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Our camp would not work without all campers' participation and commitment to the Rootpile Mission. Everyone in camp is expected to be involved in some capacity. Many campers choose to do daily camp duty shifts. But other opportunities are available to those who have certain skill sets or who can arrive before or stay after the Burn.
To find out more about camp involvement opportunities, e-mail us.
Join a Team:
  • Each camper is expected to join a team. Camp Duty Shifts and individual responsibilities will be organized pre-Playa by the lead within each specific team.
Rootpile Team Opportunities:
    • Rootpile DPW Team--(Department of Public Works) DPW team is one of the most important teams at Rootpile. This team will have members who each do a two hour daily shift to proactively and reactively monitor and maintain Rootpile's extensive physical infrastructure. DPW is typically made up of people with skills such as carpentry, electricity, plumbing, mechanics, engineering, handyman, repair, etc. DPW keeps Rootpile running. Team members should be highly-motivated, skillful people who appreciate the opportunity to work on existing well-designed camp infrastructure. Team members will be provided with projects, tools, materials, and leadership.
    • Build Team--Build team gives people an opportunity to arrive early on Playa to assist in organization, delivery, and assembly of our extensive existing camp infrastructure. Build week is a very exciting part of Burning Man. While we are very busy building our own camp, being on Playa early also gives people the opportunity to see the city come together. The team effort required helps build relationships within our camp and gives our builders a great sense of satisfaction in seeing our camp come together.

      Build week begins a week before Burning Man officially opens, and special Setup Access Passes (SAPs)(Previously called Work Access Passes (WAPs) are necessary for each person attending Build. The SAPs will be provided by Burning Man ORG to camp leadership and will be distributed to the Build team members prior to arrival for Build (as soon as we have them). Most of Build crew will need to arrive on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2024 or earlier at Rootpile Headquarters in Empire, NV, where food and lodging will be provided (for help & early prep). Temporary air-conditioned quarters will be immediately available on Playa for Build crew personnel until they have had time to put together their personal lodging. Food and water will be made available to the Build crew. Some of Build crew might also be in Reno the week before Build to help prepare our infrastructure and art cars for the beginning of Build week. It is possible that some of Build crew, depending on their duties, projects, or teams may also arrive later in Build Week.

      Build Team members will not participate on the Teardown Team. Members will be provided lodging, food, & hydration during Build on Playa. During Burn Week, Build crew will be expected to help as needed with any infrastructure problems which might arise during the Burn and are also expected to help with Sunday Teardown along with all other Rootpile camp members.

      DATES OF BUILD WEEK 2024: Sunday, Aug. 18 thru Saturday, Aug. 24. Build Team works each day 6 am to 11 am, with 11 am to 3 pm siesta, resuming work from 3 pm until dark. No deviation from these hours will be tolerated, barri
      ng unforeseen circumstances.

    • Teardown Team--The Teardown of Rootpile camp starts Sunday, Sept. 1st, 2024, Temple Burn Day. All campers are expected to help in the beginning stages of Teardown on Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. But in actuality Teardown begins the first day of Build. What this means is, as we build camp and enjoy the Burn, and go on about our activities related to running the camp, we should be planning for a quick and organized Teardown.

      The official Teardown Team duties begin Sunday, Sept. 1 at 11 am, working alongside all remaining camp members, providing direction, and setting a good example. Beginning early Monday morning, Sept. 2, the officially organized Teardown Team will continue the process of striking Rootpile. All camp members who are not on the official Teardown Team are expected to begin striking their individual camps as early as possible on Monday and should be planning to leave Playa. Anyone remaining on Monday needs to be breaking their camp, leaving, helping with Teardown, cleaning the kitchen, etc. But ONLY the Teardown Team should remain on Playa starting Tuesday morning. Shade structures will be taken down, yurts will be disassembled, and all of the infrastructure of Rootpile will begin being cleaned, organized, packed, and loaded into the proper trailers and trucks. Consideration should be given to FOLLOWING CAMP LEADS' INSTRUCTION to teardown SMARTER, NOT FASTER, as hasty teardown/packing on Playa can lead to much more work and complication for Rootpile after infrastructure is moved off Playa. The Teardown Team will be provided with transportation off Playa or to Reno if needed and will be provided lodging, food, & hydration during Teardown on Playa and at our headquarters in Empire.

      The Teardown Team will be organized earlier in the Summer into a dedicated, committed, well-organized, and well-lead crew. Members of Teardown Team shall not participate in Build Week, but will be expected to meet regularly with the Team Leads during Burn Week to plan for a well-executed Teardown of the camp, and some prep work, such as the dismantling of the workshop tents on Saturday, and other attention to the general status of the camp infrastructure will be looked after with regard to the needs during camp Teardown.

      Teardown Team is expected, as a whole, to stay and continue working on strike until the last MOOP sweeps are done, and all camp infrastructure is off Playa. This could be as late as Thursday, Sept. 7th afternoon, considering that there will also be work needing to be done off Playa at Rootpile's headquarters in Empire, NV. Optionally, Teardown Members can stay longer in our Empire, NV lot after Teardown if they wish to help in the following couple of weeks after Burning Man. Food, water, and shelter will be provided to those that wish to help longer.

      DATES OF TEARDOWN 2024: Sunday, Sept. 1 thru Thursday, Sept. 5. Teardown Team works each day 6 am to 11 am, with 11 am to 3 pm siesta, resuming work from 3 pm until dark (Sunday Teardown is 11 am to 5 pm with no siesta). No deviation from these hours will be tolerated, barring unforeseen circumstances.
    • Food Service Teams--
      Brunch Service: This will be a dedicated brunch crew that will prep/cook/serve food each day of Burn Week. (approx. 2.5 to 3 hour shift)
      Dinner Service: This year, most Rootpile camp members will be assigned one day of Burn Week to help prep/cook/serve dinner, under the direction of a Dinner Cook Lead. (one shift of approx. 2.5 to 3 hour shift)

      Kitchen & Dining Hall Clean: A group of people which clean the kitchen after every meal. Scheduling and duties to be organized within the team. This team will also clean the dining hall area between meals.
      Hydration Team: This team will ensure that coolers of drinking water and electrolyte water are made and maintained all day. Additionally, coffee should be made and available during morning hours. Other drinks such as sweet tea will also be made occasionally.
      Food Service Manager/Food Safety Officer: The Food Service manager shall be responsible for menu planning, ingredient planning, and the overall manager of camp food services. This person shall also be responsible for planning and executing all things relating to food safety in the Rootpile kitchen, hydration station, and service areas, and for the on-Playa health inspection.
      Food Inventory Manager: The Food Inventory Manager shall be responsible for working with the Food Service Manager and the chefs to prepare ingredient lists, make the purchases, manage delivery, and manage safe storage of all food stuffs during transport and on Playa.
      Concert Food Service Cook Team:
      This team will manage cooking food served to the public during the live Bluegrass concerts. This may consist of smoking of BBQ, preparation and cooking of large pots of pinto beans (veggie and meat), or other to-be-decided food offerings.
      Build Cooks: This team will be responsible for cooking breakfast and dinner each day of Build week.

    • Concert Food and Drink Support Team--Rootpile provides live music, food, and drink for our guests at our in-camp concerts. This team will organize the concert area, and will prepare and serve the pre-cooked food for these interactive events. The team lead will organize the camp duty shifts necessary to accomplish this mission. Concert food service will be in the evenings, starting at 7pm, Tuesday through Friday. Therefore, the shifts are is 6–8 pm and 8–10 pm. Duties will include taking the pre-cooked BBQ and assembling the tacos, serving the beans, and managing the moonshine bar, which includes checking IDs. 
    • Musician Team--The musician team is made up of professional, semi-professional musicians. The musician team will facilitate jamming, perform on stage, and teach some instrument workshop lessons. Musicians are expected to bring their own instruments and will possibly be provided with air-conditioned bunks in camp. Some musician scholarships might be available to professional Bluegrass musicians, depending on the circumstances. The musician team is responsible for organizing/staffing the workshops, jams, and concerts. While we do not plan on having scheduled instrument lessons this year, we still intend to have some lessons (impromptu or on-demand), in-camp and also possibly in Center Camp or elsewhere. Musicians must also be responsible for maintaining and securing instruments or other expensive equipment and gear to ensure there is no damage from theft, sun, or other weather events.
    • LNT Team (MOOP Sweeps & Waste Management)--
      MOOP: The LNT team will perform a daily MOOP sweep of the entire camp and will be on the lookout for LNT problems, such as oil leaks, fresh, gray, or black water leaks on any Rootpile plumbing infrastructure/campers/RVs/kitchen areas, improperly-stored fuel, or other MOOPiness. Tools, collection vessels, and team leadership will be provided. A MOOP-free camp will ensure that we stay in good standing with Placement and are invited back next year. This team will help immensely in the process of breaking camp in preparation for Teardown, as MOOP sweeps are one of the most time-consuming parts of the Teardown process. The MOOP Sweep Team will also be on the lookout daily for any Matter Out of Place such as boxes or equipment that should have been stowed in the closet trailer, tool trailer, kitchen area, etc. MOOP includes anything that is not natural on Playa. Food waste, dirty sink water, even things like ashes, leaves, feathers, and hair are MOOP. Please keep an eye out for this kind of MOOP!
      Waste: The LNT team will also manage other trash.
      • Campers must pack all of THEIR personal trash out after the Burn. All Burner Express riders can take one bag of trash and one bag of recycling to the bus depot at the time of exit. If you are taking trash to the depot, we will give you a ride to the Burner Express bus depot, if possible.
      • There will be no common camp garbage cans. The only receptacles available will be usable at meal times. These are for plates, bowls, utensils, food waste, and crushed aluminum cans. Glass and plastic are not recyclable on Playa, and the nearest recycling option is hundreds of miles away, so unfortunately we have to throw away any glass or plastic. Only aluminum cans can be recycled on Playa. No personal trash is to be placed in any camp receptacles. The LNT team will be responsible for making sure that this trash is sorted, making sure camp members don't throw away personal trash, and making sure that full trash bags are tied up and moved into the trash trailer, rather than being piled up in public areas.
      • The LNT Team will also monitor firepits/burn barrels to make sure trash and cardboard are not put in the fire pit, as it can cause ash MOOP problems. Now, only firewood can be placed in our camp fire pit, per Burning Man rules.
      • Educating camp members verbally or by making signage can be utilized by this team to help camp members and visitors follow proper MOOP/waste protocols.
    • Art & Lighting Team--Requires Wednesday of Build Week arrival. Rootpile is not only a music and food camp but is also an art project. To accomplish our mission of representing Southern culture we have developed a large quantity of Hillbilly art and visual art installations and signage. This team will be responsible for the placement of all of our art, developing new art, and repairing/updating existing art and lighting. The art team can ask for assistance from skilled persons from other teams if necessary. The art team should be available on Sunday of Teardown to assist and manage the dismantling and storage of our art collection, utilizing camp members still on Playa. In the months leading up to the Burn, the Leadership and members of the Art Team shall organize themselves and their projects to ensure that all art is placed and lit correctly.
    • Sound Team/Stage Crew--Live and recorded music is an important part of the mission of Rootpile. The sound team will work to install and manage the recorded sound aspect of camp and will be made up of professional sound persons for mixing our live performances. At least some of sound team must arrive Thursday of Build Week to prepare our sound systems. Experience in the mixing of live, acoustic music is a must. The sound team must ensure that sound equipment is stored away safely during non performance times, be kept out of extreme temperatures, charged as applicable prior to shows, and they must communicate with other members of the sound team as to where the equipment is stored, and plan/communicate to each other the scheduling of which team members will be running each show. Sound team members must arrive before each show to allow plenty of time for soundchecks. The team members on duty must be present during the entire show, must adjust sound as needed throughout the show, and must keep watch of sound equipment to prevent theft during the shows. Team members must be sober during shifts. The Sound Team is also responsible for background music being played during daylight hours and facilitating proper sound on the mobile art car stage forays around Playa. This team will also manage and maintain our stage and will also be responsible for securing instruments or other expensive equipment and gear on stage to ensure there is no damage from theft, sun, or other weather events.
    • Rootpile Radio Wranglers Team--Rootpile will have a radio network so that our artcars, camp members, and base camp can communicate with each other by radio. Team members should be well-versed in radio technology or radio dispatch. HAM radio experience would be a plus. The team will organize, install, and work with Rootpile campers in proper radio etiquette. Radios will need to be installed in art cars, kitchen, common areas, and in the Rootpile NOAH office on Playa.
    • Campground Manager--Thursday arrival of Build week required. This person/team will work closely with the Camp Surveyor/Layout Manager to place RVs, Yurts, tents, etc. in the correct locations. The Campground Manager will also be PROACTIVE in helping find solutions to camping needs, such as running power cords to tents, shade needs, and communicating any campground logistical issues to the NOAH team or other appropriate DPW personnel. On Sunday of Teardown, this team will assist in organized collection of power cords, lighting, bedding, etc. These team members should be outgoing and friendly, as they are often the first people that new camp members will meet when they come to Rootpile.

      The primary aspects of this position are during the latter part of Build and the early part of Burn week, as camp member are arriving. Primary duties include:
      • assisting in welcoming campers and helping them find their tent/rv/yurt spots, and shade when applicable
      • getting campers acclimated to the layout of camp and introducing them to NOAHs, various leads/camp members, as necessary
      • assisting with running power cords to tents and power hookup for camp members
      • assisting in finding bedding, fairy lights, coolers, etc, when applicable
      • answering basic questions about camp
      • resolving basic issues related to camping space logistics
      • making sure all tents/rvs/yurts are labeled and correlate with the camp map
      • responsible for the camper map & info board
      • for security, preserving camp member camping location privacy from any camp visitors
      • additionally, during Burn week, this person will be responsible for daily inspections of the camp ground to check for LNT, improper fuel storage, power issues, etc and communicate problems with camp leadership.
    • Electrical Team--This is a team of 3 to 4 professional electricians with two assistants who oversee the entire Rootpile electrical grid. This includes managing the generator, fueling the generator, balancing the loads on the generator, and installing & managing the electrical grid. The Electrical Team should be on-Playa by Tuesday of Build Week.
    • Plumbing Team--This team will cross-over with the DPW Team. The Plumbing Team, made up of two professional plumbers, is in charge of all things to do with water in the Rootpile infrastructure. This includes fresh water connections, gray water connections, sinks, showers, toilets, pumps, sumps, fixtures, faucets, hot water heaters, drains, managing & monitoring fresh/gray/black water levels, and preventing (at all costs) water leaks of any kind on the Playa. The Plumbing Team should be on-Playa by Tuesday of Build Week, and possibly at Rootpile headquarters before Build Week.
    • Tool Manager--This person's job is to manage the Rootpile tool trailer, air compressors, spare parts, and make sure that all tools and parts are put back where they came from after use. As this is not a time-intensive position, this job will be combined with other duties on-Playa.
    • Inventory Team--The Rootpile inventory Team shall be a two person team who is in charge of the Rootpile closet trailer, pantry trailer, and various collections of spare parts, in conjunction with the tool team. The mission of the inventory team is to ensure that all small items of the Rootpile infrastructure are kept in an organized manner and not just strewn around the camp. This will help during Build so that people can find what they need, during Build to make sure things are not wasted and lost, and as Teardown begins, things are put away, properly labeled, and inventoried.
    • Transport Team--It takes multiple trips with multiple vehicles: semi-trucks, pickups (large & small), storage trailers, water/fuel deliveries, people transport, and parts/inventory/food deliveries to fulfill our mission. This team will have members with a combination of skills such as CDL, pulling, parking & connecting trailers to trucks, and driving RVs, as needed. Members of this team should be a mix of people available pre-Build week, Build week, Burn week, and Teardown week. Good driving records and sober driving is required. Previous Burning Man/on Playa experience is a plus. Per Burning Man rules, these drivers are camp members who are not working for-hire. These are Rootpile camp members volunteering to help bring in camp infrastructure or helping drive in RVs for camp members.
    • Medical Team--This is a two+ person team made up of people with professional medical experience to manage our First Aid Yurt. As this is not a time-intensive position, this job will be combined with other duties on-Playa. Often our doctors prefer to also do food service shifts.
    • Bathroom & Shower Clean Teams--There will be one team for bathroom clean and another for shower clean. There are not set hours for these teams, but team members are expected to be proactive and check the facilities multiple times per day for any issues. Team members will have access to cleaning tools and supplies. They will be responsible for replenishing toilet paper, paper towels, soap, and hand sanitizer. If personal items are left behind in the bathroom and shower facilities, the teams are in charge of removing said items and placing them in the lost and found. Also, the teams should oversee that showers, toilets, and sinks are in working order. Any issues should be reported to the NOAH on duty. The goal of the shower & toilet trailer clean team will also be to teach camp members how to keep the showers and toilet trailer clean on an ongoing basis. This could be done both verbally and also by making signage for the bathrooms and showers. It is everyone's job in camp to help keep these facilities clean.
    • Bike Team--There are a few roles possible as part of the bike team. The first role is one or two experienced bike repair persons that can repair Rootpile camper's bikes, as well as bikes brought to camp by visitors. The second role is managing bike distribution to Rootpile camp members who have rented bikes through Playa Bike Repair. This will require being available at the beginning of the day Sunday 8/27 to distribute bikes, as well as Sunday and Monday of Teardown to accept returned bikes.
    • Hillbilly Hosts--This team will be present during the concert times as well as, when possible, at night time impromptu jam circles. Hillbilly Hosts will greet guests at the entrance of Rootpile, make them feel welcome, answer questions, and show them where food and seating are available. Hillbilly Hosts will also be responsible for managing bike parking in front of camp. Bikes cannot spill into the street, so as visitors arrive, hosts can help them find places to safely park and lock up their bikes. There is bike parking in front of camp.
    • NOAH--Number One Arse Holes. A team of five people who do a daily two hour shift during which they are in charge of the camp. This is an invite-only team.
    • Ice Team--We will have at least one daily ice run if campers want to place orders/pay and not have to go separately. The ice team will go around camp in the morning around brunch time and take orders and money from any camp member who would like to get an ice delivery that day. The ice team will then get the assistance of one of our camp members with a handicap-approved vehicle, who will then drive the team over to pick up and deliver ice. Only the person approved by Burning Man dmv may drive the handicap vehicle.
    • Mullet Hairstylist--Only minimal experience required. Have you ever cut your children's hair before? Have you ever wanted to cut hair? Do you have time to practice and learn to cut mullets before the Burn? WE WANT YOU! Floyd's Mullet-Only Barbershop is open whenever you want to cut hair! We'll turn on the Barbershop LED sign, and the customers will come rolling in. As this is not a time-intensive position, this job will be combined with other duties on-Playa.
To find out more about camp involvement opportunities, e-mail us.
Rootpile Camp Build
Rootpile Camp Build
Rootpile Art Supplies
Rootpile Camp Build
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