Rangers are volunteers who are helping other Schönburners in co-creating a great burn. Rangers know the White Origami framework and the House Rules which we need to follow and if you ask them, the Ranger team can help you make safe&good decisions. Rangers can help you resolving conflicts and keeping participants safe. They support site leads when needed.

When do you need a ranger?

You should seek 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 on the grass?”
  • You are a member of Orga Team and need trustable help to get things done
  • You witness a conflict or you are part of a conflict
  • You spot something that could turn into a safety problem

How to find a ranger?

  • Rangers will carry a “RANGER” badge.
  • The orga team has the phone numbers of all rangers on a printout
  • Rangers on shift carry a radio/walkie talkie and can be reached by core orga team/site lead

How do we define our Rangering?

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

What are rangers? Being a ranger means helping you getting things done when you are in an orga-role and overwhelmed. It means being a sober friend at the party, holding back your hair as you throw up, de-escalating conflict, and, inevitably, helping you find your camp and/or the nearest toilet. It’s not about us. A ranger once said: “I give my time, offer my presence, and use skillful means to nudge my beloved Burning Man community toward the actual fulfllment of our stated Ten Principles”

Giving feedback to the rangers

Please give us feedback! You can reach us via Slack, just post your feedback in #general and use the hashtag #rangering or #rangers in your post and mention one of the ranger co-leads.

Joining the ranger team

Rangers / Nomads / ClownPolice: does this sounds familiar to you? Do you want to help the people in organizing roles making Schloss Schönburn a reality? Are you available to de-escalate a “situation”? Do you want to safe the day if the shit hits the fan? Do you like walkie talkies? Then join the Schloss Schönburn rangers!

  1. Read through this document.
  2. Join Slack
  3. Contact one of the ranger team leads to get into our #rangers-private channel
  4. Once on board, follow section “Preparing to be a ranger” below.

The ranger team leads are:

  • @leobard
  • @bobschi
  • @Flo(w)

When you are “on board”, you unlocked the Achievement “Newbie Ranger”.

Preparing to be a ranger

You must do some things to prepapre being a ranger. Your mother isn't there to do them for you. Your rangering will be much better if you are well prepared.

Before the event:

  • Read this page.
  • Join #ranger-private on Slack by asking one of the ranger team leads via personal message on Slack to be added.
  • Say hello on #ranger-private. At minimum, introduce yourself: “Hi, I am <your name>. I am looking forward for rangering!”. Maybe say if this is your first time rangering or not, and why you joined.
  • Sign up for shifts on our shift plan for 2019. It would be great if you could do 2 shifts.
  • Fill out your slack profile: your email, your phone number, your name, a profile pic so that we can recognize you at the burn. Write your special rangering skills (medical training, mediation in conflict situations, flying) into the “jobs” field.

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

  • A rangery outfit that shows your inner ranger also on the outside. Khaki is the new black.
  • Flashlight (required, especially at night)
  • Waterbottle (required)
  • Charged phone (optional)
  • Multitool/Knive (optional)
  • Cookies (optional)

Preparation at the event: attend the Ranger meet & greet

  • Every day at 14:00 there is a “Ranger meet & greet” at Ranger HQ from 14:00 to 15:00. Not on Sunday.
  • Come to eat cookies and drink tea, receive your badge, meet other rangers, talk about jobs where we can help out, get training.
  • From 14:30 to 15:00 we will do ranger training: what is our role, how do we do it, how to use radios.
  • Bring cookies to the Ranger meet & greet.
  • You should have attended a meet & greet before your first shift, if possible.
  • 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.

When you do all the above, you unlocked the Achievement: “Prepared Ranger”. Yeah!

How to do your Ranger Shift

  • Before: unlock the Achievements “Newbie Ranger” and “Prepared Ranger”, as described above.
  • Before: Attending the Ranger meet & greet is highly recommended, especially for the training, and the cookies.
  • Shifts are 4 hours.
  • Begin: Meet with the Ranger lead or co-lead 15 minutes BEFORE your shift starts at Ranger HQ. i.e. if your shift starts 14:00, be at Rangers HQ at 13:45.
  • During: Be the best ranger you can. You can be that anywhere you want. You must handle incidents and document them. See below.
  • End: 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.

When you do your shifts like this, you will unlock the Achievement “Veteran Ranger”

Ranger Shifts and Signup

Ranger Shifts:
00:00 - 04:00 Shady
02:00 - 08:00 Grave
08:00 - 12:00 Morning
12:00 - 16:00 Noon
16:00 - 20:00 Teatime
20:00 - 00:00 Swing

Ideally, sign up for 2 shifts.


Team size:

  • Most shifts are 2 rangers, one team.
  • Noon and Teatime shifts (12-20h) on each day are 4 rangers in 2 teams. Many burners arrive during these shifts and the orgas need help to coordinate placement and burners may need help setting up or tearing down stuff. On Sunday, help is needed for Leave-No-Trace.
  • During Swing shift on Friday (20-24h) there will be the “Burn” and we will have 4 rangers in 2 teams.

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.

How to be a Ranger Lead and do a Lead Shift

  • The ranger lead shift is a special role and shift. It is always one person.
  • Ranger lead communicates between the rangers and the site lead and welfare lead.
  • Ranger lead makes decisions when needed.
  • Ranger lead documents incidents on paper.
  • Shifts are 8 hours.
  • Lead shift changes are seperated from ranger shift changes to not have stress.
  • You must have Achievement “Veteran Ranger” unlocked (= having successfully done at least one ranger shift before, being on time, having your stuff together, does not matter on which burn).
  • 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-private channel. We will find a way.

Ranger Lead Shift Times:
06:00 - 14:00 Early Bird
14:00 - 22:00 Daywalker
22:00 - 06:00 Night Bird


It may be that we will not be able to fill all ranger shifts. Then we need to find ranger leads or elevate the rangers to lead.

Ranger HQ

Ranger HQ in 2018 will be the tent of @Leobard and Ingrid. It will be outside, when you walk into the garden, to the left. It's the big round expedition cotton canvas tent, about 5 meters wide and 3 meters high. Looks like a tipi made by cowboys. There is a wooden sign “Ranger HQ” next to it.

You can be: on shift, and out of service

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

  • On shift:
    • You are the one with the radio.
    • Carry your ranger badge and show it openly.
    • You must be sober (rule of thumb: “one Radler/Spritzer of Alcohol is ok”, it's still a small burn, but NOT MORE and NO FUNNY SUBSTANCES).
    • Your phone must be turned on & reasonably charged.
    • 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 and alert with your senses. Do not go into a workshop or experience, get distracted and stay there for long. Keep moving.
    • Document incidents on paper.
  • 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. You are out of service.
    • 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 weight to everyone.
    • You must not carry your ranger badge if you are out of service. Leave it with your ranger equipment in your tent/bed/bag.
    • If shit apparently 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 organize ourselves using the Slack Channel #rangers-private to exchange data, build the team, exchange with the core orga team and for emergency comms. This channel is primarily for active rangers, but last year's rangers may lurk around.
  • Please Give feedback to the team leads about rangering: if it's ok to share with the group, tell your feedback on #rangers-private. If it's sensitive, contact one of the three leads via private message on slack. See below for notes on constructive feedback.

Ranger Team Internal Communication: during event

  • Rangers “on shift” will each get a radio.
  • The core orga team will have radios.
  • More Rangers can be reached by their phone.

Walkie-talkie/Radio protocol

Handling Violence, Sexual assault, Fire, Safety, Medical Situations

We've written and printed Emergency and Safety protocols. You can read them at the Ranger HQ.

The Burn

  • Before “the burn”: help organizing buckets with water. Like on TheBorderland. Everyone loves buckets.
  • During “the burn”: Keep people from running into the fire. Given the size of our fire, we do NOT need to be “standing with your back to the fire” like Sandmen at Burning Man. We can stand outside like everyone else.

Ranger Strategies for Communication, Mediation, Conflict resolution

Your communication can be effective only 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. Understand their educational level and their demographics and communicate to them accordingly.

Communication is not just speaking. It’s both speaking and listening. One-way communication is no communication at all. Make sure to listen and understand the others’ needs and points of view.

Leave the person a personal space. Do not get too close.

Leave them an out: Never block someone’s escape route. In an enclosed space, do not stand between an agitated person and the exit.

Break state: Do anything else (e.g., go for a walk, smoke a cigarette, eat something, ask irrelevant questions).

Eye contact: Enough to show you’re paying close attention, not so much that you seem threatening (especially with an angry participant)

Writing down: Keeps your facts straight and lets participant know you’re taking it seriously

F.L.A.M.E.: 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 your own and the participant’s. If there is a safety issue where you feel that you, your partner, or participants are in danger, call more rangers on the radio immediately and seek standby rangers.
  • 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/incident occur? Where did it happen?
  • There will always be at least three sides: the sides of the individuals involved directly in conflict (which may be two or more) and an impartial third perspective, when you can fnd it.
  • Add to this the perspective you bring to the situation, which encompasses your experience, the general opinion of all the participants, and the ideology of the Burning Man Project.
  • 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 really involved. Concentrate on the parties who need your direct assistance and make time for everyone who has legitimate input. Listening is a powerful tool, not only for getting information and de-escalating conflicts but also for establishing a general rapport and social capital with your fellow participants.
  • A stands for Analyze. Once you have gathered all the information that you can, analyze it with your partner. Take all of the facts that 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 and is fully backed by our rangering. You are an integral part of our team: we have faith in ourselves and in you. Tis 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 participants involved may have room to budge and those whose interests are such that they cannot or will not give in. Tis is often not based on right and wrong.
  • Work with all parties involved until an outcome is reached that seems to function well. Whenever 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 fgure telling them what to do.
  • E stands for Explain. Explanation completes your “flaming” of the situation. Explain the outcome of the mediation process to everyone involved, ensuring that all parties have come to a consensus that they can live with (…or at least live with 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 often be asked by neighbors to explain the outcome, later that day, that evening, the next morning, even months after the event has ended. 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 any mediation proces.

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:

  • Specifc – is it clear what the feedback is about?
  • Actionable – is it something the person can actually 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’s relevant? Is the timing appropriate to ensure the receiver is in a mental space to accept the gift?

The important thing to keep in mind is that feedback must be about something that the receiver can change, delivered with careful thought (how would I want to hear this?), and given soon enough that it is relevant.

A very fine template for delivering feedback is:

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

Jobs of the Ranger Team Leads

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

Activities before the burn:

  • Make a list of the names of all rangers and phone numbers and skills from the Slack profiles and hand them over to the core orga team for emergencies
  • Organize/make laminated “Ranger” badges for all rangers (about A5 size)
  • Organize strings and lanyards to let Rangers attach Badges to themselves
  • Organize the shifts


  • Bucket for fire-extinguishing during the burn
  • Bring proper 1st Aid Kit (Salon Leobard's)
  • 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 (at least one pflaster/band aid, …)
  • 4 spare flashlights
  • 2 Ranger bags
  • Cookies, Tea, Teapot, Sugar
  • Ranger HQ. This will be @leobard & Ingrid's Salon Leobard tent and the “Ranger HQ” sign @leobard built 2018.

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
  • Organize the daily meet & greet
  • Train the rangers
  • Hand out radios

How we developed rangering for Schloss 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.” —J.D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye