How To Tour Your State and Region

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In this training learn the tools, tricks, and techniques of a successful tour and hear stories from the road from Bill Barron (UT), Jon Clark and Don Kraus (TN & KY), Mindy Ahler (ND), and Susan Adams (MS). This training will help you understand the purpose and primary goals of a tour, learn what’s worked for other regions and identify the tools and support available, and determine whether and what type of tour makes sense in your region.

TOC and Guide Section
Why tour your state or region?

Have you ever thought about getting on the road for CCL?  A tour in your state or region is a great way to boost CCL’s presence and impact in congressional districts. A tour can include meeting with local congressional staff and potential endorsers, media interviews, building enthusiasm with volunteers, starting new chapters, and more. 

If we want to pass strong and durable climate legislation we need to have a presence in every congressional district. To help and support that a tour could include: 

  • Meeting with your member of congress's local offices 
  • Meeting with potential endorsers
  • Conducting CCL chapter startup workshops
  • Engaging and supporting local CCL chapters
  • Generating local  press coverage
  • Hosting a conference
How to plan and conduct a tour: seven steps
  1. Overview & getting started
  2. Find volunteers 
  3. Schedule events
  4. Budget
  5. Promote
  6. Get out there!
  7. Follow-up
Step #1: Overview & getting started


  • Tours start as a concept and can be one person’s idea or ten people brainstorming at a Regional Conference
  • “Tour Captain” and “Planning Committee” (~2-4 people) will typically emerge
  • Where are you missing chapters? Where do chapters need support?
  • Involve your Regional Coordinator early
    • They will know where region needs to grow 
    • Will need to engage potential new group leaders

When to start?

  • For smaller tours (5 or less cities), start 2-3 months out
  • For big tours (6 or more cities), start 3-4 months out

Tour activities

  • Public presentations
  • Identify Group Leader(s) and volunteers
  • Create media interest
  • Lobby/Endorser meetings
  • Empower/train local volunteers
  • Educate local leaders
  • Start relationship for new chapter
  • Group starts or regional conferences

Create and communicate the tour vision

  • Give it a name/brand
  • Itinerary with firm dates
  • Flyer
Step #2: Finding volunteers
  • Set up planning committee: tour captain and other key leaders
  • Network in CCL and among friends to identify tour members
  • Identify one host or host committee per tour stop
  • Research local clubs, civic associations, online groups 
  • Empower host to have full control over their tour stop

Local Host or host committee

  • Local resident to join or take over planning team
  • A local is best for the event
  • They know the area and venues for public events
  • They can generate local enthusiasm, fill seats
  • A local is best if a future chapter is possible
  • May become Group Leader
  • Remote CCL volunteer may remain involved as a mentor
Step #3: Schedule events

Where to start?

1. Public presentations (greatest lead time to identify venue, host, and promote)

2. Endorser meetings (relatively simple to schedule meetings)

3. Resources for the folks you're contacting

  • Flyer with tour plan and map
  • Bio of tour leader, speakers
  • Sample presentation
Step #4: Budget

Creating a budget

  • Lodging Meals Transportation Promotional materials Contingency (blown tires, unexpected venue costs)

Do it on the cheap

  • Budget hotels or stay with local hosts if you can (saves costs & build relationships)
  • Consider how many folks to join different parts of the tour
  • Set the expectation that we’re seeking free venues


  • Every tour is unique, typical range ~$150-$300/day
  • No guarantees for CCL Support (ask your Regional Coordinator)
Step #5: Promote

Specific event promotion

  • Provide Facebook event pages
  • Provide Promotional/Media Package
  • Media advisory
  • Logos Speaker bios Tour map
  • Brief summary for newsletters
  • Public Service Announcement

Create public tour webpage

  • Examples: Southern Tour, Alaska Tour
  • Hosted on CCL’s site with shortcut URL (e.g.
  • About the tour & CCL & speakers
  • Tour schedule links to Facebook event pages
Step #6: Get out there!


  • If you average one city per day, you’ll save money, but it’s a rigorous schedule.
  • Cycle volunteers into/out of the tour to lessen workload and add energy
  • Add occasional breaks in the schedule to give team time to rest
  • If you average less than one city per day you’ll need more time on the road, which adds cost, but you’ll have more time to rest and recharge
  • Build in time for team members to catch up on email so they are updated on any news or changes 


  • Export all events from your planning sheet to a Google calendar
  • Consider using a shared calendar so that others can add to their phone or laptop


  • Think through: who you are should be part of the message
  • Bring energy; communicate enthusiasm
  • Set CCL’s positive tone
  • Embody the region
  • Include locally-relevant commentary


  • Use the CCL intro presentation
  • Customize for your region
  • Schedule social event before or after a presentation for informal exchanges
  • Amplify your message on social media
Step #7: Follow-up

Follow-up is extremely important. Prompt follow-up helps extend initial meetings into long-term productive relationships. 

Have a follow-up plan

  • Phone call and email within a few days
  • Determine who does follow-up
  • “Road Team” will be too busy
  • Recruit a follow-up lead or team that’s not on the tour

Follow-up can vary

  • For cities with an active/ or potential Group Leader, have the Group Leader to do the follow-up, supported by the follow-up team 
  • For cities without a Group Leader, follow-up team is responsible and also seeks Group Leader prospects

Celebrate successes

  • Feature new Group Leaders and new volunteers 
  • Celebrate what happened and tell the story.
  • Share results on CCL Blog Monthly newsletter Monthly call.
  • Facebook page
Tour Examples

Recent tour examples are summarized below. Click the "Watch" or "Listen" tabs hear the full stories from the road from Bill Barron (UT), Jon Clark and Don Kraus (TN & KY), Mindy Ahler (ND), and Susan Adams (MS), which are interspersed throughout the training. 

Example: Texas Energy Freedom Tour 2015 

The tour circled Texas, visited 25 cities in 28 days, and involved more than 20 volunteers. The team conducted 24 public presentations, met with 14 congressional district offices, five farm bureaus, and four mayors. They also met with four local newspapers, three county judges, two Republican party chairs, and had one radio interview, two TV interviews and three tabling events. 

Key results:

  • Two chapter start-ups
  • Six chapters in development
  • 196 new volunteers
  • Invitations to present at agricultural association annual meetings
  • Invitation from congressional office to host regional conference
  • Invitation to write op-eds for local newspaper

Example: Utah Energy Future Tour 2022

Bill Barron, CCL regional coordinator from the Mountain West, did a 750 mile, 11 day tour on a bicycle to focus attention on energy policy. The tour included: 

  • Twelve public events 
  • Two Rotary Club meetings 
  • Meeting with a newspaper editor
  • Meeting with Fourier County Commissioners


  • Getting to work with and build relationships with people that were not involved in CCL, but wanted to help
  • Having conversations and bringing attention to climate at public events
  • Community leader participation in panel discussions. That included mayors, city council members and county water commissioners. 
  • Creating opportunities for future engagement

Example - Tennessee Earth & Kentucky Tour 2022

Tour leaders: John Clark, Appalachian Regional Coordinator and Don Kraus, Tennessee State Coordinator

The tour was scheduled to celebrate Earth Day. Tennessee (John and Don) was focused on grassroots. Kentucky (John) was focused on grasstops.

Tennessee highlights: 

  • Meeting new CCL volunteers in person that we’d worked with remotely
  • Staying in volunteer homes and getting to know them personally
  • Re-energizing chapters
  • Tabling events

Kentucky highlights:

  • Radio interviews
  • TV interviews
  • Meeting with mayors and other influential people

Example: Mississippi Tour 2022

Susan Adams, Third Coast Regional Coordinator, did a personal tour in Mississippi in 2022. 

Highlights were: 

  • Tabling with students at Mississippi State University. Unlike preconceptions that talking to people in Mississippi about climate would be challenging, she found the students both interested and engaged. 
  • Presentation at a high school on carbon pricing and getting great questions from the students. 
  • Meeting with a city planner who initially didn’t want to talk about climate or politics but then agreed to meet with NOAH about sunny day flooding. 
  • Having lunches and dinners with volunteers

Primary benefit of the tour: volunteers in Mississippi felt that by visiting them CCL cared about them and valued them.  


Example: North Dakota Tour 2022

In 2022, Mindy Ahler, North Wind Regional Coordinator, along with state coordinators Brad and Linda Kingery, conducted a tour in North Dakota that culminated in a one day agricultural conference in Newtown, which is on the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation reservation on the western edge of North Dakota. The conference was held in a nearly net zero building with solar electric and geothermal heating. 

Besides volunteers attending the conference, along the way to the conference the team met with volunteers in other cities. Due to the low population density and size of North Dakota, the chapter (ONLY ONE?) is virtual, so many of the volunteers had never met in person before. 

Key benefit of the tour: having the opportunity for volunteers to get to know each other and share meals and personal experiences. It resulted in improved chapter activity. 


Additional stories and earlier CCL regional tours

For more stories from the many inspiring climate outreach tours CCL volunteers have taken on, check out the CCL Blog articles on the Oregon Stewardship TourBike Tours Across States and the CountryAlaska Big Dividend TourKentucky Energy Freedom TourTennessee Tour and Texas Panhandle Tour. For a wonderful recap of the recent Water, Wind & Fire Tour of 2017 in Eastern Washington, click here. The podcasts below also feature shorter audio links to Peter Bryn discussing the Texas Tour, Madeleine Para, VP of Programs, discussing growth in her home state of Wisconsin, and Don Addu, Southeast Regional Director, highlighting some of his takeaways from the 2017 Kentucky Tour.

Press play to start the video (38m 45s)
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

(0:00) Intro & Agenda 
(4:11) Step 1: Overview/  Getting Started
(6:54) CCL Utah Tour 2022
(10:55) Step 2. Find Volunteers 
(13:10) CCL TN/KY Tour 2022
(18:02) Step 3. Schedule Events
(19:32) Step 4. Budget
(21:08) Step 5. Promote
(23:09) CCL ND Tour 2022
(26:52) Step 6. Get Out There!
(30:01) CCL MS Tour 2022
(33:27) Step 7. Follow-up & Conclusion

  • Brett Cease
  • Bill Barron
  • Jon Clark
  • Don Kraus
  • Mindy Ahler
  • Susan Adams

Download the Google Slides presentation.

Download the video.
Audio length
Press play to start the audio (38m 45s)
Audio embed code

The Texas Energy Freedom Tour: Listen to or Download the Podcast (12:41)

The Wisconsin Example: Listen to or Download the Podcast (8:45)

Audio Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

(0:00) Intro & Agenda 
(4:11) Step 1: Overview/  Getting Started
(6:54) CCL Utah Tour 2022
(10:55) Step 2. Find Volunteers 
(13:10) CCL TN/KY Tour 2022
(18:02) Step 3. Schedule Events
(19:32) Step 4. Budget
(21:08) Step 5. Promote
(23:09) CCL ND Tour 2022
(26:52) Step 6. Get Out There!
(30:01) CCL MS Tour 2022
(33:27) Step 7. Follow-up & Conclusion

  • Brett Cease
  • Bill Barron
  • Jon Clark
  • Don Kraus
  • Mindy Ahler
  • Susan Adams
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Interested in helping conduct a similar tour in your region? Reach out to your Regional Coordinator for their input!
Discussion Topic
To Print
Chapter Organizing
Audio / Video, Presentation
File Type
Google Slides, PowerPoint (.pptx)
Training Resources

See an example Tour Planning Google Drive folder from the Texas Energy Freedom Tour.

See all resources associated with Chapter Organizing