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Rangers are volunteers who help other Schönburners co-create a great burn. Rangers know the White Origami framework and the House Rules. If you are uncertain ask a Ranger and they might be able to help you make a safe & good decisions or point you to a person that can help you. Rangers can help resolve conflicts, keep participants safe, and support Site Lead when needed. Mind you, this is a sober shift. We expect you to show up sober and prepared.

When do you need a ranger?

You should talk to a ranger when …

  • You have to make a decision that affects others such as “Can I put this art piece here?” or “Where can I park my car?”
  • You are a member of Orga Team and need sober, reliable help getting things done
  • You witness or are part of a conflict
  • You spot a potential or acute safety problem

How to find a ranger?

  • Rangers will carry a “RANGER” badge.
  • Rangers on shift carry a radio and can be reached by Site Lead, Sanctuary Lead or anybody with access to our radios

What is Rangering?

Our rangering is inspired by the Burning Man Black Rock Rangers, Nomads at Nowhere, Kiezburn Rangers in Germany, and Clown Police at Borderland. Many of us have volunteered as Rangers at other burns.

Being a Ranger means being a support first. It means helping getting things done if an orga is under stress or overwhelmed. It means being a sober friend at the party, de-escalating conflicts, and helping folks find their camp or the nearest toilet.

A Ranger once said: “I give my time, offer my presence, and use skilful means to nudge my beloved Burning Man community toward the factual fulfilment of our stated Ten Principles.”

Giving feedback to the Rangers

Please give us feedback! You can reach us on our channel on Slack. Post your feedback in the Channel called `#rangers` and ideally mention one or all Ranger co-leads.

Joining the Rangers

Rangers, Nomads, and Clown Police. Do those names sounds familiar to you? Do you want to support the other participants and the organisers to make Schönburn a reality? Are you available to de-escalate a “situation”? Do you want to safe the day if shit hits the fan? Do you like walkie talkies? Then join the Schönburn Rangers!

You are not on your own. We have experienced Rangers support you be your best Ranger-self.

To join, please …

- Take time to prepare for being a Ranger. - Read through this document. - Join Slack and join the `#rangers` channel - Follow the section “Preparing to be a ranger” below. - Sign up for Ranger shifts once the shift plan is available

Before the event:

* Say hello on `#rangers` on Slack. Please introduce yourself, for example: “Hi, I am <your name>. I am looking forward to Rangering!”. You could additionally tell us if this is your first time Rangering or what motivated you to join us. * Sign up for shifts on our shift plan for 2022. Please fill up the important shifts first and do two shifts if you can spare the time.

Bring to the event and have with you when arriving for your shift:

* A Rangery outfit that shows your inner Ranger on the outside. * Flashlight (required) * Water bottle (required) * Charged phone (optional) * Multitool/Knive (optional) * Cookies (optional)

We will try to have a few essentials – like water bottles and cookies – stocked for you to take to the playa but you'd be helping us a lot by bringing your own.

Preparation at the event:

* Attend a Ranger Meet, Greet & Training: Thursday 2 pm on the Main Stage. * Be in time for shift changes. Come early to eat cookies and drink tea, receive your badge, meet other Rangers, talk about jobs where we can help out, get training. * Bring cookies to the Ranger HQ. * Please attend a _Meet, Greet and Training_ before your first shift, in particular if it is your first time Rangering ever.. * You are invited to come every day! Cookies, nice people, and info about interesting jobs to do await you. * Remember: Cookies! They are important for Rangering.

How to do your Ranger Shift

* Prepare. * Be Sober. * Attend the Ranger Meet, Greet and Training. * Have cookies, bring cookies. * Starting your shift: Meet with the Ranger Lead 15 minutes BEFORE your shift starts at Ranger HQ. For example: if your shift starts 14:00, be at Rangers HQ at 13:45. * During your shift be the best Ranger you can. You can be that anywhere you want. You must handle incidents and document them. See below. * Ending your shift: Come back to Ranger HQ 30 minutes BEFORE your shift ends. You will have 15 minutes to do a debriefing and talk about sensitive subjects with the Ranger lead in private. Then the next shift will arrive and you can pass on any non-sensitive hints to them.

We don't expect you to be perfect or magically solve all humanities problems. If things don't work out great or at all, please tell us.

You should never do a shift alone. Rangers are not solitary creatures and work in teams of two, with a Ranger Lead available to help Rangers with difficult topics.

Team size:

* Shifts are done in teams of two. * Busy times will have a Ranger Lead and multiple teams of Rangers on duty – think Saturday or Friday night – while more relaxed times will have a Ranger Lead and a team of Rangers.

It may be that we will not be able to fill all ranger shifts. Then we need to call out to the community; If we want a great burn, we need people to co-create it.

Advanced Rangering: How to be a Ranger Lead and do a Lead Shift

  • The Ranger Lead shift is a special role and type of shift.
  • Ranger Lead on duty/call is always one person.
  • Ranger lead coordinates with the Rangers, Site Lead and Sanctuary lead.
  • Ranger lead takes decisions when needed.
  • Ranger lead documents incidents.
  • Lead shift changes are separated from Ranger shift changes to offer stability.
  • You must have successfully done at least one Ranger shift before, either at Schönburn or at another burn. That means attending a training, being on time and finishing your shift with a hand-over.
  • Required personal skills: you need the abilities to communicate clearly, to think through decisions and to follow guidelines.

If you think you can do this sign up for one of the available shifts. If you want to do this but you think you are not ready: ask the three Ranger team leads for support via the `#rangers` channel. We will find a way.

It may be that we will not be able to fill all Ranger Lead shifts. Then we need to find Ranger Leads or elevate one of the Rangers to Lead.

Ranger HQ

Ranger HQ is where our things are and we gather for training, hanging out or shift hand-overs. It is not yet certain where we will place Ranger HQ in 2022.

You can be either On Duty, On Call and Out of Service

As a ranger, you can be in one of the following states during the event:

* On Duty:

  • It's time for your shift; you are either part of a team of two Rangers or you are Ranger Lead. Either way, you have access to a radio.
  • Carry your Ranger badge and show it openly.
  • You must be sober. “One Radler/Spritzer of Alcohol is ok”, but not more and no funny substances.
  • Do what you feel is right and needed at the burn: walk around and look for people that need help.
  • Look for situations that may turn into trouble.
  • It's ok to have fun and participate: eat, sit around, watch a performance.
  • Stay visible. You are there for the other burners.
  • Stay alert with your senses. Do not go into a workshop or an experience. Stay focussed. Keep moving.
  • Check in with your Ranger Lead from time to time.
  • Document incidents on paper.

* On Call

  • Have a radio.
  • Be sober.
  • This applies to night shifts when things are quiet.
  • Be ready to react to calls.

* Out of Service:

  • If you are not actively Rangering (on shift, carrying your badge, being prepared) you are not a Ranger. You are like every other participant.
  • If you are drunk, stoned, … doing anything that stops you from proper Rangering, do not even think about Rangering.
  • If you are out of service and pretend to be a Ranger, you are a fake Ranger and you will be a burden to everyone.
  • You must not carry your Ranger badge if you are out of service. Leave it with your Ranger equipment in with your other things.
  • If shit hits the fan, sober up and try finding the Ranger Lead to ask if the team needs help.

Ranger Team Internal Communication: before and after the event

* Before and after the event: we rangers organise using the Slack Channel `#rangers`. There we can exchange data, build the team, and talk to core orga. This channel is for active rangers but you're welcome to lurk around. * Please give feedback to the team leads about Rangering: if it's ok to share with the group share your feedback on `#rangers`. If it's sensitive, approach one of the leads at the burn or via private message on Slack.

Ranger Team Internal Communication: during event

  • Rangers “On Duty” will get a radio.
  • The Core Orga team will have radios.
  • More Rangers can be reached by their phone.

Walkie-talkie/Radio protocol

Safety & Emergency Protocols

Ranger Strategies for Communication, Mediation, Conflict resolution

Your communication can only make a difference when received in a language the receivers can understand. You need to speak not in your own language or style of thinking but in the language and style of thinking of the receivers. Remember KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Communication is not limited to speaking. Practice active listening. One-way communication is no communication at all. Make sure to listen and understand the others’ needs and points of view. Ask questions, encourage them to voice their opinions and feelings, engage with them.

Be mindful of personal space. Do not get too close.

Leave them an out. Never block someone’s escape route. In an enclosed space always leave a path for an agitated person to the exit.

Break state: Invite people to join you for an activity to remove them from a bad situation or engage them in an activity or in a conversation. You may for example ask them go for a walk, smoke a cigarette, eat something, or ask irrelevant questions.

Make eye contact. Enough to show you’re paying close attention, but not as much as to appear threatening especially when dealing with an angry person.

Take notes. This keeps your facts straight and lets participant know you’re taking them and their situation seriously.


When approaching a situation, use FLAME as a structured approach:

  • F stands for Find Out. First stand back and observe. Be aware of safety issues, both to your own safety and others’s. If there is a safety issue, call in more Rangers on the radio immediately and seek standby Rangers. Be mindful of your own security first.
    • When you have determined that it is safe to approach and that you are needed, find out the facts. What is the primary complaint? Who is involved? When did the conflict start or the incident occur? Where did it happen?
    • There will always be multiple sides: the sides of the parties involved directly in a conflict (which may be two or more), and an impartial third perspective that you may try to find.
    • Add to this the perspective what you bring to the situation, which encompasses your experience, the general opinion of the involved parties, and the ideology of the Burning Man Project.
    • If you feel you are not able to mediate because you are friends with a party involved or have strong opinions either way, call for support.
  • L stands for Listen. Listen to all parties to ensure that all stakeholders have had a chance to be heard and give their input. Be aware that at times you may have to use your judgment as to who is involved. Concentrate on the parties who need your direct assistance and make time for everyone who has legitimate input. Listening is a powerful tool for getting information and de-escalating conflicts and establishing a general rapport.
  • A stands for Analyze. Once you have gathered all the information that you can, analyse it with your partner. Take all the facts you gathered during the F and L parts of the process and consider your understanding of the expectations of the participants, our Ranger policies, and the principles of Burning Man. Active deliberation and use of your best judgment is required at this stage in the process. You are an integral part of our team: we have faith in you. We and our participants trust you to handle this. We know you can handle this. This is at the core of Rangering.
  • M stands for Mediate. Your primary role when you mediate is to make suggestions as a neutral third party. Mediation allows the participants involved to arrive at the best way to resolve their situation.
    • Determine which parties involved may have room to budge and which parties can't or don't want to give ground. This is at times not a question of right or wrong.
    • Work with all parties involved until an outcome is reached. If possible, facilitate the parties reaching their own joint solution. People are much more likely to stick to a solution when they feel ownership of the process and that the resolution came from them rather than from an authority figure. People don't like being told what to do.
  • E stands for Explain. Explanation completes your “flaming”. Explain the outcome of the mediation process to everyone involved, ensuring that all parties have come to a consensus that they can accept at least for the remainder of the event.
    • This is not always the end. During the event, while things change constantly, the explanations you give will be repeated and re-requested not only by the parties involved but by other participants. You will be asked by neighbours to explain the outcome in the aftermath. Do this while respecting the privacy of the individuals involved in any given situation. An ability to accurately recall and explain a situation after the fact is why it is important to take notes in your Ranger notebook throughout the event.

Giving Feedback

In the interest of creating a culture of feedback we need to ensure that we are following a model of SAFETy. In other words, when giving feedback make sure that your guidance is:

  • Specific – is it clear what the feedback is about?
  • Actionable – is it something the person can change?
  • Factual – is it objectively true?
  • Empathetic – is it given with the best of intentions to help, not hurt?
  • Timely – is it soon enough after the incident that it is relevant? Is the timing appropriate to ensure the receiver is in a mental space to accept the feedback?

One important thing to keep in mind is that feedback must be about something that the receiver can change, delivered with careful thought, and given soon enough that it is relevant.

A fine template for delivering feedback is:

  • This is what I observed
  • This is how it made me feel or how it influenced the situation
  • This is what I’d suggest to do differently in the future

Jobs of the Ranger Team Leads

Special things that the team of three Ranger team leads must care for.

Activities before the burn:

  • Make a list of the names of all Rangers. Ask your Rangers about special skills they might have, for example being a trained first responder, experience in mediation, or volunteering as a fire fighter.
  • Prepare make laminated “Ranger” badges for all rangers (about A5 size)
  • Prepare strings and lanyards to let Rangers attach Badges to themselves
  • Prepare the shift plan.


  • Bucket for extinguishing fires during the burn
  • Bring proper 1st Aid Kit (You can ask Salon Leobard)
  • Badges for all rangers (a LOT)
  • 10 Pens
  • 4 paper notebooks (2 for the teams, 1 for lead, 1 spare)
  • 2 Small personal first-aid kit
  • 4 spare flashlights
  • 2 Ranger bags
  • Cookies, Tea, Teapot, Sugar
  • Any materials you need to set up Ranger HQ

Print out & bring (4 times each, they will be used by the 2 ranger teams, 1 lead, 1 spare):

At the burn:

  • Establish a Ranger HQ
  • Organise the Meet, Greet and Training
  • Train the rangers
  • Hand out radios

How we developed Rangering for Schloss Schönburn and Schönburn

2018: Leobard thought it would be a good idea to ranger and Leobard likes walkie talkies. Read this thread on rangering that started this initiative. Then Leobard wrote this wiki page. In 2018, Leobard asked around for others to join as team leads, with the intention to make leading the ranger team a rotating role. This is a perfect role for people who are new to Burning Man, want to contribute to the community, and have their senses together.

“…I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big feld 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.” —The Catcher in the Rye; J.D. Salinger