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What Goes Into Camping for a KU Game?

Pay heed: behind the leadership of basketball camping

Ryan Atchison | @Ryan_AtchisonTV

Approximately 4,000 students line up at the gate outside Allen Fieldhouse to experience one of college basketball’s most intriguing home-court advantages and atmospheres.

For students to get their fifteen minutes of fame on television, being in the front row in the student sections is in high demand, and it starts at camping. 

However, what people may not know is that the people running the show behind the scenes are also KU students.

“It’s a lot of commitment. We don’t get really any perks from it. No volunteer experience. We’re not paid, just students”, Junior Madalyn Edmonds said. 

Edmonds, the head of KU basketball camping, is in charge of organizing thousands of students every game, but with hundreds of camping groups, she is not on her own managing it.

“There’s seven of us currently on leadership, so typically one of the seven can come down to the fieldhouse and kind of help settle any disputes, fix things if they’re wrong”, Edmonds said.

But like most students, time management is always an issue for college students to master, which is why Edmonds feels lucky to have a team.

“It would be a lot for one person, but thankfully, there’s a lot of teamwork and a lot of people to kind of share the load”, Edmonds said. 

Once a home game concludes, the process begins for the camping staff. According to the official camping rules, the camping groups will draw numbers for a lottery to be placed in a ranking order for who will enter the fieldhouse first.

Campers then take turns from as early as 6am until four hours before game time for the next home game sitting inside the fieldhouse to hold their positions.

“It’s been a pretty good experience so far, it’s not that hard, just we have a good group of people and we just have a good system so we make it work.”, Freshman camper Eli Warnke said.

Despite the many hours that are spent awaiting the next chance at tossing confetti in a cone, students and the camping staff make it all worthwhile.

“It’s a lot of work but we do it because we care and because, you know, we love basketball and we want to keep the tradition going.”, Edmonds said.