Painting the Stage Art Car
Our camp would not work without all campers' participation. 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.
Due to the many costs to make Rootpile's Mission happen, and to continue to bring Rootpile to Playa year after year, we are unable to exchange reduced Yearly Dues/Mission Contributions for extra volunteer hours.
To find out more about camp involvement opportunities, contact:
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:
    • Communications Team--This team is made up of people who will work pre-Burn to share the mission of Rootpile to the Burner and Bluegrass communities to create awareness of our camp, the activites we provide on-Playa, and our various fundraisers.
    • Rootpile DPW Team--(Department of Public Works) DPW team is one of the most important teams at Rootpile. DPW is made up of people with skills in carpentry, electricity, plumbing, mechanics, and engineering. 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. Some DPW team members will work Build, while some will work on-call 2 hour daily shifts during the Burn to keep our infrastructure running smoothly.
    • 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 Work Access Passes (WAPs) are necessary for each person attending Build. Most of Build crew will need to arrive on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022 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 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.
      DATES OF BUILD WEEK 2022: Sunday or Monday, Aug. 21 or 22 thru Saturday, Aug. 27

    • Teardown Team--The Teardown of Rootpile camp starts Sunday, Sept. 4th, 2022, Temple Burn Day. All campers still on Playa are expected to help in the beginning stages of Teardown on Sunday. 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 Teardown crew is expected to work safely, quickly, sober, and hangover-less each day that they promised to work. Those leaving Monday are expected to do so as soon as possible. Those not abiding by these rules will be asked to leave immediately.

      Teardown duty, starting at Noon on Sunday (Temple Burn Day), should be considered as important as our camp duty shifts. Everyone still in camp is expected to help with Teardown. But early Monday morning Teardown begins in earnest. When Teardown begins, the party ends. We typically finish Teardown mid-day Wednesday. A light breakfast will be served at 7 am with work details immediately following. The Teardown crew is expected to work safely, quickly, sober, and hangover-less each day that they promised to work. Those not abiding by these rules will be asked to leave immediately.

      Those not participating in Teardown on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday are expected to break camp, de-MOOP their camp area, and leave by 11am on Monday morning, as shade structures, yurts, etc will begin to be broken down, and the Build Crew will be moving into the air-conditioned bunk trailers to facilitate a smooth Teardown without the complications of camper's personal camp spaces being in the way of the dismantling of camp.

      DATES OF TEARDOWN 2022: Sunday, Sept. 4 thru Wednesday, Sept. 7

    • Art Car Support Team--Art cars, sometimes also called Mutant Vehicles, are a very important part of Burning Man. Art cars are meant to be visual art and are expected to provide interactive, entertaining experiences on the Playa. Our art cars provide a platform for us to play live and recorded Bluegrass music to provide entertainment and promote our camp, and also provide a way for people to be transported around the Playa. The art car support team gives mechanically and artistically-inclined people the opportunity to have a preexisting project to work on. This team may begin working on our art cars in Empire, NV even before the start of Build Week, or at a minimum, at the beginning of Build Week on Playa. This is so that all the mechanical and artistic issues can be ironed out and finished by the time DMV inspections begin on the Saturday before gate opens. The art car support team is a very important team, and only people with a heavy commitment to the mission of preparing our art cars and keeping them running for the entire Burn should join this team.
    • Art Car Drivers--Art car drivers are a part of the art car team. During the Burn we will need several sober and responsible persons who would be interested in being art car drivers. Art car driver shifts will typically be about two hours long. Art car drivers will be trained in the rules and regulations laid down by the Department of Mutant Vehicles (DMV). The driver is considered to be the "Captain of the Ship" and will be responsible for managing the other members of the mobile art car crew.
    • Food Service Team--For Burning Man 2022, we will be changing our food offerings to food truck-style service. The food service team, in the past, has been made up of two major meals (breakfast & dinner).

      This year, our food truck-style service will be organized such that there will be food available from 8 am to 7 pm daily. Each day there will be large-pot offerings such as soup, stew, chili, curry & rice, etc. for most of the day. Other daily menu choices that can be quickly prepared and served will be available based on the day's food plan. There will be four food service shifts per day:
      shift 1: 8 am–11 am
      shift 2: 11 am–2 pm

      shift 3: 2 pm–5 pm
      shift 4: 5 pm–8 pm

      Each shift will consist of one chef and a six person crew that will assist the chef, prep, clean, take orders, maintain the hydration station, and prep and clean the dining hall.

      The food service team will be required to follow additional safety protocols to insure established Covid-safety measures are implemented.
      Some adjustments to food service may be made closer to the Burn according to best practices and standards for Covid safety.

    • 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 and moonshine for these interactive events. The team lead will organize the camp duty shifts necessary to accomplish this mission. Concert food service is between 7 pm and 10 pm Monday through Friday. Therefore, the shifts are is 6-8 pm and 8-10 pm. Covid safety measures shall be followed to ensure the well being of the team and all campers and guests.
    • BBQ Cook Team--This team will manage the smoking of BBQ on a daily basis, based on the needs and plan for concert BBQ offerings and plans for the daily commissary food offerings.
    • Musician Team--The musician team is made up of professional, semi-professional, and amateur Bluegrass musicians who are capable of playing Bluegrass music. The musician team will teach workshops, facilitate jamming, and perform on stage. 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.
    • Music Workshop Support Team--(Not necessary to be a musician) Rootpile provides workshops (Monday through Friday, Noon–1 pm) on instruments that we provide. The musician team teaches the workshops, but the workshop support team will assist in setting up the classrooms, distributing the instruments and putting them away after the workshops, waking up musicians and making sure teachers are present, directing guests to the different workshops, and grabbing people off the street to attend workshops. The support team will also offer hydration and supply hand sanitizer to the musicians and attendees.
    • Daily MOOP Sweep Team--This team will perform a daily MOOP sweep of the entire camp and will be on the lookout for LNT problems, such as oil leaks, water leaks, improperly-stored fuel, or other MOOPiness. Tools, collection vessels, and team leadership will be provided. A MOOP-free camp will insure 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.
    • Waste Team--Rootpile camp members are expected to haul out their own personal trash, but there are some things we can deal with on-Playa to reduce the amount of personal trash needing to be taken out. 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. Therefore campers should ALWAYS Pre-cycle everything they bring to Playa, such as packaging. But aluminum cans and compost can be disposed of on Playa. Burnables can be burned in our burn barrels. The Waste Team will facilitate in the disposal of these items and will enjoy the benefit of being able to yell at people doing stupid things, like putting aluminum cans into the compost bins.
    • Art 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. The art team can ask for assistance from skilled persons from other teams if necessary.
    • Sound Team--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 also be made up of professional sound persons for mixing our live performances. At least some of sound team must arrive Wednesday of Build Week to prepare our sound systems. Experience in the mixing of live, acoustic music is a must.
    • Stage Crew--Live performances are a very important part of the Rootpile mission. A crew of stagehands and stage managers will be organized to properly manage and maintain our stage. At least some of stage crew must be able to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday of Build Week.
    • 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 onoffice.
    • Ice Team--The ice team will be responsible for daily runs to Arctica to replenish ice supplies for camp and deliver ice orders made by Rootpile campers. A transport vehicle will be provided.
    • Medical Team--This team will be made up of doctors, nurses, NPs, PAs, and EMTs, and will be available to support campers with minor health concerns in camp. These volunteers will not be practicing medicine in camp, but will rather assist campers in finding available over the counter supplies, or in directing campers to the nearest Nevada certified medical practitioners. This team will also be involved with maintaining Covid safety for campers and visitors to Rootpile.
    • Campground Management Team--This team will assist in welcoming campers and helping them find their tent/rv/yurt spots. Thursday or Friday arrival of Build week required. The team will be responsible for the camper map and info board. During Burn week, this team 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.
    • Fuel & Fire Safety Team--This team will be responsible for insuring the safe use and storage of fuel in camp, and will manage or execute fuel deliveries from HELL Station or from Gerlach. This includes gasoline and propane for art cars, diesel for the generator, and propane for the kitchen. This team will communicate frequently with the art car team, electrical team, and kitchen team, so as to avoid fuel outages. The team will also be responsible for checking the proper placement and viability of fire extinguishers in art cars, at the fuel station, in the kitchen, and in the mechanic workshop areas.
To find out more about volunteer opportunities, contact:
Rootpile Camp Build
Rootpile Camp Build
Rootpile Art Supplies
Rootpile Camp Build
You Can't Hurt Ham Art Car
Hillbilly Breakfast
Rootpile Jam