Inspire Youth to Be Their Best through Hershey’s Track & Field Games

November 1, 2012, Department, by NRPA

Hershey Track & Field Games are a great way to offer youth activities for your community and engage willing volunteers from local high school groups and service organizations.

Who inspires you to be your best? Hershey’s Track & Field Games (HTFG) gives you an opportunity to inspire youth ages 9-14 to try their best, and, most importantly, have fun running, jumping, and throwing with friends and family. And there’s no better way to inspire tweens than through the teens they aspire to be.

Recognizing the growing resource challenges among recreation leaders, HTFG has teamed up with Key Club International to rally local teen volunteers to support park and recreation departments in planning and running this long-standing youth activity program.

Key Club is the oldest and largest service program for high school students (260,000 members), developing leadership through service. Not only do these teens bring energy and enthusiasm to volunteerism, they also serve as exemplary role models—building encouragement, confidence, and achievement.

Develop Community Leaders through Youth Service Learning 

One of the greatest investments organizations can make in their communities is developing youth as leaders. Service learning programs consistently demonstrate a positive impact on youth self-esteem, leadership, academic achievement, and community engagement. For organizations, it brings new ideas and energy, and increases their connectedness and responsiveness to youth.

Hershey’s Track & Field Games offers a personal invitation for local teens to support your park and recreation department and learn more about your broader programs.

All Key Clubs are sponsored by a Kiwanis Club. Contact your local Kiwanis organization and work together to engage teens in planning a 2013 event.

Register to Organize a Local 2013 Event by December 31 

Bring the fun of running, jumping, and throwing to your community and register to host a spring 2013 event. The games are a great way to offer youth activities at existing recreation events such as community 5Ks, wellness fairs, or other youth sports programs. You do not have to organize all of the events on Hershey’s roster—choose the events that work best for your program.

Organize an event in five simple steps:

1.       Register your event. Create a local organizer account and register your event on the HTFG website under “Event Manager” at

2.       Contact your local Kiwanis Club. Introduce yourself as a local HTFG organizer and request Kiwanis and Key Club support in planning an event.

3.       Plan and promote your event. You’ll find helpful tools and templates through the Hershey’s Event Manager.

4.       Develop a volunteer plan. Empower your Key Club to recruit the volunteers needed to organize an event (consider the school’s track coach, varsity club members, and community running clubs).

5.       Host your event and have fun!

Email questions to ht&