"Let's go Camels!" "Let's go Camels!" This chant can be heard throughout the Carter Gymnasium as the Campbell athletes unleash their power on their foe. The cheer is usually led by a group of students known affectionately as the Camel Crazies. "It is a student organization that awards its students for coming to the game and supporting their fellow students," said Will Lloyd, assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions. "The Camel Crazies are sort of like a pep club with perks." To be a part of this club, all a student has to do is go to any Campbell University home game and sign up at the Camel Crazies table. He or she gives their name, e-mail and student identification number and right away they get a discount card to places such as Subway, Howard's Barbecue, Andy's and Sunni Sky's Homemade Ice-cream. After the student goes to their first home game, he or she starts earning points to receive prizes. After three points, a student receives a Camel Crazies T-shirt. After five points, he or she receives a medium Papa John's Pizza. At 32 points, he or she is registered for grand prizes such as a Sony Mp3 player from Sam Goody or a trip for two to the Bahamas courtesy of AAA Travel.
Being a Camel Crazy not only allows you to earn free prizes, but the student is also enrolled for e-mails where the participant can receive news about upcoming games and coupons for Papa John's pizza. But it's more than the prizes that motivates a "crazy". It's the comradeship, enthusiasm and morale they can achieve for themselves and provide the players. Divinity student, Dave Calvert says the Camel Crazies provide many memorable moments during the games. "There's always an energy when you're sitting with other Camel Crazies that you don't get at other places in the gym and, sometimes this energy will lead you to yell a little louder, clap a little more or even jump out of your seat," said Calvert. Calvert remembers a time when a student arrived at a game with a bag of face paint and asked if anyone wanted to use it. It slowly was passed down the line of participants until 10 other students who sat next to each other were decked out in orange and black. Calvert thinks the group acted "crazier" after the paint was on. "The Camel Crazies are really a wonderful advantage for us in Carter," said Wanda Watkins, head coach of the women's basketball team. "I have always felt they were like our sixth person coming off the bench who carries so much importance with our team. The home court advantage in Carter is a big plus for us and has been for so many years in our rich tradition here. There is nothing like it." Watkins also explained that the team is so motivated by the enthusiasm of the crowd and the Crazies that the team tends to play better and rise to the expectation of their committed fans. "We have something special developing on campus," said men's basketball coach, Robbie Laing. "The energy and spirit for Campbell is at a higher level than I have seen since I have been here. There is true pride developing as a result of the success in several sports. The Camel Crazies are the backbone of our success. I am anxious to see how this spirit will foster future success and growth on our campus." "It's always exciting to be apart of the new faces and fresh excitement that each year's Camel Crazies bring to the Campbell sporting events," said Calvert. Want to get crazy and make a difference? You may be ready for an exclusive club at Campbell and you're just a signature away. "Let's go Camels!" Will Lloyd may be contacted at 814-4392 for additional information.
Photo copy: The Camel Crazies (Photo by Dunn Daily Record 2005, Mike Duprez)