Note: Pick up a print edition of The York Dispatch on Thursday, April 4, to get a real Adventure Race clue in advance.

Three years ago, a handful of York County kids started a nonprofit charity organization.

These days, Teens Stand for Charities boasts more than 50 members in a half-dozen schools, a full board of adult advisers, and a strong track record of service. The nonprofit organization will host the Acts in Motion Adventure Race this month in downtown York City.

"The race is our major fundraiser for this year," says group president and founder Madeline Taylor. "The other things we do are service projects."

Origins: Madeline, now a junior at Christian School of York, was 14 when she turned a plan for a backyard lemonade stand into a movement.

"You're never too young to give back," she says, citing the group's inspiration, the Bible verse 1st Timothy 4:12 - "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."

Even as young as 6, Madeline lived by the same creed, determined to grow up to become a missionary, help others and fight against poverty around the world.

Teens Stand for Charity took its first group action to help others by participating in an adventure race in Pittsburgh. The group raised thousands of dollars for charities through the event.

Now the adventure has come full circle, with Teens Stand for Charity hosting its own race to help local charities.

Acts in Motion Adventure Race participants can choose among a dozen charities to support, including the York County SPCA, the York Rescue Mission, the children's grief center Olivia's House and others. Racers select up to three of the 12 options, which then receive funds from race registration fees and any pledges the racers collect.

The participants can support "whatever they feel passionate about," Madeline says of the reasoning for offering a variety of choices.

3 courses: Likewise, racers can choose how they want to compete. The event features courses for walkers, runners and cyclists. The participants start with a clue to help them find their next location. Once there, they face a challenge to earn their next clue.

Don't panic. Racers don't need to be mental giants or at peak physical fitness to accept this challenge.

"We wanted to be fun, comprehensive, easy to participate in and not too much of a time dedication," Madeline says. "We say it's going to be like 'The Amazing Race' but easier."

To register, competitors must be in at least seventh grade for the walking and running courses and in at least 10th grade for the biking course. Younger children are welcome to accompany registered adults. The fun lasts from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 27, starting at William Penn Senior High School. Race legs between challenges are no more than half a mile.

Racers can compete as individuals or in teams of up to four, and a little technological help is fine, too. A map of York City or a GPS-enabled phone can aid racers in figuring out clues to downtown street names or landmarks where they'll meet their tests.

"They're just going to be fun challenges," Madeline says. "Like eat a cookie without your hands."

Get in the race

The Acts in Motion Adventure Race organized by Teens Stand for Charities starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 27, at William Penn Senior High School, 101 W. College Ave., York City.

Racers can compete on walking, running or biking courses. Participants will receive prizes for fastest finish, most money raised, most creative team name and other things.

Participating charities racers can choose to support are Bridge of Hope, the York Rescue Mission, the York County Food Bank, the York County SPCA, Olivias House, the Salvation Army of York, the Christian School of York Scholarship Fund, Kickin' It Christian Style, Tender Care Pregnancy Center, Hope International, Grain of Hope's wells program in Burkina Faso, and Compassion Internationals Water for Life program.

Registration is $20 before Sunday, April 7, and $40 afterward.

To register or for more information, visit the group's website at www.teensstandforcharities.org.

- Reach Mel Barber at mbarber@yorkdispatch.com.