Frequently Asked Questions
Strolling Thunder 2020
I submitted my interest form. Now what?
Thank you for taking the time to share your information with us! We know life with little ones is busy and time is precious. We’ll be in touch with you by February to let you know if you are selected to participate in Strolling Thunder. If selected, we’ll quickly connect you with someone from ZERO TO THREE who will be your go-to for questions and logistics. That person will also put you in touch with our travel agency and explain next steps to prepare for the event.
Who will be invited to travel to DC to meet with their Members of Congress?
We will select one family from each state, including one parent, their child(ren) under the age of three, and one travel companion (such as a co-parent, family member, or caregiver). We know that many more people in our network want to be part of our push to encourage Congress to #ThinkBabiesAndAct. So we’ll also be sharing resources that will allow you to tell Congress to #ThinkBabiesAndAct through phone calls, emails, and social media, as well as in-person in your Congressional district.
Is any experience necessary?
No! Families who are raising young children are our best messengers to help Congress understand how important it is to #ThinkBabiesAndAct. We’ll provide tips and a brief training to help you prepare and we’ll attend each Congressional meeting with you. But your stories – in your own words – will be the most powerful tool in sharing the #ThinkBabiesAndAct message.
Will I really be meeting with Members of Congress?
That’s the plan! Our team will work to schedule two to three visits per family. Sometimes you’ll be meeting with a Member of Congress. But you may meet with members of their staff, who are key advisors. All of these meetings will be important venues to share your story.
What am I expected to talk about with my Member of Congress?
Most importantly, we want you to share your story – tell them about your greatest joys as a parent and where you need or have needed support. When you arrive in DC, we will hold a training to give you tips and suggested message points to help explain why Congress must #ThinkBabiesAndAct by investing in the first three years of our children’s lives.
What is the schedule for Strolling Thunder?
When you mix babies and Congress together, the name of the game is flexibility! We hope that all families selected will be able to participate in the meetings and our rally on Capitol Hill. But we know that, sometimes, babies have their own plans. That’s okay! The same goes for Members of Congress. We respect the important work they do and know their schedules are rapidly changing. Our team will set up meetings and modify as needed.
Sunday, May 3
Participants will arrive in Washington, DC.
Monday, May 4
We will host a short training session to get you ready to meet with your Members of Congress, go through event details, and give you a chance to meet our staff and other parents. Participants will also have free time to explore DC!
Tuesday, May 5
Participants will meet with Members of Congress and their staff. Around midday, all participants and their children will participate in our rally on Capitol Hill!
Wednesday, May 6
Participants will travel home.
Who is responsible for travel costs?
ZERO TO THREE will cover travel, hotel, and meals for one parent, their child(ren) under the age of three, and one travel companion, such as a co-parent, family member, or caregiver who can provide additional support during the trip. We are mindful of what it means to travel with a child and will work closely with each family to ensure you have the information you need to make the trip as smooth as possible.
Families will be responsible for any travel or hotel arrangements beyond those detailed above – including costs associated with bringing additional children or companions, as well as extending your stay in DC.
Will I book my own travel?
ZERO TO THREE, with the help of a travel agency, will book travel for those selected to participate in Strolling Thunder – including you, your child(ren) under age three, and your travel companion. Our travel agents will work directly with you to be sure we book an itinerary that works for your family within the parameters of our event schedule.
Will I need to bring some sort of ID for my child?
Airlines often require you to present proof of age (such as a copy of a birth certificate) for any children traveling with you. We suggest you bring a birth certificate copy for your child on your trip.
Will the hotel and itinerary be baby-friendly?
ZERO TO THREE will work closely with each family to make sure that you and your child are comfortable during your stay in DC. For example, we can provide a pack-n-play at the hotel and age-appropriate options at the meals we share. Someone from ZERO TO THREE will be in touch with each family during the weeks prior to your trip to help you prepare for your visit.
Do I need to bring my stroller and car seat?
Yes. We ask that you bring a stroller that your child will be comfortable in to walk the halls of Congress (which are long!). If you or your family needs additional assistance, please let us know. We will do our best to accommodate your needs. You will need a car seat to travel in taxis or ride-sharing vehicles (such as uber or Lyft) to get to and from the airport. Car seats and children’s strollers are not counted as part of airlines’ standard baggage and can be checked for free at curbside, the ticket counter, or at the gate.
What if I’m not currently active on social media?
That’s OK! What better reason to start tweeting than to tell your Members of Congress why they need to #ThinkBabiesAndAct? As part of Strolling Thunder, we ask that participants actively share their travels and experience on social media. We’ll provide some simple tips to help you set up an account if needed, share photos, and connect with your Members of Congress as well as other participants and supporters across the country. Whether you prefer Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or another platform, we need your help to share the #ThinkBabiesAndAct message before, during, and after your trip.
What happens when I get home?
Families are often babies’ best advocates! When you get home, you will have opportunities to Be a Big Voice for Little KidsTM as part of Think Babies and beyond. Our Strolling Thunder alumni families continue to be strong advocates for infants and toddlers in their state and across the country. This could be by visiting your Members of Congress in their district and state offices, calling their office, writing to your local newspaper, or engaging other parents! We’ll be here to support you along the way.