||[Aug. 17th, 2009|01:17 pm]
So, have you guys recovered yet? I'm still unpacking...but have also been running around like crazy as usual. I had my brothers wedding yesterday and this upcoming week is full of rehearsals, meetings, etc. |
Btw, My fabulous friend Kamille, who is another Pennsic goer and stopped by our camp late after Dan's birthday party, is in NYC and Dancing at Jebon on Wednesday night. Here are the details http://www.bellyqueen.com/djam.html I have a reservation already. Who wants to join me at my table? let me know :)
So far as Caravanserai stuff is concerned, I think that there might be some big changes coming for next Pennsic. Dan and I are mulling some things over and would love to get other people's feedback and suggestions. You can leave messages here either signed or anonymously or email Caravanserai@Materialis.com with your input. Give us feedback before August 31 because Dan and I would like to make some decisions and get some balls rolling by then.
Also, who's going to Barleycorn?
Miss you all,
Pacita and Daniel
I'm not quite sure how it worked out for you all but by in large the camping experience was straightforward for us. Hopefully the children were not overly disruptive to the vibe. They certainly help motivate people to pick up their stuff as they will happily play with anything that's left out in the open.
A conventional stand up sink would be useful, but not critical. Really once the hose is at the camp, tubs seem to work ok. A shut off at the end would optimize the convenience but it's not critical. Wash area toward the side with a drainage ditch would be ideal.
The in-line water filter for drinking water seemed to be a real winner. I liked not having to purchase and haul 50ish gallons of water this war.
Common space was delightful but water handling under the carpet needed improvement. A layer of landscape cloth topped by a woven synthetic mat underneath seems optimal to allow drainage under a carpet. Should prevent wicking too.
Use of space for classes was ok with the exception of the pre and post midnight madness periods. That's really the only daytime period that I might wish to use the common area, and it wasn't possible with yoga classes scheduled on top of that.
Boards as a stop gap measure vs mud may actually prove to be the most effective system for high traffic areas that are sodden. Keeping and transporting them might be the chore, but at least they are flat. Drive a few screws through them and into the dirt to keep them from being surfboards (mudboards) next year?
Just some quick notes. More detailed replies and announcements will come once we've gotten feedback from more people.
We might be changing layout so that classes/dinner/cooking will not interrupt each other as it did this year.
The sink is awesome but a bit small. If you find the utility sink that Dan and I used for food at VTRF and don't need it, that would be cool. Maybe I can buy another one next year. We'll see.
How about RV mats in the Kitchen? Or will the mud just seep through? Rav was considering a raised floor somehow. Have to see more plans. Maybe disposable pallets with a re-useable top?
We enjoyed camping w/ ya'll, and having the second set of burners made life much easier when we overlapped cooking. Would it be helpful to get a cooking stove myself, vs the specialty burners? I'm not sure what kind of tank they use.
Not sure how well sharing Shelly's cooler worked for our food. Some stuff was likely too warm. Survivable.
The common space was amazing.
How'd y'all do on the donation front? I'm wondering just how bad the loss was...
The butane burners work on...well...butane canisters. I love them and until last year they were the only stoves we had. I can buy butane canisters in Chinatown at Kam Man on Canal and on rare occasions at Target and Walmart. Since Target and Walmart are not definite sources, I usually buy them in NYC and transport them to Pennsic. I think they cost between $2 and $4 a canister and last fairly long. I think having you guys cook there when the rest of the kitchen is in full swing is a good idea too.
I think some new rules regarding coolers, booze, and stuff in the kitchen will be coming for next year.
We collected $282.57 in cash from the jar. Also, Megan and Greg bought $121 worth of groceries at Sam's Club which became part of the first two night's meals (Thai Night and Dan's Birthday). Laura also bought some of my groceries at Sam's Club too.
Oh and for anyone that's interested, the new storage space costs us $515.16 a year. I paid them $315.16 cash after Pennsic and need to pay them $200 at the end of CTRF when I have more money.
I think Dan and I will also be at Barleycorn. I haven't gone in many years because of conflicts with other events. It will be nice to go and just hang out, not merchant, not teach, not set up a camp, etc. Woot for going to drink and hang with no responsibilities!
Is there loaner archery gear? Mine got left at the Pennsic storage.
This year set up and breakdown was a bit rough and there were some growing pains but the times between were magical at the Caravanserai. Uncontrollable circumstances had set up starting a day and a half later than usual setting a stressful tone over the existing excitement of the new set up.
Pacita has a great way of organizing the meal schedule and that kind of structure needs to be applied to setting up and breaking down the Caravanserai. More people are needed during these times to make this work, especially breakdown. On Sunday I lost focus there was plenty to do but had no idea where to start and became stagnant with being overwhelmed, a posted task list would be great to get over that. These are some of the things:
Initial set up tasks:~Hauling things from storage (onsite trailer in the future? How to make this happen?)~Floor layout~Trenching and Sump creation~Carport Assembly~Carport Decoration/Tapestry hanging~Set up lighting~Kitchen set up: this actually needs to have its own sub-list~Carpet Roll out~Furniture assembly Pack down tasks:~Take down decorations, tapestries, clean and pack candle stuff~Furniture Breakdown~Roll carpets~Rinse and stand floorboards to dry for storing~Take down carports (one should be left up ‘til last to have a shaded/dry area to work in)~Kitchen breakdown: Again needs its own sub-list~Filling trenches and sumps~Haul stuff to storage
~~Rain preparation, it needs to happen during initial set up not after we’ve scrambled through the first rain.
If we’re going with the three-carport system again the front should have end caps like the back walls do. What are the dimensions of the cap walls they can be searched for on craigslist. If you guys are interested and could lend me one cap wall as a pattern, I will make one from light canvas and paint the front side of it. Perhaps in a Turkish mosaic style? There is a zipper door kit at home depot that can be incorporated into the design so the end can be rolled open during good weather then closed for shade or to block rain. I’d do just one to test and if it worked well could do the other two after.
The gutter system over all worked, a few more attachments and some stronger clips and the gutter itself will be fine. The draining into the kitchen did make a bit of a mess though. Trenching a drain path beneath floorboards in the kitchen would help and that would need to be routed so as not to flood the camp behind us. Even if we use another system next year more trenching will need to be done.
The seams on the center carport caused most of the problem once the gutters were set. I’ll put gorilla tape on my pack list, a strip on each side of the seam may do the trick.
The boards were a great solution for the muddy floor, the door not so much though. I like Jordan’s idea of securing them. Picking up boards at home depot means more hauling and storage but it is worth is not to muck about in mud. These will have to be rinsed off at the end of Pennsic as well. How do you feel about a raised floor in the space where the carpet is?
~~An idea on lighting in the living/class space, two pennsics ago a young man camping with us had this thing. It was a portable power supply that had all kinds of electrical outlets, a flood light, I think the thing could even be used to jump start a car. Some research into emergency power equipment may be a way to have the mini white lights Pacita was hoping for in the common area. I still love the candle ambiance in the feast table area, there’s no beating that.
This post exceeds maximum character length sorry for the odd cut
~~Meals and our Fabulous Kitchen; this was my first year cooking at Pennsic and thank you to all that helped!!! Cooking big is much easier than cooking for just Greg and I at home and I look forward to cooking again next year. One thing that seemed a bit murky about sponsoring a meal was that if you plan a meal you should bring what you plan to cook and any special utensils, spices or whatever that you need to pull it off. This was one of the things that was a big wall for me but with a little planning got over it. Not everyone is able to sponsor a meal, but Pacita and Dan have it clearly set up so people can contribute in a manner appropriate to their situation. Another minor obstacle to over come was not having measuring spoons, now I know better and can either bring some from home next time or pick up a set to donate. Having meal nights planned and sponsored also helps at kitchen pack down time by eliminating the situation of ‘what to do with all of this left over random food?’
Ice, ice, ice. With coolers comes a need for Ice! It was lacking this year. Thanks to those who were able to pick some up!!! What kind of coolers do we need to have a similar set up to two years ago. There were specific coolers for meat, beverages, etc. maybe a smaller cooler for just meats.
The kitchen is amazing but it does take a long time to break down. It should be shut down to minimum usage Friday afternoon with dishes and silverware washed accounted for and packed. Personal camp utensils should be brought out to use instead if you have them. Saturday the kitchen should be entirely packed down. I’m working on a “last day” kit filled with necessities for the pack down like paper plates, prepackaged single serve open and eat foods, and other things to keep us sane, like water pistols for an in camp cool off! Any suggestion of items would be helpful and appreciated.
This year’s addition of the sink was awesome! Thanks Jordan. Would a large Rubbermaid style trash barrel work as a stand/leakage catch for the sink?
The Caravanserai works when we all contribute to it but don’t feel like you have to be a slave to it, that isn’t the point. Take a break from the group set up to make sure your own space is in comfortable order and then come back fresh and rested. As we learn what it takes to make this structure happen we can each find our own stone to set in its foundation. (yup, I’m a corndog like that, deal)
That’s my brain dump for now as other things come to mind there will be more posts. Pacita feel free to email this to those that don’t get to LJ. Feedback and opinions are welcome!
Thanks for posting all this! It's a lot to think about. But I do have one little thing to add. You know the white plastic scoop measures? The handles of those are also measuring spoons :) I also thought that it might not be obvious enough so I do have plans on getting (or getting donated) some spoon measures as well :)
That's a great idea and one that I'm hoping to put into effect in the future.