Burners used to not have Sanctuary. Eventually enough people ended up having a very hard time during the burn, by which I mean right in the middle of the burn, that some genius said, "It would be really cool if we had somewhere quiet that isn't a constantly puslating assault of light and sound where people can have a moment when they need it. And maybe a chill, sober person to talk to so you can deal with your real feels with a buddy. And orange slices."
It was a weird idea, because people were having a hard time wrapping their heads around making a space at the burn that was also a little bit not like the burn. Honestly that was a real headscratcher for a lot of us. But eventually we all talked it through, and now we have Sanctuary.
Sanctuary volunteers welcome burners in need of a quiet, calm space away from the light, sound, and social stress of the larger burn environment. Sanctuary is a place set aside to allow burners to engage challenging emotions, thoughts, and experiences, whether that means processing through them, recovering from them, or both.
Please Note: There will be a Sanctuary orientation held during the event - exact time and date TBA. This orientation is required for first time Sanctuary volunteers and strongly encouraged for returning volunteers.
Burners in this role provide peer-to-peer support that enables that work to happen. This can include (but is not limited to) helping participants to gain mental and emotional groundedness, helping to clarify confusing or complicated issues or problems, and helping to brainstorm approaches to challenging situations. Sanctuary volunteers act as helpers and assistants. They are not therapists or life coaches; sanctuary work is done with the understanding that the primary healer and leader is the person who owns the issue.
People who find it uncomfortable to be around the distress of other people, or to sit with problems without "solving" them may find Sanctuary to be one of the most challenging volunteer departments. Emotional, cultural, and situational sensitivity are assets in Sanctuary volunteering, as are good listening skills. Staying calm in high energy situations, without the need to make the situation calm, is another valuable quality in this role. While you are not a medic or working First Aid, volunteers in this role make sure that participants are drinking water and physically comfortable so they can focus on the intangible issues that brought them to Sanctuary.
Volunteering with Sanctuary involves working in the Sanctuary tent, so unlike a lot of other departments you don't need to worry as much about exposure to sun or rain. You may wish to bring a blanket or other warm clothing during night shifts, since working with this department almost by definition involves long periods of sitting or relaxing. There is no dress requirement for this department. Keep in mind that you may be talking to people who are having a tough day, and consider leaving your more conceptually challenging burn costumes for another time.
The Sanctuary tent is located behind the wood pile, across from the Gate, in front field.
Good to bring: comfortable clothes and blankets, coloring books or other calming, time-passing activities, water.
|| Volunteer Coordination