Welcome to Tales of The Orange! This is a new series of tales of the dust that involve our Ranger corps, who are the eyes, ears & caring hearts of our community. Look out for more in this series – or, if you’ve been a Ranger and have a story to tell, or have been on the receiving end of Ranger assistance, send your story in: [email protected]
Words: Anonymom / Images: (above) Paul Niewenhuis (below) Anonymom
We have been going to AfrikaBurn since 2012 but only decided to take my daughter with in 2016, the main reason being that we did not have the time to babysit her during the day since we were part of a theme camp. I have done volunteer work at the gate (before the Event Guardians took over that duty) previous years but never volunteered as a Ranger.
The first day in Tankwa my daughter took off and made some friends and somehow ended up at the Rangers and met Ranger Bob who invited her to do the junior Ranger training and she loved being a junior Ranger, she made friends with most of the Rangers and made a point of visiting the Tortoise every day.
Three days after we arrived, the Monday, one of her friend’s parents go worried because the girls were not where they were supposed to be, the other girl had strict rules about informing her parents every time she moves from her location. After looking for an hour I started getting worried and went to the Rangers HQ to ask if anyone saw her, they decided to help look for her and she was found within 10 min.
This was unfortunately not the last time I would have to bother the Rangers with her being missing again; on the Sunday we were scheduled to fly out of Tankwa since we could not wait for our group to break down camp and pack up (it takes 2 days) and drive back to Johannesburg (another 2 days) but an hour before our flight my daughter was nowhere to be found again. Again, the Rangers were able to find her in 15min, so we did not miss our flight.
After having to ask the Rangers twice to help find my daughter I realised that the only way I can really show my gratitude is by volunteering as a Ranger myself, during the 2017 Burn I realised that volunteering as a Ranger help me see the event from a different perspective and I made loads of new Burn friends. I have found that doing the Ranger training helped me deal with things that might pop up at the Burn much better and made me feel like more part of the event even though we have been building art work previous years and been part of a theme camp. You do not have to spend your whole event volunteering, I can however tell you that 1 shift will make a big difference to your Burn experience.
p.s: we did learn our lesson about losing our daughter and she still have her freedom but is not allowed to leave our camp without her camel pack that have her water, sunblock, some snacks and her 2-way radio so that we can reach her always. Although she does not wear a watch at the Burn she knows where the sun will sit around lunch time and 5ish, so she knows to come to camp at those times.
Hey there – inspired by reading about Anonymom’s experience with the orange? Fantastic – ever considered making a contribution to the event by volunteering as a Ranger? To find out more, and see upcoming training dates in your area, click here to get to our Ranger page.