Hey folks. Just thought I'd let you know I'm working on a page over at the wiki on how to organize a rewild camp. Please check it out and let me know of any questions or comments on what needs to be mentioned.
How to organize a Rewild Camp
This page exists as an outline for those who want to run their own rewild camp.
1 Don't Spend A Dime
2 Things You'll Need
2.1 Rewild Camp Website
2.2 Basic Location Needs
2.4.1 Identify Your Demographic
2.4.3 Writing Copy
2.4.6 Phone Calls
2.4.8 Word of Mouth
3 Running the Event
4 Make Rewild Camps Obsolete
Don't Spend A Dime
The idea behind the rewild camp invovles bringing people together, rendezvous style, without anyone having to pay an entry fee to learn and share skills or network. Every monetary expense can be circumvented using social networks and a little brainstorming. Someone is spending money for the event, you just don't want it to be the organizers or the participants. For example, if you use public bathrooms at a park instead of renting them yourself, the park service is paying for the bathrooms through tax dollars.
Community building barter can also play a role in running a free event. For example, rather than renting someones land, why not offer a day of labor to care-take the land? At the Portland Rewild Camp we had 45 people. Some rendezvous like Rabbitstick draw 400 people. What kinds of work could you do for someones land in one day with 400 people? A lot. Like set up a humanure compost system so you bring soil to their land, and not have to pay for port-a-potties. Get it?
Things You'll Need
Rewild Camp Website
The first step in running a Rewild Camp involves creating a website for it here. This will help you to direct people to a place where they can get more information on the event than provided in your marketing materials. This service does not cost anything. A free website helps a lot with marketing your event.
To create a page for your event, search the wiki using the title of your camp. For example "Rewild Camp Portland 2007." When it does not find the page, you will see a text in red that says, "Create this page." You can create the page from there. You will need to register in order to edit the wiki, which you can do first, or when you create the page for your Rewild Camp.
Example Rewild Camp Website:
Rewild Camp Pittsburgh 2007
Rewild Camp Portland 2007
Basic Location Needs
If you had to rent land or porta-pottys, you would have to spend lots of money. In Portland, we chose a public park with a shelter, bathroom and water fountain open all day long. We have thought about using our own houses and had people volunteer their houses as well.
Here again, in Portland we chose a park with a water fountain.
Shelter from rain, cold, heat
We held the event in Portland during the summer so our only concern was rain, so we chose a park with a shelter and picnic tables. A large wall to hang the Open Space Marketplace.
Food brings people together. What else do we do as a people but get and prepare food? Can you find free food? Can you organize a potluck for the event? Food is very very important to getting people to stay at the event. Free food is more important.
Identify Your Demographic
To run a decent Rewild Camp that focuses on creating a community of people who want to survive the collapse, you first need to target people who believe in the collapse of civilization and the undoing of domestication. This may work as the most important part of marketing; reaching the right people.
You must identify groups who probably have members who like to rewild. This includes a wide variety of people; naturalists, permaculturists, college students, trackers, primitive survivalists, ethnobotanists, etc.
Ask yourself, what groups out there have these kinds of people? Search the internet for the organizations. Search the internet for past Rewild (and related) Camps for blog entries, and invite the bloggers if they live nearby. Flip through the phone book. Ask your friends. The more time you spend finding these organizations the more success you will have in attracting people of like mind.
Partnering with an organization can bring in skilled instructors/contributors to the rewild camp. It also works in their favor as a week of free networking and advertising. By coming to the rewild camp and participating, whether teaching a skill or just helping organize it, an organization can expand awareness of their company by promoting their pay-for classes during the week. They can also meet other people with skills that they may hire as instructors. The idea behind rewild camp is social networking, with the theme of rewilding. We want to create social networks of rewilders. The camps are more about connecting people than teaching skills. Skills come easily when a network is in place. The rewild camp offers great marketing and connections for organizations as well as communities.
The key to writing copy involves making it attract the demographic that you want to attend the rewild camp. You will use this copy in your press release and your internet marketing and it will also give you an idea of what to say if you make phone calls.
Local publications can work tremendously for free marketing. Identify every small and large local publication you can. Go to their websites or look them up in the phone book and write down their addresses and their e-mail addresses.
In order to get their attention you must send them a "Press Release." Basically a page or two of information about your event.
Press Releases need to be both mailed physically, or sent via e-mail. E-mail is free. Mailing is not. You can think of a way around this though, perhaps you could scrap up some free paper and deliver the physical press releases using your bike. Physical Press releases need to be sent out at least 3 weeks before publication. This will vary your timing depending on montly, bi-weekly, weekly papers. Don't forget about news stations! Internet press releases should be sent two weeks before print as a reminder of the physical press release. I have found physical press releases with an internet reminder to be most successful. E-mail only press releases can work, but I have had minimal success with those. If you do only internet, make sure you send the press release twice, 3 weeks in advance, and two weeks in advance on the Rewild Camp.
The internet also provides a great place for free marketing. Identify internet sites such as message groups and bulliten boards that fit your demographic or reach a large enough audience. Myspace groups, meetup groups, Indymedia, Craigslist community board.
Call your friends. Call groups you don't know. Call or e-mail experts in your area and invite them.
If you can find a way to make them for free, do it. Like the press release, get them out early... but not too early. Posters will get covered or taken down.
Word of Mouth
Tell your friends to tell their friends. No other marketing works better than personal recommendations.
A great way to get instant free marketing is to partner with one or more similar organizations. If you partner with a non-profit you can use their status to get free food donated to you and other supplies. Also, you'll have access to their e-mail and mailing lists.
Running the Event
Open Space Technology...
Make Rewild Camps Obsolete
Rewild Camp serves to create a surge of inspiration and community building. The goal is to create the surge and keep the momentum of rewilding present. Several tools will work for keeping the momentum. Once a community exists, I see no reason to maintain a presence at rewild.info other than cross cultural pollination.
Create a localized e-mail list or phone tree.
Have regular Wild Foods Potlucks and rewilding craft nights.
Have regular foraging and habitat restoration trips.
Create a local rewilding calendar for people to post these things on. Physical or internet or planned regularly (every other friday, etc)