Before reading the following guide, it is recommended and even necessary to review the General Survival Guide.
Bringing Children to the Midburn event is no easy task. The survival guide is here to show you how to SAFELY enjoy the event to it’s fullest. We wish you and you and your family an unforgettable and amazing experience.
Midburn is a child-friendly event
We welcome children to Midburn events. Children are an integral part of these events and have been such in all of the events prior to this one. The general planning of these events takes into consideration the presence of families and children.
Children of all ages are welcome; however, anybody under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Welcome to the Midburn Family Survival Guide. Here you will find useful information that will help make your stay in our temporary city much more pleasant. . Although the location is in the magical heart of the desert, the rules and laws of the state of Israel still apply within the city.
You are responsible for your child’s safety first and foremost and for not leaving any kind of trace (litter). This guide will help you get through the event, especially if it is your first time at an event such as this. Please read this guide with consideration and explain its meaning and your plans to your children. Your time will be much more enjoyable.
Should I bring my child to this event?
This is no easy decision, and should be carefully thought through and re-considered.
Children can enjoy this event just like any other, however this sort of experience does not suit everyone. Furthermore, many parent’s vision for the event does not include having their children with them. Parenting in the field is not easy and the requirements are higher than at home. It is recommended to first experience an event without your children, after understanding the meanings of this kind of event you will be able to make a more informed decision about bringing your children.
Consider all the possible consequences: – Can your children sleep in a city where there is loud music at all times? Do you have someone to watch over them while you are at a separate activity, in need of a break, some rest or some ‘’adult time’’?
How will your children react to extreme situations?
Please plan your activities and time on the Playa according to your child’s age and capabilities. Plan ahead to allow a great experience for you, your children and the people around you.
Basic safety and survival points
Equip each child with a laminated card with your details and information on it. Put the ID card on a fun lanyard, fanny pack, belt clip along with a whistle, or a toy(and bring extra copies). In case of a lost child, they will return to you safe and quick thanks to the cards. It is recommended to make a few copies of these cards.
Set some key non-negotiable safety rules for your children
- Not leaving the camp alone.
- Not walking around without a parent.
- If you do leave the camp, you must tell your parents.
- During sunny hours, leave the camp only after applying sunscreen, wear a hat and take a bottle of water.
Please practice with your child a scenario where they are lost, and try out the cards you made. Explain to them that under no circumstances are they to go near fires/cooking areas/fire-shows etc. Set some safety rules regarding moving objects in art installations.
Explain to your children that they must get your permission to receive any gift, food or drink from a stranger. Please explain to your neighbors they are not to leave any child – unsafe foods or substances. (e.g. alcohol).
I’ve lost my mommy…
First thing you do when you get to the event – enlist your children at the Nomads (Rangers) camp next to the Salon (the center camp). Explain to your children that this is the place to go to if you are lost. While registering, tell the location of your camp as well.
Explain to your children how to identify a nomad and how to address them in order to be brought back to you as quickly as possible. That’s all you have to do!
Please take into consideration that your children are your responsibility alone! We will do our best to make the event as enjoyable as we can, but taking care of your children is still upon you.
Families that wonder apart usually lead to chaotic situations and lots of stress; please be aware of where your children are at all times!
Get to know your neighbors. The community is one of the most powerful things about Midburn.
Most of your neighbors will be happy to help in finding a lost child or watching your children or your belongings for some time, just as you will be happy to help them in turn. Help your children to get to know the people and camp names around them, and make sure they remember these details.
Place prominent landmarks on your camp (for night and day such as LED lights or torches) for easy identification of your camp. While walking around with your children, try to look back every once in a while to see if you can spot your camp or the landmarks on the way back to it,
Make your children’s clothes easy to spot. Remember what they are wearing so that you can tell others who might help you search for them.
Slightly older children like to push the boundaries so please equip them with a map of the city and mark your camp on it.
Children are naturally curious, and tend to get lost. During larger activities such as the fire show or the burning of the temple, pick a place for the children to go to immediately in case of unplanned separation.
Drinking and Dehydration
During the day it can get very hot and dry and there is a high risk of dehydration or overheating. Tell your children to drink a lot of water whether they are thirsty or not. There is also a chance of over hydration, be aware of that.
Overheating (or Freezing at night) can be recognized by headaches, stomach aches and mood swings. If you notice any of these symptoms bring the child to a shaded area (or heated area at night) and get assistance from the city’s medical team.
If your children don’t like the taste of water, mix in a bit of juice or concentrated juice, to get them to drink.
Equip your children with a cup (Thermal and closed), attached to them so that they can always have a means to drink. Encourage them to decorate their cup. Another option is to equip them with a camel-back. In plain words – Encourage them to fight the heat as well.
The desert can make one feel less hungry at times. Therefore, we must remind the children to eat during the event. Make sure you bring enough healthy food that your children like.
Snacks are recommended from time to time. Try to make the children eat right before you suspect that their hunger will kick in Try to have many high energy foods such as nuts, chocolate, dried fruit, apples, and protein bars .Make sure to plan your meals to include protein each day. Plan the food packing so it can be stored uncooled until opening it. Add some salty food (such as chips and crackers) to maintain a proper balance of electrolytes.
Granola bars are perfect for nourishment (instead of fruits and vegetables). Diarrhea is unpleasant anywhere and especially in the desert. Avoid foods that your children are sensitive to as well as meats and milks.
Make sure to apply sunscreen to yourselves and your children every morning and during the day if necessary. At night use moisturizing cream to protect their skin.
Even though there will be an active clinic at the event, please bring first aid supplies such as the following:
Creams and oils against burns and injuries, cough medicine or any other medicine you or your children take regularly. Many of the activities are noisy, so it is recommended to bring earplugs or other noise blockers if this bothers you or your children.
Where to camp?
You may camp at any place designated for living. However, we have given this a lot of thought and there are locations recommended for families with children, farther away from noise centers, to help them sleep better. The noise centers will be located at the edges of the city, and we recommend to discuss about your location with someone before camping. If you are part of a theme camp, please make sure that the camp will be appropriate for your child. In general, joining a camp is the best thing you can do for these situations.When joining a camp, make sure to test the communication with other camp members face to face. Good chemistry between camp members is key for the camp’s success.
The Families Camp is a theme camp designed to answer the needs of families with children, and will be in a quiet area, relatively far from the adult-only areas and will be 100% child-friendly.
Children that move about more often need larger shaded spaces. If you are part of a camp, bring along means to make the shaded places larger. Bring folding tables and chairs, games and activities for the older kids. With nightfall the air gets colder quickly, so remember to bring a lot of layers for the children to wear at night.
Help the children get used to sleeping bags and bring a favorite blanket or toys so they won’t feel away from home.
We will also make an effort to have activities explaining the 10 principles of Burning Man.
Children on the playa
Be aware of the children’s tiredness. The activity in the city is very exciting, and can be tiring for them. Every once and a while take your children to sit down and relax.
Introduce your children to Midburn by watching videos on YouTube beforehand, to get them ready for what they might encounter in the city.It is advised to prepare them for things they are not used to and to get them excited for the event. You can also explain the ten principles and the event guidelines in short. .
Try to maintain the same eating and sleeping patterns as at home. Divide the day into activities. You don’t have to make to all of them (even though you really want to). Plan the activities in times suitable for children, such as the morning and afternoon hours, when it is not to hot. Check the program you will receive at the gates and plan your activities according to it.
It Is advised to bring art supplies for the children. Their imagination can run wild and they can draw and create art inspired by what they see.
Set up baby-sitting hours for the night activities that the adults attend to.
Above all, have patience.
The community is all for bringing bicycles to the city (and decorating them).If you bring a bike please install a seat for a child. It Is an amazing experience for you and them.
Although Purim is behind us, Midburn is all about costumes, for you and your children.. Bring costumes, accessories, gadgets, lights and anything else you want. Some younger children prefer walking around nude, that’s fine, but cover them well with sunscreen! Full body swimsuits can be a great way to protect them from the sun.
Write the children’s name on their clothing and equipment in case of losing it.
Everyone loves taking pictures of children. If you as a parent do not feel comfortable with someone taking a picture of your child, tell them not to take a photo.
Lights and Flashlights
Flashlights are useful but can sometimes be too bright, therefore another option is to decorate the child’s clothes with led lights or bright decorations.
Children see things differently from adults. This event is a great chance to see things from their perspective. Be ready for tough questions and see this as an opportunity to answer with your point of view. you can avoid things that you think are inappropriate for them. .
It is important to remember that we are very much for children participating in the event. On the other hand, this event has a certain culture that we do not intend to change, and does not always match the point of view of some of the parents. It is the parents’ responsibility. We will not prevent activities that involves things such as nudity or other things that might not seem moral to some parents. If you think a certain activity is not suitable for children, it is your responsibility to keep your child away.
We make sure to clearly indicate camps and activities that might not be suitable for children.
The event will take place One hour (drive) away from Beer Sheva – That Is the nearest hospital.
Please revise the following questions with a keen eye and try to actually plan ahead for the following issues:
- Does your child need special medical attention?
- Does your child take any medicine on a regular basis?
- Does your child act unusual in any way?
- How does your child react to intense visual stimulation or loud noise?
- Do you rely on other people to help taking care of your child??
- Do you have an exit plan in case of a medical emergency?
It is OK to bring babies to the event, although it requires a greater and more precise amount of preparation and hard decisions. . If you think you are experienced and can provide your baby with the required conditions, go for it. if you have any doubt, do not come, their lives are more important.
Mothers that are still breastfeeding must drink a larger amount of water before breastfeeding. If your baby drinks formula, you will need to add more water to it.
Pay close attention to signs of a baby dehydrating: less tears, dry mouth, less diaper changing (A minimum of 6 a day). If you have any concern, please go to the medical area for advice.
Make sure to protect the baby’s skin with proper clothing or sunscreen. If your baby crawls, bring cloths that protect their elbows and knees.
Make sure the babies are in the shade at all times.
In case of any doubt, turn to the medical area for help.
Although from time to time it seems that our children are all grown up, they are still our children and they need to be under their parent’s surveillance. They are to be informed of the rules that must be kept during the event.
Questions to ask in advance:
- How well do you communicate with your teenagers?
- How much would you be willing to expose to them to nudity or sexuality?
- How mature are they?
Talk to your children about the event and things they might encounter and check their reactions to these things in advance.
Small tip – wear a watch, and make sure your children wear a watch as well.