Boosterthon Fun Run

6 Things In This Old Picture You Won’t See At Your Next Boosterthon Fun Run

Chris-First Boosterthon Fun Run

This picture was taken 12 years ago at the very first Boosterthon Fun Run at Shades Mountain Christian School in Birmingham, AL. Chris Carneal, our President and Founder, started Boosterthon out of his college dorm room. Needless to say, our program has experienced over a decade of innovation, so it’s much improved. But it’s fun to look back at the early days.

So, here are 6 things you’ll find in this picture that you won’t see at your next Boosterthon Fun Run.

1. A Bullhorn – You won’t see a bullhorn. Instead, our team uses microphones in rockstar fashion to generate excitement, thank parents, and encourage students.

Fun Fact: Chris had to hold the bullhorn up to the 2nd item on our list so students could hear music as they ran.

2. A Boombox – You won’t see a Boombox. Instead, we have a soundboard and giant amplifier so students and parents can dance and run their hearts out. Also, we now play our own upbeat Boosterthon-produced and fan favorite tunes on 4 jumbo speakers, and sometimes the neighbors can hear the celebration. Search “Boosterthon” in iTunes or your app store to listen to our music.

Fun Fact: What music was playing in this picture? Answer: The Rocky soundtrack. On loop. It was the P.E. coach’s.

3. A GIANT track – You won’t see a GIANT track. Instead, our track is about 1/16 of a mile. In this picture, it’s gi-normous, with students running for 45 minutes instead of for 30 minutes like they do today.

Fun Fact:  Chris changed the Fun Run’s time limit to 30 minutes the very next run. #TrialAndError.

4. Chris’s first business logo on a truck door – You won’t see that. Even before the first Boosterthon, Chris started a sports tutoring company where he taught sports lessons to students and taught character traits. Today, we promote an entire character theme alongside the Fun Run—full of character-building videos, music, and books. Check out this year’s theme.

Fun Fact: It was a student through Chris’s sports tutoring company who helped inspire the idea for the Boosterthon Fun Run.

5. A red truck – You won’t see a red truck. Instead, we have red and blue cones, tunnels, and tents as decorations for the Boosterthon Fun Run event. During the first Boosterthon, Chris was the only person in the middle of the track. At today’s Fun Runs, hundreds of parents flock to the center of our tracks to cheer on their students, waving handmade signs and snapping pictures.

Fun Fact: Inside the truck’s toolbox were extra prizes. It’s where Chris got the Boombox.

6. Just 1 team member – You won’t see just 1 team member. Because of Chris’s perseverance and great schools giving him a chance on his idea, we now have over 300 Boosterthon team members. Instead of 1 team member, at a typical Boosterthon Fun Run you’ll meet around 3 team members leading the fun, running laps with students, dancing, and thanking parents. Learn more about our team.

Fun Fact: Remember that student who inspired Chris to come up with Boosterthon? He’s now a team member on our Birmingham Team. Stay tuned for a blog post with him soon.

Even though you won’t find these original items at your next Boosterthon Fun Run, you’ll still feel the same passion to impact students and strengthen schools from our team members as Chris had that first Fun Run. We’re so grateful for all of our wonderful school partners, and maybe 12 years from now you’ll chuckle at today’s program having experienced another decade of Boosterthon innovation.

Last Fun Fact: Since this picture was taken, we’ve served 2.5 million students, led 3,500 programs, and hosted over 10,000 Fun Runs.

-Robert

Bullying: A Mom’s Point of View

Bullying is a big deal. 2-dont bully

Its effects show up in the national news, the local paper, and unfortunately, our own schools.

But we love that one of our five Camp High Five character lessons teaches students that “Friends Don’t Bully.” In fact, we believe Camp High Five’s focus, friendship, is the total opposite.

Listen to Tina Conti, one of our Boosterthon moms, tell the story of how bullying has affected her family. Be encouraged though–friendship can turn things around.

 -Aimee

 

Teachers and Students Review the Boosterthon [Book]

Over the last four years, every Boosterthon classroom has received a children’s book that complements our character theme. But for the first time there’s an email address and invitation to students and teachers in the back of the book to give Me with Bookme, the author, feedback about the story.

I was really curious to find out what people would say. Would I get silence because no one read it (that’s the worst), critique on the storyline and word choice (future books can improve), or a few scattered compliments (fingers crossed).

After all, this is a book that kindergarteners all the way up to novel-reading fifth graders are supposed to enjoy. Plus, teachers read great books all. the. time.

I was ready for mixed reviews.

Here are the reviews for Boosterthon’s Camp High Five and the Great Cabin Caper.

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2nd Grade. Ms. Peterson. John Ross Elem in Edmond, OK.

Comments from my students!

 “You can learn from the book to change bullies into friends,” said Anna.

“Even though people make fun of you, some people will like you for who you are,” said Haylee.

“It’s cool the author mixed up spying and Cabin Caper,” said Neel.

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3rd Grade. Ms. Stevens. Real Life Christian Academy in Clermont, FL

My class loved your story. I read a bit each day and they were riveted to their seats. We are going to try our own caper. Loved your concept.

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4th Grade. Ms. Walker. Chimney Lakes Elem School in Jacksonville, FL.

In fourth grade, the students are tested for their writing, and your book is packed with great vocabulary, dialogue, and expression. 

The discussion questions were awesome, and allowed for a meaningful way for the students to talk about the book.  Even my shy students were piping in. We also did the follow up Campfire Story activities.  It was interesting to see that when given the choice of which activity, that a majority chose the topic of creating a message to send to bullies. This was a topic that hit home for more of them than I realized.

I usually do not take the time to reply to author spots, but this book was extraordinary, and benefited my students. Thank you for writing such a kid friendly book.

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2nd Grade. Ms. Perry. Savannah Christian Prep in Savannah, GA.

I have to say that I read tons of children’s books to my class. Some of them I read over and over because they are great literature, some because I just love them, and some because my class loves them.

 I WILL read this book over and over again. I was even intrigued to find out what Camden would do next. Absolutely fantastic job!! I can’t wait for the next one!!

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Needless to say I was blown away by the feedback. I’m just glad classes are reading it, enjoying it, and most importantly, learning from it.

You can find the book FREE on the Boosterthon App. Just search “Boosterthon” in your app store.

But if you’re old-fashioned like me, you enjoy the feeling of a book in your hands.

Purchase a copy for your home to see what all the fuss is about.

Plus, you can email feedback to Author@boosterthon.com with any thoughts.

Happy reading!

-Robert

The Super Behind the Man

We receive letters from schools, parents, & students all over the nation describing their experience with the Boosterthon – and we love reading them. Especially when we read that students want to be leaders . . .

And if they want to be a Boosterthon leader . . . well, it’s icing on the cake.

spencer

 

Meet Spencer,  a 4th grader at HB Williams Elementary School in White House, TN, who one day could be serving schools on our team.

When Spencer and his mom, Terri, reached out to us, they shared a story that left us curious for more information about this rockstar!

Check out the original story about Spencer’s Boosterthon experience with a Q&A to follow! See for yourself why were so excited to interview this star student.

 

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Q: How many Boosterthons have you been a part of? Which theme was your favorite and why?
A: I have been part of Boosterthon for 5 years, and my favorite theme was Highway USA because I like going on road trips, so the theme fit with what I like to do.

Q: What is your favorite Boosterthon memory?
A: My favorite memory was how excited I was when I learned about it in kindergarten. Because it was something new I had never done.


Q: Which Camp High Five character lesson was your favorite and why?
A: Show Sportsmanship. Because I play a lot of sports and it feels really bad when others win then gloat. I hope I never make anyone feel that way.


Q: With the Boosterthon, students are able to help their school fund projects like new technology, desks, & buildings! How have you helped your school at this year’s Boosterthon?
A: I was able to raise $140 this year, and our school is going to use the money raised to purchase new technology such as computers, tablets, and smart boards.


Q: You will be in middle school soon! Do you think Boosterthon has taught you anything that will help you make new friends or start at a new school?
A: It has taught me that bullying isn’t ok. So I think that will help me make friends at the middle school. I also think that respecting others is really important. I am going to meet a lot of new people at the middle school and we aren’t all going to be the same.


Q: If you became a Boosterthon leader in the future, what would you want your name to be?
A: My Boosterthon name would be Super Spencer! I even had a shirt when I was younger with the Superman logo and my name on it!! I would really like to be a Boosterthon leader!!

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It’s conversations like these that inspire our teams! 

Interested in hearing more about our phenomenal team? Check out this story of a teacher turned Boosterthon leader! Hear her testimony of how the two worlds mesh together.

If you have a story to share with us, we are all ears! Email news@boosterthon.com to send in your story.

And as for Super Spencer . . . watch out Team Nashville! You have a rising leader on your hands!

-Aimee

Dads and Daughters Say the Darnedest Things . . .

There is something about the innocent and unfiltered way a child speaks that makes you hang on every word. Maybe it is the matter-of-factness or the gleam in their eye when they look at you, but for some reason it impacts you differently because you know they mean exactly what they say.

That’s why we have loved hosting the My Princess Dance in Atlanta, GA, for the past four years, where sincere conversations between dads and their daughters are in no short supply.

In honor of the My Princess Dance, we asked three team members and their daughters to explain why they love each other.Olivia&daddy

Be prepared to smile. 

  • Bubba Fulcher – Home Office 

Olivia (Age 4): I love my Daddy because he is inside of my heart and I love everybody in there.

Bubba: Olivia is so special because SHE IS the true princess of our little homely-castle (Mommy being the Queen)  ;) She gives me the most rewarding delight and literal meaning of the infamous term, “Daddy’s little girl.”

  • Mark Norman – Team Charlotte 

Ellie (Ellie 4): I love my Dad because he gives me big hugs. And he jokes with me!

Mark: Ellie’s name means “light” and she truly has been that everywhere she goes; people know when Ellie has graced their presence.

  •  JC Peña – Home Office

Elizabeth (Age 6): I love my daddy because he is sweet, funny, gives me kisses and plays with me.

JC: What’s so special about Elizabeth is that she is the joy of the house. She is always smiling, jumping, playing, and painting. But her most precious gift is her heart. She is so sweet and caring for others. She is always making new friends and giving a joyful smile everywhere we go.

So there you have it.

Daddy-daughter bonds run deep and can’t be summed up in a few sentences, but the tip of the iceberg is enough to see that something is special.

Speaking of icebergs, don’t miss out on this year’s My Princess Dance theme: A Frozen Fairytale! I envision everyone singing “Let It Go” at the top of their lungs by the end of the night.

So grab your bow ties and ball gowns and get a taste of the magic for yourself by clicking here. Between real-life princesses, cupcakes, and carriage—this night will be one for the books!

-Aimee

Boosterthon. Well, Actually . . .

We love serving schools year after year. Some students own six different Boosterthon t-shirts, one for each year of their entire elementary school career. It’s fun to see the reaction on students’ faces when we return after the first year because they know what to expect. Parents are the same way because they already know our program, our team, and the heart behind why we do what we do.

But when we serve a first-year school, it can be really funny to hear the first-year thoughts from parents about how our program works or who we are as an organization.

So, here’s a little list of some first-thoughts and what actually happens.

1. Boosterthon is expensive! And this is a natural assumption. Our program is very robust and unlike anything else in Boosterthon Students Runningthe fundraising industry. We like to think of it as a luxury car with all the bells and whistles.

Well, actually, the Boosterthon is one of the cheapest fundraising programs for schools out there.

Did you know that most fundraisers do a 50-50 split with schools? And book sales tend to leave schools about 25% of the funds raised. But with Boosterthon, there’s nothing to sell, it’s fitness and character focused, everyone is included, and schools keep EVEN MORE than normal.

In this case, the luxury car costs less, but you get to enjoy all the high-end benefits. Plus, Boosterthon historically raises 70% more funds for schools than their previous best product-sale fundraiser (like wrapping paper, cookie dough, ect.) It’s like the luxury car also gets 60 miles per gallon—you get more out of it :)

2. The Boosterthon is just a day-long event.

Well, actually, for our LIVE program, our team logs on average 300 hours preparing for and leading our 9-day program. Boosterthon LIVE consists of a fun pep rally, seven team days, and the highly anticipated Boosterthon Fun Run. It’s probably because the day of the Boosterthon Fun Run event is our most exciting day (with the most pictures taken and the most parents on campus) that people first assume our program is only one day long.

Get an idea of how we create a 9-day, world-class Boosterthon program.

3. The Boosterthon Home Office must be in a skyscraper! This one cracks us up. Maybe it’s because we put so Boosterthon Home Officemuch time and thought into our printed materials, character videos, and music to make them retail quality that people assume it takes a giant corporation to pull it all off. Interestingly, some people first think we work in a tall building in a busy metropolis.

Well, actually, our Home Office team is pretty cozy in our one-story building in the suburbs of Atlanta with about 40 hardworking (and fun!) people. Our office is modest, and it works for us.

In fact, you can click here to take a tour of the Boosterthon Home Office.

4. The Boosterthon focuses only on the individual student. Sure, students can earn individual rewards for getting pledges, and our character lessons often focus on improving personal choices like telling the truth or taking care of your body. Boosterthon Students Run

Well, actually, we love how our program rallies students TOGETHER to help their school. Our entire program revolves around TEAMWORK. Each class is a team and we remind students that they are working together to help their school. And the best part is that everyone is included in the Boosterthon. Even if a student doesn’t participate financially, he or she still gets to enjoy team prizes with their classmates (like a popcorn or crazy hat party, extra recess, ect.), still runs in the Boosterthon Fun Run, and still experiences our character and fitness program. It’s just more fun to win as a team.

And we have a really fun founding family. Hear Chris and Lyndie Carneal tell the story of how Boosterthon first began.

-Robert

Boosterthon’s All-Time Favorite Question To Answer

“What are you doing to improve your program?” We are so glad you asked! Let me explain…

By now you’ve figured out Boosterthon is not your average fundraising company.  When principals get slimed, team members go by names like “Slammin’ Andy” and “Rally Ally,” and, most noticeably, your student gets fired up about running and helping their school, you know it must be Boosterthon week!

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So, when it comes to improving our program we do it a little differently too. Instead of relying on our own ideas, over the last two years, we’ve invited parents and educators like you to speak into our program and take it to the next level.

A year ago, parents helped us develop the 2014-2015 theme, and this year, we brought some of our best parent leaders, principals, and a counselor together from across the country for a two-day event in Atlanta, GA, called, “In The Blue.” Over the course of the event we talked about everything from character traits, to pricing, to how schools can increase parent involvement on campus—all to make your Boosterthon experience even better.

Here is what our attendees said about the event:

  • Valuable few days! Gave me a much greater point of view about the company and its people.  It gave me a whole new outlook that I will happily share with others.
  • I think every client of Boosterthon should do this! It was a game changer. You come away with such a different perspective.
  • Very few companies open themselves up like this and want to be a team with their clients. I hope the Booster mentality spreads and engulfs America.

After the event, our Home Office team spent time going over all the feedback to begin making improvements to our program. We are like kids in a candy shop with all these great parent-originated ideas. We can’t wait for you to experience our upgraded program soon.

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It doesn’t stop there. These participants are now the inaugural members of our “Blue Group.” The Blue Group is made up of passionate leaders on Boosterthon campuses across the country. They will serve as advisors throughout the year and will get the first look at many of Boosterthon’s new initiatives. Would you love to help make us even better? Apply to be in the Blue Group by emailing me at mccalld@boosterthon.com.

We can’t improve without your help!

-McCall

 

3 Ways to Skyrocket Parent Involvement (According to Boosterthon PTA Leaders)

Last week, the Boosterthon Home Office in Atlanta invited 13 Boosterthon ladies from across the country—principals, PTA leaders, parents, and a counselor—to learn how to make our program even better. The event, “In The Blue,” was all about idea sharing. It was a huge collaboration of learning, and one issue that arose was the struggle to increase parent involvement.

Here are 3 tactics schools shared with each other to solve this common concern.

SignUpGenius-wide1. Use “Sign Up Genius.” Say good-bye to loose sign-up sheets and messy handwriting. This free website allows you to organize volunteers in time slots, create events, and send reminders so the volunteers you do have can be reminded what they signed up for and when to show up.

 
2. Teachers know the scoop. Rather than just using email or newsletter blasts to attract volunteers or recruit new PTA/O members, go directly to homeroom teachers who know their super-involved parents. Reach out to them and let them know you’d like their help or involvement.

 
3. Throw a little party. Say you gather some volunteer interest early in the school year. Host a little gathering on or off-campus to say 1) Thank you! and 2) gauge individual interest in activities or involvement. This will give you a realistic picture on whether you have a super-crew ready to change the world, or you still need to find a few more parents to keep your school a well-oiled machine.

There you have it. Straight from our “In The Blue” all-stars. We know every school in America needs parent volunteers to help make their school better than ever, so we hope these tips put your school at maximum volunteer capacity.

If you have any sure-fire tips to increase parent involvement, share them with other Boosterthon PTA/O leaders on our Facebook page. They want to learn from you!

In The Blue - Boosterthon

 

The Result of Friendship is an . . . “Apple?”

CabinCaperWinnerI just mailed an Apple iPad Mini to a Boosterthon class in Kentucky.

It wasn’t a grand prize for the student with the most pledges. It wasn’t a raffle or a random drawing for a lucky winner.

It was for showing kindness.

Ms. Sproles’s 2/3rd grade class at Veterans Park Elem participated in a Boosterthon challenge called a “Cabin Caper,” which is an encouraging trick where you do something special, in secret, for someone else.

Check out what Ms. Sproles said about her class’s experience:

Our class had so much fun participating in the classroom caper. They were so excited to sneak in the room while the students were away and give them treats from our treat tub. When the students returned we could hear them squealing and wondering who did it! To this day, they still don’t know who did it. Plans are to caper a younger classroom this time. We’ve learned that doing something good for others feels good for us. A little lesson in selflessness.”

Students learn about the Cabin Caper in the children’s book every class gets for free with our program. The book highlights our Camp High Five character theme all about friendship.

Because Ms. Sproles’s entry on www.CabinCapers.com had the most votes this past semester, they won an iPad Mini. And it looks like the kindness could go viral, as they plan to caper another class soon.

The contest continues through the end of the school year, so there’s still a chance to win (and of course, have some fun), so start your friendly scheming and plan to commit a Cabin Caper this semester!

Go to www.CabinCapers.com to learn more, view other entries, and submit your own. Anyone can participate!

Want to get your student in the Cabin Caper spirit? Buy the book on Amazon.

-Robert

Are You Dreaming as Big as the Boosterthon Team in 2014?

“The important thing in life is to have a great aim, and the determination to attain it.” – Goethe

 We love the beginning of a new year. It is a chance for us to reevaluate and reset, to start over and plan better, and to make this year better than the one before.

 So, we were curious. “What are our team members’ big goals for 2014?” Needless to say, they have some lofty, audacious ones. Just the recipe needed for a year of awesomeness!

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Chris Carneal | President & Founder – My mom was a reading professor, so education has always been high-ranking on my list of goals. This year I plan to read 25 books. Also, as a husband of almost 12 years and father of four, I want to have two date nights a month and spend intentional, one-on-one time with my kids. Lastly, I want to focus on fitness. Using one of my favorite apps, Strides, I aim to complete 100 workouts this year.

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The Strides App helps you stay on track with all your 2014 goals!

Dominah Herrea | Team Phoenix – It’s pretty simple! I think I’d like to try running at least one 5k race every month this year!

Doug Admundson | Team Chicago – My goal is to read two books a month. You know what they say, “leaders are readers!”

Rachel Sharpe | Team South Florida – I want to better manage my personal budget and keep track of my spending.  I downloaded a free budget app on my phone that will keep track of my spending!

Blake Patterson| Team Phoenix – I’m running my first full marathon on March 1st! Also, I want to start building an emergency fund.

Still haven’t set your 2014 goals? There’s still time! Take some inspiration from our Boosterthon team members and brainstorm how you can grow, learn, and enjoy life more in the new year.

Proven Resolution Tips: Write them down | Share them out loud | Send a weekly progress report to a friend

 

-McCall

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