Gold Rush Daze is almost here, and the excitement on campus is building. But unless you were here four years ago, you don’t know exactly what to expect. So let’s go back in time to Gold Rush Daze 2009. Graduate assistants Brett Stowe and Katie Betancourt recount their Gold Rush experience. Both were freshmen at the time, but Stowe was on the red team, and Betancourt was on blue.

What’s the first thing you remember after waking up on Gold Rush Daze?

Stowe: “We [got] doughnuts in bed!” (Krispy Kreme doughnuts, to be specific.)

Do you remember which faculty member brought you breakfast?

Betancourt: “It was Mrs. Jennifer Cox. She brought doughnuts and orange juice.”

This year, breakfast in bed will be served at 9:30 a.m. for residence hall students and day students staying overnight, so sleep in!

When did the full impact of Gold Rush Daze hit you?

Betancourt: “When I went to the dining common. I walked into the dining common and thought ‘this is going to be awesome!’”

Why? What was so special about the dining common?

Betancourt: “Everything was red and blue. I thought, ‘This is not Bob Jones.’ One of the guys on the blue team jumped up on the table and started doing blue cheers. And then the whole dining common erupted in blue and red team cheers.”

But this year, lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. on the top level of the parking garage. So shake the roof by cheering for your team!

What’s one thing you remember from the parade?

Betancourt: “Blue had this ‘tree chopper’ float. They had a spray-painted red tree that they chopped up in front of everyone.”

This year, the parade will take place at 1:15 p.m. in Alumni Stadium and counts for points for your team. So get involved, and try to earn as many points as possible for your team.

Do you remember any of the games?

Stowe: “I remember some sort of relay where people were lying on the ground in a line. They had to push a mattress to the end of the line, but there was a guy on the mattress, [and] they had to keep [him] on it.”

Betancourt: “This one game had massive tree trunks that guys had to carry from one side of the field to the other.”

Games start at 2:15 p.m. on the athletic field this year. Team pep bands will play while you participate in the games or cheer for your team from the stands.

After the games, dinner will be served in the Activity Center at 4:30 p.m.

What was your favorite part of the day?

Faculty body, Stowe and Betancourt agreed, was the highlight of the day. They said it was great to see the faculty out of class dress and classroom settings.

Betancourt: “It was one big spoof of the entire year, and it was fantastic to see the teachers in that light.”

Stowe: “Faculty body was the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen!”

This year faculty body will begin at 7 p.m. in the FMA with a pre-show beginning at 6:15 p.m.

Was there a singspiration?

Stowe: “Yes, in the Alumni Stadium. There were a few specials and a quick challenge.”

What was it like?

Betancourt: “Everything was crazy about the day, and that was just a time to stop and give thanks for the good weather, for the faculty, for the funds the Lord provided to do Gold Rush Daze.”

Stowe: “It showed that you can have fun, but the spiritual life is what it is all about.”

This year the singspiration will begin at 9 p.m. in Alumni Stadium, and it will be followed by a fireworks show. Residence hall prayer group will be at 10:30 p.m., and will provide time for further reflection and giving thanks to God for everything He has provided.

What’s the weirdest thing that happened on Gold Rush Daze?

Stowe: “Bob the bobcat [at faculty body]. That song — I cannot get it out of my head.”

Betancourt: “Well, it was really hot that day, and everyone got sunburned. A lot of people had painted their faces, and some of the guys shaved lightning bolts on their heads. So then everyone went around for the next week with these ‘Martian markings’ all over their faces and on their heads.”

And who won?

Stowe: “Red won. Definitely.”