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Nittanyville Do’s and Don’ts: How to Survive Outside Gate A

Nittanyville, the tent village outside Gate A of Beaver Stadium, is the easiest way to secure the best seats for every football game. Students camp out days in advance just to be some of the first fans inside the stadium. This community, filled with pep rallies, guest visits, and (sometimes) free food, starts tonight at 9 p.m. for the first campout of the year.

Want to get involved? Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to make your campout a success.

Do: Be ready to go at EXACTLY 9 p.m. tonight.
To claim your spot in line, you need to join the ANGEL group called “Nittanyville.” At 9 p.m. exactly, you are allowed to sign up. Have your contact info and your group members names (up to 10 people) prepared to copy/paste into the form as soon as the clock strikes nine.

Do: Have your group with your tent at 10 p.m. outside of Gate A.
Hundreds of students will be your neighbors for the next few days, and you’ll all be vying for the best spots to pitch your tent. If you’re there at 10 p.m. and are ready to sign in, you’ll have a better chance of getting a spot closer to the stadium (or maybe even by a power outlet).

Do: Bring the right supplies.
You’ll need a tent, of course, but there are other things that are highly recommended to make your campout a success. Bring a tarp if you can, along with water jugs or rope to hold it down, to protect your tent from the weather. Don’t forget warm clothes if you’re spending the night, and of course snacks are at a premium. There will be plenty of people there to hang out with, so make sure you bring a ball, game, or another form of entertainment. Invite your neighbors to play, and make new friends.

Do: Follow Nittanyville on Twitter and Facebook.
If something extreme happens or plans change for the week, this will be the easiest way to find out. They’ll also announce free food or special guests on social media a little bit in advance sometimes too.

Do: Remember your puppy chow for Thursday.
My personal favorite part of Nittanyville is Puppy Chow Thursday. It’s exactly what it sounds like: You sit around and eat puppy chow. Make sure you have enough for you and your group so you aren’t left out of the deliciousness.

Do: Bring your school spirit.
Throughout the week, you’ll hear cowbells, drumlines, and pep rallies at random times. Don’t be that awkward person that doesn’t participate.

Don’t: Ever leave your tent.
Not everyone has to be at your tent at all times, but there does have to be at least one person there. Throughout the week, the Nittanyville Officers will perform tent checks, and one person from your group has to check in. If you aren’t there, you could lose your spot in line.

Don’t: Be late on Saturday.
Tents must be down at 7 a.m. on Game Day, and all belongings must be removed from outside Gate A. You’ll be jolted awake by your fellow campers (usually involves a cowbell) and sent home to shower and get ready for the game. You’ll need to return with your wristbands at a certain time before the game, so don’t be late! If you are, you might not be allowed inside with the rest of Nittanyville.

Don’t: Use Nittanyville as an excuse to blow off your schoolwork.
More than anything else, we are all students first. Officers won’t do a tent check during the day, so don’t be afraid to miss one and skip your classes. Also, there are Wi-Fi and power outlets outside of the stadium, so campers can do their classwork. As Coach O’Brien would say, No excuses!

Don’t: Cheer for the other team.
As obvious as this might sound, there is always the occasional camper that will cheer for another school. YOU GO TO PENN STATE. CHEER FOR PENN STATE AND NOT THE OTHER TEAM. Don’t be that guy who wears a yellow Michigan shirt to the Whiteout.

Don’t: Constantly complain about the name change.
We get it. We read the comments. Alumni are pissed that the name was changed from “Paternoville” to “Nittanyville”. There is some merit to these complaints, but a lot more went on behind the scenes when the former officers voted to change the name than most people realize. Ask any student at Nittanyville what they think of Coach Paterno and you will receive resoundingly positive answers. But to comment on every single article pertaining to this campout with the always original “You spelled Paternoville wrong!” jokes just deters the experience for current campers. The name is not going to change back because of your comment on the internet. Realize that.

Don’t: Forget to have fun!
This is the most important item on the list. There are hundreds of students outside Gate A, and everyone has the same love for Penn State and passion for Penn State football in common. You’ll have a great time and make friends, so don’t be afraid to talk to people.

Any other questions? Ask Nittanyville on Twitter, or check out their website. See you all tonight at 10 p.m.!

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About the Author

Alex Robinson

Alex Robinson was Onward State's Acting Managing Editor/Resident Old Man. He lived in Harrisburg almost his whole life, but he says he's from California -- where he was born -- because that's more fun. He loves cats and Chinese food, but only separately. He met both Ben Affleck and Kanye West within a half hour, so the three of them are basically best friends. If you want to hear his #scorching #hot #takes, you can follow him at @ARobinsonPSU or email him at [email protected]

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