Ranger Culture

Ranger Culture

When we asked Rangers to describe Ranger culture, most of the answers we got back were from the perspective of how we might be perceived in the community of Black Rock City. For example: 

“I give my time, offer my presence, and use skillful means to nudge my beloved Burning Man community toward the actual fulfillment of our stated Ten Principles.”

Other examples included being a sober friend at the party, holding back your hair as you throw up, comforting you during heartbreak and sadness, de-escalating conflict, being your grounding influence when you are experiencing an individual reality, and, inevitably, helping you find your camp and/or the nearest porta potties.

These responses, in and of themselves, define one of the key characteristics of Ranger Culture: “It’s not about us”. Ranger Stonebeard offered: “I can think of pieces of Ranger culture. Direct communication. Strong work ethic. Friendliness. Kilts. Openness about feelings. Level-headedness. Bacon. Openness to newcomers. Fondness for gadgetry. Dislike of gopeds. Storytelling and keeping old anecdotes alive. These are all part of Ranger culture…”

There were numerous references to bacon, as well as “I’m not going to tell you don’t do it, and I’m going to stand here with a fire extinguisher the entire time you are doing it.”

Other pieces of Ranger Culture include a certain amount of reflective navel gazing, and consensus model of operating—sometimes this is a little opaque, but that’s why we need the navel gazing. To Stonebeard’s list, we can add a desire to improve, to get better at what we do and how we do it and to see everyone in our Ranger family grow, learn, and get better at Rangering.

In the spirit of growth and getting better, we invite feedback on defining Ranger Culture ranger-trainingacademy-list@burningman.org.

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