Hello Rangers! With winter starting to wind down, and planning for summer events starting up, I’d like to take a quick look at the year ahead, as well as back at 2022. But first…
Too Long; Didn’t Read
It’s the first callout of the year for volunteers! Our most timely need is to find Ranger Leads and Co-Leads for Otherworld and Burn In The Forest, as well as identifying experienced Rangers who have interest in helping as trainers. More details are below – to learn more about any of these roles, register your interest via the form below start the conversation.
We also need to gauge the number of Rangers that we can expect in 2023. To help us plan the correct number, location and size of our training sessions, please respond via our 2023 interest form, regardless of whether or not you’re planning to be a Ranger this year.
For everyone who has a few minutes to spare, read on!
Upcoming 2023 Events
Otherworld: Thursday June 8 – Monday June 12
Burn in the Forest: Wednesday July 26 – Sunday July 30
Last year was a year for new beginnings; having been 3 years since the last major events in 2019, we needed to scrape the rust off, oil the hinges, and try to get things running again. In 2022 we had a total of 100 trained Rangers – and unlike previous years, we did it over Zoom instead of through in-person sessions! This was thankfully more Rangers than I expected, and while we fell well short of 2019 when we trained 131, it was only a bit below our numbers for 2018.
Admittedly, we didn’t have as many Rangers as we would have liked last year, and we weren’t able to fill all the shifts. To be fair, we also fell short in 2018, though that year both events were a day shorter and had fewer attendees. Otherworld ticket sales have since increased from 750 to 1500, and BITF from 1500 to 1650. The extra day creates a need for another 12-24 dirt rangers and 4 khaki shifts for each event, and we knew that we would have less coverage in 2022 than in previous years.
That’s not to say that Rangers didn’t step up, though! Thanks to your help – and the heroic efforts of Ranger Leads Orange (at Otherworld) and Steelhead (at BITF) – we had Ranger teams at both events and covered much of the clock. Without the support of both new and veteran Rangers alike, we wouldn’t have had any Ranger support at these events. An influx of 40 new Rangers made a big difference, and I hope that we’ll see many of you return in 2023.
2022 had some unusual circumstances, and I have high hopes for what we’ll be able to accomplish this coming year – that all starts with our volunteers, though. Try as I might, BC Rangers can’t run on sheer force of will and I’d rather not burn out in the attempt! So what do we need in 2023?
Ranger Leads & Co-Leads
New year, new Ranger Leads! Each event needs a Ranger Lead to coordinate Rangers at the event. The Ranger Lead oversees ranger-related needs & concerns for the event, and will lead a team of Dirt Rangers and Khakis. They also work with the event’s Safety Producer as part of the production team. Co-Leads can provide additional support to the Ranger Lead before or during the event, and may be in training as a future lead.
To support the Ranger Lead, BC Rangers has an experienced leadership team that can provide mentoring & support in the form of: advice, assistance, planning docs, and lessons learned from previous years; as many trained Rangers as we can find; a quartermaster to provide ranger-branded supplies; and more.
Candidates preferably have 2+ years of Ranger experience – Khaki experience is ideal but is not necessarily required. Other safety and/or leadership experience is a plus. Ranger Leads must be in good standing with BC Rangers, and as a highly visible role, they also must be in good standing within their regional Burning Man community.
If you think you might be interested in volunteering as a Ranger Lead or Co-Lead this year (or next year), please reach out via our contact page, or check off the box on the form.
Those of you who have rangered before know the role that Khaki plays. A level head, a clear & steady voice on the radio, and a compassionate ear. You’re calm in the face of chaos, know how and when to give feedback, and are a clear communicator. You can check out radios & hand out swag, and coordinate with the Producer-on-duty and other departments if needed. You’ve also been a Ranger for at least 2 years and have experience rangering in a variety of situations.
We don’t need everybody to be Khaki, and it’s not the right fit for everyone either. We are actively looking for those who fit the bill, and want to help them succeed as the best dang Khaki they can be. Think you might be right for the job? There’s a box on the form for that, too.
As much fun as it was to run four Zoom-based training sessions (for the first time) in 2022, there’s been a desire to bring back in-person training as an option this year. It provides a superior training experience, plus we can use walkie-talkies to practice proper radio calls.
That means we need trainers on Vancouver Island as well as in the Vancouver area, as our existing trainers won’t be able to cover the territory as easily. If you’ve got at least a couple years of rangering experience, can communicate and model how to be an effective Ranger in front of a group, and are able to provide direct feedback… you could be a trainer. There’s a form, there’s a checkbox, you know the drill.
We’re also looking for venues to hold in-person training – if you know of a venue that’s well-located, is sufficiently large and well-ventilated for 20+ people, and has enough space to split up into 4+ scenario groups, please let me know.
If we can expand our group of trainers sufficiently, that will free up some of our core trainers & leadership to potentially offer advanced options such as regional Green Dot training, or The Art of Khaki.
Are you good at writing clear, informative, engaging, and concise emails? Can you encourage people to volunteer without being overtly manipulative? Do you have strong opinions on when to use “Ranger” vs. “ranger”? Can you copy & paste those emails into a Facebook page and post links to a few groups? Are you trustworthy, responsible and able to send out needed/requested emails/posts in a somewhat timely manner?
If so, congratulations – you are better-suited to the position than me! Want to help make these emails suck less? Drop me a line or check the appropriate Tell Me More box to express your interest.
None of our regional events can happen without the support of Rangers, in particular Dirt Rangers out on shift. Folks who want to show up, step up and put in some time to help support their community in a way that not everyone is capable of. Walking a shift (or two), looking at some art, meeting new people, having conversations, and calling for advice or assistance over the radio if needed. Most of you on this list have volunteered as Rangers before – and I hope that many of you will choose to return this year. For those of you who are new – come out to training and join the team!
Why do we need you? With events topping 1500 participants, over a 4-day event we would ideally have 96 Rangers, another 16 Khaki shifts, and 3-4 Ranger-of-the-Days to support Khaki. And there’s two of those events each year, held in different locations, with a somewhat-overlapping group of volunteers. At this size, it’s tough to find enough Rangers, but I’d like to get as close as we can to providing 24-hour, event-wide coverage at our regional burns – you never know where or when someone will need a Ranger.
If you are thinking of volunteering in any way with BC Rangers this year, please take a moment to fill out the very brief form.
And finally – Ranger Hoodies!
Would you be interested in buying a cozy zip-up hoodie to keep you warm on those late night shifts? Folks have been asking for these for a few years now, and Ranger Mama Bear has looked into some options for a group buy. We’re trying to keep the cost to $50 or less, and the more we buy, the better the pricing. More details will be provided soon to anyone who expresses interest… on the form, where else?
Thanks for sticking with this until the end! I hope to hear from you one way or the other, and regardless of whether you’ll be rangering this year, I hope that it’ll be a great one for you.
Director, BC Rangers