AFTERBURN REPORT 2002Greeters
Greeters met at least monthly in 2002. Our meetings were focussed on training and getting to know newer greeters as well as continued recruiting. In addition to the local meetings in San Francisco, we attended both of the Burning Man volunteer barbecues and two work ranch weekends in Nevada. (Memorial Day and July 4th). Additionally, greeter training meetings were held in Reno, New York, Sacramento, Seattle, and Los Angeles. We again took up the role of greeting participants at the local Burning Man events, including the Town Hall Meeting, Flambe Lounge, Decompression, and Spark Club
The two trips to the work ranch prior to the event focused on repairing and rebuilding greeter booths. The booths are used to separate incoming traffic into lanes, and they store the collated materials and garbage bags passed out during the event. This year we continued the tradition of the Virgin Bells. Built and donated by participants, the bells hung in the booths. All first-time participants were given the opportunity to ring them. (Judging by the condition of the ringers on the bells, many took advantage of that opportunity.) In addition, we helped with the general needs of the work ranch, including clean up after a rather nasty winter, raising a communications tower, working in the garden, and putting up shade.
In 2002 our form of leadership changed from a consensus-based group to a single project manager leading the consensus process. Our team consisted of the following positions: The project manager whose responsibilities included needs coordination and pre-playa training; the volunteer coordinator whose responsibilities included responding to all volunteer questionnaires and answering other related inquiries as well as management, planning, and coordination for Greeters Camp; and Rooster who was responsible for coordinating theme camp greeters (8 to 10 participants from a theme camp who worked a four-hour shift together). This position also included scheduling and on-playa training. He also was responsible for general volunteer training on-playa and making sure that all shifts were covered during the event. There was also the web page volunteer, who handled updates to the web page and all individual scheduling needs. The final position, the pre-event greeter coordinator, was responsible for organizing participant greeting at local Burning Man events
On August 18 construction of the Greeters Station building began. A team of 4 to 12 volunteers completed the station by Thursday ,August 22. As in the past, four-hour shifts continued 24/7 from that Thursday through Saturday, August 31. Our infrastructure this year was similar to that in 2001. Each shift included 8 to 10 volunteers. Two lead greeters managed the greeters and the theme camp placement process during each shift. The Tranny shift consisted of one to two people who were specifically responsible for the physical needs of the station and a smooth shift transition. Finally the Meta was on call for eight hours, visiting the station at the shift changes and filling in when the need arose.
Once again our acronym of H.A.P.P.Y. guided greeting activities. Camera tags were given out at Greeters Station, and greeters worked with theme camp placers through Wednesday to get theme camps to their proper homes. The collated materials handed out to participants included the What When Where, a commemorative sticker, and the special edition of the Black Rock Gazette. Garbage bags were also handed out. Greeters also passed on verbal information about the event. The treasure hunt, the DMV, and how to read the map were a few hot topics. Of course, the poop on the Porta Potties was not left out.
Greeters Camp emerged from a vision of a comfortable place for greeters to camp, socialize, and flirt to a reality. This year Greeters Camp was host to the daily training meeting at 4 pm. Volunteers were given information about the training, both on our web page prior to the event and by Playa Info at the event. The meetings were well-attended each day from Monday to close. This was the first year training meetings were offered on playa and they were a great success.
On Sunday, September 1, we began to tear down Greeter Station. Only two to three volunteers were available for that tear down, but the job was finished by Monday morning. Greeters Camp tear down was hampered by the storm, and the final camper was not out until Friday, leaving minimal signs that the station or Greeters Camp were ever there. Final items were added to our storage unit on Tuesday, including the couches from Greeters Camp as well as a huge army tent that was donated to greeters. We are grateful for the donation. To top off a great year, a plastic storage box was found with items from 2001. These items will come in very handy in 2003.
As this report is being prepared, plans are already underway for the new year's meeting/training/work ranch weekend schedule. Improvements are planned for handling of collated materials and working with theme camps to name areas. Needless to say, we are looking forward to greeting you in 2003.
Many greeters working in 2002 had greeted in the past, some have been greeting since the birth of the greeters in 1996. Powered by a renewed focus on training in 2002 and the return of experienced, tuned-in greeters, our group was together and organized for a very successful year. We had a blast!
Respectfully submitted by,
Sweethang (Project Manager)