Team Captain Tool Kit

Here is some information on being the Team Captain for your Polar Plunge. This will help you get started on fundraising for your Plunge, or may give you some new ideas.

What is a Polar Plunge?

The Polar Plunge is the largest fundraising event for Special Olympics New York. It is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations, schools and businesses to support Special Olympics New York athletes by jumping into frigid bodies of water across New York State.

Thank you for signing up to be a Team Captain! You are a leader in your local Special Olympics New York Communities. As a Team Captain we encourage you to gather your friends, coworkers, students, classmates or family to support athletes in your area. Thank you for taking the plunge!

What is a Team Captain?

  • The team captain acts as a liaison between the people organizing the Polar Plunge and the members of your team.
  • Teams can be anywhere from 2-200 people!
The Role of a Team Captain can include:
  • Setting up your team page on the Polar Plunge Website. Please reach out to your Plunge Manager if you need assistance setting up your personal and team pages.
  • Set your fundraising goal!
  • Recruiting people for your team. Invite your friend, family, coworkers, church members, etc. to join your team or contribute to your cause.
  • Motivate your team to do their best leading up to the Polar Plunge! Hold contests with your team members (For example: take the top fundraiser on your team out to lunch, or commit to wearing a tutu while plunging, if your team hits their fundraising goals, etc.)
  • Share fundraising tools with your teammates.
  • Take the lead on team fundraising and motivate your team members to fundraise for the event.
  • Help come up with a great team costume or theme for the Plunge.
  • Share with your team members the importance of the work you are doing to support Special Olympics New York athletes!
  • Pick a meeting spot in advance, to meet as a team and take a group photo at the event.

Fundraising & Resource Ideas

Interested in being a top team? There are a number of fun activities you can do to help support this important cause. Here are just a few ideas to get you going:
  • See if the company you work for has a donation matching policy. You could easily double the amount of money you raise.
  • Host a bottle drive! Hand out flyers to people in your community having them bring their returnable cans and bottles to you, and have all of the proceeds go towards your Polar Plunge Team. Check and see if the local bottle redemption center can help you put this together.
  • Organize a bake sale at your church, school, or at a local business. Make sure to advertise the date so people know when to look for you.
  • Do a “Dine to Donate” at a local restaurant or chain. Restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, and several more all have days where people can come in and a portion of the proceeds will come to you and your plunge team. Check on the restaurant’s website for exactly how the program works, each restaurant may be a little different.
  • Ask one of your favorite local businesses to put out a collection jar for your Polar Plunge Team. You would be surprised how much the extra change people toss in adds up.
  • If you would like to raise a lot of money, you may want to organize a local tournament such as bowling, softball, or kickball. Get local teams together to pay a registration fee to compete, and you could raise thousands!
  • Host an auction! You and your team can gather donated items or gift cards from around your community and host a silent auction or a penny auction.
  • Feel free to reach out to your Polar Plunge organizer for tips, help with the website, or resources to help your cause.

Event Day Information

  • Check your Polar Plunge website for registration information and plunge times. As the team captain, please collect signed waivers and any donations from all Plungers on your team and bring them to the registration table.
  • Clearly mark names and team information on all donations and forms to be submitted. To make registration as efficient as possible, please only have yourself and one or two helpers approach the registration tables.
  • Once you have turned in your team’s registration forms, you will receive a plunge bracelet for each person entering the water. You will not be able to enter the water without one of these bracelets.
  • If you raise enough money you will receive a limited edition Plunge sweatshirt.
  • Please make sure any plungers under the age of 18 have brought a parent/guardian signed waiver before allowing them to participate.
  • Remember for everyone’s safety there is no running on the beach or diving once you enter the water. Follow the Plunge Path signs, and heed the directions of the volunteers and divers as you go into the water.
  • When you come out of the water head to the changing tents with your dry clothes.

Helpful Hints for First Timers

  • Bring a warm change of clothes, you will want something easy to put on like flannel pajama bottoms and a hooded sweatshirt.
  • Wear your plunge suit underneath the clothes.
  • Wear water shoes or old sneakers into the water.
  • Bring a second towel to stand on- the sand is cold too!
  • Bring spending money for Plunge Merchandise, food, and beverages.

Other Useful Items