Do you like feeling the gratification of putting in a hard day's work?
Do you enjoy the outdoors and working with like-minded people to get a big job done?
Have you heard about this cool thing called Work Weekends?
Let's talk about it!
WHAT ARE WORK WEEKENDS?
We all head out to the property (Armadillo Acres) for 4 different weekends, before the burn, to get the land ready for the event. In years past, as the ticket sales increased in volume, Work Weekends were used to clear new campsites on the lower field, and also along Longleaf, Hidden Creek, RoadRash, and Quebec trails. Most recently, we created an entire new camping area that is now known as Dagobah, up by the Crossroads.
This year, we will NOT be creating new campsites. Just maintaining what exists. It will mostly require clearing dead branches and felled trees from already established areas, and moving the wood to the lower field or using it to outline existing trails.
WHEN ARE WORK WEEKENDS?
Sept 20 -22
Check out the Myschieivia calendar and integrate it with your own so you don't forget!
WHO CAN COME?
You don't need a ticket, or even to intend to go to Mys this year. Several burners have attended WWs past who just wanted to volunteer for the community, but were taking a year off the actual burn. Also, I have met at least 5 people who were new burners, who decided to start at WWs.
This is a good place to note that every Work Weekend will have at least one LLC member, myself, and the landowner, onsite during the duration of the work.
Kids that are old enough to help out are welcome. They need to be supervised by their parent/guardian at all times and minor waiver needs to be signed. No one under the age of 18 will be allowed to use power tools.
Dogs that are supervised and behave are also okay but also need to be supervised the entire weekend.
IS THIS A PARTY?
Not like the burn. We work. Most of Saturday and Sunday will involve clearing vegetation and hauling it downfield. After work ends on Saturday, usually around 5-6 pm, we all relax. We hang out, usually around a campfire, and chat. Libations are had, food is eaten, and stories are told. It's rather intimate. In some ways, many of us have noted we like WWs almost as much as the actual burn, but it's not the same vibe. It's more like camping with friends.
SO THERE WILL BE A BONFIRE?
If there is no burn ban, we will likely have a small firepit. If there is a burn ban, there will not be a campfire. We may burn extra vegetation at the Burn Scar on the lower field, or maybe not. We'll just see. But no, we're not having anything you could call a bonfire.
WHEN CAN I SHOW UP?
Each WW, I intend to be on land with the LLC member du jour by 8 pm Friday, at the absolute latest, possibly as early as 6 pm. The landowner will be onsite by mid-afternoon. If you want to show up Friday night, cool. Hopefully everyone shows up by midnight, but if someone is coming in later than that, just let me know, and I'll stay up.
Or you can burn in anytime Saturday before noon. We'll leave the gate open.
WHAT'S THE SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?
In my experience, most of the crew rolls in Friday evening, the rest Saturday morning. Friday, we set up tents and cars, and chill. Sat, we begin work by 10 am at the latest. Work continues until 5-6 pm, or if the heat sucks, a little earlier. Then we all go off-shift, as it were, and chill out. Sunday, we wake and work by 10 am, but only on small projects. Most people flee by noon Sunday, and I want to officially be off land each WW by 2 pm Sunday.
And yes, you can leave early on Saturday, after work is done.
CAN I DRINK WHILE WORKING?
We're going to be using chainsaws and mowers and gators and vehicles. Own your experience and be responsible while the work happens. Don't endanger yourself or others. There will be plenty of time for of-age participants to drink after work ends. But if you're 21+ and like a cold beer during the work, I won't stop you.
On that note, you WILL BE REQUIRED TO SIGN A WAIVER UPON ARRIVAL. And this waiver will basically say that you can't sue any of us if you do stupid shit.
WILL THERE BE PORTO-JOHNS?
Yes. Same rules as the burn - nothing in the johns except human waste and toilet paper.
IS CAR CAMPING ALLOWED?
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
Everything you would bring for camping in the woods for two days while clearing detritus. Bring water. Bring food. Bring medical supplies that you need or may need. Bring a tent, or if you're car camping, prep your car/van/truck. Bring trash bags and pack your shit out.
Bring any equipment you can for clearing vegetation. Loppers, string trimmers, machetes, shovels, chainsaws, etc. Bring gloves and clothing that protects against sun, bugs, and wood particles. Bring bug spray, sunscreen, and eye protection.
DO YOU ALLOW PEOPLE TO LEAVE AND COME BACK?
Unlike the burn, if you need to go into town to get something, it's totally cool. Hell, you can even stay overnight at the Wildflower Inn or a motel in Daingerfield overnight and come back, instead of camping, we won't judge.
WHAT DO WE GET FOR THIS?
Well, first off, you get the knowledge that you helped make the burn itself happen. It seriously CANNOT happen without WWs. The Burn Community is all about volunteering, and if you drive a few hours to spend a weekend or more to sweat and haul wood and make the hundreds of campsites available? That's something you can be proud of, indeed.
Secondly, the LLC has confirmed that anyone who shows up and works at any WW will be on the list NEXT YEAR (2020) for early Volunteer Ticket purchase.
Third? Work Weekends are just a hell of a lot of fun. I wouldn't have done them for 3 years and volunteered as Land Lead this year if they weren't. As noted earlier, in different ways, they're as much fun as the burn itself.
Also, those participating will get a limited edition commemorative gift of some sort like a sticker or a patch.
In my times, WWs have had an attendance as low as 9 people, and as many as 22.
I'll be very, very happy if we can get more than 22 during the work hours this year.
Reach out to me, your Land Ops Lead, here.
Join the Work Weekend Facebook group here.
Land Ops Lead
2017-2021 Information Manager, Viv, is an Amazon potato who lives under a bridge, occasionally popping out to throw cabbages at edge lords.