Wet Beach? Check. Sandals? Check. Pedicure? Check. Ready to jump in the water? Check. Air temperature 13 degrees? Check….wait….what??  Yes, 13 degrees with wind chill factored in and it was a windy day. Snow and ice still covered most of the lake, but we had a mission. We had a cause, the Special Olympics in Connecticut. When will they start arranging hot tub plunges to raise money? I will be the first to sign up for that one!

Try a Penguin Plunge

But seriously, doing a Penguin Plunge during the winter is not just a rite of passage, it’s an opportunity to raise funds for Special Olympics in Connecticut.  And if there was ever a year in which you were going to try it, this crazy, mixed up warm, then cold, then warm again year, is the one.  So, in the spirit of encouraging you to try something new, I’ve collected some information on taking part in a Penguin Plunge so that you can take a plunge for a good cause.

  • Check with your Doctor first!  Especially if you’re older.  Hitting the cold water will be a shock to your body, so it’s important to involve your Doctor in this decision.
  • Don’t worry about safety, be aware of it, but know you’re in good hands.  If you’ve done your part, SOCT takes care of the rest.  The events have EMTs, ambulances and even search and rescue teams on site to assist in an emergency.  At the event that I participated in on Crystal Lake in Ellington, the rescue team was in the water forming a barrier to keep everyone from going out too far and to be more readily available to assist in an emergency.  Big shout out to the Ellington Police Department and the Crystal Lake Fire Department who sponsor the Crystal Lake event.
  • Create a Team.  Sure you can take the plunge by yourself, but it’s so much more fun to do this with a group of people.  I joined with some cousins to form a team and the rest of our family (aka the Chickens) supported us with donations.  My husband points out that he was working that day and not chicken….but he still hasn’t done it…just saying.
  • Have Fun.  You are encouraged to have creative team names and dress in costumes for the event.  One of my cousins dressed in a Penguin outfit.  I dressed as a cold person.
  • Remember that in this day and age, donation collection is a little easier than knocking on doors and asking for support.  SOCT will give you a link to your donation page that you can share through social media, send out in emails, etc.  It was actually quite easy to hit the $100.00 minimum that each participant needs to get.  Our team of 4 people raised over 600.00.
  • Too chicken to go in?  Many events have a Chicken Coop for the fearful.  You can still raise money and from a warm area, cheer on those brave fools who jump into icy water for the cause.

If you’ve never taken the plunge before, I really encourage you to try something new and go jump in a lake!  It’s an experience that you can always say you did.  And, even if you never want to plunge again, it’s an event that you can continue supporting through your donations, year after year.  That’s what I’ll be doing this year, making a donation from the warmth of my living room.  Now if I could only find that hot tub event.

(For those of you who’ve been following my Creativity Prompts and find the opening paragraph familiar, it’s what I came up with for Creativity Prompt Four.  When I wrote it, I knew I’d be saving it for a post on the Penguin Plunge.)