Member Profile: Steve

12 06 2009

pix 0582009 will be my second time at Burning Man and my first time with a theme camp.  I’m happy to make my choice Camp Stella because it’s small enough for me to get to know the other members and also that’s a sober camp, so I won’t have to spend any time caring for a bar, its patrons or trying to bond with people who are actively using.

I’m 37 and live in suburban Philadelphia, but I’m a bit restless and discontent with that.  Probably my most defining characteristic is my habit of getting far away from the suburbs whenever I can.  I began foreign travel as a young adult and moved to a different level when I started taking months off from work.  Hiking the Appalachian Trail (from Georgia to Maine) changed me forever not just from developing my love of nature but also showing me the world outside of the office, the life possible when not limited to two weeks vacation.  I can’t always describe what I like about a vacation or a trip, but it has something to do with getting really far away from my regular life.  That can be the feeling I get when I bike into the city and pass an old trolley car or the feeling I get when I hike alone into a Hmong village miles away from the nearest road or English-speaker.

I got that feeling at Burning Man last year.  I know I was vaguely inarticulate about why I enjoyed myself so much when talking to other people, but that doesn’t diminish my feelings.  It seems like when we’re on the playa, I have so much in common with so many of the people there.

I’m looking forward to being a member of the Camp Stella family, the Bunny march, the nonstop techno and all of the vibrant little things that make the Playa so special.  I’m also serving this year in the Emergency Services Department as a firefighter, so that will help me feel like a member of the Black Rock City family as well.  I’m not artistic at all, I can’t put a costume together to save my life and couldn’t even pimp the bike I used last year (the fact that it was only lent to me helped assuage that guilt).  But through the ESD and Camp Stella, I can feel more like a participant this year.

G2G, time for a water truck shower!

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