by Scott Katherine

Written by Taylor McCaffrey, Emily Galiano, and Sarah Neely

With THON™ Weekend quickly approaching, it’s time to start preparations. If this is your first THON, you might be feeling overwhelmed. Not to worry, a few second-year captains have shared their experiences during the 46-hour dance marathon and offered some advice to first-year captains and committee members.  

Scott Katherine is a senior mechanical engineering major. For his second year as a THON captain, Katherine is on the Media Relations Committee, EMMpire SCOTT of Mind. When asked about his top three “must haves” for THON Weekend, he was quick to answer with, “fanny pack, granola bars, and water guns.”  

A piece of advice he wants to give to a first-year captain is, “Make sure you have your schedule planned out as you get it. Overprepare!” He emphasized the importance of overpreparation. “Pay attention in meetings and then you’ll know what to do and have a great time,” he said. Coming into your first THON can be stressful. Making sure you are prepared ahead of time can limit this stress and allow you to focus on what matters—having fun, raising money, and supporting the kids! 
Shannon Long is a third-year student on the Merchandise Committee SHANcing with the sTAS. For her second year as a captain, she is the Inventory Blue Storage Captain. Her top three items to get through the weekend are, “a good pair of sneakers, a fanny pack, and an eye mask.” Like Katherine, Long emphasized overpreparation. “At THON Weekend last year, I had 2 pairs of sneakers,” she recalled. Having a change of shoes can be a great way to take some of the pressure off your feet after long hours of standing. 

Katie Citko is a Communications Captain for THON 2024 after being a First-Year Committee Captain during THON 2023. Her top three items to make THON Weekend memorable were a digital camera, crocs, and a deck of cards so that she can capture the moments of THON through her own eyes, give her feet a break in the stands, and have a good time with fellow THON Volunteers and Four Diamonds families on the floor. Citko recommends bringing Liquid IV packets to drink throughout the weekend because your body gets more dehydrated than you think.  

To prepare for THON weekend, Citko recommends you to “make a very-detailed packing list a few weeks out from THON Weekend. Make sure you add which outfits your committee is wearing, your quarterzip, phone chargers, and anything else you might need! I would also recommend packing your outfits in individual bags so it’s easy to retrieve your items in the locker rooms.” Citko’s message to CMs is that “this will likely be one of the greatest weekends of your life, so get excited for all the memories that you’re going to make!” 

The second-year captains wish you well and hope this made you feel ready for the quickly approaching THON Weekend! 

Featured Image: Sarah Lynn DeCarlo | THON™ Photography