About Camp Mystic
"Camp Mystic began as an outpouring of love, fascination, and gratitude towards everything that Burning Man is. It's a tribe of beautiful and passonate mystics that are compelled to contribute to our ongoing evolution and play!" -Cosmic Cowboy (Co-Founder, Camp Mystic)
Who We Are
Camp Mystic has a 15 + year history as a theme camp at Burning Man. We’re a an intimate tribe of creative talent and energy expressed as artists, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, musicians, and healers. We’re all about ecstatic contribution, radical self expression and intimate connection.
Camp Mystic is an ongoing experiment in the power of love, artistic expression, contribution, collaboration, compassion and exploration into our conscious evolution and ultimately the evolution of our human civilization.
Inspired by a sense of mystery, wonder and our profound interconnectedness, Mystics encourage the exploration of a deeper connection not only to each other as a chosen family, but as to this planet and the universe.
We gather physically each year at Burning Man and beyond to manifest these intentions and express the possibilities of collectively realizing the fullness of these potentials.
Camp Mystic Mission Statement
May we harmonize our incredible energy of love, tolerance, community, joy, hope and magic in a playful effort to bring forth peace and joy at Burning Man and in our world.
Camp Mystic is a collection of truly remarkable souls from all walks of life and from all corners of the earth, (including the U.S., England, New Zealand, Holland, Australia, Israel, Lebanon, France, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Uganda and elsewhere.) We can express the possibility of Peace and Love and be heard throughout the universe…and make a difference.
We as a community are bound by these values:
- We like to make things happen by setting a clear intention and then surrendering to the moment.
- We look to enhance every environment we are in and leave it better than we found it. The way art does that, the way science does that, the way human interaction does that, and our dedication to leaving no trace.
- We have a profound curiosity about what empowers people and allows them to be greater.
- We celebrate beauty and creative expression in all forms.
- We look for and welcome opportunities to stretch our boundaries and push our edges.
- And…love is present in everything we do.
These are the values that guide our choices and actions and guide how we treat each other. As members of Camp Mystic we are inspired to be iconic representatives of these values and agree to uphold them with our fellow citizens at Camp Mystic and on the Grand Playa:
1 Radical Contribution
We embrace ‘Ecstatic Volunteerism’ and look to enhance every environment we’re in and leave it better than we found it...the way art does that, the way science does that, the way human interaction does that and especially our dedication to Leaving No Trace.
2 Radical Compassion
Mystics understand that camp is a refuge, home, and an oasis for its tribe. Our intention is to always allow Love and Respect to be our guiding principles in the way we treat each other. Our commitment is to harmoniously resolve any types of challenges or conflicts that arise and to seek to compassionately understand and then be understood realizing the underlying positive intentions that drives our actions. We ask ourselves ‘How can love live through me now?’
3 Radical Collaboration
Together we make synergistic magic happen by setting clear intentions and then surrendering to the moment. Great collaboration happens when we focus on creating an environment that artfully maximizes the development of everyone inside it. We know that we can create so much more together than we can alone and seek to openly include the wisdom and diverse perspectives of our tribe when we leading, interacting, and making decisions.
4 Radical Self Expression (Beauty)
We celebrate beauty and creative expression in all forms. Mystic and Burning Man is a unique place that encourages us to come out of our shell, let go of our normal social contracts and explore what it might look like to become the enlightened child who interacts and plays and expresses exactly who they are. We welcome creative expression in all its forms and have in fact created a stage for those with extraordinary skill and those with a fledgling talent alike to share their offerings with the playa. We also look for and welcome opportunities to stretch our boundaries and push our edges.
5 Radical Evolution (Truth)
We have a profound curiosity about what empowers people and allows them to evolve. We look for and welcome opportunities to stretch our boundaries. One of the things that bonds our community together is our shared value in exploring the new story of humanity’s evolution and to be explorers of that leading edge. We do that through exploring evolutionary love, evolutionary relationship, evolutionary civilization, evolutionary entrepreneurship, evolutionary leadership, evolutionary sex, evolutionary masculinity, evolutionary femininity, evolutionary community, and more. Come be a beacon of humanity’s evolution riding your own razer’s edge.
One of the things that makes Burning Man and its culture so different is the fact that there are no spectators. Everyone participates. There are no vendors (other than ice and coffee). Every must be radically self reliant and because of it being in one of the harshest locations on the planet we all must also band together and rely on each other creating an intentional community for the days we are there together There is a special alchemy that it creates which makes it an incredibly transformative event like no other.
Remember that many hands make light work and AFTER build is over (where we work like crazy all day and into the night - enjoying the hell out of the process along the way) we venture to make participating in camp easy, fun, and joyful for everyone. Your participation is what makes this possible. We have a few agreements we want every Mystic to make with respect to your participation.
Camp Mystic Philosophy
3RC - Radical Compassion, Radical Contribution, and Radical Collaboration. We are a close tribe of people who like to enhance every environment we are in. We have a profound curiosity about what empowers people and makes them greater.
Our philosophy is to be safe, be involved, be creative, and be loving.
Camp Mystic seeks to be a refuge and a home for our tribe – a place of mystical soothing, love and community. No matter where you wander in Black Rock City, no matter what you encounter – your camp and its wonderful Mystics will be there waiting to embrace you with shade, shelter, a smile and perhaps an incredible life changing interaction. The harshness of life on the playa tends to melt away as you enter the Mystic harbor. We like it that way…
Founded in 1998, camp was initially a story of survival and artistic exploration. With the building of Camp Mystic’s themed 'Mr. Dahab Camp' in 2002, Camp Mystic became focused on the comfort of our revelers – and has never looked back. Every year we aim to elevate to the next level of luxe, bliss, and contribution to the playa – you know it baby!
A Brief History of Camp Mystic's Family Tree
(written circa 2005 & edited by Camp Mystic Co-Founder's Disco-Lama aka Daniel Frommer & Cosmic Cowboy aka Jonathan Yudis)
Camp Mystic was founded at Burningman 1998. Disco Lama (then known as BurningDan) arrived Monday afternoon with E$ (Evan Nadel) and establishedcamp on the corner of 3rd and Village in between Madame Tang's Opium Den and the Oregon Country Fair. That year, camp consisted of a single 2 person tent, two cars and a tarp. Burning Man that year was ridiculously hot, with temperatures reaching over 115 degrees in day time and a beautiful 75 degrees in the evening. About 14,000 people made it on the playa that year.
Disco had contacted Cosmic Cowboy (Jonathan Yudis) months earlier, letting him know about this insane art festival in the desert he was going to attend that year, but knew nothing more about it really. A few hours before heading out to the playa, Disco used a pay phone to make a call to the Cowboy leaving a voice mail saying "Yudis! I am heading out to the desert now. I hope you can make it! It is going to be awesome" Even then, camp was a last minute gig.
Hot dry and ill prepared, BurningDan and E$ rocked the playa hard, and relatively sober. By Thursday night the party was in full swing. Lost At Last performed at center stage (there was no Centercamp that year it was really the best year ever, but there was a Center Stage can you imagine that??) as some beautiful naked chick performed with an albino python slithering around her perfect breasts. All was magic. Friday morning, E$ took off (never saw the man burn how sad) and BurningDan was on his own. That is, until lateFriday evening, when Cosmic Arrived, so to speak, in multiple dimensions.
That year, the man burned on Sunday evening (it has been on Saturday evening every year since). Cosmic Cowboy was under a vow of silence, and thus began another great mystic tradition of Disco having to translate for a silent cosmic cowboy. Cosmic camped way out on the edge of the city (the first Camp Mystic Annex not to be repeated
until 2004 with Black Rock Industries). Saturday evening, Cosmic Cowboy's True Love, Tia B (aka Mystic Mother and later Cozy Winters) arrived as the rains began to fall. The Playa became muddy, the lunar eclipse electrified burningman, and camp mystic was truly born.
That Monday morning, after the burn, the first Camp Mystic art project was brought forth on the Playa, as Cosmic and TiaB performed "Cosmic Cowboy Cometh" for a few straggling burners in a sacred circle – as BurningDan slept in his rental car, feet bleeding with the cracks of well-earned playafoot. Epic.
Since 1998 camp mystic has grown and grown. In 1999 Cosmic brought a film crew to the playa to film "Hands: The Anti Documentary", which brought Captain Nice Guy and Cyberius Rex (Tim Johnson, the King of All Things Hip-Hop,the next year he brought his love mystic Kelly Darling).
All mystics at this point can trace themselves to Cosmic Cowboy, Captain Nice Guy and Disco Lama. Three streams of souls converging in mystical union (sappy, I know).
The floodgates to camp mystic truly opened in 2002, the Floating World. That year, Captain Nice Guy brought the Northwest contingent, including Joy Simeon, Jonny Moonrock, Martha, Drew and Gabrielle Simeon, and Monibean, creating what is now the largest constellation in the mystic galaxy. 2002 also saw the arrival of Disco Lama's brother, Vicodin Man (Jonathan Frommer, who later founded Playa Pail Kids Camp), and Blacklight (Bram Portnoy, now known as PlayaStorm, who later merged with Virgins & Villains camp). Our nextdoor neighbor that year, Tantric Dan (aka Daniel Levin and now Pantsless Wonder) has been a nucleus of mystic energy ever since, and can be found in the corner of camp with his rv and tons of juice.
Gabrielle Sundra (aka Glitter Girl and Playa Mama) has since become the greatest source of Mystic Expansion. She has brought her sister, mother and father, as well as her entire community of transformational rockstars, including Swirly Girl, Zac Adler, Amber Lupton, Michael and Nila Ferrone, Ibrahim Alhusseini, Myriam & Yasmina Choueri, Camille, Sandra, Delia, Marc, Boyd, Liam, Sara J., Nadim, Christine, Abraham, Shannon, Tobin, Ted and others. This year, her beau Raj Sundra (aka Benevolent King) will be in our midst.
Martha and Drew have spawned their own stream of mystics, including Cat, Ingrid, and D2. Vicodin man has branched out with Jacob Pfeffer, Aron Gurland, Jessica & Margarita and Galaxy. Disco has continued his streak of inviting members of the bar including Blacklight, Sagi Kfir (tzuchik), Robin g, clare and Philippine. The Mystic Law Firm, at this point, appears to be inevitable. This year (2005) we are welcoming close to a dozen new mystics in our midst, and the streams keep growing exponentially.
What's Our Vibe?
What is the VIBE at Camp Mystic?
With its roots on the playa dating back to the late 90's, Camp Mystic understands that CAMP is a refuge, home, and an oasis for its tribe. Our intention is to always allow Love and Respect to be our guiding principals in the way we treat each other. Our vibe is positively laid back, stimulating, and nurturing.
On the note of nurturing, we even have a dedicated 'Welcoming Committee' so that no matter what day or hour you arrive at camp you are welcomed with a big hug and instructions about where/how to set up and answers to any/all your camp questions. We also have dedicated and very experienced camp leaders and burners whose mission is to make sure all mystics in camp are happy and to resolve any types of challenges or conflicts that arise.
While we are made up of a plethora of artists, musicians, healers, teachers, families and thought leaders, our vibe at camp is about setting a clear intention and then surrendering to the moment. At times this may be connection & community and at other times quiet personal time to chillax and celebrate oneself.
We are all about voluntary and ecstatic participation, contribution, and co-creating an environment of intimacy. This is manifested by the way we operate as a camp, offer small cooking pods & group meals together, and how we interact both on and off the playa year round. Daytime offers various exciting and edifying panel discussions, workshops, and speakers (always voluntary and open to the public,) yoga, transformative ceremonies and sessions in the Healing Dome. Night time at camp often offers electronic music and dance in the Chillax Lounge, spontaneous, sensual & passionate connections, and always a focus on play!
We have opening and closing circles which bookend our burn, and at least one big CAMP DANCE PARTY on Wednesday night featuring some of the best DJ's on the playa, and we often set out as a camp to journey to the playa together to see and celebrate the Man Burning.
Ultimately, it's the VIBE of Camp Mystic which makes the magic happen and it's the vibe of the camp that have people say it's their favorite spot to be at Burning Man!
What We Build
Given our remarkable groupof thought leaders, teachers, healers, musicians, performers, and artists we have created lots of public offerings we gift to the playa each year.
We offer public spaces to showcase a whole array of visionary artists, sculpturers, and altar creators.
We offer public spaces to showcase incredible musicians and performers of all kinds including acoustic musicians, electronic music composers, DJs, visual arts performers, fire dancers, belly dancers, spoken word performers and the like.
We offer public spaces for our thought leaders, teachers, authors, and speakers to share their most cutting edge ideas.
We offer private amenties for all our campers so they can enjoy the playa in style. Camp mystic offers just the right blend of infrastructure and opportunity to create community and be part of a camp that comes together with your unique contribution. We are a camp where everyone participates, connects, and collaborates. It's our experiment in intentional community with a tribe who considers many of its members chosen family.
To find out how to join us at Camp Mystic go to our Get Involved page.
Mystic Lounge & Theater:
Our main structure at Burning Man is our infamous Mystic Lounge & Theater which is spans 3 stories high and over 7000 sqft. Come n to a world of incredible visionary art, sculpture, and altars. Come find a cool and relaxing place to lounge in out of the hot day sun where you'll find a soft white carpeted floor, dozens of cushy mattresses and cushions, semi-enclosed soaces tucked away to enjoy connecting more 1:on:1. During the day you'll find all sorts of offerings including mesmerizing acoustic and electronic music and singesr, interactive workshops, panel discussions from some of the world's most interesting speakers on topics like evolution, new paradigms of governance and economics, post modern spirituality, evolutionary relationships, conscious sexuality, the burning man ethos, and much more! During the evening come by for some amazing tunes. You won't want to miss our Wednesday night party which attracts some of the best talent on the playa....musicians like Random Rab, Phutureprimitive, Kaminanda, Kyrstyn Pixton, and many others! It's a night to remember. Don't miss our catbuit seat views on the 3rd story platforms to get one of the playa's best views.
We offer to the playa our 30x30ft healing sanctuary. A quiet place to relax, receiving healing, body work, aromatherapy, ceremony, an occassional workshop, yoga and other mystically centered healing modalities. Come to rest and get out of the hot sun to refresh your body and your mind.
In years past we've offered Saturday Morning Cartoons and Cereal from 9AM - 11AM in the mornings....a total throw back to some of our favorite cartoons. A super fun and light hearted way to enjoy the playa.
Our dome features soft ground, solar powered fans, beautiful visionary art, and altars.
Our team this year may be putting together an interactive experience inside our dome create an intentional experience for those who enter. Come and enjoy this beautiful space.
For all our campers we offer lots of great amenities that we all help to create and build to make our stay on the playa fun, clean, and easy. Everyone at camp pays $250 in dues. We will offer 3-4 scholarships each year based on merit but all others participate in Radical Contribution to help co-create the magic at Mystic:
- Water: We provide water to everyone at Camp Mystic which we allocate once you get welcomed into camp. Each person gets around 1 - 1.5 gallons per day with a reserve of extra water in case you happen to need more. Leave all those plastic bottles at home! Mystic is striving to cut down on all the trash that we create. We order fresh spring water from Red Rock Spring Water or MECO who delivers it to us right on the playa.
- Kitchen: We build a stocked Kitchen with 6-8 stations for our various Food Pod chefs to cook in together. It's fully equipped with burners, propane, pots, pans, serving dishes, utensils, cutting boards, and the like so you can prepare delicious meals for those members of your pod. Plenty of us back there for our two meals which happen at Brunch (11:00amish) and Dinner (7:00pmish).
- Dining Hall: Once your meal is cooked you can take it to our Dining Hall where you'll find buffet tables labeled with your pod#. A beautiful array of healthy meals will be laid out for all the campers who elected to join our food pod plan. Come there with your own plate and utensils and you'll be well fed and nourished. We tend to attract foodies who love to eat well so you'll be amazed out how well you eat while on the playa.
- Dish Washing Station: We have a great dish washing station setup to wash pots, pans, serving dishes, plates, and utensils. Three bins one with soapy water, one with disinfectant, and one with rinse water. We make sure our kitchen is left better than we found it so the next chefs get to walk in to a nice clean space. Dish washing is ONLY for Chefs and not for general use by campers. So wash off your own plate with minimal water and a paper towel after your meals.
- Showers: We build two working showers with pumps and drains for our Mystics. Bring a gallon of your water to fill up the bucket, turn on the pump of the shower head and have a refreshing but quick shower to get yourself clean. Remember to bring only biodegradable soaps, shampoos, and conditioners and remember to empty your collection bucket (underneath the shower platform) once you are finished.
- Shade Structures: We build two 36x20ft shade structures and one 32x20ft structure for our tenters to camp underneath to block some of that hot midday sun. If you get onto the playa early you'll get one of the coveted spots under the shade...it's first come first serve.
- Welcome Wagon: Get welcomed burning man style once you find our camp. We'll get you placed, get you your water, get you oriented and give you a quick tour of what we've got at Mystic and how to use it!
- Food Options: You've got options at Camp Mystic - you can go Solo, be on a Food Plan (additional $210/$260-meat), or join a Food Pod at Camp Mystic. Our Food Pods are a fantastic way to get to know other mystics as you will be responsible for cooking 1 meal for the week and your pod will cook for you the rest of tehe week! It's our most popular option and one of our favorite ways to connect.
- Power Grid: Want to have your own personal lights, sound, AC going? You can participate on our Power grid if you need to connect to shore power. It is $110 for a 20A connection (small Class C RVs, small AC units), $150 for a 30A connection (medium sized and newer Class C RVs), and $200 for a 50A connection (large Class A RVs). Only 1 person from each vehicle needs to pay for power.