The Cardboard Campout and Hobo Hoedown will give students an opportunity to camp out in cardboard houses, eat s’mores and dance while raising awareness for social issues.
The Hobo Hoedown will be the feature event at the campout. The duo of events create an atmosphere of fun for students while giving back to local homeless shelters, said Megan Church, vice president of service and a senior integrated studies major from St. George.
“The campout is one of the funnest [events] that people don’t know about,” Church said.
During the campout, students stay overnight on the Upper Encampment Mall and build housing structures out of cardboard to stay in, said Dillon McKinney, DSUSA special events leader and a junior mathematics major from St. George.
This is the first year for the Hobo Hoedown. The dance will have a country western theme along with s’mores and portable campfires, said Sarah Beacco, social events chair and a junior dental hygiene major from St. George. 4FX Productions is bringing the music.
After the dance, students are encouraged to return to the Upper Encampment Mall, where the building begins, Church said. Cardboard and supplies will be provided, but campers are welcome to bring their own supplies too.
McKinney, who is a three-year Cardboard Campout veteran, said there was a competition last year between his group and a group from the student government to build the “biggest and baddest structures.”
Last year, past student body president Carlos Morgan built a cardboard robot suit, McKinney said.
Another group built a dome structure, McKinney said. A flat screen television and a Nintendo 64 were brought in and the members played Mario Kart.
This year, McKinney anticipates that students will enjoy the dance and then stay after to build “the big, huge elaborate [cardboard] structures” and camp overnight.
The event is to raise social awareness, said Church. Initially the campout was big, but attendance has dwindled in the past couple of years.
Church hopes the dance will draw in more students this year who will also stay for the campout.
“…It will be a fun event where student can have fun and dance, and have a party … and then take a break and start working on [the] houses or look at what’s going on,” Church said.
The social issue of homelessness is a personal one for McKinney, who has family members in need.
“It really hits home for me to really want to try to reach out to the community and give them help,” McKinney said.
DSU is involved in a statewide college food drive, Church said. The donations will be given to Dixie Care and Share and SwitchPoint Community Resource Center.
“It’s really to raise awareness for the homeless population, but we want to make it a fun event,” Church said. “It is a struggle that our students on campus face and it is really important to address it.”
The event starts at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the Upper Encampment Mall. The Hobo Hoedown dance will begin outside the Gardner Center at 9 p.m. For admission, students are asked to bring a can of food.
The campout will end between 9 and 10 a.m. the next day.