How will you keep your walkers entertained, especially if most of them are kids? A few walkathon entertainment ideas:
Do things ahead of time to get the walkers engaged in what’s to come. For example, if you will have special event T Shirts, get your principal, pastor or another beloved figure to show up wearing the shirt a few weeks before the event, then give a speech about the event.
Have special awards for milestones reached during the walk. The kids can collect them. For example, we’ve used colored ribbons for each mile walked, and we’ve also used very thin, rubber band-like jelly bracelets. The kids love to compare collections.
Map your walkathon route and site, including water stations, concessions, and even waystations that add to the fun.
Consider the following factors when you choose your walkathon site and route:
If you want to support people with varied levels of endurance, choose a route that is a loop. That way people can duck out at any time.
For children, an ideal length for your route is ¼ to ½ mile. For adults it can be longer.
Is the area safe?
Is there adequate parking?
Are there adequate facilities or can you augment appropriately, including restrooms, shade, seating, concessions, and electrical power?
Is the neighborhood amenable to having a large event?
Do you need one or two professional custodians to assist with cleanup, and if so are these services available?
Reach agreement between your leaders and any outsider who controls the site on the date and exact location, and if necessary, obtain written permission from those responsible. Be sure you inform other groups who would normally use that site, such as sports leagues, that it would be unavailable or shared that day. If you are a community organization in a small town, consider presenting to your town council to obtain moral support and keep them informed.
Roger Carr, author of Charity Walks Blog, has invited me as his first guest on the Charity Event Success radio show. The interview will take place on Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 2 p.m. Eastern. We will be discussing the topic of Planning for a Successful Walkathon. There are several ways to listen to the conversation:
There have been several questions about this walkathon topic so I thought I’d post an anonymous poll. It would be a big help to others if you would take a second to share how you do this. Again your answer is anonymous. Thanks!