2020 Black Rock Ranger Manual

“…I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around—nobody big, I mean—except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy. But that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”

—J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye


In Memoriam

Black Rock Ranger Organization

Black Rock Ranger Organization

  • Ranger Council and Operations
  • Ranger Teams
  • Ranger Designations
  • A History of the Black Rock Rangers
  • Ranger Culture
  • Social Capital
  • Organizational Structure, off-playa
  • Organizational Structure, on-playa
Ranger Shift Structure and Expectations
Ranger Shift Structure and Expectations

  • Shift Structure
  • Khaki and Cruise Direction
  • Things Rangers Do on Shift
  • Ranger Uniform
  • Ranger Resources


  • Making Effective Radio Calls
  • Event Radios
Situations You'll Encounter
Situations You’ll Encounter

  • Arriving on the Scene
  • Must Reports
  • Breakdowns and Lockouts
  • Distressed and Disoriented Participants
  • Drone Protocol
  • Evictions
  • Found Animal
  • Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Spectrum
  • Laser Protocol
  • Law Enforcement
  • Lost and Found Items
  • Media and Cameras
  • Missing Adults
  • Noise Complaints
  • Property Theft
  • Vehicle Issues
  • Where Are the Porta-potties?
  • Responder Trauma

Burn Perimeter Protocol

Culture of Feedback
Culture of Feedback

  • Giving, Receiving and Escalating Feedback
  • How to Have Hard Conversations
  • Who Can I Talk To About…?
Un-Rangerly Behavior
UnRangerly Behavior

  • Harassment and Discrimination
  • UnRangerly Behavior
  • Removal from Shifts, Event, and Department
Conflict, Mediation, and Conflict Resolution Strategies

Communication, Mediation, and Conflict Resolution Strategies

  • Active Listening
  • Body Language
  • Empathy and Empathic Attunement
  • F.L.A.M.E
  • Interest versus Position
  • Observation versus Inference
  • Open and Closed Questions
  • Intervention and Escalation
  • De-escalation
  • Transcending the Model
Ranger Policies and Procedures

Becoming a Ranger

Black Rock Ranger Policies and Procedures

  • Ranger Policies in the Clubhouse
  • Ranger Training
  • Ranger Status
  • Returning to the Rangers After an Extended Absence
  • Ranger Social Media Policy
  • Ranger Logo Usage Policy
  • Ranger Mailing Lists
  • Contacting other Rangers
  • Joining Ranger Special Teams

About The Black Rock Ranger Manual

As used in this manual, the words “must” and “must not” indicate a required course of action, one in which Rangers have no discretion. In contrast, the words “should” and “should not” indicate a recommendation rather than an absolute requirement. In such cases there may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to choose a different course of action, and Rangers are expected to use their best judgment in determining what to do.

The photographs in this document are used with permission of the original photographer. Rangers who are not pictured are noted by the citation “NP” after their name. Any questions or concerns about any of the photographs used in this manual should be directed to Ranger Fortress

This document is written and produced by the Ranger Training Academy.
Editors: Ahimsa, Roslyn, Saturn, & Stegosaur | Layout: Saturn

All inquiries, questions, and comments should be directed to the Black Rock Ranger Training Academy.

© 2019-21 Black Rock City LLC and Burning Man Project. No portion of this document may be reproduced in part or in whole without written permission from Burning Man and the Black Rock Rangers. Mv17.2-052120/FG3.0/T2.0