First Camp is the Black Rock City home to the Burning Man Board of Directors, Burning Man Management Staff, their families and some of their friends. The main front camp design remained essentially the same as the past several years, supporting our need to have a balanced blend of public and private space. The very public front portion of First Camp again showcased the historically significant ‘Bone Tree’ sculpture and the ‘Tribute’, ‘Carp’ and ‘Kitty’ art cars. In addition we had a ‘needle’ part of the popular Otic Oasis sculpture from last year out front, which was well received by the public every night. Overall this art gallery provided the interactive public focal point necessary for the high traffic in this Center Circle location.
Missing from First Camp this year was the late Rod Garrett, the Black Rock City designer. For over 15 years he camped next to me. The void was apparent, his spirit very much missed.
We continue to refine the back part of the camp to allow both a private living and work space for our staff, friends and families. Some of the seemingly subtle changes had a positive effect on how we live and function together. We continue to refine this use, adding more staff and amenities. This ‘Back Camp’ is the true heart of the operations of Black Rock City.
Adjacent to the Back Camp we placed a dining area providing hospitality to the staff, friends and family of First Camp who chose to use this service. This has become the place where we tend to meet informally.
The External Relations Team (XRT) again used the front of First Camp as their starting point for daily tours for special guests that began on Tuesday and ended on Friday. First Camp continues to be the logical meeting place for our government, political and special visitors for these delightful, informative XRT tours.
The continuing challenge for this camp is to meet each individual’s expectations and to provide the best blend of public versus private space, and we continue to approach this challenge successfully.
It was a real pleasure to live and work in this important camp during Black Rock City 2012 (it is considered this author’s real home), and we look forward to returning there in 2013.