My fellow Crazies, after a long wait it is finally that time of year- it’s tenting season. I will be bringing you a step by step account of my tenting experience for the next six weeks to give you an inside look at the most sacred tradition at Duke University- tenting.
29 days down
13 to go
12 first year students
After four long weeks of living on the hallowed ground of Krzyzewskiville, we had made it. No, it was not time for the Carolina game (though the end was finally in sight), but it was time to make a great step in the tenting process. Out with the old, out with the blue, it was time for white tenting.
What is white tenting, you ask? White tenting is the final period in the tenting process, the last two weeks where K-Ville completely fills up (in fact a lengthy wait list forms) and the countdown to the UNC game draws to a close. Gone are the endless nights of six tent members sleeping together at once- the white tenting period requires that just two members of each tent sleep there each night, which means a lot more time in the comfort of your own bed (unless of course you are pledging, in which case sleep just hasn’t been happening for just about the entirety of tenting).
Though two people in the tent every night seems like the biggest change that accompanies white tenting, the biggest adjustment in white tenting is that the size of K-Ville nearly doubles. On the first day of white tenting the number of tents in K-Ville grows from 60 to 100, which is its full capacity. Now in case you haven’t gotten this vibe already, by virtue of it being a short period of time and not requiring many nights in the tent, white tenting is rather easy. In fact, most other tenters tend to look down on those who white tent. But because white tenting is so easy, lots of people want to try and sneak into white tenting and still get into the game, acting like they’re as completely Crazie as the rest of us.
Because of the short period of time they spend out there, there is no tiebreaking system that the line monitors can create for white tents based on game attendance, so instead white tenting is completely on a first come, first serve basis. This is determined by an annual race to a secret spot that is predetermined by the line monitors. Tents scatter their representatives throughout East, West, and Central campuses and the location of the spot is posted online at a designated time. All of the groups then race to that spot, and the first 40 tents to complete the race receives spots in K-Ville. For those who do not make it there fast enough, they are relegated to the wait list. This year the secret spot was within the Duke Gardens, which took many groups by surprise as it was not within either of Duke’s three residential campuses. A total of 66 tents completed the race, leaving a rather substantial wait list for those who did not crack the top 40. This also puts pressure on the white tents, who are often less organized than those who blue or black tent, to not miss tent checks, as they will be bumped out of K-Ville to the back of the wait list. I was also very excited to welcome other members of the team here at Crazie-Talk to K-Ville this season. Scott had recently joined during the last couple weeks of blue tenting as a part of Tent 35 and Amogh was a part of one of the first groups to finish the race for white tenting, joining K-Ville as Tent 68.
Our new neighbors was not the only change that accompanied white tenting. For the first time all year, we were no longer known as “Tent FF”. With the end of blue tenting came the end of tenting games, which means we were finally given a tenting number. That Sunday all of the tent captains were emailed the final tent standings and we proudly took our spot as the 14th tent in line, 3rd among all of the blue tents. Over the next couple days many of the tent captains would receive disgruntled emails from other tent captains about the fact that we never saw the actual scoring of the other tents and that the line monitors made mistakes (which in actuality, they did make mistakes, our tent in fact did not have a single member miss a tenting game), but this seemed like a pointless argument to me. We were all some of the first groups to gain entrance into the marquee event in all of college sports. I can’t see anything to complain about there, regardless of whether we were 12th or 13th or 14th in line. Being Tent 14 is an excellent spot in line. I can’t say for certain because I’ve never been to a Duke-UNC game, but being Tent 14 should place our group around second row foul line or third row center court, which are some of the best seats in Cameron.
We were all very happy it was finally white tenting, but it appeared that Mother Nature had decided to take the term “white tenting” a bit more literally than the Cameron Crazies did. On the first night of white tenting, for the first time all tenting season, it started to snow in Durham, North Carolina. Disclaimer: I use the term “snow” quite loosely. My classmates from the South and the West coast thoughtthat it was snowing. And yes, snow was falling from the sky, but it was not snowing. It wasn’t sticking to the ground. It would accumulate on buildings and cars, but nothing stuck to the roads. And people around campus thought it was a realistic possibility that classes might get cancelled the next day for what was going to amount to about an inch of snow total. I suppose this was a late “welcome to the South” moment for me. I’m from the North so I’ve seen a bit of real snow in my day. I’m used to getting a foot or two of snow at least once a year, so an inch or two doesn’t seem like too much of a big deal, but it was fun to watch everybody else freak out about the cold, white powder falling from the sky. It did make K-Ville look beautiful at night with snow glistening off the tents. The line monitors called grace for the night, so the white tenters didn’t even have to sleep out on their first night of tenting. As if white tenting couldn’t get any easier.
Though the snow was a pleasant sight for sore northern eyes, it did not bode too well for our tent. When we arrived back to K-Ville in the morning, it was sunny and 50 degrees and all of the previous night’s snow had completely melted (so much for that snowstorm), but the weight of the snow on top of our tent had caused it to cave in. The team was out in force that morning as we tried to resurrect our tent, and after working hard to get it standing once again, we realized that a significant amount of snow had melted on top of our tent and seeped inside. Our worst nightmares had come true as large puddles of water sat on the floor of our tent.
Luckily for us, Wilson Gym was already open that morning and has a newsstand inside of it, and there’s nothing that about 50 copies of The Chronicle can’t fix. It took a day or two for that side of the tent to completely dry up, but luckily for us we only needed to have two people sleep in the tent that night. Our tent measures 140 square feet (which is actually bigger than some dorm rooms on East Campus, that’s right I’m looking at you, Blackwell) and is supposed to fit up to nine people comfortably, so the two people that slept that night had ample of room on the drier side of the tent to sleep.
One miniature crisis later, the last phase of tenting had begun. GTHC.
Be sure to check out the rest of Dan’s tenting diary! Links galore below:
Pre-tenting: It Begins
Day 1: Welcome to K-Ville
Day 2: From Dusk ‘Til Dawn
Day 4/5: Into The Storm
Day 7: Losing Momentum
Day 9: The Other Side of Duke Basketball
Day 12/13/14: You Win Some, You Lose Some
Day 15: The First Taste
Day 18: Insanity
Day 26: When One Comeback Isn’t Enough
Day 29/30: I’ve Been Dreaming Of A White Tenting
Day 35/36: Taking Out The Trash
Day 40: It Gets Personal
Day 41: One Force, One Fight
Day 42: Go To Hell Carolina