BarCamps are conferences where attendees have an active role in deciding what the topics for sessions will be by volunteering to lead sessions. The location and time-slots for sessions are the only things provided by the host. This makes for a casual, more comfortable, setting where attendees are encouraged to have an exchange of ideas and knowledge.
Beaver BarCamp is hosted by Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab (OSL) team in Corvallis Oregon. They successfully host BarCamps on an annual basis in the spring. CATs have had a friendship with OSL for many years now and show their support by making up a significant percentage of attendees. In exchange CATs have the opportunity for networking with a fellow university students, professors and community members who attend. They are also able to lead a session and share a skill or knowledge with a wider audience than usually available.
The road trip itself is a great bonding experience. CATs with cars offer up available seats and are grouped with students who need a ride up. On the way stories and ideas for possible session topics are shared and general good times are had.