Saturday, June 30, 2012

The importance of TST

Our camp has changed names many times. Slumber Marshals, TST, Urban Pirates, Electric Sheep Farm and other names I might not even be aware of have come to define us as a group. Without a consistent camp name it is hard to establish our awesome reputation on the playa. We've done an amazing job ingratiating ourselves to the community through our hard work and we should be recognized for it. We've participated in Feed The Artists, been a long standing Theme Camp, performed at regional events, created a great bar atmosphere and above all provided a much needed service. As far as I know we are one of, if not the only, late-night food service on the playa. We've gotten praise in national publications for the environment we've worked so hard to cultivate.

One of the reasons why I felt it was important to return to Twilight Spaghetti Theatre came from the playa last year. One night I was tending bar with our good friend Butter-Snatch after a successful Ramen service. We were invaded by a horde of Godzillas who came from a Japanese Godzilla camp. Good times were had by all. The hub-bub began to attract attention and our sleepy camp became a hopping scene. I struck a conversation with a fellow who said that he had only been a burner for 3 years and after his first experience he vowed to share the virtues of the playa to everyone he met. He then launched into a story about his first night on the playa. After traveling for over 17 hours he arrived late at night. He quickly pitched his tent and went exploring. After traveling the esplanade he arrived at a camp dehydrated and starving. The gracious hosts offered him a drink of water and some beers. After telling the bartender how his travels had exhausted his energy reserves the bartender informed him that he found the not so secret that "the playa provides." The camp he had wandered into was in the middle of a spaghetti service. He eagerly took his plate of spaghetti and vowed to share the story of how hospitable and kind Burners could be.

As he was telling me his harrowing tale I could barely suppress my smile. WE WERE THAT CAMP! It warmed my heart to hear a fellow burner extolling our virtues to what he thought was a random stranger. I informed him that he had wandered into that same camp and we had only just finished a late night food service. He gave me a big hug and thanked me for his favorite burning man experience he'd ever had. He said that he shared that story as the first example of what the Burning Man experience is all about to non-burners.

Because we hadn't kept the same camp name he was unable to find us again. This was a prime example of both how cool our camp is, and the importance of keeping the same name so that we can continue the relationships we establish out on the playa.

Love you all,

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