Firefly Ranger Organization: History, Structure, and Getting Involved Year-Round

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Firefly Ranger Organization History

The Firefly Ranger organization has evolved over the years, and is still evolving. Interested learning more about our history or getting involved? See below!

Origins: Black Rock Rangers

You’ve probably heard of an event called Burning Man.

Burning man has been around since 1986. The Black Rock City Rangers started in 1992. Created in the traditional sense as guardians and peacekeepers, not law enforcement, they were often search and rescue--“helping lost souls”--and the eyes and ears of the community.

Firefly is a regional burn: smaller, mostly independent events that share philosophy, culture, and often participants. We started in 2003, and as some of the earliest attendees were Black Rock Ranger veterans, Rangers have been a long part of Firefly history.

Evolution of Safety Cores

The Rangers were originally responsible for all sorts of safety-related interventions; we had a colored dot system to indicate a Ranger that had additional special skills.

Gradually separate cores spun off for efficiency. Now there are multiple Safety Cores: First Aid, Sanctuary, Fire Core, and Radio have all spun off from Rangers.

Together, these cores all make up the Safety Cluster, with a single cluster lead helping coordinate among the cores. Ranger Athena was the first current Safety Cluster lead, and the organizer of SFTY3RD, an annual training event.

Read more about these other Ops (formerly Safety) Cores.

Firefly Ranger Reorganization

Much of the current year-round ranger leadership structure (teams, lead & XO) was came from the 2014 Ranger reorganization committee, which produced the Ranger Charter.

Current Ranger Leadership

See the section of the Ranger Charter describing year-round leadership roles for more details on the responsibilities of these roles.

2024 Co-Leads: Roomba and Dolphin

Additional 2024 Council members: KT & Tall German (Training co-leads), KitKat (Personnel).

Additional team leads: Bender (Logistics) [does not want to be on council]

Other leadership positions of note:

Ops (was Safety) Cluster Leads: Scooter & Aster (both former Rangers)

Join a Ranger Team

These teams are responsible for the tasks needed to organize and prepare the Firefly Rangers.   Teams are described in the Firefly Ranger Charter. More about specific teams below.

Who can join a Firefly Ranger Team?

Any Firefly Ranger (so anyone who has done at least an alpha shift at some point) can join any team.  Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

You do NOT have to live in the Boston area to be on a team.  The vast majority of team tasks are coordinated via email and google docs.

How do I join a Ranger Team?

If you have any issues, email [[1]]

This year, we are asking Rangers to add themselves directly to the lists.  Once you subscribe, we will share the team documents with you.





Khaki Coordination:


What kind of commitment is involved?

Teams start forming in February, and start working in March to prepare for the July event.

Our goal is that everyone can participate in teams as little or as much as they want, in whichever way they want.  You can participate on multiple teams or just on one.

Examples of involvement:

  • Help out with a single one-time task such as doing an inventory (Logistics)
  • Helping plan a ranger get together (Social)
  • Helping update our database as people sign up for and/or take trainings (checking every few days for new sign-ups) (Personnel)
  • Become a trainer (Training)

What are the different Ranger Teams?

Education & Training Team

Responsible for planning & delivering trainings, and developing training materials.

Personnel Team

Responsible for database management, shift scheduling, coordination, updating and tracking of Ranger personnel (in Google Drive, and using the new Firefly volunteer system) leading up to Firefly.

Logistics & Infrastructure Team

Responsible for procurement, maintenance, storage & set up of all physical Ranger equipment; includes Echelon set-up & training. Coordinates with DWP & Radio Core.

Communications Team

Responsible for documentation (primarily this wiki); Communications team lead takes notes at council meetings & makes notes available to Ranger Core. May be asked to help draft announcements.

Khaki Coordination Team

This new team will focus on recruiting and training Khakis.

Social Team

Responsible for recruiting and coordinating social events year round.

Note: the responsibilities of the former Emergency Coordination Team are covered by the council and the Ops leads.)

What is the Timeline for building the Ranger Teams?

Current timeline, subject to change:

  • Sign up for Teams [follow links, or email]: Late February
  • Initial team discussions on email lists: Early March (usually earlier)
  • Teams select a lead: Early March

What are the responsibilities of a team lead/member of the ranger council?

Teams will be asked to select a team lead from among themselves.  The team lead will be responsible for making sure that team’s tasks get done, and will become a member of that year’s Firefly Ranger Council.

As a member of the Ranger Council, the team leads will be expected to:

  • Respond in a timely manner to email about team task progress, ranger policy making, and voting on exceptions to policies.
  • Attend occasional google hangout meetings online (less than once a month)

Why Ranger Teams?

Our goal is to create a sustainable leadership structure where responsibilities can be shared and delegated, and everyone can contribute as much or as little as they want.

A little more background: In early 2014, the Rangers underwent a reorganization process.  We looked at all the tasks that needed to be done for the Rangers, and grouped them by area.  Our general goal for leadership structure is a do-ocracy: we want our ranger leaders to be the ones actually doing the work, hence the Council includes the team leaders.

Read more in the Ranger Charter

Still wondering what team(s) to join?

Here’s a series of questions:

Do you want to become a trainer, or help develop training materials*?

--> If yes, join the Training & Education team.

Do you like the Echelon role, tracking equipment*, setting up HQ, and/or do you want to get involved with radios?

--> If yes, join the Logistics & Infrastructure  team.

  • The Radio Core (separate from rangers, but we work with them) also looking for help as well, especially with testing radios and equipment.  If you are interested, email [[2]].

Do you like to update and modify spreadsheets*, and get to know more about individual rangers?

--> If yes, join the Personnel team.

Do you like drafting emails, taking notes, and keeping track of documents*?

--> If yes, join the Communications team

Do you like to plan parties and outings, and want to get to know other rangers better?

--> If yes, join the Social team.

Do you want to recruit and training khakis?

--> If yet, join the Khaki Coordination Team

Do you have experience with dealing with emergency situations or ICS and want to help with event responses to emergencies?

--> If yes, contact the Ops Cluster lead Aster (, or email

*We use google drive (including docs and sheets) extensively for documentation.  If you don’t have experience that’s fine, it’s easy to learn.

What if I’m already on a team and want to leave?

You can leave a team anytime by following the same links above and at the bottom of the teams emails to remove yourself, or you can email

What if I’m already on a Ranger team and want to stay?

Excellent!  Discussions will be starting soon.  You don’t need to do anything.