I want to share that with other people.

Monkey Bar will serve Tea and sass during posted time slots. We will welcome people to our air conditioned bar. Based on the theme of the evening there will be challenges with trivia or jokes from bar tenders. All in good fun!

Monkey Car is an art car that will carry the theme of the camp into the playa for adventures that not only serves the camp but the community as well.

We are eliminating the yoga and meditation classes in camp as it seems there are a lot of resources already on playa from other camps with great programs.

If this camp appeals to you then fill out our application form and be prepared to pay the $500 Camp Fee. There is another obligation coming into the camp, which includes the production of 1 meal for the camp that be as complicated or simple as you want, but have to meet some standards for what a meal is. We have 2 meals a day with a complete meal program provided by campers.

Why $500 camp fee? This is not a cheap endeavor to make a theme camp and keep all the resources for the year. Storage alone if about $3000/year and just getting the basic to Burning Man is about $12000. For 30 people that comes to about $15000 which should cover the budget. Any extra funds will go toward Monkey Car. Many established and well functioning camps have the same budget out there.

With all sincerity I hope that you see the value of this camp and will want to be a part of this amazing magic. Thank you!

New Branding

I am so excited about the new branding of the camp. I am thrilled with the ideas this is spawning. I am also really glad to have a developing team for this project and its associated project; the art car. All the branding was changed over as of this post and while Sun Guardians as a web address, twitter handle and Facebook page has 5 years of history associated with it we are not ready to justs drop and walk from.

Looking ahead to 2017

Hi folks… since we began some of the initial footwork in getting ready for 2017 it is important to let potential campers know that there have been a lot of lessons learned that will see corrections. We have received a lot of accolades for our organization and structure. Our infrastructure has been top notch, but I sold a big chunk of it to help pay the bills in 2016 and to reduce the bandwidth on the camp.

If you saw any previous posts on here talking about 2016 Trip Reports it is clear there was a lot of frustration and holes we fell into in certain areas. Let me be clear that I take on the responsibility of all those problems. The support from leads in camp was above board and one had too much on their plate and not enough help.

Reboot for 2017 with a new deity: Kali the Goddess of Death and Destruction. But Kali is also creativity and renewal. Sun Guardians: Dead Monk Society is a chance to create a platform for new ideas and new leaders to come forward. Ideally someone will step forward and take over the camp logistics from me in 2018. Not that I am leaving the camp, but it is a chance for someone else to take the reigns and maybe chart something of a new path.

Camp fees are going up. As demonstrated the last 2 years, the 200$ / person is not enough. For all the resources the camp provides and for the health and well being of our Theme Camp the camping fee is going to be $300 / person and put everyone on the same level. Even me.

We have some new temple design and a new backstage we need to develop and curate. There is still a question if we can use the shower Doug built. These are just some of the things that will be discussed in the 11/17 meeting and are listed in the agenda. (Link will take you to the Agenda in Facebook)

We will have some changes in leadership. I need people who will work together and leaders of the camp need to communicate and make decisions we would all make and support each other like we have in years past. This is one area that never faulted.

Sorry this has gone as long as it has. I want to make everyone a promise that this is going to be the strongest year yet. But with that comes higher standards and expectations from you AND ME. I am amazed how wonderful our team has been. It can only get better… and so can I.

Love & Light

4/7/2016 Video and Notes

Here’s the notes captured from the video published by Scott April 7, 2016.

Action Items
  • Make meetings if you can
  • Communication between group is key
Next meeting for all camp members – Wednesday April 13
Camp leads meeting – April 23 @ Kevin’s
  • The Sun Guardians camp has gone from a standalone camp to a village where other camps are included
  • The Sun Guardians camp is an Asian inspired place/pseudo Hindu temple.
  • This year the camp has distinct features
    • Frontage
    • Courtyard – the features in the courtyard need to be inviting so that people want to engage and participate
    • Rootist Temple
  • Camp projects/lead – list published on April 7 which priorities A, B or C added to denote priority
    • Camp sign/Doug
    • Shower/Doug
    • Prayer flags – 4×6” with quote/inspiration/your choosing – send/give to Scott
    • Kitchen sink/tbd
    • Bike racks/tbd – will share with Rootist Lounge.  The Aids LifeCycle bike rack pattern will be used
    • Hexadrome/tbd.  Biggest and most complicated.  Have paint; will need lighting expertise
    • Wheel of Destiny/tbd
    • Zoetrope/tbd
    • Temple decorations/tbd (both interior and exterior)
    • Tea house decorations/tbd.  Already have camouflage netting and spare wood.
  • Budget
    • New storage taking a big part
Remember Sun Guardians is fun and a big family where strong relationships are formed.

Burning Man 2016 Ticket Sales:

-Directed Group Sale tix and Main Sale tix will remain $390
-Low Income Sale tix will remain $190
-2 levels of limited Pre-Sale tix increase to $990 and $1290
-The new mandatory Nevada “Live Entertainment Tax” of 9% will be collected from you at the time you purchase a tix
-Nevada still hasn’t answered Burning Man’s inquiry as to if/why the 9% tax applies to Burning Man
-If Nevada sees it Burning Man’s way (“Hello, Hell? Is that snow?”) the 9% collected will be refunded
-Vehicle Passes increase to $80 for 2016 yet are not subject to the 9% tax
-See tix sale info on at
-See tix sale 2016 Important Dates at
-You must register to participate in any tix sale
-To register, you must have created or updated your Burner profile in order to buy tickets. Do that NOW at

Meeting on 1/13/2016

We met online today using Google Hangouts and it ended up working really well. I like the idea of meeting in person, but this is a great tool for sharing the meeting for those who need to catch up after.

We talked about camp fees and the process of getting people registered for the camp. At this point we are expecting about 25% of the 2014 camp coming back. We are alos looking into the group for new leaders who can help drive the camp. Changes include:

  • Mary is taking a stronger role for the kitchen and Kevin says he is going to help back her up
  • Kevin is also another good candidate for being more in a lead role in camp in general
  • Doug is taking the lead on a couple projects he says he can build at home including:
    • the sign letters
    • the new shower
  • We have some additional projects in the groups tab at the top that are also needed
  • We talked about the camp fees and they seem fair. We are including a level that allows people to opt out of the kitchen scenario and food plan

2016 Decision to go Village?

There was a suggestion last year we go village this year which would be an opportunity to give a bigger, better presentation. While the person who made the suggestion is not coming back, the idea to solidify and diversify some Plan for 2016of our camp features seems to be a chance to make those features stronger. It also gives us a chance to bring in people who march to the same tune who can give new dimension to our camp.

Is it an absolute? No, but we have partners in the community that could make a sweet addition to our story on the playa. One of them is Rootist Temple; who has taught every year in our space anyway. Another cool one might be Milk + Honey (formerly Shabbat Shalom) but they seem to be doing really well on their own.

One of our own campers thought about an all girl camp called Moon Guardians. I really liked that one!

Either way I am hoping to make a much powerful presentation this year. We have been so lucky year after year with the people who came and were engaged. I see people who never met before, spent a few days together in the dirt, and are out traveling to see each other in their home towns. This has been such a powerful and amazing thing here.

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