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CampArctica (Ice Sales)

The 2002 CampArctica experience was a mix of terrific new successes and one big, disappointing failure.

On the positive side, the reusable structure from 2001 was as cathedral-like as ever, and our team lighting designer did a fabulous job of making the igloo glow beautiful colors at night (blue during the week, changing to red for the Burn). We also had a very high number of returning organizers, managers, and volunteers, which made the entire operation run like a clock. This year, we pioneered a concept to repurpose the dome space at night, after ice sales operations closed down, as a performance and party space. (If you missed the cello performance, or the ice-block cocktail party, you did not take full advantage of Center Camp after dark!)

After last year's debacle with ice supply, we worked with the vendor to develop a completely new plan for 2002. Instead of calling for replenishment when the first of the two on-playa trucks was emptied, we scheduled daily deliveries in advance, whether or not the trucks were empty when the new trucks arrived. We also extended the counters and added two more registers, to allow us to speed up service to the line of folks wanting to buy ice.

This plan worked fabulously until Saturday, when a communication breakdown caused the vendor to skip the scheduled mid-afternoon delivery. Once again, we were entirely out of ice on the playa the day of the burn. After working so hard to make sure this problem didn't happen, we were all very disappointed to have to turn the line away and send people home without ice on our big Saturday night.

For 2003, we're going to have the pleasure of entirely redesigning the Arctica structure, as the windstorms before and after the event did enough damage to the structural materials to compell us to build from scratch next year. We will also continue to work with our vendor to ensure ice supply on the weekend. Also, the Arctica community has decided to revive the camp part of CampArctica, so in 2003 we will again have a space for Arcticans to live and play together when not slinging bags of ice off the back of trucks.

We should, of course, mention that ice sales operations once again allowed us to make a series of substantial donations to local Gerlach/Empire organizations. This year's list includes: volunteer fire departments, senior citizens center, Gerlach junior high and high school, the water tower, Jeremy Williams scholarship fund, Gerlach Medical Center, and the Humane Society of Reno.

For a full record of CampArctica, from construction through cleanup, see our documentation project at

Submitted by,
Dana Harrison, aka BizBabe

Click here to read the 2001 CampArctica/Ice report.