If your chapter, group, or Club entity conducts or plans to conduct hike-a-thons, bike-a-thons, or something similar, please review the draft Thons policy and share your feedback on our Clubhouse Thon Comment Board. And mention it to anyone in your entity who may be interested or affected.
During August 2009, the Finance & Risk Management Committee (FinCom), acting on advice of the Club's Director of Risk Management and the Club's General Counsel, issued an Interim Thons Policy, to be ratified or revised by the Board of Directors during their Sept 2009 meeting in San Francisco. The Board subsequently approved a Revised Interim Thons Policy and established an Interim Thon Review Team responsible for reviewing and approving Thon activities proposed by Club entities -- chapters, groups, activity sections, etc. This Revised Interim Policy will remain in effect until a final thon policy, along with related guidelines, procedures, and application/approval methodology, has been developed and approved by the Board.
In October the Board ExCom created a Thon and Similar Activities Task Force (a.k.a. Thon Task Force) charged to: Develop a policy to define the conditions by which a Club entity can hold special events open to the general public in which participants walk, hike, run, swim or bike a specified distance. Early task force discussions focused on defining just what we mean by the term thon -- with examples of what is a thon and what is not. We concluded that thons are typically outdoor activities which have no leader in the outings sense and, therefore, are not outings; nor can an outing be a thon.
Typical thons are marathons, walk-a-thons, hike-a-thons, bike-a-thons and the like with participants not following a leader. Unlike outings for which the Club has extensive policies, guidelines, FAQs, approval processes and leader training resources -- and well-defined insurance coverage -- we have no corresponding lore for thons. A major goal of the Thon Task Force is to correct this deficiency, not with "lore" as robust as we have for outings, but to at a minimum provide a policy and "best practices" -- and insurance -- framework for Club leaders and entities who plan, organize and sponsor thons. We want to ensure that neither the Club nor its volunteers shoulder any unreasonable legal risk in conduct of thon events.
Draft Thon Policy
Thon Task Force discussions have led to the draft policy, procedures and supporting documents posted at this web page: Draft Thon Policy. If you are currently conducting a thon-type event, or are contemplating one, or are otherwise interested in the work of our task force, please provide comments to our discussion board on or before 20 February 2010.
Members of the Thon Task Force are:
- Volunteers: Andy Betts, Richard Thomas, Phil Wheeler (chair)
- Staff: Robyn Fugett, Shari Morfin, Dave Simon