Tenderfoot 5K Run

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Tenderfoot 5K.jpg

Community Scouting 5K Run is a scouting event that is intended to engage scouting with the local community. It can be coordinated at the Council, District or Unit level. It can serve several major purposes:

Event Overview

Creating a race charity fundraiser can be a very rewarding experience. There are many different types of races you can create to raise money for charity. Whether you do a running, biking, triathlon, or any other type of race fundraiser, there are many great strategies for your race fundraiser to generate a lot of money and a lot of public awareness.[1]

Unit Recruitment

Friends of Scouting

Physical Fitness

Emphasis on Physical Fitness is a common bonding point between many people in the community and scouting. Families that are unable to find a team sport that is right for them may find what they are looking for with scouting.

Community Service

Scouts volunteer in an event that promotes physical fitness in their community.[2]

When you organize a charity run or walk-a-thon, you accomplish so much for the health of the community. For starters, you get a large group of people exercising. Who knows, your event just might be the starting point for some lifelong couch potatoes to take better care of their health!

You’d also bring much-needed awareness for a health charity or cause that affects many people. Whether you are raising funds for breast cancer research, a cystic fibrosis support group or AIDS awareness, the money from the event will improve…the lives of many folks who need your help.

Organizing Your Race

Note: A Council task force could organize a series of races, rotating one through each district.

Half Marathon or 5K Run?

A very large Half Marathon (13.1 mile race) might make for a glamorous council event and fundraiser, but it would be very intensive in volunteer resources to produce and very limited to location.

The Tenderfoot 5K Run has greater advantages for community outreach and recruitment. The shorter distance will attract a much younger crowd (ideal age for cubs and scouts recruitment). A much simpler event, it will allow for the council to replicate it in each district community where it wants to target a boost in recruitment.

Physical Fitness is a common bonding point between runners and scouting.

Planning Time

Experienced race organizers will tell you to allow 9 weeks advance time to do proper promotions and preparations for your event.[3]


Recommend during the winter months (Jan-Mar) for these reasons.

  • Less of conflict with high school cross country tournaments
  • Opens up a major recruiting session in what is otherwise a slow time for recruiting
  • Lines up perfectly with the calendar for Friends of Scouting - Community Campaign.


  • Major Urban Park - This is best done at a major urban park with enough space to accommodate the event. You should be able to find one or two such locations in your areas.
  • Remote Wilderness Park / Scout Camp - There is a large group of adult amateurs that relish the "new adventure" of exploring a major wilderness race in a outdoor location they have never been to before. A major wilderness scout camp or national forest setting, that is no more than 30-60 minutes from major urban centers could be ideal.

A important safety issue to avoid city streets or other traffic areas. Keeping the race on an entirely car free course is ideal.

Fundraising Activities

One giant challenge of the Friends of Scouting - Community Campaign is asking for donations without giving the donor anything back in return. Many people are much rather inclined to pay a significant premium for product they can enjoy knowing that the excess is going towards a good cause. That is one of the hallmarks for why 5K runs are a very successful fundraisers.

Typical community 5K Runs can collect $40 for each entry. For 500 participants that will gross $20,000. Deducting 50% for operating costs and race souvenirs that will net your $10,000. (Imagine trying to ask 500 strangers for a $20 donation with a 100% success rate?)

Program Budget

All prices will vary greatly by location :

  • $0-250: Park Use Fee - Most park rangers are very open to this event because they build their own brand awareness and collect some fees for parking and concessions.
  • $10/runner: Souvenir Race Shirts - Batch order, very important attraction for runners/walkers. Also very important for your ongoing recruitment and district brand promotion.
  • $2/runner: Race Medallions - I've seen everything from metal medallions to wood tokens with a custom lanyard.
  • $1/runner: Post Race Snacks - bottled water, fresh fruit, energy bars, etc.

Free Souvenirs

  1. Council Souvenir Donations - Scout Council -
  2. Major Racing Souvenir Donations - Your Race promoter should be able to supply a number of free gifts from major athletic project and fitness companies that use these events to promote their own products.
  3. Community Souvenir Donations - Use your race entry Bib # for a drawing to win gift cards and other goodies from major local restaurants, etc.

Professional Race Organizers

Before launching this effort, you may want to consult with any number of professional race organizers. Many are most familiar with the popular running venues and the challenges particular to your city.

Sample Fundraiser race pricing :

  1. Painted Dog 5K - beneficiary: Global Converservation Force to raise awareness for the protection and preservation of endangered animals.