Volume 01, Issue 04 - 2013.05.18

The Salt Shaker

The latest in Element 11 News

In this Issue:

Have Something Awesome to Share at Center Camp?

Our vision of center camp is really created by the community. Center camp is YOU! Your performances, your workshops… your time to share with the community. The plan is for theme camps or individuals/groups to “book” the space to host events

What do you want to bring to share at center camp? We're ready to be dazzled, educated & enthralled by you!

Click Here to submit your event idea for Center Camp!

Deadline is May 31st to be included in the What Where When Guide!!

From the Green Tent

by Omega Fox

Some fun products that could help you Light your Camp without a Generator!

Laying awake at night smelling exhaust and listening to the growl of your generator will probably never be one of your neighbors’ favorite festival experiences. With E11 just less than 2 months away, I’m finding my excitement for E11 planning is starting to take over my life. I’d like to share some ideas with you on what to find and replace in your camp so you can either plan to leave your camp’s generator at home or even just end up sending MUCH LESS generator exhaust and noise pollution into your surrounding E11 neighbors’ camps.

One of my favorite ways to get fully prepared for a generator-free burn experience is to set up my whole camp in my backyard at a time when I can leave it set up for several days to inspect and upgrade all the lighting and shade elements. If you do this far enough in advance (now), you will have plenty of time to search the web for the best prices and order new LEDs, glow paint, glow rope and rechargeable batteries from the internet, and also not have to pay extra to have them rushed.

Before I begin the setup of my camp I like to bring out all my solar powered-LED lanterns, spotlights and light strands, wipe them clean and lay them in a fully sunny spot so they can get at least a whole day of charging outside in the early summer sunshine. I also like to give some attention to the direction that my tent is going to face (North, South, East or West) so that I can plan with my campmates to place our solar panels in an area that will get full-Southern exposure to the sun every day while at E11, while at the same time orient my shade structure the most efficient way for blocking the sunshine in the hottest part of the day. Once night falls on my backyard tent and shade structure, I can begin to place my solar-charged lights strategically so they will create enough lighting for the following key elements:

Pathways: It’s helpful to you *and* your friends when you can clearly light the safest path into your chill zone. Try using a 50 foot length of glow-in the dark rope ($7) or paint some wooden stakes with glow-in-the-dark paint ($9 for 7 oz) so they will simply re-charge in the sunshine. You could just buy an 8-pack of solar-powered garden accent lights (13.5” tall, 8 lights for under $30 or 10 lights for $36) to mark the safest path or use glow-in-the-dark duct tape ($5 for 30 ft) to mark any dangerous guide-wires, low hanging head-bumpers, or shin-gouging tent stakes.
Lighting your Chill Zone: You would be surprised how well a handful of solar-powered LED strands will work to give you ambient lighting for your chill zone. I like to the multicolored strands of 100 LEDs. The light they cast is warm and colorful ($27 for 35 feet of multicolor or about $15 for 35 feet of single color). There are also some great battery-powered LED light sculptures with built in timers that could help light *and* decorate your space.

Lighting your Art and Decor: Solar-powered LED garden spotlights come in 8 packs for just under $30. These spotlights have no external wires and will provide plenty of light for your sculpture, signage or display.

So, to sum it all up; these cool gadgets are totally reusable at any festivals or camp-out with even minimal sunshine. They can be re-purposed into the coolest patio lighting in the summer or used as the spunky year-round front yard decor that any pesky HOA would never stop wondering about.


Buy 2013 E11 Tickets NOW!

We’ll be using printed tickets for Element 11 this year — it’s a souvenir and waiver all in one!

The cost is $90 per ticket. Tickets are now available on-line and in person until July 5th or until 1,200 tickets are sold, whichever is sooner.  Any remaining tickets will be sold at the gate for $150 cash.

The following people can be contacted for in-person ticket purchases:

  • Ogden to North Davis – Lindsey and Blue Hoffman (text or voicemail Blue at 801-710-7726) (text Lindsey at  435-770-1733 or facebook message, she works in Layton)
  • Davis – Anna Sierra (text 801-690-2886 or facebook message)
  • North Salt Lake City – Lisa Shaw (text 801-910-1514, facebook message, or lisashaw99 at gmail dot com)
  • The Avenues – Anne Simmons (text 414-708-1075, facebook message, or quickdrawannie at gmail dot com)
  • Sugar House – Alice Toler (text 801-573-1399 after May 10th)
  • Brickyard – Brandee Bee (text 801-473-5726)
  • West Valley – Hayley Baker (text or call 801-671-3015 M-F before 2 pm and after 5 pm or on weekends)
  • Mid Valley – Moe Spiva (text or call 801-347-8896)
  • Sandy / Draper – Kameron Hammond (text 801-243-6084)
  • Utah Valley – John Mendenhall (text 801-310-3557 or email 2mendy at gmail dot com)
  • Park City – Kevin Rapf (text 435-655-1610, Facebook message, or vermontkevin at mac dot com)
  • Conclave – Gypsy Aimee (Facebook message)


Burner Day in the Park, 6/9

Come play at the park with us!

We will be playing games, hula hooping, drumming, having a bake sale and watching our very own Fire Conclave perform at sundown! Bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on.

More details to come, but save the date! RSVP on the Facebook Event Page to be notified of updates.

Last year was a blast, you won't want to miss it. This is a family friendly event at Murray Park.

BOD Meeting Recap

The 2nd Quarter E11 BOD meeting was held at Utah Arts Alliance on Sunday, May 5, 2013.

Highlights from the meeting include:
  • Anne Simmons - elected to Treasurer
  • Kari Larson - elected to BOD
  • Updated the Bylaws (read the updated bylaws here)
  • Updated fiduciary signers
  • Discussion of policies being drafted
  • Treasurers Report
  • Recap of Volunteer Vitalization
  • Upcoming Events discussion: Pre-Compression, Burners in the Park
  • Decompression planning
Read the Q2 2013 Meeting Minutes here!

We need YOU!

We're in full recruitment mode! Check out the lead roles we're recruiting for that are posted on our website. If you're up for one of these roles, get in touch with us. Remember, it takes a tribe!

"Like" our Facebook Page

Stay connected by "Liking" the official page for Element 11, E11 events, and the E11 BOD.

BRING IT ON – Med Tent 2013

by Ben Dodds

Can you imagine a scene much like you’ve probably seen on the television series, M.A.S.H., but set during peace-time and at a festival under an hour from Salt Lake City in the West Desert? Now picture a freak windstorm blasting out of the Stansbury Mountains packing near hurricane force winds. Let’s call this particular windstorm “Hurricane Seabase,” since it closed in on the location of Element 11 2012 last July.

A very important, and very much-appreciated component of Element 11 is Med Tent. “Hurricane Seabase” roared across the 2012 Seabase Playa with impressive gusts reaching over 80 miles per hour. Med Tent Administrator, JP Bernier, described the scene last year, “The storm hit quite suddenly. We were in the middle of treating at least two patients - with more approaching - when the winds slammed against the tent. An assistant volunteer arrived at the tent, topless and dressed only in her panties. She stood with her back against the tent wall, legs and arms spread wide, hands holding the supports, and, while the deafening winds slammed, in defiance she announced,  “BRING IT ON!!!” Determined to support the tent’s structure for the duration of the battering, she and JP, with the help of other volunteers, tended to their patients and maintained their composure and purpose throughout the ordeal.
Bernier, Med Tent Administrator and Element 11 Board of Directors member, has been a Med Tent volunteer for the past three years. This year will be his second year as the Administrator – while maintaining assistance from the former administrator, Allen Hovey. Over the past two years, he has brought his experience with running and managing his own drafting and design firm to Med Tent – namely, a vision for an increased level of organization and management. As part of this, he has written an official Operations Manual, which, among other things, has instituted a minimum level of qualifications for all Med Tent volunteers.

All shifts must have at least two volunteers, including a shift lead with a professional medical certification (Doctor, Nurse, EMT, etc.) and an assistant volunteer with a minimum requirement of a current CPR certification. As always, volunteers must adhere to a strict principle of sobriety during each of their shifts. This year, Bernier has expanded his involvement and commitment to Med Tent from a managerial and organizational role by attending medical training at S.L.C.C. and becoming a certified EMT, himself.
Other significant Med Tent improvements for this year’s Element 11 Festival include a more well-organized, more complete wound/burn-care set up, emergency oxygen, resuscitation devices, including an AED, spinal immobilization devices and, for the first time ever, Med Tent will no longer be in a “tent!” It will now be housed in a hard-sided, steel Conex space, well protected from the sometimes unpredictable, and disagreeable conditions, which have been known to take place on the Seabase Playa.

In addition to the on-site improvements, Bernier has fostered a great relationship with the University of Utah Hospital, Airmed team. In 2012, the University of Utah sent a helicopter to Seabase for a mock “Med- Evac” drill to help prepare the Med-Tent volunteers with how to best respond to any “worst case” scenarios. The U of U Airmed dispatch also gave Med Tent permission to bypass the 911 system and call them directly, should the need arise.
Bernier stressed that, while he firmly believes in the 10-Principles of Burning Man, particularly Radical Self-Reliance, that the best year Med Tent could have is one during which nobody needed it.  His personal mission is to ensure that all Element 11 participants can be well cared for in the event of an emergency.
If you are interested in volunteering for Med Tent, please contact JP Bernier at 801-599-4704, or send an email to

Brief on the Black Rock Rangers and Element 11 Rangers

by Stephanie M. Evans (Messenger [BRC Ranger])

Experience with Rangers
It is Sunday morning and you have found yourself awake early. The smell of morning chill and burnt wood floats through the air mingling with the smell of the coffee in your hand and you listen to the quiet sounds of the city breathing, had to believe that it could be so quiet after such a night.

Suddenly the sound of a step and the voices of two people talking catches your attention and you look out to the street. Two people are strolling by in clothing the color of the ground, though one of the article seems to be a homemade tutu of a ‘tan-ish’ color. Before you stop yourself yelling in a hoarse voice “F#%& Off, Ranger” and the two people stop, turn, look at you… and smile.

Soon 20 minutes has passed in friendly conversation about different camps and the burning of the man when there is a crackle on the radio at the hip of one of the Rangers. The Ranger step away and after a minute or two waves to the partner and hug you good-bye before heading up the street.

When you are telling stories at a backyard BBQ about Burning Man this one slips your mind... as it should.

Where do the Rangers come from...
You will hear many different versions of where the Black Rock Rangers came from, what year the Rangers (as an organization) first walked in dust and what they are doing when they are 'on shift'. If there are a lot of ideas of what Rangers are or are not in general. Cops of Burning Man, Protectors, Security, Mediators, Jerks, those guys...etc. In many ways, what the Rangers do has been complicated, simplified, and then made complicated again to the point that many would like to place a familiar title on it in order to gain an understanding of what they are and what they do at events like Burning Man.

One of the first places that the Rangers as they are known now started with the second or third burn at Bakers beach when some of the organizers wandered the rocks, making sure that people that got ‘stuck’ were helped out. The first Ranger was ‘Danger Ranger’ of who has been involved with the event since the late 1980’s and he was one of the first people to walk the dust to help out others in times of need. One of the first mentions of the existence of the ‘Black Rock Rangers’ was noted in the declaration of the creation of Burning Man in 1990’s Rough Draft (newsletter of the San Francisco’s Cacophony Society).

The Black Rock Rangers were established to act more like a unit of concern (verses a unit of care) and from the very start encouraged a passive means of problem solving. One of the first Rangers ‘Boggman’ was originally rejected from being a Ranger due to being ‘too aggressive’ after spending time in the military but was later a large part of the Rangering spirit. Boggman admits that he was not in a place to be a Ranger when he first tried, because of this aggressiveness.

The development of the many activities that Rangers are involved in include but are not limited to: Calling for assistance, chatting with Law Enforcement (of who became a presence at Burning Man around 1995 to 1996), and encouraging communication of participants (either with themselves or others around them). One of the first incidents of ‘Green Dot’ (encouraging a person to work through an emotionally trying issue) activity was done by Danger Ranger for Larry Harvey in 1996 after strange rumors had started at the event.

One of the more well known activities that Rangers engage in is working with the fire departments to maintain a line of safety when burning large objects was started before the event was required to get a permit and in many of those situations they also acted as Fire Safety for people that got burned or caught fire.

Much of the growth of the Rangering volunteer department has been organic and as each step of growth has gone on with Burning Man, the Rangers have grown with it while still trying to remind people of the original spirit of the event. Through conversation and encouragement, Rangers ask the others around them to speak to each other, drink water and ask for help when it is needed. The Black Rock Rangers make an effort to encourage not only the Burning Man’s societal expectations of freedom but also make effort to work with the pressures of the outside world. The Rangers are the presence that walks the fine line between chaoses and order that an event like Burning Man is uniquely known for. As one Burning Man writer noted “Ranger deflected external pressures that could have trigger over-organizing with increasing regulations and coercive control”(Chen, 2009).

The two sides of Rangering…
In many ways there is a love/hate relationship with Rangers because of the Rangers being on the fine line… many might remember the Rangers helping a friend in a time of need and as a result the participants renew a sense of pleasure in the event… or they remember having some fun squished because of the intervention of the Rangers. Listening to Rangers swap stories around the fires can be both uplifting and depressing because as one Salt Lake Ranger put it… “Rangers see the under-belly of the event”.

Some of the concerns about Rangers goes to the use of ‘uniforms’ to be identified as many might think that this is going into the authoritarian expectation of a uniform. But Rangers are encouraged, sometimes quite heavily, to personalize the shirt and hats that they wear while wandering the city for the assistance of others. Among the many ways of encouraging personalized clothing for the use of the activities of Rangering, many have taking to wear clothing that looks more like a costume, resulting in the coining of the term ‘costi-form’. One of the many ways that male rangers have worked towards this is in wearing skirts and kilts.

Rangering at local events like Element 11…
Many of the regional events have sprung up over the 26 years of Burning Man and the Utah/Idaho/East Nevada/ West Wyoming event is Element 11. Element 11 started as Synorgy and though there were members of the Black Rock Rangers attending the event, few of them did the same level of work as they would have at Burning Man. Around 2004, the Black Rock Rangers started to become more involved in the peace keeping efforts at Synorgy but only as on-call and mostly in managing fire safety line for large burns. When Synorgy changed to Element 11 in 2007, Rangers took a far more active role in event during the event… this is in part due to the growing number of Rangers in the local area and the growing size of the event. At Element 11 now, Rangers work very closely with Medical Services and in many ways there is cross over.

2004 was the first year of using local volunteers in Ranger activities and most were trained by use of a ‘walk and learn’ method, often walking with a Black Rock Ranger. In 2005 the number of volunteers doubled to 12 people doing walk-abouts and managing fire perimeters. 2007 was one of the first years that Rangers were trained locally for volunteering at Element 11 (and to go on to Burning Man to become a Black Rock Ranger) using the same training materials as used at Black Rock City, but only a handful of those individuals went on to become Black Rock Rangers. Even today there are many volunteer Rangers at Element 11 that do not go on to be Black Rock Rangers but they are still trained with the same information and encouraged to be involved in the same culture of the Black Rock Rangers. Today about half to 2/3s of the Rangers that walk around at Element 11 are local Ranger but not passed as Black Rock Rangers out at Burning Man (yet).

Talking to Rangers…
Most Rangers, whether at a local event or Burning Man, want to have fun. Encouraging a Ranger to stop by your camp for a chat or to participate is a fun activity you are hosting is a great way to talk and get to know the Rangers. Many people have commented that they can go the whole event with out seeing a single Ranger and others have Rangers stop by daily to say hello. Many of the stories that are passed around with regards to Ranger tend to make Ranger sound like ‘party poopers’ or ‘heroes’ and part of this is because of the ways in which Rangers are trying to keep the titter-totter of the event in balance. Rangers enjoy a good party and will be happy to just stop and talk when given a chance. When you see a Ranger, say hello and chat for a moment. At the end of the day, we are all participants looking forward to the next fire.

Getting involved with the Rangers...
Read all about Ranger Training in our last issue of The Salt Shaker and/or Contact Ranger Bystander (Leigh Sampson).

References (and further reading on Burning Man)
Doherty, B. (2004). This is Burning Man. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books.
Chen, K. K. (2009) Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization behind the Burning Man Event. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
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