1st Planning Meeting of the Season

31 01 2009

Thanks to everybody who braved the downpour to participate in our first planning meeting of the season.

Between Jefferson, Kaboodle, Sprout, Turtle and Max there was a lot of Camp Stella experience, strength and hope. 15 years between us all to be exact. Wow. I think that’s worth repeating. Sitting around a communal table in a coffee shop were a combined 15 years of Camp Stella experience.

Here’s what we covered:


Dusk Setup
– Last year was the first time Camp Stella set up at dusk. Max and Kaboodle reported that this was much more desirable that the traditional late morning/afternoon set up which can be trying.

Recommendation: Plan a dusk set up on Monday night, weather permitting.

Breakdown – Last year’s breakdown went very smoothly thanks to Diesel Daddy Dave’s excellent leadership. Also, breakdown plans were well communicated in advance. Inconsistent communication around breakdown the year before caused some disappointment and added stress.

Recommendation: Continue providing clear communication around breakdown expectations. Breakdown should be facilitated by a breakdown leader.

Signage: There is opportunity for increased visibility. After 4 years of wear and tear, Camp Stella signage is ready for retirement. All EL wire needs to be replaced.

Recommendation: We create new illuminated signs for the camp.

Lamplighters: Participating in Lamp Lighters has been a voluntary Camp Stella tradition over the past few years. Last year was the first year that Camp Stella members volunteered on a Monday night. They discovered that it’s the only night that you don’t have to clean and refill the lamps.

Recommendation: Continue optional tradition of volunteering for Lamp Lighters (on Monday if possible).

Shade Structure: Placing 3 Tents together provided a great communal shade structure both functionally and socially.

Recommendation: Place three tents together again but with a removable internal divider that can separate the meeting space from the kitchen area.


New Shade Structures – Multiple years of wear and tear have taken their toll on the walls, zippers and elastic ball straps. These tents need replacement. Max is going to initiate a search for a replacement tent(s).

Lighting – We love Christmas lights because they look great and provide adequate illumination. However, we would prefer to not have to rely on running a generator to power them. If we can afford it, we would like to purchase solar powered Christmas lights similar to the blue lights we’ve had in years past. The hanging color-changing Chinese lanterns that we’ve had before were a favorite.

We also expect to have some added costs for new signs and new shower tarps.

We are expecting that we will need to collect additional carpet remnants, pillows and cushions. This will become more clear after…

We will propose April 11 as a Work Day to Diesel Daddy Dave.
We’ll organize a carpool to Pleasanton, plan for a 1:00 group lunch followed by Work Day from 2:00 – 5:00 PM.
We’ll spend a few hours organizing, inventorying, cleaning and recycling supplies that are damaged or no longer needed.
Anyone that has left gear should plan to pick it up on this day. Any gear left over will be discarded, sold, or become property of Camp Stella. This lead to the idea of having a Camp Stella emergency bike to be used by any member of Stella who’s bike may have been stolen or who may have experienced rehabilitating technical difficulties.

In March we’d like to host an orientation to serve as a meet and greet for new members of Camp Stella and an informational meeting for anyone considering joining us this year.

Kaboodle proposed the Mission Sports Basement Community Room as a location.
This would serve as a way to get a better grasp of what Camp Stella is all about and a way for new members to learn more about how to prepare for the Burn.

We would cover topics such as:

  • Camp Stella
  • Burning Man Principals
  • Food/Water
  • Packing Tips and Tricks
  • Costumes
  • Volunteering
  • Survival

This is just a initial draft of proposed topics. One member of Stella could each own a section. Your presentation can include props, handouts, video, music – what ever you like.

We will create fliers and email them to this list. Please print and distribute to anyone you think may be a great candidate for Camp Stella.

ACTION: If you have ideas or would like to participate, please email JeffersonMcCarley@gmail.com directly.

Max has offered to help out in researching options for transporting Camp Stella gear. In the past Diesel Daddy Dave has generously hauled all this crap out to BRC in his RV. This year we’ll need to budget $1,000+ for hauling Camp Gear in a cargo van or small truck.

We started with a balance of $389.79.
Last year we had 13 dues paying members. This brought in $995.
Additional donations and a fundraiser brought in another $120.
Total expenditures ($600 for gas + $186.99 for a new tent) came to $786.99.
Current Balance: $803.33

Our goal is to raise an additional $1,000 minimum for expected expenditures this year.

We hope to do this with two fundraisers. A rummage sale on St. Patricks Day and another event TBD event.

There was some discussion about increasing dues in order to cover expenses. A difficult decision was made to keep the current price structure. The starting point would remain $75 until Work Day, April 11.

The last thing we discussed were roles.
Kaboodle agreed to be treasurer again this year.
Sprout volunteered to lead our fundraising efforts.
Max offered to help out with transportation and tent research.
We’ll need a Secretary and a Newmember Liaison.
I volunteered to be camp “fearless leader” and there were no objection. Mwahahahaha [evil laugh].

Your faithful servant,




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