Secrets newbies should know
We need a FAQ for "new to GiveCamp" basics. This would include things as simple as "Yes, we'll feed you all weekend long, even vegetarians" to a more detailed "General flow of the event" to "How not to burn yourself out", "What to do if your team isn't working out", "What to do if you finish early", "How to ask for help if your team is missing a skillset", "What does your project lead do for you", and so on. There should probably be one for Devs/Designers, one for Leads, and one for NPO reps.
I've got a note to do a blog post next year on "What to do if you're on a team you feel is going astray..." I spoke to several developers who were afraid to speak out to either their team lead or (as I encouraged them to do) higher up the chain to Kelley because they didn't want to step on toes. As a result, a couple projects didn't go nearly as far as they might have if they'd spoken up. I will, of course, emphasize TRYING to start with your own PM for communication issues.
Bill Wilder commented
Another couple might focus on: 1. how you know your project needs help / is in trouble; 2. How to make sure you wrap up within the weekend (or make conscious decision not to).
Colin Whooten commented
agree. As a PM, it took me a while to figure out what did or did not work well when managing an entire project using informal tools (e.g., no tool to track bugs), with resources you don't know, and all in 2 days. My team likely would have delivered my project in half the time if I could have read an FAQ list with what I personally learned from year 1 at GiveCamp
Chris Haddad commented
"Don't wait until 3am on Friday night to pick your sleeping spot"
"Try to stay away from the front lobby/elevators - those lights never go out (but the shag carpet is the softest thing in the office). Best yet, bring something to sleep on like a camping cot or blow-up mattress"