2013 Cargo Cult : Trip Report

camp PlanIn it’s inaugural year Sun Guardians manifested on the playa exactly as it was originally conceived. It is hard to imagine that this idea came from a sketched image to reality. It came to life thanks to the members of the camp that made the vision come alive.

Sun Guardians did not charge a camp fee this year because we asked everyone to bring the elements that would erect the camp. Everyone was asked to bring equipment from a “wish list” at a minimum of $100 value (approx.) including pantry items the camp would share.We finished with 10 campers and spent a lot of time enjoying each other.
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The early players were Disco, Justin and Nathan who brought the lions share of the camp.  Although I may have conceived of the camp and taken a leader role, it is a combined effort that made us a success.


Sun Guardians: Yoga | Art |Spirit

This is a spiritual camp associated with the Gayborhood though were far enough that we were not even in the gayburbs. Our camp was positioned at 7:45 & I on the corner with a lot of really great people. Our neighbors were amazing on 3 sides. However, we had the misfortune of a group of fratboys on our backside.

Most of our campmates were not spiritually orientated, but came to Sun Guardians featuring the low-key calm of the camp’s intention. We hosted small events that included yoga and heart circles. We also offered a couple parties at Sunset.

Sun Guardians: Leadership

In order to keep the environment as light as possible, it was decided that the decision makers for the camp would be limited in number. In other words, anyone could bring an issue to assigned leaders and we would resolve the issue if it all possible.

  • Toaster: the creator of the Sun Guardian concept would take the helm as captain of the ship; decision maker.
  • Disco: was 2nd and in charge of logistics and security; decision maker.
  • Nathan and Justin: were also instrumental in logistics and planning.
  • Campmates also included: James, Joe (Peaches), Matthew & Carolina, Alain, Tom

Burning Man 2013

The building of the camp went flawlessly and the week flowed nicely. Justin and Nathan scouted our location and had 2 of the 4 structures up by the time Toaster and Richard arrived on site. Thanks to the amazing communication we were able to make sure all camp mates found us as they arrived on playa in the days that followed.

Camp Dynamic

Everyone got along well and very very few problems were noted through the week. These will be addressed in time, but bottom line all went well generally with absolutely no drama all week. The members of the camp got along quite well and often went on excursions together including spending time on the Crisco Disco art car a couple nights.

Changes for 2014

  • we are looking for all camp members to be involved in setup and breakdown when possible.

Tent Placement

Almost all tents were placed inside car-ports with extra protection against the elements making it comfortable for residents to enjoy their space at nearly any point of the day; which is a lot for being in the middle of a sunny desert.

Changes for 2014

  • tents will be placed away from kitchen space and places were camp mates assemble to allow for more privacy.
  • tents will be grouped but still have extra sun protection for late sleepers

Food Plan

Each camp individual was tasked to pick one night out of the 8 nights on playa to prepare dinner for the camp. Only the producer and a helper volunteer would have to be there, campers were not required to be there for dinner, but anyone who did stick around were guaranteed food and people who were not there for service had access to leftovers or pantry items as desired.

Pantry: camp members were asked to bring a snack food to share for the camp like nuts, dried fruit, coffee, chips or whatever. We also had asked member to bring plenty of water, gatorade or gatorade powder and/or additional booze (specifically vodka).

Changes for 2014

  • better defined dinner menus; actually what constitutes a meal as a protein, starch side and or vegetable. Although a third of the camp was vegetarian/pescaterian there was a disconnect on how people eat in both directions. Meat eaters also needed better consideration for their dietary needs while vegetarians needed a better food balance as well.
  • better cooler management; there were raw eggs floating in cooler water and not enough ice to keep some foods from spoiling.
  • better ice schedule; every day people will be assigned to make sure coolers are iced down, purchase ice and store it.

Camp Plan

As shown at the top of the page the design of the camp and the result (see images) was a complete success. It was designed to be a temple. As the residents change next year so will some of the overall plan. We used 3 carports for the basic construct or the temple with a huge sheet of alluminet covering the guest section of the camp.

Changes for 2014

  • the next camp plan will be similar but reorganized as noted in the tent placement section. The main hall for yoga will also take new shape so it is not a hanging fabric, but a solid ceiling.

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