What are the BWB Summits?

Burners Without Borders works very closely with Fly Ranch, and this partnership has developed into opportunities for BWB to gather using Fly Ranch as a hosting land. We gather on Fly Ranch for work weekends, skill building, and most recently in 2019 the BWB Summits at Fly Ranch. These are in person opportunities to connect off-playa, and we are hosting 2 Summits per year through 2021. These are small group gatherings of less than 100 people, and the weekends have a participant driven, unconference style of loose programming with plenty of focus on connecting with the land, each other, and personal wellness. The summits are invitation only and BWBers are invited to express interest prior to receiving the registration link to confirm your spot. To learn about upcoming Summits, subscribe to our newsletter.
Following the 2005 Burning Man event, several participants headed to the Gulf Coast to help survivors rebuild their devastated communities. While the rest of the world’s attention was focused on New Orleans, the small group decided to head towards Biloxi, which had been hit just as hard but was receiving little help. The group named themselves the Temple to Temple Crew since many of the volunteers had built the Temple at Burning Man.   As the volunteer numbers grew, they focused their initial efforts on rebuilding a destroyed Vietnamese temple. After several months and a job well done, they moved to another needy Mississippi community, Pearlington, to continue to work hard — gifting their time — to help those in need.  And a new name, Burners Without Borders, was born.   Over the course of eight months, BWB volunteers gifted over $1 million dollars worth of reconstruction and debris removal to the residents of Mississippi due to the donation of a brand new front loader and excavator.  BWB was the only volunteer group on the Gulf Coast to receive a donation of heavy machinery, which enabled them to put Pearlington three years ahead of the relief effort in their region.   But, we did more than just clear people’s homes, we started burning sculptures made from the debris we gathered while doing our work. Soon, the community began bringing their own sculptures and many experienced a powerful, cathartic moment as they were finding the courage together to let go of the past and rebuild their futures.   After Katrina-From Disaster Response to Civic Engagement   After witnessing the incredible creativity that the Burning Man community brought to Katrina, Tom Price and Carmen Mauk returned to San Francisco with a desire to continue to grow BWB beyond the scope of natural disasters. They wondered what would be possible if  the kind of participation and creativity they experienced in Katrina could be turned into our every day lives in communities around the world.   As a first step in encouraging community participation, they decided to host a beach cleanup at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, on May 5th. By engaging  the Burning Man network and former Katrina volunteers, this cleanup spread to five countries  and the first annual Cinqo de Playa cleanup was born. This program ran for seven years and continued to grow to more than twenty cities around the world.