The A to Z’s of 3-Day Teambuilding

No one ever walks alone on the 3-Day. Even walkers who start off solo end up being welcomed into new groups and paired with other solo walkers, so they are supported and loved every step of their 60-mile journey. The other, larger reason for that is we have so many amazing 3-Day teams on all our walks. Big or small, teams keep each other moving and motivated all weekend long.

So, if one of your goals for the year is to grow your team, or you’re having trouble getting some long-time walkers to come join you once again, we want to help! Here are our A to Z Tips for building your team, recruiting new team members, and making sure you’re surrounded by all your favorite people on the 3-Day this year.

  • ASK: We are starting off with the obvious one here because it truly can be something people struggle with. You won’t know if someone is interested in joining your team unless you ask them! Don’t be afraid! The worst thing that could happen would be that they say “no.” And then you’re no worse off than when you started.
  • Be a teammate as well as a team leader. Every team needs a captain, but never forget that you’re part of the team too! Take time to focus on your own 3-Day journey so that you can fully enjoy this process.

  • Co-Captains (Lean on them!): Coach Sharyn says that as a Team Captain of her team, “A String of Pearls,” she makes a point of making sure everyone knows who their teammates are. She also introduces her co-captains and leans on them when she is most busy. When everyone knows each other, everyone always has a good source of information and a support system.
  • Delegate: You can’t be expected to do all the teambuilding all on your own! Work with your other teammates, or even ask your local coaches to help find people who might need a team.
  • Encourage bonding between your existing teammates. This will create friendships that are sure to last long past the 3-Day weekend. This will also increase the reach your teambuilding efforts have.
  • Family and friends: They’re the most likely to want to join you on a 60-mile walk so if you haven’t asked them yet, now is the time! Also, remember that just because you’ve asked them in the past, it doesn’t mean their answer is final. It might not have been a good year for them, or they might have been previously unavailable. 2019 could be their year!
  • Go slow: Don’t feel the need to recruit 10 new team members in a single week! It will only leave you frustrated. Take it slow and grow your team as you can.
  • Have a plan: Give yourself small deadlines and tasks that you can easily work into your existing schedule. Making a long-term plan will make it easier to hit your teambuilding deadlines.

  • Include Crew and 20-Mile walkers in your teambuilding efforts, too! Coach Tisho loves recruiting ALL members of the 3-Day family to her teams, so she wants to remind other teambuilders not to forget the Crew and 20-Milers.
  • Just keep at it! It’s all about the follow-up and the reminders. In a busy world, staying in touch with potential teammates will keep the 3-Day top of mind for them.
  • Know the details about the event so you can share with your potential teammates. Talk to your coaches and find out where the ceremonies and camp are as well as any details that are available. It might just spark more interest to get someone registered!
  • Leverage every contact that you have. You never know who might want to join the 3-Day! Your tax accountant could be a breast cancer survivor or maybe your kid’s swim team coach loves long distance walks. Everyone could benefit from a little 3-Day love in their lives ❤️

  • Make teams within a team! If your team gets larger, break your people up so they can focus on what they do best. Have the super fundraisers on call to help other teammates or tap those with big social circles to recruit new team members.
  • Never stop sharing your passion about the 3-Day. It might just be the inspiration someone needs to join you. Coach Gayla swears by passion and enthusiasm to help you achieve all your 3-Day goals 😊
  • Organize happy hours and social events with friends, then talk to them about ways they can be part of the 3-Day. As a 3-Day walker, crew member, 20-mile walker, volunteer, private cheer station, or even as your walker stalker. Even if you don’t add any new team members, you’ll have a fun night out with your pals.

  • Personal connections are great, but you can also take recommendations from other people! Your best friend’s mom might want to walk, or your neighbor’s sister. Expand your reach!
  • Questions are a great way to start a teambuilding meeting! Coach Gina says that for a “welcome meeting” she asks people to give one word that describes their leadership or one word that describes what the 3-Day means to everyone at the meeting.
  • Rock on 🤘 Coach Gayla recommends painting rocks with words like #Commit3Days and The3Day.org and leaving them along trails and sidewalks as you do your next training walk. Add your team name or Facebook group so other walkers can find you! People will see them as they pass by and you might get a new team member you never even knew.

  • Social media is a simple way to stay connected, especially if you have team members in other cities. Create a team Facebook Page (Coach Liz loves this idea) and keep in touch all year long.
  • Training walks are key for making lasting connections. Coach Gayla says that for every training walk you host; you should ask your teammates to bring someone who hasn’t walked the 3-Day before.
  • Understand that “not right now” doesn’t mean “no.” Keep people on your radar for future years or other opportunities to support the 3-Day in the future.
  • Vacations are fun, so make it about that! Reach out to your out-of-town friends and family and invite them to spend a long weekend with you on the 3-Day.

  • “Why” is important! Coach Gina encourages her team captains to find out the reasons why their team joined the 3-Day. What is your “why” for being part of the 3-Day?
  • X-plain your mission and the difference the event has made in your lives and the lives of others. Showing the impact that the 3-Day has not only had on your community, but your own life, will encourage people to join your mission.
  • Yearly Events help make a big difference in your team’s fundraising efforts and are also a rallying cry for new members to join. Coach Sharyn’s team throws a big fundraiser on the four days of the Memorial Day Weekend every year and invites her whole team (now up to 26 people!) to participate if they’re able.
  • Zero to 10 Questions. Coach Liz asks every knew team member to provide a question or two that they want to know about their fellow teammates. Then she starts a chain email so everyone can get to know each other and find common bonds. It’s all about making new friends and expanding your 3-Day family 😊

What are the best ways you’ve found to recruit new team members? Tell us in the comments!

 

Holding Hands Every Step of the Way: Jenn and Bruce’s 3-Day Love Story

They met at a training walk in July of 2006. They’d both walked in the 3-Day in 2002, but it took four years for fate to bring them together. From there, they joined the same 3-Day team, Viva Las Chicas, and saw each other at meetings, awareness days, and of course, on the event. As their friendship grew and their lives changed, they realized something. They were falling in love. The 3-Day was the beginning of Jenn and Bruce’s love story, but it certainly wasn’t the end.

Now, they’re married! And they still participate in the 3-Day together, both as crew and walkers. Through illness and strength, good times and many miles, the 3-Day has continued to be a huge part of their love story, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

This year for Valentine’s Day, Jenn is sharing how we all can take the 3-Day love into our own relationships. She says, “every day is Valentine’s Day in our house,” which makes her the perfect person to share stories and memories for this holiday.

How have you brought your love story onto the 3-Day?

There have been many small moments and gestures over the years. But by far the most impactful was the result of a health crisis. In March of 2014, Bruce suffered a hemorrhagic stroke after a Tampa 3-Day reunion gathering. We had planned to walk in Dallas that year, but the 3-Day was put on the back burner. His recovery was remarkable. We had the support of so many of our Chica and 3-Day family!

We married the following January, made our return to the 3-Day as part of the Event Support Crew Team in Atlanta in 2015, then embarked on our biggest challenge. We decided to walk the Philadelphia 3-Day in 2016. With the help, love, and generosity of that same 3-Day family, we trained, met our fundraising goals, and landed in Philly to walk with team “A String of Pearls.” Bruce was determined to walk every step. It was his 7th time walking and my 6th time walking. We walked every mile, most of it hand in hand. What we didn’t realize was the impact it was making with the other walkers and crew members around us. We were just being us.

But near the end of Day 1, we met another walker who had been taking our photo from behind. At about Mile 58, we posed for a photo, briefly told our story, and became Instagram famous for about 15 minutes! As we walked into the Closing Ceremony holding hands, the Route Safety Crew asked us to take a photo with them because we’d been holding hands all weekend. The entire experience was more overwhelming than usual, if that’s even possible. I was so incredibly proud of my husband’s determination!

What are some lessons you learned on the 3-Day that apply to your marriage?

Kindness rocks! Couples who wear tutus together stay together. Teamwork, compromise, and sharing ideas is essential. Hugging is appropriate at all times, even while sweaty. Love and accept each other, practice patience, and be grateful for every moment.

What are some tips for couples who want to be involved in the 3-Day together?

Learn to take care of yourself as much you take care your spouse. It’s okay to be on different crew teams, in different sweep vans, or for one to crew while the other walks. You don’t have to follow your partner onto a sweep van, and you also shouldn’t expect your partner to follow you onto a sweep van. Partners give the BEST foot rubs! Have fun! Dance in the street! Hold hands!

What are some of your best 3-Day memories with Bruce?

Bruce being the ultimate walker stalker in 2006! Staying up past lights out and talking in the 3-Day lounge. Teaching Bruce the Cupid Shuffle in the streets of Tampa. Our 3-Day friends surprising us on a training walk to tell us that they’d raised enough money for Bruce to walk in 2016, so he could concentrate on training. Miles 58-60 in Philadelphia 2016. Walking hand in hand together, not just during training, but on the event. There are too many to list!

Tell us some of your favorite love songs.

  • Can’t Help Falling in Love
  • Thinking Out Loud
  • A Thousand Years
  • All of Me
  • When You Say Nothing at All
  • If I Had Million Dollars
  • Love Someone

How would you summarize your love story?

We’re just two ordinary people who found each other because of the 3-Day. And because of our experiences together, we know that time is precious, so it’s not worth wasting on the petty things. We want to be silly, love each other, be there for one another, and enjoy all the time that we have together.