So, you're thinking about camping with the Turtles?
There are a lot of different kinds of Burning Man theme camps. No two are the same. Hopefully after you read this article you'll have a better idea for whether the Turtles are right for you. And then we'll want to meet you, get to know you a bit better, and decide if we agree that you're right for our camp.
Our first year as a came was in 2018, when we called GTM. That was supposed to be “Gay Turtle Makeout” but honestly nobody really cared about our dumb little camp. We didn’t even have any real frontage on the street; we were basically in the backyard of some people in a trailer just about as far away from everything as possible. This is one of the only pictures I have from that year:
Almost nobody had been to Burning Man before. We had nice tents, great food, and managed to stay alive. By the end of the week our lives had changed and we knew we would be back again.
In 2019 we got fancy. Although the name was supposed to be Gay Turtle Matriarchy this year, we did not have a coherent story about why "Matriarchy" so the sign we made just said Gay Turtles.
This was the first year we had real gifts and interaction... some cocktail parties, free coffee at midnight, our open lounge space, and a goofy low-intensity workout in the sun. At noon. That people actually went to.
Our goal for 2022 is to build the anchor destination in the gayborhood.
We'll have an incredible Turtle Spaceport with DJ, bar, and the air-conditioned Turtle Spaceport Pillow Fort cuddle-space. We'll have some kind of event almost every night and coordinate interactive schedules with our other gayborhood camps, including our HUB neighbors Gender Blender and 8-bit Bunny.
Camping for a week in the harsh Black Rock Desert is tough. We try to make it easier by collaborating to build a beautiful camp, organizing delicious shared meals together, and providing a communal gift to the Burning Man community.
This all takes a ton of work, both in the months leading up to the event getting everything ready, and during the week of Burning Man itself. To camp with us, you can expect to put in several days of work before we even get to the event, and several hours of shifts every day once we’re there.
If that sounds like too much, that’s fine! Maybe you would like to go on a cruise ship? You will not have to work there at all.
That said, the magic of Burning Man is the collaboration. Not only will you be collaborating to build something really awesome that you can be proud of, but you will test your own limits, learn many new skills, and make incredible friends for life. Burning Man is a transformative experience and the people you go through it with make all the difference.