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The Summerisle Guide is for First Timers, Veterans, and Everyone In Between! Click on on a topic or download a printable copy.

What is a burn?

Summerisle Burn is a multi-day camping event based on the culture and principles of Burning Man. We are a collaborative gathering of a strong, widely dispersed community, organized and fueled by volunteers. It is an interactive experience that is everything you choose to make it.

Burn culture is an ongoing, ever-evolving experiment in temporary society, in which we explore human expression, interaction, and evolution when guided by a new, chosen set of norms that place the value of our community and trust foremost.

As with all successful regional burns, Summerisle embraces the Ten Principles, and models itself on their guidance. Thus, for example, we incorporate the principles of Leave No Trace (there are no trash cans, so you’ll have to pick up after yourself and pack your trash out with you), Decommodification (no buying or selling of goods, and many choose to obscure or creatively alter any visible brands on trucks, tents, and clothing), and Radical Self Reliance (there are no vendors, so you’ll have to bring enough food, water, and whatever else you need to survive for several days.)

THE TEN PRINCIPLES

Just as our day to day lives are governed by both explicitly stated laws and implicitly adopted social norms, our burn is guided by what are known as the Ten Principles. They were not crafted as a dictate of how people should be, or act, but instead as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture, our values and priorities. While they are ordered, their creator Larry Harvey – and the broader Burning Man community – have regularly noted that they are always in conversation with one another, and no Principle is any more or less important than the rest::

  • Radical Inclusion: Anyone may be a part of Summerisle Burn. We welcome and respect the stranger. 
  • Gifting: Summerisle Burn is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange – it is not a barter. 
  • Decommodification: In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience. 
  • Radical Self-Reliance: Summerisle Burn encourages the individual to discover, exercise, and rely on his, her, or their inner resources. 
  • Radical Self-Expression: RSE arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. Their unique expression is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient. 
  • Communal Effort: Summerisle Burn values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.
  • Civic Responsibility: Summerisle Burn values civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws. 
  • Leave No Trace: Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.                   
  • Participation: Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart. 
  • Immediacy: Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

 

Consent is the unspoken, ever-present Eleventh Principle. We expect all burners to seek, honor, and be actively mindful of the consent of others to one’s own actions, interpretations, and needs.