Camp Mystic - Getting Involved Group Shot 2019
Chris Johnson

Get Involved with Camp Mystic

Who we are...

Camp Mystic is a legacy theme camp with a 20+ year history in Black Rock City.  We offer interactive and immersive art, high vibe music and performance, evolutionary speakers and workshops, and a variety of transformational rituals and ceremonies during our week on the playa and beyond.  Mystics are a diverse group of thought leaders, teachers, speakers, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, and healers who believe that the path to fulfillment and satisfaction is being in the service and contribution to others.   We are an intimate tribe who loves to create artful interactions and beauty wherever we go.  We do that through our offering of incredible art, music, performance, workshops, speaker panels, and more!

Mystic has become well known on playa for its interactivity and transformational offerings that now attracts thousands of people throughout the week. Our new focus going into 2020 is to even more consciously curate our Mystic membership for each of our coveted 200 spots each year. We are excited to attract those people who are even more excited to radically contribute to being in service to building and creating our gifts on the playa. There are no spectators at Burning Man and we are passionate about bringing together those Mystics who not only understand this ethos but are lit up by the idea that the best part of their Burn, what makes it so special, is being of service and having a stage to creating these gifts.

We hail from all over the globe but have large pockets of Mystics in The Bay Area, San Diego Area, Los Angeles Area, Boulder Area, New York Area, and a few here and there who fly in from the UK, Australia, Bali, Italy, and other great countries.


How can I camp with Mystic this year?

Our former membership model...

In past years our membership was by invitation, but was open to all eterans and to anyone who was Sponsored by a veteran Mystic.  We would open up early registration (April-May) to anyone who had camped with us before on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis.  Newbies who were Sponsored were then invited to register one month later to take the spots remaining also on a first-come-first-served basis.


Our NEW pillarship model...

Our arms are WIDE open to thousands of visitors as we are a highly interactive and welcoming camp with inclusivity and belonging deeply rooted in our hearts and values AND, we are given a limited amount of space which can hold about 200 spots each year at the burn.  We keep our camp at this size so we can both create amazing interactive offerings that are well supported by our growing community and also maintain an environment where everyone feels like they can connect as a tribe and we can feel love, safety and belonging with their fellow Mystics to form life long friendships both on and off playa.

In 2020, we are implementing a new membership model that puts our service and offerings to Black Rock City at the center of this selection process.  We have elected representatives to hold the 5 pillars at camp. They will each be holding one of our 5 core values and one major area of camp. Their role is to curate a group of members that are most deeply representative of that value and who plan to play a key role in one of our collective offerings.

Each of the 5 pillars will be allotted a specific number of the 200 spots available at camp.  Each pillar represents the teams most relevant to creating that aspect of camp.  

How this works...

The person who is holding each pillar will be allocated a certain number of our 200 spots (see table below for specific allocation).   This pillar helps allocate their spots according to those sponsored applicants (both veterans and newbiew) that they believe will contribute most to their pillar of camp.   The pillars connect each applicant to the 1 - 3 team leaders they've mentioned wanting to join.   Once the applicant and team leads have had a chance to bond and talk through what it means to participate on the team and get an understanding of how specifically that person plans on contributing to that area of camp, the team leads would report back the the pillar about whether they'd like to have them camping at Mystic and on their team.   Pillars can then select that person (or not) depending on the feedback from their team lead, their direct experience and any other feedback they might have received from sponsors or others at Mystic and will then formally invite that person to join that pillar, sharing a unique invite code that will allow the applicant to register, sign up for their shifts, and pay dues.

For example, the person holding the Radical Evolution - Public Offerings Pillar would be alloted 44 spots.   He or she would fill those spots with the people committed to come to the Burn that are the most powerful living examples of evolution and who are dedicated to participate on teams like the Events & Speaker Series Team, Ritual & Ceremonies Team, DJ Dance Parties Team, Visionary Art Team, etc.  Although people from other pillars might help out on shifts or otherwise contribute to the public offerings, the leaders and the majority of the team members - both from a values point of view and a physical effort point of view - would come from this group. That means that if someone wants to participate on the Events & Speaker Series Team, and the person holding this pillar doesn't determine that they are a top candidate or has already filled their spots, that person might recommend one of the other pillars as a more appropriate area for their gifts, or they might not have a home at Mystic this year.







All Mystics will have a veteran Sponsor, who has camped with us at least once before, whose role is to represent our culture and to extend an invitation to their Sponsee into camp. The Sponsor is vouching for the fact that their Sponsee is a positive cultural match and also aligned with actively co-creating our collective offerings on playa.  If the person being sponsored is new, both the Sponsee and their Sponsor must be on playa together their first year.  Remote Sponsorship is not permitted, meaning all Sponsor's must camp at Mystic with their Sponsee's in their first year.  We feel like it’s important that each new Sponsee coming to camp has someone they know and trust that can be available to both the Sponsee and other Mystic’s to help address any issues or challenges that the Sponsee may generate or encounter.


A Sponsor’s commitment to other Mystic’s is to actively familiarize their Sponsee with Burning Man (especially if they haven’t been before) and also to acculturate them to what it means to camp at Mystic.  Sponsors help make sure that Sponsees know how to participate at camp, what specifically is expected (pre-playa, #shifts, opening/closing, strike, etc.), what Teams and Offerings there are to contribute to, and to help them pick whichTeam(s) would be the most exciting and relevant for their Sponsee to join given their unique gifts.  


Sponsee will be asked to write their responses to the following two questions (as before) Cc’ing their Sponsor and themselves and sending these responses to  

  1. How do you embody one or more of the core Mystic values (Radical Contribution, Radical Collaboration, Radical Compassion, Radical Self Expression, and Radical Evolution)

  2. How SPECIFICALLY do you plan on co-creating the magic at Mystic?  There are no spectators at Burning Man. Let us know if you wish to lead a specific team, join one or more specific teams, come early (Wed) for build, stay late (Tue) for Exodus, offer your music or a performance in our programming, offer a workshop or talk in our series, do healing session in our dome, offer a ceremony or ritual in our temple, etc.


The Sponsor then requests to add them to our Camp Mystic Facebook group sharing a photo and their responses to introduce them to our tribe and begin the process of welcoming them into our Mystic family. In addition, when the Sponsee arrives on playa, we’d like the Sponsor to proactively check-in on their Sponsee a few times during the Burn to see how it’s going, see if anything is needed, and just to connect deeply with them and their experience.  Having a familiar face in an environment like the desert amongst a big group of people can go a long way to creating a sense of love, safety, and belonging to this tribe.



Depending on which areas of camp the Sponsee if most inspired to help co-create, we will connect the Sponsee to the appropriate Pillar and the relevant team leads so that a bond can be created and so that the specific expectations and clarity can be shared up front about what it means to hold this pillar and what role on the teams the Sponsee is joining entail.



Together the person holding the pillar and team lead will decide if the Sponsee is a good fit.  If that pillar has spots remaining to allocate he or she will formally invite the Sponsee to register sending them their unique invite code so they can login and begin the process of signing up for their shifts and paying dues to camp with us. This means that:

  1. It’s possible that there would be a GREAT fit, but that because the relevant pillar is already full,  no spot would be awarded (even though the camp may not yet be at full capacity).

  2. It’s possible that the sponsor would  think it is a great fit, but the person holding the pillar or the relevant team lead does not, in which case no spot would be awarded.

  3. It’s possible that the sponsee wouldn’t be  interested in contributing to the pillar in the ways we have available, in which case no spot would be awarded.



What does it mean to hold a pillar?

If you are holding a pillar, you deeply embody the Mystic core values and the spirit of an “effortocracy” (the people putting in the most effort get the most power).  You lead one or more areas within your pillar, contributing radically pre-playa and on-playa to the visioning of how to hold this aspect of camp. In addition it means you will be alloted a certain number of our coveted 200 spots to curate, recruit, and invite veteran and new members to join making sure there is a cultural fit and a bond formed right from the start with the team lead who will be most involved with the new member’s contributions. (Which could be yourself or a team lead from a team within the pillar you hold).


Curating members will come in two ways.  

  1. You will be sent the requests from Sponsors and their Sponsees to join camp with their responses to the 2 sponsorship questions for you to review with the relevant team leads.
  2. You can proactively reach out to people in the ‘Grand Playa’ whose values are aligned with this pillar and whose offerings would be inspiring and representative of this pillar of camp.  


Once selections are made and spots are allocated, holding a pillar also means you will create a feedback loop between you, your team leads, and mystics whose spots you allocated to keep your ears to the ground to determine how it actually went.  As a pillar you are listening for whether the team lead who worked most closely with them would be excited to give this person one of our coveted spots again next year. As a pillar, you are an active culture curator who is weighing both your direct experience, the team leaders feedback, and lots of openness and compassion to determine who gets allocated spots next year.

If there is a new pillar chosen for next year, we want you to hold your role as a wisdom holder for that pillar and would encourage a conversation that would allow you to share any wisdom gained and specific feedback you received from the prior year’s team leads, counselors, council members, fellow camp mates, etc.  


Objective Criteria:

  • +10 points for leadership of each team

  • +5 points for coming early (by Wed) on Build Crew

  • +5 points for staying late (until Tue) for Exodus

  • +4 points for professional Musicians & Performers for each public offering

  • +3 points for facilitators/speakers for each talk, ritual, or ceremony

  • +3 points for healers for each healing session

  • +3 points for showing up to each shift they signed up for

  • -3 points for creating extra drain on camp leadership or resources

  • -3 points if camp has to chase you down with more than 3 communications for information from the registration survey after the July 15th deadline

  • -6 points for NOT showing up to a shift they signed up for

  • -6 points for taking on a leadership role, but not submitting a budget, reaching out to your team, and adding to this area of camp



  • Did this person create a net positive, net negative, or net neutral experience culture with they interacted with?

  • Did this person add positively, negatively, or neutrally to the offering in their pillar?

  • Did this person display any of the 4 attitudes (over demanding, under demanding, over contributing, under contributing).  If so, which ones and what was the impact?





















44 spots


70 spots


31 spots


14 spots


40 spots



Burn Barrel (1)

Mystic Theater Lead (1)

Dining Hall Lead (1)

Mystic Heart Temple (16)

Dome & Healing Sanctuary (16)

Decor & Beautification (8)

Burn Barrel (1)

Lighting (2) 

Sound (4)

Visionary Art (1)


Bike repair (1)

Breakdown & Strike 

Early Arrival Build Crew (10)

Exodus & Strike Crew (8) 

Kitchen & Meal Plan (19)

Layout & Placement (4)

Leave No Trace (5)

Power (5)

RV Poopy Pumpers (2)

Shade Structure (1)

Steam Shower (1)

Supplies & Inventory (1)

Transportation & Storage

Water / Grey Water (3) 





Counselors (10)

First Aid & Safety

Kid Zone (4)

Team Lead Support


Virgin Support

Volunteer Appreciation (5)

Website & Registration (1)

Welcome Wagon (14)


Mystic Flyer (14)

Mystic Arts Foundation (1)

Art Projects (2)


DJ Dance Parties (18)

Events & Speaker Series (24)

Music (2)

Ritual & Ceremony (3)

Saturday Morning Forever (1)

Event Signage & Photo Sign (2)










How to sponsor someone at Mystic?

Being a Sponsor is a commitment to take an active role with your Sponsee as you invite new people to Mystic.  The Sponsor’s role is to help acculturate your Sponsee to both Burning Man (especially if they have never been before) and to Mystic specifically so that your Sponsees know about our core values, culture, and what it means to participate in this community.  You’ll be interacting with your Sponsee prior to their registration to help them get acquainted with our 5 pillars and the 40+ teams to see which area of camp they’d be most excited and uniquely gifted to contribute to.   


You’ll also do the following:

  • Share the 2 Sponsorship questions with your Sponsee, who will answer them, and then you’ll share those responses with   

  • Request to add them to the Camp Mystic Facebook Group and introduce them to the tribe with a photo and perhaps some background about why you are excited to Sponsor them (you could include their answers to the above if you like)

  • Help connect your Sponsee with the appropriate Pillars (create link) and Team leads (will enter team leads on this page) so they know who to reach out to get their invitation

  • Check-in with your Sponsee when they arrive to welcome them to camp and see if they need anything and are feeling settled in and cared for so they start their burn feeling love, safety, and belonging

  • Check-in with your Sponsee a couple times during the week to proactively track their experience and see how things are mystic left behind!

  • Be a compassionate ear if there are any challenges, holding that challenges are an opportunity to up-level our self awareness and evolve. Any resolution is held in the context of pursuing evolutionary growth for them and all other people involved.


Sponsorship Questions:

  1. How do embody one or more of our core Mystic values (Radical Contribution, Radical Collaboration, Radical Compassion, Radical Self Expression, and Radical Evolution).
  2. How SPECIFICALLY do you want to help us co-create the magic at Mystic...there are no spectaors (coming early for build, staying for exodus, leading one of our teams,



COUNSELORS: No Mystic Left Behind

Traditionally our counselors have been available at meal times if any challenges arise and any campers are wanting to find them to talk and receive compassionate listening and help with resolving any challenges arise. In 2020, in addition to playing this role during meals times we will have each counselor matched to 15-20 mystics on our roster that they will proactively check-in with a few times throughout the week.  No Mystic left behind. The role of the counselors is two-fold…

  1. To serve as culture curators, embodying our 5 core values in all their interactions and keeping a finger on the pulse of our culture to sense early if there are any perturbations in the field (big or small) or exemplary manifestations of our mission and values for us all to celebrate.

  2. To actively engage with our community to create a feeling of inclusivity helping to make sure everyone is feeling love, safety, and belonging.  Counselors will actively check-in and track the experience of their sub group of mystics to see how their experience is going, see if they need anything, and to give a compassionate ear if there are any challenges mystics are having.

To serve as mediators, if necessary, when there are challenges that arise between members, holding that challenges are an opportunity to up-level our self awareness and evolve. Any resolution is held in the context of pursuing evolutionary growth for them and all other people involved.


Offer A Public Event, Workshop, Or Performance

If you would like to participate in our public offerings in our speaker series to facilitate a talk, panel, workshop, movement class, live musical offering, or other interactive event on one of our stages in the Mystic Theater, Mystic Heart Temple, or our Healing Dome.  Fill out this application here BEFORE June 10th and we'll be in touch in mid June to let you know if we fit you in a slot:

Camp Event Application 2023  <<<<click here to apply


Support us Through A Donation

In addition you can support us through a donation to the Mystic Flyer to help keep us FLYING!  The Mystic Flyer is a Mobile Mystical experience of visionary art, music, dance, performance, a binuaral Time Jump experience and plush cuddle zone to the grand playa.  Check it out here:

Mystic Flyer Campaign


Mystic Flyer - 3D Render

Mystic Flyer 2016



Purchase a Camp Mystic Visionary Art Shirt

We have created an awesome full coverage visionary art Mystic T-Shirt, Tank Top and this year a new HOODIE.  To get your hands on one of these cool looking babies, click the campaign here and select your perk and we'll send your shirt:

Camp Mystic Visionary Art T-shirts, Tank Tops, and Hoodies


Got any questions about camping with us?

Check Out Our FAQs


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