The last time a debate about children at Burning Man flared up, I asked one of the people I knew who had grown up as a “burner kid” what she thought about the question. Electra Carr went to her first Burning Man when she was 11. Now 21, she sent an eloquent response to my question … which got lost between inboxes for a year-and-a-half because I really am that bad at getting back to people sometimes.
So this is a horribly late addition to the debate, but is still worth reading.
Other kids of burners want to weigh in? Leave a comment at the bottom, or if you had a growing up experience at Burning Man and want to write a guest essay about it, send me a message. (Caveat at BurningMan dot com). I’ll try to get back to you a little sooner. I swear.
From here on, the words you read are Electra’s.
There has been endless discussion about the subject of children attending Burning Man. I have heard the many opinions scattered across the board, from people who do take their kids and think its vital part of their childhood and parents who can’t imagine bringing their children into the desert. People who think it should be each person’s choice, others who rally for a committee to decide. There are those who are uncomfortable with the thought of a kid wandering past while they may be doing something they deem inappropriate for young eyes and people who are fine with having kids attend as long as they’re cordoned off in Kidsville. And of course, people who really don’t care and wish everyone would just stop talking about it.
However, at the focal point of this topic there is an opinion that has been greatly overlooked. What about the children themselves who had grown up amongst the culture? It is a voice worth exploring, and as no two experiences are ever the same at Burning Man, I’d like to encourage everyone to talk to a Burner kid about it. I was such a child and while I’ve grown away from the Burning Man culture and rarely make the pilgrimage out to the Playa, I was there, I experienced, and I was changed.