Group of students at Campout
Section 3 makes a strong showing at Campout!

Campout 2011: I lasted 36, 24, 7 hours! For all of you who came from a non-sports dominated school, like myself, let me explain what Campout is.

Each year, about 2,000 graduate students spend 36 hours camping out in tents, RVs, and U-Hauls. Campout includes students from all graduate schools at Duke, including Fuqua. This is the ONLY way to get season tickets to men’s basketball. Go Blue Devils!

The Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) plans and oversees the distribution of season tickets to the men’s home basketball games via the GPSC Basketball Campout. The GPSC Basketball Committee is composed of volunteer members from each of the graduate schools. The plan is to arrive at the designated Campout area on Friday by 7 pm (usually a designated parking lot), initially check-in and find your team (more on teams below). Throughout the next 36 hours, the GPSC Basketball Committee rings a siren and attendees must go to a central tent, organized by last name, to “check-in.” Assuming you make all required check-ins throughout the 36-hour period, you are then entered into a lottery for a season ticket pass. There are 750 passes available, and roughly 1,250 students make it to all the check-ins during the Campout weekend. You are alerted to check-in by a siren and the sirens can come at any time throughout the 36 hours, day or night, within 10 minutes or 4 hours of one another. During the weekend, you are allowed to miss one check-in to remain in the lottery, otherwise you are eliminated.

Diana at Campout
With my teammate, Darlene Ritter, at Campout.

The GPSC organizes various other activities throughout the weekend, including community service, speed dating, a free throw competition, a football game watching party, various other competitions, and a charity raffle/silent auction. Depending on the location of the activities, you may be granted a “pass” from the required check-ins during the time that you are gone.

Starting at Fuqua orientation, students begin forming teams (about 10-20 people) for Campout. The teams are an important component of the event because each team pools together their resources. Usually the teams decide together to rent a U-Haul or an RV, come up with a theme, and design T-shirts. This year, I was part of the Indus team. Indus is the South Asian Business Club at Duke and they are known to throw legendary parties at Campout. They did, and it knocked me out on Friday night!!! Anyways, my team had an RV; we made a T-shirt, and had warm Indian food. And hosted the party. You cannot top that! At the end of Campout, depending on which team members make it all 36 hours, the teams split up season tickets amongst the survivors.

Coack K & basketball team
Coach K & the Men’s Basketball team visited students at Campout.

This year, Friday happened to be the coldest day since I arrived in Durham a month and a half ago. The low was around 52 degrees and the weather forecasted rain from Friday-Sunday. However, this did not stop anybody from enjoying Campout and dancing the weekend away!

For me personally, I stayed long enough to enjoy a visit from Coach K and the Men’s Basketball team on Friday night, where I heard their words and wisdom about the upcoming basketball season. In addition, I made it through two check-ins, one around midnight on Friday and the second around 1:30 am. Overall, I am glad that I participated and saw what Campout was all about. Eight people on my team (out of 17) made it through the whole weekend, and 4 people received tickets. Hopefully I will still make it to a few games this season, too. Go Blue Devils!