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2023 INFO

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 six 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 Work Access Passes (WAPs) are necessary for each person attending Build. The WAPs 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. 20, 2023 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, will be provided transportation to Empire, NV or the Playa if needed, and 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.
      Build Team will be made up of eight heavy lifters, a team lead, and a team co-lead.

      DATES OF BUILD WEEK 2023: Sunday, Aug. 20 thru Saturday, Aug. 26. 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. 3rd, 2023, 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. 3 at 11 am, working alongside all remaining camp members, providing direction, and setting a good example. Beginning early Monday morning, Sept. 4, the officially organized Teardown Team of eight members, plus one lead, and one co-lead 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. 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.

      DATES OF TEARDOWN 2023: Sunday, Sept. 3 thru Thursday, Sept. 7. 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 unforseen circumstances.
    • 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, driving, and keeping the art cars running for the entire Burn should join this team.
    • Food Service Teams--
      Breakfast: 8 am–11 am  (service 9 am–10:30 am)
      Lunch: 12 am–3 pm
        (service 1 pm–2:30 pm)
      Dinner: 3:30 pm–6:30 pm  (service 5 pm–6 pm)
      Kitchen Clean: A group of ten people, consisting of eight camp members plus one lead and one co-lead who organize themselves into crews 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.
      Food Service Manager: The Food Service manager shall be responsible for menu planning, ingredient planning, and the overall manager of camp food services.
      Food Safety Officer:
      The Food Safety Officer shall 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.
      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.
      Bean Cook Team: The Bean Cook Team is responsible for the daily preparation of two large pots of pinto beans, one vegetarian, and one meat. The bean preparation should be started around 1pm daily.

      The food service team will be required to follow safety protocols to ensure established Covid-safety measures are implemented.

    • 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. Duties will include taking the pre-cooked BBQ and assembling the tacos, serving the beans, and managing the moonshine bar, which includes checking IDs.  Covid safety measures shall be followed to ensure the well being of the team and all campers and guests.
    • 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, cleaning the instruments, 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, 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.
    • Waste Team--Rootpile camp members are expected to haul out their own personal trash. 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. So, the waste team is not responsible for this kind of waste. But aluminum cans can be recycled on Playa, and carboard, wooden utensils, paper plates, and food waste can be burned in our burn barrels. This team will be responsible for managing and sorting the collection bins for these items. Collection bins will only be open to collect during and immediately after meals. Campers' personal trash is not to be placed in the food service debris receptacles.  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 food waste receptacles.
    • Burnables Team--The mission of the burnables team is to manage the collection and preparation of burnable utensils, bowls, plates, cardboard, and food waste for a once-a-day Burn Barrel session. Burnables should only be collected in the dining hall during meal service times, and after meal service, the Burn Barrels should have the lids placed on them until the next collection period. Team members should be present during any burn times to ensure fire safety protocols are used and to prevent and clean up any MOOP issues created from the burning in the burn barrels. The Burnables Team is expected to work with leadership pre-Playa in order to design these practices. This team should also work closely with the Waste Team to coordinate Burnables collection.
    • 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 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--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.
    • 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 Thursday or Friday 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 NOAH office on Playa.
    • Campground Management Team--This team will assist in welcoming campers and helping them find their tent/rv/yurt spots. Thursday 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. This 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.
    • 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--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 Team--This team is a two member team who'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.
    • 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), fuel trailers, storage trailers, water/fuel deliveries, people transport, and parts/inventory/food deliveries to fulfill our mission. A team of six drivers with a combination of skills such as CDL, pulling, parking & connecting trailers to trucks, and driving RVs is 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.
    • Medical Team--This is a two person team made up of people with professional medical experience to manage our First Aid Yurt.
    • Toilet & Shower Trailer Clean Team--The goal of the shower & toilet trailer clean team is to teach camp members how to keep the showers and toilet trailer clean on an ongoing basis. It is everyone's job in camp to help keep these facilities clean. The team will have access to cleaning tools and supplies and are expected to teach camp members how to keep these spaces clean. This team is responsible for replenishing toilet paper, paper towels, soap, and hand sanitizer. If personal items are left behind in these facilities, this team is in charge of removing said items. Also, the team should oversee that showers, toilets, and sinks are in working order. Any issues should be reported to the NOAH on duty.
    • 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 is an invite-only team.
    • 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--This is an invite-only team.
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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