Oh, and a fence. We'll get to the importance of that in a moment:
Let's just say there's a lot more to it than just supporting that friendly looking picket gate.
We met up with some former Nickelsville residents, who call themselves "Nickelodeons" (really). The residents "pay" for their stay with work around the camp -- three four-hour security shifts per week and one four-hour clean-up shift per month. Depending on whom you ask, the system is either a well-oiled machine or barely works (leaders we talked to say between 50 percent and 90 percent of residents did their hours without having to be hassled, which is probably better luck than you had with, say, your last college group project).
Though, in fairness, failing remedial psychology wouldn't result
in your group living under an overpass.
Still, our first sight of Nickelsville was not an inspiring one: The security guard on duty informed us he was now acting head of security, because the previous HOS had quit last night in an unexplained fury.
Camp "government" consists of said HOS, the arbitrator (who manages internal kerfuffles), and the external affairs coordinator (who solicits donations, deals with The Man, etc.). These are elected positions, and they run the camp.
Which, despite that they're for leadership of a penniless tent city,
will probably still be the most civil elections in the country.