How to start a Theme Camp #5 – Choosing Events

Aug 21, 2023 | Kiwiburn, Theme Camps

Welcome back!

Captain here, today I’m continuing the ‘How to start a Theme Camp’ blog series.

This time I’m discussing how to choose what events you’ll run as a Theme Camp. An important aspect of any Theme Camp!

I asked 25 fellow Theme Camp leads how they decide what events to run at the Burn. So you can be sure that you’re getting great info from all 26 of us (I ran a camp at KB23 too!).

I’ve grouped the answers into most common replies and ordered them from most common to least common.

Finally, before we begin, If you missed the last blogs in the series, catch up on them here:
#1 A general overview
#2 The application process
#3 Choosing a theme
#4 Organising Camp Members

Choosing Events for your Theme Camp

Question 1 – How many events do you run (on average)?

7 Camps said they run 3-5 events.
12 Camps said they run 6-8 events.
2 Camps said they run 8-10 events.
4 Camps said they run 10+ events.

Question 2 – How do you choose what your events will be?

The answers were:
– Members choose events that they are interested in
– We have staple events that we run every year
– We base our events on our camp theme
– We choose events based on our combined skills/experience/knowledge
– We talk about it all year and we decide as a group
– Our camp has a compulsory ‘must run one event’ rule
– We open the floor to camp members and let them decide
– Anything we love gets turned into an event
– We base them on anything we have access to
– Instinct

Question 3 – Do you base your events on your Theme Camp theme or the burn theme?

– Around 25% of the respondents said they base them on the burn theme
– Around 50% of the respondents said they base them on their own camp theme
– The remaining 25% said they just choose events they want to do, regardless of burn or camp themes.

Question 4 – Any other advice on how to choose events?

The answers were (in no particular order):
– Put yourself in the place/needs of other burners and you’ll find a sweet spot
– The more people get out of the event the better
– Run events you find fun, if you find it fun, other burners will too!
– Try to have people bring along their own materials, this saves a massive expense for the event
– Don’t stress too much about the events, just go with the flow
– Spitball ideas and see which ones stick. Have a shared document that all of your camp members can use to add ideas and organise events
– Don’t have too high expectations for any event
– Sometimes just a basic meet up/support group is best. Holding space is important.
– Don’t commit to too many, you don’t want to be at your camp all the time!
– Don’t organise morning events unless you’re 100% sure you’ll be awake
– Don’t ask people to run events unless they are super enthusiastic
– Consider health and safety & consent
– Be creative, think of things you’d never see elsewhere
– If your whole camp is onboard with it, chances are other burners will be too!

Phew! That’s it! That’s a lot of incredibly helpful advice.

Based on my experience and the answers above, I would suggest making it fun to choose events. Don’t make it stressful, just enjoy the opportunity that you have to provide something to burn participants.

Try to think of events that you’ve never seen before, the beauty of the burn is seeing the wild, weird and unexpected. But they don’t all have to be crazy, sometimes just a relaxing event is just as good. Participants appreciate a variety of events.

Anyway, now that you know how to choose events, it’s time to get to planning!

Go have some fun, I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

What’s next in the blog series?

Thanks again to the wonderful Theme Camp leads who filled in the survey, you really helped make this blog series come to life!

In the next blog I’ll be discussing structures and camp set up!

Until then, have a wonderful day.


Image Credit: Pixabay

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