Rangerly and Unrangerly Behavior

From rangers
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This section covers key points in the HOW of rangering.

Rangers are Helpful, Sober, Radio-Connected Volunteers who "Do Nothing"

Rangers are helpful, sober Firefly participants with radios, who volunteer our time to be a resource to other participants. There are many things we might do on shift (see section on Shift Tasks), including help mediate situations or radio for help in an emergency.

Rangers "do nothing"!

What is the main thing we do as Rangers? Nothing!

  • Active process
  • Let things play out
  • Intervene as little as possible
  • Goal to get participants to solve their own problems
  • Sometimes just being there is a reminder to participants to think about their behavior

Rangers balance helping and staying out of the way

One of the Keeping participants safe & happy/being helpful

Not getting in way of people’s experiences

Rangers have fun!

  • Participate!
  • Engage!
  • Chill!
  • Wander!
  • Enjoy Art!

Rangers stay aware, alert, sober & available!

It is possible to have “too much fun.” Engaging in an activity where you cannot stay aware, alert or available is not appropriate for a Ranger shift. For example, cuddle puddles do not need Rangering.

Rangers are never alone

As a Ranger, you will have a lot of support and resources to draw on. Rangering means you never have to be alone in any situation. You always have other Rangers, especially your partner, Khaki, and other rangers on shift (Dirt Rangers, Echelon, KIT). Ranger Leads are also usually on-call. And there are many other Safety volunteers, and other groups.

Rangers maintain confidentiality

Rangers are sometimes involved in sensitive situations. While in the midst of these situations and after our shifts, we should be careful to maintain confidentiality. See the section on Support Vs. Gossip.


How much authority do Rangers have?

Absolutely none—until and unless a participant chooses to give it to us at that particular time.

Or, more accurately, no more than any other participant at Firefly.

One of the inherent contradictions to being a Ranger is that we have no inherent authority. We make an effort not to be authority figures, but people WILL look to us as authority figures, and there are rare times in which we DO need to act as authority figures.

The rare times in which Rangers act as authority figures are in an emergency: We help create a perimeter to ensure that First Aid staff can do their job sufficiently.

That is it.

In those cases, Rangers are just acting as sober, identifiable assistance to other teams: to Fire Core, First Aid, NorthBeast, or on behalf of the Firefly Board. Often, we end up being the communicators of rules that have been determined by the community and the Board, but even then we rarely dictating or enforce. We strive to help hold the Community and its values together.

Any situation where someone is asking you to make a judgment call or enforce a rule, you can kick it sideways. You can pass it to Khaki, who will pass it to whoever needs to be involved.

Note: The OOD (Officer of the Day; not a Ranger role, but experienced Rangers are common in this role) is authorized to act on behalf of the Firefly Board in certain limited conditions having to do with participant and event safety.

Non-confrontational, Non-authoritarian Methods

So what do we do if we DON’T have authority?

  • Focus is on participants: It’s not about us
  • We use non-confrontational methods
  • We mediate, influence, and persuade rather than dictate, enforce or dominate
  • Help participants help themselves
  • We provide good information
  • Walk away when needed

Social capital

What is social capital?

We use the term “social capital” to describe the trust and confidence that participants, staff, law enforcement, and medical personnel have in the Rangers: our “street cred.”

Social capital is our sole source of authority; it is what we run on. Without the confidence of participants and staff, we would be unable to function effectively.

Rangering involves building and using social capital appropriately.

Reputation, Credibility and Effectiveness

By helping participants in trouble, by treating everyone with respect, and by acting professionally and with integrity, we have, over time, built up a lot of social capital with participants and staff.

Because of the Rangers’ social capital:

  • People will listen to you in way that they would not listen to a random participant offering advice or asking them to change their behavior.
  • Law enforcement, medical, and other departments will often seek your assistance and pay attention to your input.
  • When Rangers are perceived as helpful, effective, collaborative, professional, and impartial (i.e., high social capital), we will be listened to, taken seriously, and trusted.
  • When Rangers are perceived as authoritarian, uptight, entitled, unprofessional, or incompetent (i.e., low social capital), we will be ignored or resisted.

Adding & subtracting Social capital

Social capital is like a bank account: every good interaction you have with a participant or staff member makes a deposit into our social capital account, and every bad interaction withdraws from it.

Unfortunately, bad interactions with Rangers often make good stories, so participants will tend to tell all their friends when they’ve seen a Ranger acting unprofessional or authoritarian.

When you do good, you make a small deposit in our account; when you do bad, you make a huge withdrawal.

We expect every Ranger to act as an ambassador and an educator, both to participants and to other volunteers. When out in the city or on a call, talk to participants and staff about what we do and why we do it. Let them know that we’re here for them, and show them by your actions that we are a resource they can trust.

Un-Rangerly Behavior

What is Un-Rangerly Behavior?

Both members of the community and fellow Rangers can report incidents of un-Rangerly behavior to any member of the Ranger Council, the Firefly Conduct Committee, or a 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
  • Failing to disclose personal involvement in a situation to your partner

Ranger Responses to Un-Rangerly Behavior

The Firefly Ranger Organization takes incidents of un-Rangerly behavior while identifiable as a Ranger (coming on or off shift, while at HQ, anytime you are in costume or wearing a Ranger laminate) very seriously. Ranger Leadership (Khaki, Ranger Leads) will follow up on any reported incidents. See more in the Ranger Charter.

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. De-lamming 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.

Violations of the Firefly CODE OF CONDUCT

If un-Rangerly behavior also violated the Firefly Code of Conduct, then the Conduct Committee with be consulted, as indicated in the Firefly Code Of Conduct.

Continue on to the next page: Preparing for your Shift