Monday, August 30, 2010

The Princess Guide: Logistics

Before I get started.... Did you know that if Team Tiara has 100 walkers this year, my friend Kevin is going to paint a train engine pink??? How cool is that???

Here's the scoop.... Right now we have 79 team members -- so close! If you're "flying solo" in the DFW 3-Day walk, or you're with a very small team that wishes you were part of a big team, please consider jumping in with us! You'd just have to call 1-800-996-3Day and ask them to moooooove you on over.

If you haven't yet registered, there's still time -- but you need to get your booty moving! Just go to www.the3day.org/goto/teamtiara and click on Join Team. We'd love to have you walk with us -- and not just for the pink train engine. But we want to get to know YOU as well!!!

Now.... Back to the task at hand. As you can imagine, having 79 walkers on our team can be a logistical nightmare. Add to that the fact that we have "branches" in Oklahoma, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and several points beyond. Mass Chaos.

So... I'm going to try to get a few things down here -- we'll have far more details later. But this may answer part of the questions that are starting to bounce around in your minds.

Getting There: From Houston, we usually have groups leaving several times during the day. I'll take a carload up as soon as the kids are in school -- and no, we will not be picking up any pit bulls stranded by the highway. If you're a fan of pit bulls, and the type that might insist we stop, you'll need to wait for a later bus. I'm just sayin'.

Usually, additional carloads will be leaving mid-day and later, after the "late" group gets off work. This year, I think we have two walkers (maybe more) that won't be able to fly up until Friday Night. But guess what? We'll take them whenever they get there.

If flying is your option, please let us know well in advance, so we can have someone pick you up. We'd hate for you to have to walk an additional 20 miles to a hotel or whatever.

I really do recommend several of you ride together to Dallas, whether you're coming from Houston, Oklahoma or wherever. As long as you don't run across any stray pit bulls, it really makes the ride more fun. Especially if the crowd is leaving from your house and does your dishes for you while you load the truck!

Thursday Night: On Thursday night, we always have a team get-together somewhere. If you are in the area, please plan to be a part of this. Because we're so scattered, we don't have a whole lot of opportunity to bond as a team until we get to Dallas. Once there, bond we will. But the get-together Thursday night really is important. These are the faces you'll be looking for on the walk. We do not have details on the get-together yet. All that has to wait until we know where we're walking from.

In the past, we have done Goodie Bags for each walker. Different walkers have brought fun little things to put in the bags -- everything from rice crispie treats to tattoos to pencils.

This year, we're going to do things a bit differently. You can do this alone, or you can team up with friends to help you. You can bring your goodies in a stand-alone gift bag labeled with the name of who's "donating" that particular goodie. Walkers will be able to choose the items they will use -- thus preventing waste. As of right now, we have about 78 walkers headed to Dallas -- and one Incredible Crew Member!!! Just so you can plan. And again, this is a cool thing to team up on with other walkers.

We will find a central hotel for everyone to stay at. We have learned through experience that the "host" hotels are often expensive because they offer shuttle service to the Walk. Last year, we stayed at a different hotel and had several friends from the Plano area do a shuttle service to the Walk. Again, this will have to wait till we see what's what.

Friday Morning: Once again, we will arrange for transportation on Friday morning to the Opening Ceremonies. If you have friends in the Dallas area, they may be called on to help!!!

Hotel During the Walk: We have several team members who will not be able to stay in camp with us. As soon as we get a feel for the actual location this year, we'll work to get those team members in a centralized hotel.

Walker-Stalkers: We absolutely cannot do what we do without a support team. The Sweep Vans that the 3-Day runs are GREAT. BUT we still need a support crew. This is a huge task. If we could have 4-5 vehicles running around it would be incredible. Early in the morning, we dump our extra layers of clothing with our Walker-Stalkers. It helps if they bring Starbucks. We need hugs and smiles, cheers and signs -- and sometimes we need tampons. By mid-afternoon, they're needed for all sorts of other stuff. Any friends you have who are available to help with this will be on our forever-loved list!

Travel Home: Most of us drive back home Sunday night. One quick stop at the Buc-ee's in Madisonville, and we're good to go. Kayren (from San Antonio) has a standing hotel reservation near Dallas. Really, it's up to you. We've found that coming back, with friends in the car to keep us awake, makes it easier to get back in the groove on Monday. Among those who work, some limp back into the office on Monday. Others limp in on Tuesday. If you want a post-walk massage, you'll want to book early. Team Tiara tends to fill quite a few Monday slots in the area.

I know that was all painted in broad strokes, and didn't include a lot of details. But hopefully if you're new to the Team, it did answer some of your questions. We will have more details soon -- we've just got to get the walk information before we can give you specifics.

If you're a seasoned team member and would like to add to this, go right ahead!!!

1 comment:

Jami said...

I love that you care so much about your crazy large team! So sweet to see all the love and attention that goes into organizing such a large group! Good job!