Personal Experiences from the MAPS Camp at Burning Man

Winter 2005 Vol. 15, No. 3 MAPS Final Year as a Teenager

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This years MAPS Camp “story” was one that can be told from 80 to 100 different points of view. From where I’m coming from, something very profound and important took place out there in the Black Rock Desert. Although the infrastructure and lines of communication were far from perfect, the organic nature of how the camp got along was mind-blowing. And that had nothing to do with psychedelics, at least not directly. With several of its core members at this year’s burn dedicated to the cause of healing and sharing information, the MAPS vibe was infectious. I realized that one of my main goals this year while I was being a nomad was to help, guide, or improve the quality of the burn. They say there are magnetic qualities to the people one attracts. The official MAPS group attracted groups of people from far and wide, of many different generations, with similar intentions of healing and passing on knowledge. After this year’s burn, this extended community is now part of MAPS, including the several thousand spirits who passed thru to participate in whatever way they happened to.

From the researchers, yogis, nomads, goddesses and gods, mathematicians, writers, fire dancers, musicians, artists, comics, builders, communications experts, sages, and chefs – MAPS camp had it all this time around. I can only hope the momentum from this year explodes into a force unimaginable with as much humility and grace that 2005 espoused.

Daniel Simborg
Chicago, IL

I just wanted to send a shout out to all the people who made the MAPS dome at Burning Man happen. I had a great time there on a number of days and evenings, both listening to very informative talks and dancing the night away. Thanks for creating such an educational, fun and safe space for people to enjoy!

Tim Brown
Philadelphia, PA

I’m already planning for next year in the desert. I plan to volunteer even more of my time at the camp—it’s really the best way to experience Burning Man. With plans for a bigger MAPS Camp, there will be more to do, and more interesting people to meet in that out-of-the-ordinary environment. What I can count on is a week of outlandish fun and instant intimacy, getting to know people in a very deep way in a short time. I can’t wait.

Jack Lieberman
San Anselmo, CA

I thought our camp was highly functional. Each meal served enough people on time, all of us helped on construction (and later deconstruction), and overall we ran smoothly. I loved how we all looked out for one another. It really felt like family. . . I thank all who crossed my path especially those who opened their hearts to me. I will never forget my first burn and my week as a rookie in MAPS Camp.

Chicago, IL

I am writing you to say thank you so much for your kindness and healing. Thanks to you, I am on the path to healing, and I no longer feel that my actions were a waste anymore. You took care of so many people that I should tell you who I am. I came in following a very extreme multi-layered psychedelic and alcohol induced frizz out. The fallout resulting in my stay in the medical tent where I had a seizure from not taking my meds the night before. I also had initiated a series of cascading emotional issues revolving around the two other people I came to Burning Man with. Namely my wife and her lover and friend. We ended up opening the floodgates with pure honesty, and are well into the beginnings of some much needed healing. We are all planning on going back next year, however my wife and I have decided that if we decide to bring others, that the ratio be balanced next time, and that J. is most welcome, pending on his ability to either stay monogamous, or accept the challenge and difficulties, and benefits that G. and I enjoy in our particular style of relationship. G. and I actually bounced back stronger than before, and we were doing very very well prior to this. She is urging me to explore healing in the Shamanic sense. I feel that my path has changed course, and my life has been giving me some very heavy and clear directions towards this path. . . Anyway, thank you for being in Sanctuary. You are a remarkable healer.

Sanctuary Visitor