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10 Takeaways from my Big Blue Madness Campout Experience


If you’ve been following me on social media and my hashtag (#KSRDoesCampout) you’ll have discovered that I’m the intern that gets to do stupid things in the name of Kentucky Sports Radio. This time I put my dignity on the line to check something off every UK student’s bucket list: the Big Blue Madness campout. 

10. It is entirely unnecessary to sit in a chair two days prior to the official campout

I learned this the hard way when I insisted that my aunt bring a lawn chair and a giant golf umbrella so I could sit and watch Sons of Anarchy in the spot I claimed to be mine. Prime real-estate right in front of the port-a-potties and three rows from the front of the line was my home for the next 36 hours.


9. The guys you think are trying to sabotage you are your best friends

When my original alliance fell through and I found myself standing in the pouring rain, in the perfect spot, with a tarp in my hands and nowhere to place it on the official line, I found my true friends. Five guys saw the tears coming and knew a breakdown was inevitable, which leads me to my next takeaway…

8. It’s OKAY to cry at campout

When it’s five o’clock in the morning and you’re not sure whether or not you just stood in the rain for hours just to get kicked to the back of the line for nosebleed tickets, it’s okay to cry. This is especially true when your new friends see this and decide to not only build your tent but squish theirs together to make room for yours. Needless to say I will be throwing them my J. Crew discount.

7. The plan is, there is no plan

If you think spending three hours in Willy T strategizing for campout instead of studying is a good idea, you’re wrong. Even the most seasoned vets don’t always devise plans that work because when push comes to shove (literally) people will take off across Avenue of Champions before the actual whistle blows and you’re just praying for a spot on that white line.

6. Invest in nothing but Starbucks gift cards

Coffee is a staple in my daily life, but it became my lifeline at the Big Blue Madness campou

5. Anything is possible

And by anything, I seriously mean anything. If you didn’t see it on the news, my friend and I were bumped to the first class Buckingham Palace of tents on the first full night of camping, courtesy of Sleep Outfitters and Tempurpedic. We lived a life of luxury, met Coach Cal and were on the news, so this in fact was not the “real college experience” (sorry Matt).


4. The rain was just as miserable as it looked

I am not a fan of the outdoors so this wasn’t my dream come true sleeping outside. The rain made it even worse. I can’t complain because I was protected by a palace, but I felt for the campers who were shivering inside of their $20 princess tents for tickets to a practice. Y’all are the real MVP’s.

3. These freshmen are genuine guys

Watching the freshmen players play a game of pickup football with some young fans outside of my tent one night made me realize that these guys are just like us. They realize they’re put on a pedastal, however, and smiled for countless fan photos and frisbee-signings. Watching the crowd react to Isaac Humphries catching a football the same way they did when Aaron Harrison hit those game-winning three’s wasn’t too bad either.

2. The bond between you and the friends you camp with will be stronger than ever before

I camped with my brother, a freshman here at UK, and my “Big” in Delta Zeta. I considered us all to be pretty close going into this experience. My brother was excited to get good tickets and my Big was a seasoned vet so I knew she would be key to landing the perfect spot in line. What I didn’t know was that by Friday night at 10:11 p.m. when we finally had BBM tickets in our hands that we would be closer than ever. Fighting with strangers and building tents


1. BBN is definitely crazy

I always thought Coach Cal was being dramatic when he would say “you people are crazy” but I truly understand what he means after experiencing campout firsthand.

Am I glad I did it? Of course. Would I do it again? Absolutely not. But I would 10/10 recommend that every UK fan give it a shot at least once in their lifetime. Big Blue Madness Campout is a phenomenon that you genuinely can’t comprehend until you’re a part of it. I understand you, Big Blue Nation, and I am one of you. image

Article written by Kelsey Mattingly

Drew Franklin is my spirit animal. @kelseyKSR

9 Comments for 10 Takeaways from my Big Blue Madness Campout Experience

  1. Margo Grace
    8:32 am October 5, 2015 Permalink


    I loved your overview of the Big Blue Madness Campout! I felt like I was there without the rain, bugs or port a pots!

    Thanks….go BBN,

  2. Elmer Skaggs
    8:42 am October 5, 2015 Permalink

    What a waste of time. No wonder the average score on the first Calculus exam was 35 and Chemistry was even lower

  3. Allison
    8:56 am October 5, 2015 Permalink

    I’m an alum of Delta Zeta, Kappa Tau Chapter (Morehead State)!! Congratulations on landing the mother of all camping experiences!!

  4. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy
    9:11 am October 5, 2015 Permalink

    Shout out to ROCKCASTLE COUNTY!

    Your mom was my english teacher.

  5. Quinnytw
    9:54 am October 5, 2015 Permalink

    Anyone who camps out for this damn thing is a psycho.. Go cats

  6. JoeBlow
    10:47 am October 5, 2015 Permalink


  7. Beth
    1:20 pm October 5, 2015 Permalink

    I camped for 3 days in the rain in a regular tent without mattresses and got tickets in row Z upper deck. I never got close enough to a player to get in a picture because the rain really kept them away too. I don’t understand why you comment you’d never do it again after your awesome experience. You got great tickets, met Cal and players, slept in luxury and still you say you’d never do it again?

  8. Matthew
    1:41 pm October 5, 2015 Permalink

    Good post!

    • Matthew
      1:43 pm October 5, 2015 Permalink

      Also, I noticed you put the pictures under the section title. My OCD gets destroyed by KSR when they do it the other way around..