Kidsville, Black Rock Scouts and FUN Program for Families

[Judes has been a Burner since 1999 and an advocate for playa families. She first brought her son Dexter to BRC when he was 16-months-old, who has 8 Burns under his belt. For 4 years, Judes hosted Hot Monkey Sox, a popular sock monkey workshop camp in Kidsville. In 2010, she founded the Black Rock Scouts program so kids could attend playa-cational events, volunteer with BRC Departments and learn to give back to the BRC community.]

Bringing your kids along to this year’s Burn? There are some great resources and programs for Burner Families that we want you to know about. Kidsville, Black Rock Scouts and the new FUN Child ID Program run by Black Rock Rangers are here to support every burning family, including yours!

Kidsville:

Kidsville is a cooperative village for Burners with kids, which has grown to more than 150 families in recent years. Kidsvillians believe that Burning Man is a unique experience to share as a family.

Kid the Conquerer, photo by Jeff Litton, 2008

Kidsville is safe, quiet, centrally located and close to Potties, Center Camp, Medical and the 6:00 Rangers Station. The Village takes up the blocks between 5:00 and 5:30, Dandelion and Foxglove. The entire village is enclosed with playa fencing and flagpoles, to identify boundaries for kids. Vehicles are not allowed within the borders so it’s a safe place for kids to ride bikes, run and play. For added safety, all kids are tagged with K’ville wristbands to make them easily identifiable.

A tight-knit community develops overnight; children have plenty of friends to play with and parents bond and share with neighbors. In the K’ville Center Camp is the Mayor’s camp, a fire pit, an Information Kiosk with an event schedule, the Black Rock Scouts HQ, resident Ranger Mickey’s Camp and play equipment like trampolines. During the week, families host dozens of events like Mini Burning Man. We love it when art cars visit and take little peeps and their families for a spin! To schedule a visit, contact Kidsville Mayor Dawn Lapierre, a.k.a. Queen of F’ing Everything via her Facebook page.

While K’ville welcomes all Playa-families to visit, it is NOT A BABYSITTING SERVICE. Children may NOT be dropped off in Kidsville without a parent. Parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s safety and behavior at all times, inside and outside of Kidsville.

To camp in Kidsville, each camp must have at least one child under the age 18. All camps must work at least one Kidsville Greeter shift. There are still a few spaces left in Kidsville, but you must pre-register and choose a campsite. Once spaces become full, there is a waiting list. NOTE: If you are NOT pre-registered with a camp location, don’t expect to arrive at Kidsville and find a space.

NOTE: If you are NOT pre-registered with a camp location, don’t expect to arrive at Kidsville and find a space.

To learn more about Kidsville, ask questions or follow discussions, join the Yahoo Group.

For tips on bringing kids to the playa, read Kidsville Survival Guide.

Black Rock Scouts:

In 2010 I founded Black Rock Scouts with the goal of inspiring kids to volunteer as they grow up, to take ownership of their community and to become model Burners.

Kids help Larry lift the Man. Photo by Gerry Gropp, 1993

The program is for Burner kids, based on the Ten Principles of Burning Man. The objective is to teach kids what it takes to sustain life at Burning Man, how to embrace their creativity, teach playa survival skills and how to get involved in their BRC community… not just skip through it.

Camps, services and the Black Rock community host playa-cational events, field trips and offer volunteer opportunities for kids. Scouts earn patches, tokens or pins for things learned, survival skills achieved, volunteering, good deeds and connections made. After all, kids are the future of Burning Man.

This year, our new BRS Leader Jay Marlette has scheduled 15 events for kids of all ages. Scouts should visit the BRS Headquarters in Kidsville to see the Schedule of Events and pre-register. Each scout will earn one BRS Patch, Bandanna and Sash while supplies last. Most events are hosted or at least meet at the BRS headquarters.

BRS Policies: BRS is not a baby-sitting service. All kids must be a accompanied by an parent or playa-guardian, unless otherwise arranged with the Scout leader of that event. Although transportation is provided for some field trips, parents are responsible for getting themselves and their kids to the events. Parents are responsible for the behavior and safety of their children at all times.

FUN Child Identification:

The Family Unification Network (FUN) is a new program this year. Here’s how it works: families register themselves and their children at the Black Rock Ranger HQ in Center Camp (daily from 9am-noon or anytime after 2pm). This is also a great way for children to become familiar with Rangers and the Ranger Station.

Trampoline fun! Photo by Garry Geer, 2011

The registered child will receive a wristband with a serial number that is unique to them, which will identify the child, parents and camp location. That’s all you have to do! Should your child become separated from you, all he or she has to do is find a Ranger. The wristband serial number will facilitate a speedy reunion.

*** Staff and Volunteers with families are strongly encouraged to register their children in support of this program. ***

About the author: Judi Morales Gibson

Judes has been a Bay Area burner since 1999 and an advocate for playa families. She first brought her son Dexter to BRC when he was 16-months-old, who has 8 burns under his belt. For 4 years, Judes hosted Hot Monkey Sox, a popular sock monkey workshop camp in Kidsville. In 2010, she founded the Black Rock Scouts program so kids could attend playa-cational events, volunteer with BRC Departments and learn to give back to the BRC community. With Scouts, Judes works shifts with Greeters and Lamplighters, became a full-time Earth Guardians in 2011 and joined Gate crew in 2012. Off-playa, Judes is a freelance writer, artist and designs playa-wear like Bedsheet Bloomers, the Hottie Kilt and the Utila-Merkin because "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."

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