Reclaimation saw a tremendous amount of growth in 2012. As was the trend with other regional burns, our ticket sales were up, although we did not reach cap. We hit triple digits for the first time with 103 people purchasing tickets; 90 of those burners redeeming their tickets at the gate. More theme camps preregistered this year, with a total of 9 operating during the burn. With those greater numbers also came a flourishing of art.
During a work/play weekend prior to the burn, numerous old toys and children’s items were discovered in the moop patrol trash by one burner, and sparked the creation of one such found art installation. As the pile of discarded items grew, The Tree of Forgotten Toys began to take shape and was greatly enjoyed for its spooky/cute ambiance. Another individual built an accurate mock-up of a traditional still that produced distilled water from a nearby stream. Our first temple was a beautiful free-flowing structure of dead sumac trees and woven vines, which had been cleared from new camping spaces during a work/play weekend. Attendees were encouraged to mediate inside the structure and/or tie their intentions to it with provided strips of cloth. Rain on Sunday prevented us from burning the temple until Tuesday of the following week. Although there was only a small crew left onsite during the temple burn, emotions were high and the tears flowed freely. Each and every person that left their intention in the temple was represented as the flames released that energy into the universe.
The land on which we hold Reclaimation is a particularly beautiful place and many of us have felt what might be best summed up as a shamanistic tie to the land. We celebrate the Appalachian heritage of mountaineers of all ethnicities.
In 2012, the theme “Weaving the Cosmic Web” reflected the interconnectedness of us all and hearkened to the Cherokee legend of Grandmother Spider. The theme was reflected in both our effigy and our swag.
Now to our team focuses: Gate Team and Parking Team work together to make entry into Reclaimation enjoyable and smooth. Gate Team would like to remind attendees to make the burn greener by NOT bringing their paypal receipts for invites. This will cut down possible MOOP considerably. Attendees are presented with their swag at the gate, and this year Gate Team came up with a spiderweb design that matched that of the effigy. Gate activities were amped up this year and new arrivals were greeted by the “Wheel of Punishment.” The Survival Guide played a key role as the attendee had to answer a question taken from it. If they incorrectly answered the question, they were required to spin the Wheel of Punishment and take their punishment, courtesy of the Gate Team Lead. A copy of the Survival Guide was also at the Gate for those who answered incorrectly. Primary focus on the Gate for 2012 was to make it as entertaining as possible for the volunteers who did such a wonderful job at Gate. Further improvements are in the works and should make the entry into Reclaimation even more enjoyable.
Parking Team did a great job of organizing cars so that nobody got blocked in. Those who were staying for the entire event were parked in the back parking area while those who had to leave sooner were parked closer to the front gate with open space through which to leave. In 2013, Parking Team plans to add a turn-around area so that burners can park more easily once they’ve been checked in at the gate. Many volunteers stepped forward this year to assist with parking and we know we’ll have just as much input of effort and ideas in 2013.
Hillbillies Hauling Sh*t is a new team that came into being this year. Since we only have a single road for entry and exit, HHS uses ATVs to bring burners to and from their camps once they’ve parked their cars at the entrance. Equipped with walkie-talkies, HHS is able to coordinate drop-offs and pick-ups to avoid traffic jams and increase the convenience of entry and exit. The road leading from the property to the main gate and parking is fairly steep and can become slippery. In the event of rain, HHS uses a pickup truck instead of the ATVs to move burners and their gear. HHS is also available to help injured or disabled burners get around during Reclaimation. HHS leads have also helped by making supply runs. HHS was allotted money for gas in 2012 and this expense will be factored into the budget again in 2013.
Theme camp placement went smoothly and all campers got the spots they requested. The Theme Camp Placement lead went from camp to camp to ensure that each were located in the place they desired. In 2013, more camp sites will be cleared during a series of work/play weekends to allow for more locations to camp. Burners have always been allowed to come to work/play weekends to work on clearing out their own camp spots prior to event. It’s a wonderful way to “stake your claim” to an area and make it as burnerly beautiful as you like.
The Hillbilly Hub was another new team that began in 2012. It is a meeting place for participants to find out about happenings at the burn, learn about the Ten Principles, volunteer, or simply connect with one another. Although the Hub was conceived in 2012, it went largely unmanned due to medical issues that were being experienced by the individual who designed it. Big plans are in the works for the Hillbilly Hub 2013.
Mooper Troopers reported that relatively no moop was left on site this year. While Mooper/Pooper Troopers enforce our Leave No Trace policy, everyone is educated about moop and the proper use of our composting toilets. A great many burners who have attended others burns, have claimed that our toilets are the cleanest they’ve seen. This is due to both the efforts of our volunteers and the cooperation of all our burners. We ask that each attendee donate at least one bucket with a lid for use in our outhouses, which, with the exception of the landowner’s were constructed during work/play events. Instructions for use are posted in the outhouses at all times. The outhouses were renovated this summer during a couple of work/plays held on the land. Fresh paint and improvements made a huge difference to the interior spaciousness. An older outhouse was renovated into a handicapped accessible potty with a ramp and battery-powered indoor lighting. Each outhouse is also stocked with gloves and hand sanitizer to make the Pooper Troopers job easier. We also encourage burners to set up their own in-camp composting potties which are collected at the end of the event. This increases sanitation and convenience for everyone. A series of work/play weekends have already begun, during which we will construct rechargeable LED light fixtures for the outhouses, as well as such fixtures for path lighting.
There were no medical issues in 2012, but we are planning to have a more central location for Medical Team in 2013 in the event that one arises. A large covered area will be constructed near the landowner’s cabin which will house our medical and ranger team headquarters, and the Hillbilly Hub. We have also had several volunteers to run a Sanctuary in 2013, which we haven’t had previously, at least in a formal sense.
Ranger team had their first Black Rock Regional Ranger training done by Black Rock Ranger Fatboy. In 2013, our Ranger Team lead plans to update our training information to better address our special needs as a burn. Roughly one third of our community has received ranger training at least one burn in the Southeast, which gives us a good pool of volunteers and a safer event. We experienced one Sanctuary issue in 2012. The individual was attended by a ranger and another attendee through the night. We had to evict an attendee from the burn for the first time in Reclaimation history this year. The individual had to be approached by several rangers for mooping and attempting to sell drugs at the burn. The person was unable to understand the implications of his actions or why they were not allowed. We waited until he was no longer intoxicated and then he was escorted off the property by Rangers and HHS.
The Lamplighter Team did a wonderful job of lighting our small community. Because of our growth, Lamplighters will definitely need more volunteers for 2013. The Team Lead would like to make costumes for our lamplighters that resemble the ones worn by lighters at other burns. Through trial and error, we found that kerosene works best for the lanterns and will be used again as fuel in 2013. Lamplighter Team is also seeking a few more lanterns to supplement the supply already on hand, and is currently working on rechargeable LED lighting projects. The LED lights will come with rechargeable battery and solar packs and will promote a greener burn.
Our Fire Conclave opened with four “priestesses” blessing the circle around the effigy. Fire performers were then led on field individually to prerecorded music, and then in larger numbers as the intensity of the music led toward a climax. Participants were gifted medicine bottle rattles containing ashes from the Kentucky CORE 2011 effigy, which they used to supplement the rhythm of the music. Following the conclave finale, the Effigy Team Lead lit the structure with a big POOF. Prerecorded music played during the effigy burn. Once Fire Team deemed it safe, everyone in attendance joined hands in a human hula hoop and we all made our way around the remains of the effigy as one entity while our theme song, written collaboratively over a series of work/play weekends by our resident banjo player, was sung. The culmination of this moment was a very touching one for us all. The conclave lead has a few new ideas for 2013. The fuel dump will be moved to a safer location with more visible caution tape over the entire area. While we have had no safety incidents, we want to prevent them in the future. The conclave lead would also like to rely on live drumming during the 2013 burn if drummers can be recruited.
In keeping with our 2012 theme, “Weaving the Cosmic Web,” and our desire to honor Grandmother Spider of the Cherokee, Effigy Team spent several work/play weekends building a double spiderweb structure. This effigy was our largest and most ornate to date. It was created completely from wood that had been salvaged from defunct outbuildings. While being thrifty and more environmentally friendly, this also added a little more Appalachian flavor to our effigy. As a testament to its sturdy construction and loving design, it burnt for quite some time before collapse and created some beautiful flames. In 2013, another Effigy Team Lead has stepped forward with a design for a lighthouse. Proposed theme ideas are revolving around a “Beacon of Light.” We are also excited that the lead for this year’s effigy is a lifelong resident of the area. Engaging with the local community has been a running goal for Reclaimation since its creation, and even more of the local community is planning to attend in 2013.
Safety is of utmost importance at Reclaimation, and our Fire Safety Team did a great job ensuring that we were all kept safe. All theme camps were required to bring their own fire suppression materials in order to keep our event safer. Outside of a few designated fire pits and barrels, no open fires were allowed. Fire performances are not allowed at Reclaimation without proper safety equipment a sober person to use them, and a safety. Our policy is that fire performers who violate this rule will be spoken to immediately by rangers and can be asked to leave the property if safety standards are not met. In 2013, Fire Team would like to acquire a fire suit that can be used exclusively for Reclaimation.
We did our census online after the burn and found that only about 30% of attendees completed one. In 2013, we plan to use a paper census and will possibly visit each camp to administer it in person. We will see if this increases the number of completed forms so that we poll our entire population and get a better picture of what you want from your burn.
Although we welcome families with children to our work/plays and related events, Reclaimation will remain an 18 and up event in 2013. Prior census reports and talks with the community have rendered a 50/50 view on children attending Reclaimation. If those views were to change, then we would revisit the issue. Moop issues (from decades of previous tenants) and logistics would have to be looked at closely to make certain that children could be supervised adequately while at the burn.
As you see, it was a wonderful burn year for us. In addition to the projects mentioned above, we are building a handicapped accessible shower to be used at the burn in 2013. We also plan to put together our first Art Grant Committee in 2013. We will complete our LLC paperwork before the event in 2013 so we can be as businesslike as possible while providing a safe place to burn.
I look forward to what 2013 has to hold for us. Thank you for reading this and we look forward to you coming to our hollow and experiencing our little burn in the Kentucky hills. Reclaimation BOD Joan Browning Kim Fuller Kristal Light Nicneven Robinson Tonya Mullins
Reclaimation 2013 once again brought together burners from all over the country to the beautiful Eastern Kentucky Mountains. Although our numbers were down this year (due to various reasons, one of the biggest being the extremely wet weather), the number of theme camps remained about average for our small burn.
The entire event was a huge success, if a little soggy. A Hillbilly Wedding was performed with Kelly and Jeremy tying the knot surrounded by their burner family on Saturday afternoon. A smoker had been donated by members of the local community and a humongous feast was devoured by the multitudes.
Lots of pork, beef, and vegetables spent Friday night on the smoker becoming all deliciousness for the festivities on Saturday. Thankfully, the rain held off so that the wedding and feast were enjoyed in the warmth of the May sunshine. Art Grants were given out for the first time in 2013.
Four recipients brought their fantastic art to the burn and we anticipate triple that amount for 2014. Volunteers were plentiful and all shifts were covered. Only one medical injury involving a cut finger due to a minor kitchen incident occurred. Our top-notch medic team handled the small cut with their usual finesse.
The whole weekend was successfully summed up when the 20’ lighthouse effigy refused to burn due to the extreme wetness of the preceding weeks. However, the hillbillies got their heads together and burn it did! All-in-all, Reclaimation 2013 was huge success and was just the send-off for the many changes coming to Reclaimation 2014.
Reclaimation 2015 was definitely one for the books. The theme was “Our Eternal Garden”. We had one hundred and forty one (141) participants on site, with virtually all the volunteer slots filled on a daily basis. Although early volunteer sign up online was slow, shifts filled quickly once people started to arrive onsite. This was definitely the warmest Reclaimation that has been seen, and it was welcomed with open arms by everyone.
One minor medical injury was reported when a child fell off the merry go round. She was expertly bandaged by the Medic Team and released to play again. We were visited by LEO for the first time in the history of Reclaimation. Due to a noise complaint by a neighbor, LEO arrived at Terrapin Hill and asked the first person they saw to get the Landowner and the person in charge of the event immediately. Word spread quickly through the event and the volume at all sound camps was immediately lowered. Shortly thereafter, LEO took their leave without conversing further with any member of the event. BOD members were on their way to speak with them, but they left before any discussion could be had. Due to this incident, two changes will be made for next years event. First, the entrance gate will be locked so that no vehicles can gain entrance without speaking with the Landowner or the BOD. Secondly, sound restrictions will be put into place and a waiver will have to be signed by Sound Camp TCOs.
There were six (6) Theme Camps with a variety of activities and chill spaces in which to participate. The effigy was built by Thom Root over the course of the first few days and it was spectacular. The temple was built by Nicneven Robinson and Paul Smith and it was burnt on Sunday night to the accompaniment of participant drumming. The temple was dedicated to the animals of the earth, and especially our beloved furbabies. Burning the temple on Sunday morning is being considered for next year due to the number of people who can’t stay for the temple burn on Sunday night.
Less than a quarter of a plastic shopping bag was picked up during the last MOOP sweep, and a good portion of that was MOOP already on the premises when the event started.
Leftover wood from the event was donated to Terrapin Hill to use as they wished. Planning was started for Reclaimation 2016 during the BOD meeting held on Monday afternoon before the close of the event. Art Grant Fundraisers are a major priority for 2016 and the hope is for bigger and more art at Reclaimation 2016.
Reclaimation 2016 was a rip-roaring success. Ninety-one (91) tickets were sold with eighty-three (83) participants on property for the event.
No medical injuries were reported.
The theme was “Down With Pants” and a community built effigy rose from the ground during the week. Reclaimed pallets were used for the structural part of the effigy, with multitudes of stuffed pants decorating the 20-foot-tall structure. Members of the community were asked preburn to bring old pants and during the week they were stuffed with paper and fabric and all the emotional/negative “stuff” that the stuffers needed to rid from their lives. It was the biggest and hottest effigy we’ve had to date. It was fantastic!!!
The temple was beautiful. It was burnt on Sunday morning after daybreak. John K. Harris was the designer/builder. Three (3) theme camps set up resident in Singe City and one (1) sound camp. We had no noise complaints this year. After the event was over but before the BOD left the land, a BOD meeting was held and it was decided to begin a land search for a new home for Reclaimation. Differences between the burn’s and the landowner’s ethos had become painfully obvious during the event, and it was time to find new land. After a short search, new land and fantastic landowners were found in Irvine, Ky. A work/play weekend in October was planned.
Other than the venue issues, everything went well. It was wet and rainy for a good portion of the burn, but we’ve just come to expect that.
Nine (9) Art Grant Recipients received $1528.00 to bring art to Reclaimation in 2016.
Reclaimation 2017 was radically different from the previous eight years. We were on new, flat, land with wide open spaces. With all that space came more camping areas, better access for those with mobility issues, and plenty of room for mutant vehicles to maneuver.
Medical reported one (1) sprained ankle and one (1) small abrasion during the burn. No other incidents were reported. “Back to Our Roots” was the theme for 2017.
Six (6) Theme Camps made Singe City their home for the week. We had no actual “sound camp” this year. No noise complaints were reported, although the landowner did come down to tell us that the closest neighbor had called and asked us to “Turn it up!”.
The effigy was a community affair again this year. Although many plans had been made beforehand, inclement weather before and during the event prevented the effigy team from getting the design from paper into reality. So, in true burner style, the effigy design morphed into an organic, fluid, communal endeavor that was burnt at dusk on Saturday. Our communication plan related to our burn needs improvement and we are implementing ICS training to maximize our performance in this area. We had one Art Grant recipient who received $317.75 to bring their art to Reclaimation.
Reclaimation’s 10th year was one for the history books. Perfect weather the entire week of the burn for the first time ever. A total of 90 tickets were sold and 10 “Up the Creek” tickets were given out free of charge. There were 96 people in attendance for the event.
The theme for 2018 was “10”, which made sense since it was our 10th year. An interactive, 16’x16’ effigy was built the week before the burn by a team of dedicated volunteers. ICS was implemented this year to strengthen communication and security during the effigy and temple burns. We will continue to use ICS in the future.
Ten theme camps made Singe City their home for the week.
Consent issues were prevalent throughout the burn and mediated by Rangers. Looking back at numbers, we realized that with a 52% virgin rate, we need to recruit more Rangers for 2019 and a Consent Team will be working on a Code of Conduct and educational Consent materials to be handed out at the Gate.
Due to irrevocable differences with the landowner, the BOD will initiate a land search for a new venue asap.
Only minor Medic issues reported.
All Departments ran well with no problems.
We are looking forward to finding new land and new opportunities to grow our Kentucky Regional.