Firefly Ranger Charter

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We, the Firefly Rangers, are a volunteer organization dedicated to upholding the values of the Firefly Community*.

Rangers serve the Firefly community as non-confrontational mediators. We work with participants to address disputes, to resolve or prevent potential safety concerns, and to assist in responding to medical, emotional, and personal safety emergencies. Because our role derives from serving the participants, and Self-Reliance is a key principle of Firefly, Firefly Rangers will only assist the community when needed.

In order to be readily on-hand whenever needed, Rangers maintain both a stationary presence at Firefly (“Ranger HQ”) and also roam the woods and field (“Dirt Rangers”). Our presence throughout the event also enables Rangers to serve as interlocutors and help carry information among attendees and other Firefly volunteer organizations.

*See this description of the 10 Principles of Burning Man.

The Firefly Ranger Family

The Firefly Ranger Family shall include:

  • Prospectives: Any community member who expresses an interest in becoming a Ranger.
  • Alphas: Those who have successfully completed Ranger Training, but not yet their Alpha shift. (Note: if an Alpha Ranger is “bonked” that person is no longer considered an Alpha for that year, though may be encouraged to try again next year.)
  • Active Rangers: Those Rangers in good standing who have successfully undergone training, passed evaluation, and Rangered at Firefly at any point in the last three years.
  • Former Rangers: Those who have previously Rangered at Firefly, but not at any point in the last three years, or who simply wish to be considered so.
  • Affiliated Rangers and Ranger Groups: Active members in good standing of affiliated ranger groups such as the Black Rock Rangers, Flipside Rangers, Soak Rangers, etc.

The Firefly Ranger Family shall not include any person who has been barred from the Firefly community or removed from the Firefly Rangers due to disciplinary proceedings/extraordinary circumstances.

Who are the Firefly Rangers?

Firefly Rangers serve the Firefly Community. They share a commitment to stay out of the way when not needed & to help fellow participants when asked. Rangers uphold Community values & the Ten Principles*. The Firefly Ranger organization believes that diversity is necessary to our ability to serve effectively. The Firefly Rangers are overseen by the Firefly Board & the Firefly Community at large.

At-Event Ranger Roles

Dirt Rangers

Dirt Rangers are the backbone of the Firefly Rangers. They serve as the eyes & ears of the Firefly Community. They rise from the dirt when needed and fade back into the dirt when they are not. First, and most importantly, they do nothing. Only after doing nothing will they follow as necessary the basic guidelines of FLAME (Find Out, Listen, Analyze, Mediate, Explain.) They have radios to assist in calling for help when requested, and are supported at the event by Echelon at Ranger HQ, Khaki in charge of the shift, and the rest of Ranger leadership as outlined below.


Echelon serves the Dirt Rangers in the field by staying at HQ, handling walk-up issues, issuing radios, T-shirts & lams, managing the current schedule, working with Khaki to maintain the shift logs, and other general infrastructure support.


Khaki serves Dirt Rangers as the Ranger in charge of the shift & all event radio traffic. Khaki is always available as a resource to all Dirt Rangers on duty and acts as a liaison to other cores and the Firefly Board during that shift. Khaki may change during a shift. Khaki may be mobile.

Officer of the Day

The Officer of the Day serves the Ranger Lead, the Ranger XO, Khaki, and all the Dirt Rangers on duty by coordinating the major issues of the day across shifts.

Ranger Leadership

The role of Firefly Ranger Leadership is to train, recruit, retain, and educate rangers; to organize and prepare the resources necessary for Rangers to volunteer at the event; to communicate with the Firefly Board and Cores before, during, and after the event; to resolve disputes among Rangers, or between Rangers and fellow participants; and to promote camaraderie and socialization among Rangers both during and outside of the event. The decisions of Ranger Leadership should be driven by the goal of determining what is best for the event as a whole.

Ranger Leadership Structure


Reasoning For This Leadership Structure

The Ranger leadership structure must serve the needs of Dirt Rangers (Rangers out on shift,) Echelon (Ranger at HQ,) and Khaki (the mobile shift lead.) Building from the ground up, they include:

Ranger Teams & Team Leads: Meet the need for specific functional tasks to be completed & specific functional roles to be filled.

Ranger Lead & Ranger XO: Meet the need of the Firefly Board and the Firefly community to have identifiable leaders for the Ranger Core.

Ranger Council: Meets the need to coordinate various efforts before, during and after Firefly. Both serves and oversees the Ranger Lead & Ranger XO and each of the Ranger Teams. Serves the Firefly Community.

Event-Specific Ranger Leadership Roles: Filled by the most appropriate Ranger, usually already in a related leadership role, to be responsible for a specific set of tasks at Firefly itself

Ranger Teams

Teams and some examples of their potential tasks follow:

Personnel Team

  • Personnel Database management
  • Retention
  • Shift scheduling

Training & Education Team

  • Develop training materials
  • Deliver trainings
  • Ongoing education & cultivation of skills development

Logistics & Infrastructure Team

  • Department of Public Works (DPW) coordinator
  • Radios, lanyards and other HQ items

Emergency Coordination Team

  • Pre-event planning
  • Post-event follow-up
  • Rangers of the Day
  • Khaki

Social Team

  • Social Events Coordinator (year round)
  • Recruitment
  • Public relations (along with Council/Communications)

Communications Team

  • Internal & external communications
  • Internal documentation

Team Leads


  • Ensure that the team is fulfilling its duties effectively, both outside and during Firefly
  • Manage members of the team
  • Participate as a member of the Ranger Council
  • Help train future leads for that team
  • Recruiting new members for the team

Ranger XO (Executive Officer)


Operations manager for the teams

Works directly with Team Leads to ensure each team is proceeding effectively

Tracks progress of each team and team leader

Works with documentation processes

Responsible for direct operations

Works closely with Ranger Lead

Participate as a member of the Ranger Council

Ranger Lead


  • Accountable to Ranger Council and Rangers
  • Accountable to Firefly Board, keeps the Board updated and appraised
  • Face of organization
  • Visionary for organization
  • Works closely with Ranger XO
  • Liaison for the Firefly community
  • Liaison to other Firefly Cores (May choose to delegate these roles to Team Leads.)
  • Participate as a member of the Ranger Council

Ranger Council


  • Coordination body runs the ranger organization.
  • Comprised of the Ranger Lead, Ranger XO, and the Team Leads
  • Meets on a regular basis and as needed, during the year and at Firefly.
  • Responsible for establishing eligibility criteria for Ranger roles, and making exceptions by majority vote.

At-Event Specific Leadership Roles

Roles to filled each year by the most appropriate & willing person to do them, most likely a member of the Ranger Leadership.

Echelon Coordinator

  • Coordinates with Radio Core
  • Trains & coordinates all Echelon Rangers
  • Sets up Headquarters

Khaki Coordinator

  • Trains & coordinates all Khaki & Khaki-in-Training Rangers

Alpha & Mentor Coordinator

  • Trains & coordinates all mentor rangers
  • Tracks training & alpha shifts for all alpha rangers

Elections & Ranger Team Membership

Elections will be held in January of each calendar year for a term which runs a bit more or less than a year, specifically until the following year’s election is held and the next Ranger Lead & Ranger XO are approved by the Firefly Board.

Ranger Lead & Ranger XO

The outgoing Ranger Council will solicit nominations from the Rangers for the positions of Ranger Lead & Ranger XO.

Rangers may self-nominate.

If a Ranger accepts a nomination for a position, they shall submit a brief description of their goals and plans.

The Active Ranger membership will then vote among the nominees using approval voting. Each Active Ranger may submit a ballot voting “acceptable” or “not acceptable” independently for each nominee in each position.

The nominees who receive the highest number of “acceptable” votes shall become the candidate for Ranger Lead or Ranger XO.

The Firefly Board shall vote to approve the candidates for Ranger Lead & Ranger XO elected by the Ranger membership. In the event the Firefly Board does not approve the candidate, the second highest vote-getter shall then be voted upon as the candidate for the position, and so on, until the Firefly Board approves a candidate.


Membership on each of these teams shall be open to all Active Rangers.

Team Leads

In February, each team will choose from among themselves a Team Lead using approval voting if necessary. Team Leads ensure their Ranger Team functions well, they will coordinate with other Team Leads, the Ranger XO & Ranger Lead, and they will sit on the Ranger Council.

If a team is unable to choose a team lead who does not already have another lead position, the council may vote to allow a council member to take on that lead position, with the approval of that team.

Ranger Council

Comprised of the Ranger Lead, Ranger XO, and the Team Leads. The Council will not have at-large positions.

Ranger Committees

The Ranger Council can form committees as needed for specific coordinated efforts, composed of any members of the Ranger Family.

Changes in Leadership Mid-Term

If the Ranger Lead, the Ranger XO, or a Team Lead needs to voluntarily resign or step down mid-term, the Ranger Council will decide to either:

  • Hold a special election from among the entire Ranger membership or the particular team, as appropriate (if time permits.)
  • Appoint someone until the next scheduled election (if time does not permit.)

The Ranger Council may vote by majority to remove the Ranger Lead, Ranger XO, Team Lead, or a Team Member based on poor performance and/or complaints from other Rangers and/or Team Members. In that case, the same procedures as outlined above shall be used for replacing the removed Ranger as necessary.

Un-Rangerly Behavior & Mediating Grievances

Members of the community and Rangers alike can report incidents of un-Rangerly behavior to any member of the Ranger Council, and other groups which the Ranger Council may choose to designate (such as a Safety Circle or similar community organization dedicated to the oversight of Ranger behavior.)

Un-Rangerly behavior shall include, but is not limited to:

  • Harassment
  • Violence
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Misusing community trust
  • Failing to report an emergency
  • Knowingly neglecting ranger responsibilities
  • Being intoxicated on-duty
  • Failing to keep the privacy of confidential information

Procedures for addressing un-Rangerly behavior

  • The Ranger in question will work with Ranger leadership (e.g. Khaki, Officer of the Day, Team Lead, Ranger XO, Ranger Lead) as appropriate to review the situation and determine the best course of action.
  • The Ranger Council may also choose to hold a hearing to review the situation and determine the best course of action.
  • Community groups may also choose to hold a hearing to review the situation and determine the best course of action.

Results of un-Rangerly behavior

  • Khaki may choose to remove any Ranger from a shift.
  • The Ranger Lead & Ranger XO (each) may choose to de-lam a Ranger for the duration of the event. (To de-lam a Ranger means that they are no longer considered a Ranger for the duration of the event.)
  • The Ranger Council may vote (after a fair hearing) by majority to remove a Ranger permanently, and/or recommend further community action.
  • A Ranger may also self-recommend consequences for their own un-rangerly behavior, subject to approval by the Ranger Lead, Ranger XO, or the Ranger Council.

Mediating Grievances

The re-organization committee strongly suggests that the future Ranger Council create a committee to develop a policy for how to mediate grievances among Rangers, and between Rangers and other participants.  This committee may also wish to consider additional procedures for how to address incidents of un-Rangerly behavior.

Amendments to this Charter

Amendments to this Charter requires a consensus of the Ranger Council.

It is recommended that this Charter be reviewed and amended annually at a minimum, and more often as needed.

Rangers are welcome to make comments on this charter via the Ranger Charter Draft or this wiki.  Only current Ranger Council members should have write-access to this document.  The final version should be published here.

It is recommended that the outgoing council review and make recommendations for the charter before elections for the new council.  PDF copies of the old version of the charter should be archived for reference.  The draft version contains the editing and comment history.

All history of changes to the Charter, reviews, and published versions should be documented in the Charter Draft, in Appendix B: Version Tracking. (Going forward, changes can be documented here in this wiki.)