Hi Smart Girls! I hope the first few weeks of school have gone well for all of you! One part of school culture and community that I know very well is clubs. At my school in Providence, I’m actively involved in and the head of several clubs. Each year is different from the previous due to the new students and new interests of returning students. Any existing club is bound to go through changes in size and goals, and new clubs will sprout up. A Smart Girl loves to get involved, and if you are a club leader or would like to become a club leader you have to have the right tools to lead your club to success.
It all starts with recruiting new members. If your school has a club fair, make sure to set up a table and advertise! Make posters, flyers, use social media…anything to help promote. Are you head of the baking club? Make cookies…they’ll lure people to your table and then you can get them to sign up! Get current members to help out with answering questions students may have. If your club is open to everyone, encourage everyone to sign up and show how much fun you are! On the contrary, if your club is membership by application only, make sure to form a solid application– ask for how many classes they’re taking, how many other clubs they’re involved in and to what level, why they think they’re a good fit for your club, etc. You want to make sure that future members are going to be committed! If you don’t have a club fair, still promote your club as much as you possibly can and if you have applications, leave them where everyone that’s interested will have access to them, such as the school secretary’s office. Students aren’t the only people to get involved. Try to get faculty to join your club as well, and definitely ask one of the adults to be a club advisor. There will be things that come up throughout the year that you’ll need adult assistance and guidance with.
After you have club membership established, have your first meeting! Before school, during lunch, and after school are the most common and most sensible times to have meetings. At the first one, have everyone introduce themselves. Lay out your goals for the year for the club and be ready to answer any questions students may have. Make sure to establish a set of guidelines and expectations for all members. Pitch some ideas for ways you’d like to accomplish your goals and come prepared to take note of the great ideas other students are bound to have. After this, you can really hit the ground running. Hold meetings as often as you want, but if you aren’t sure a good rule of thumb to go by is one meeting every two weeks. The biggest thing is to make sure your meetings aren’t too spaced out, as members may become out of touch and start to lose interest if they aren’t actively doing things.
If you are the head of a fundraising club, you’re going to want to get started raising money as soon as possible. Set your goals high but realistic. Popular ways to raise money are bake sales, raffles, walk-a-thons, and car washes. Try something different, like 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, concession stands at sporting and arts events, or movie nights with pizza and popcorn free for with a ticket. Depending on what organization your club supports, hold events such as book drives to donate in a different way. If you lead a community service club, organize as many service trips as possible. Some schools require community service hours and if your school is one of them, ask a faculty member if the hours club members complete can count for school. If you are head of a career-based club such as Debate, Mock Trial, Model UN, and Future Scientist and Engineers of America, keep up to date on developments locally, nationally, and worldwide that involve the careers your members are interested in. Host discussions in meetings and on social media, and make sure to get other students involved to hear different sides of the discussion. Enter into competitions and fairs if your school will allow you to (fundraise if you don’t have the budget for it!) so your members get to utilize their incredible talents. If you are in charge of an interpersonal dynamics club such as Eco Club or GBSA, stay on top of all the latest news pertaining to the interests of your members. Make meetings a place where members can safely and openly discuss what’s on their minds and express their opinions.
Every club you are involved in can do great things. Aim for success this year!