A crew of around 25 chill Burners – some of which have been coming since the early days, others who came for the first time in 2019.
What We Do
Our camp, the Black Rock City Passport Office, provides a remarkably realistic, physical “passport” book to participants. When participants come to our camp, we have them write their information into the passport book and we add a photo of them taken on the spot in whatever manner they see fit. Unlike national passports that restrict a person’s pose, we encourage radical self-expression.
Instead of the usual default world passport descriptors, such as birthdate and birthplace, we have a few explorative questions that allow for personal self-discovery and reflection on the adventure taking place during the burn week. Questions that spark curiosity about the world, where they are challenged to think about who they intrinsically are, how to accept and love themselves in the present moment, and encouragement to open themselves to new experiences.
We coordinate with other camps to provide stamps, and as burners visit various camps, they can have their passport stamped. The passport includes a directory of participating camps. In our first year, over 70 camps participated.
The realism of the book is half of what makes this gift so special (along with the whole experience of being in our camp). The other half is going from camp to camp on the list of those who have designed their own camp stamp to participate in this project. In our first year, there were several participants who returned to tell us of their adventures getting every stamp available added to their book. Some even spoke of how extremely shy they are and how this helped them interact with people more than they ever would have without the goal of gathering stamps. In spite of all of the on-the-spot joy the project evokes from participants, the stories of new engagements are the most inspiring.
The inner pages of the passports feature drawings by BRC artists and photos of previous burns, as is done in a typical passport. The pages also include inspirational, reflective, and occasionally comical quotes. The passport includes space to capture contact information for new friends who met during the burn, and an exodus questionnaire to spark final reflections on the 2022 Burn.
These passports serve as a jumping-off point for exploration of the entire Playa, encouraging virgins as well as veterans to go down new paths, to see and do new things, while also acting as a deeply personal and meaningful memento of their journey.