Saturday, December 07, 2013
I have done several blogs in which I have talked about doing activities with our local Spark team. Several people have asked me questions about how to start a local team. Let me explain how EDNABP and I went about starting our local team. (I am only describing the steps that I took, I can't speak for her)
First, join your state team.
Second, go to the Community heading and click on Spark Teams. When you get to that page, right under the words Spark Teams, you will find a link that says start a Spark Team. Click on that and follow the directions. When starting a new team, you will become the leader of that team. Don't be afraid to sign up to be a leader. You don't have to do everything the first day. You can develop a great team page with activities over the course of a month or two.
Third, post a blog about your new team. Since you joined your state team, the blog will appear on your state page where people in your area are more likely to see it. In your blog, invite people who are in your state or who live in your general area, to join your team. You may need to blog about your new team several times in order to get the word out there. Don't get discouraged if members don't sign up right away. It took about 6-12 months to get a good number of members to join our local team. Be patient and they will come!
Fourth, invite friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members to join your local team. If you work out at the gym, try to get a group together to do some outdoor activities. Let them know about the Spark People web site and offer to show them how it works on the computer. Help anyone who may be interested, to join and to set up their own page. You may also be able to get a friend, neighbor or family member to help you lead a group.
Fifth, post a thread on your state team page asking if anyone is interested in joining your team. You may also ask if there is anyone in your area who is looking for a work out buddy. Once you find some Spark local workout buddies, you can set up some local workout activities.
Sixth, try going out for a cup of coffee or lunch after working out with your local workout buddies. Eventually, you can set up a monthly or even weekly date to get together like this. I will warn you that some people will be wary at first because there are so many wierdos out there. Invite your friends or spouse to come with you and you will feel more secure.
Seventh, always, always, always make sure that you meet unknown team members in a public place. It is also a good idea to take someone with you. This is for your own safety. That is why I advocate inviting friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members to join you first to form a base group with whom you are familiar. You want to make sure that your local team is a safe, supportive place where members can come to share activities, get support and have fun.
Eighth, If you are motivated and ambitious enough, after a while, you can be like INDYGIRL, Beth Donovan, and organize and advertise some local events. With enough exposure, there some people who will travel to your area, just to attend a Spark activity or event. Please keep in mind that this doesn't happen over night. It takes time.
I won't lie to you and say that all of this comes quickly and with very little effort. It does take a time commitment and some effort. You have to be patient and persistent in order to be successful. I can tell you that our local Spark Team is now five years old and running smoothly. It was one of the smartest things I ever helped to do. I have made some great friends, gotten wonderful support and spread the Spark! So for those of you who wish that you could have a local team in your area, you can! All you have to do is start one! It all starts with just one step. Many small steps add up to big changes and a great local Spark team!