Brownstone is a large community and with so many awesome people in one place, sometimes it’s hard to get to know everyone. So, every semester we get together as a big group and go on a retreat. Whether we’re on-campus chilling in the gardens or off-campus at a farm, retreats are the one of the best ways to interact with the community and get to know everyone a little bit better!
After getting into Brownstone, you are added to one of the many Brownstone families. These families are groups of old brownies and new batter. They offer a great way to get closer to a different group of Brownstone members and just to have a couple Brownstone members that you know and trust. Brownstone families regularly get meals together, share stories, and support each other. It’s a great way to meet upperclassman, and also just for you to interact with Brownstone and feel even closer to our tight knit community!
In addition to all the myriad activities Brownstone members have on a regular basis from organizing massive games of Assassins, to sharing ginger and green tea, to pizza parties in celebration of Duke athletics, we also have a regular tradition of gathering in the common room for dorm dinners. As first-years we were lucky to be able to dine together in the marketplace on a regular basis but it’s harder once you get to West campus so dorm dinners act as a simple way to share a meal with your fellow brownies. Plus, we regularly invite distinguished professors to speak, awesome brownies to talk about their research or latest amazing Duke experience, and we’ve even got Coach K to sit down and talk with us. There’s no better way to relax with friends over a meal then at dorm dinner.
Brownstone is the largest SLG on campus and although we don’t have a theme, three words that can easily describe our group are generous, other-focused, and outgoing. So it’s no surprise we have a history of providing service to the community. Every year, in addition to incorporating community service into our rush events, we have at least one service event like providing a communal atmosphere for Durham senior citizens at a Halloween dinner and swing dance.
After the epic day that is LDOC and the crazy week of finals, Brownstone organizes one of the best traditions of all time, our trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s been a long time tradition for Duke students to rush off to Myrtle after finals week, but it’s great to go with all your fellow brownies and take over a hotel or house in Myrtle. We always find a place that’s close to the beach, entertainment, and great food and the veteran brownies know all the best places to go and things to do. Whether you’re playing mini-golf at the pirate-themed place near the hotel, going hard at Spanish Galleon – with four times as many cages as Shooter’s for four times the fun – or just hanging out at the beach with brownies, it’s an unforgettable experience and a favorite among Brownstone members.