Forming a club in your School is a great way to initiate Action. By following a few simple steps you can bring your passion to life and start creating change.
There are many clubs all over the school, how do these clubs get started? And how can you start a club in your own school? This step-by-step guide will show how to start a club right from the beginning to the end including the extra things that will help your chances of a club to be approved.
1) Find Some Responsible Friends
A club will not be able to start with just you. Your club will have various positions that need to be filled with responsible people—those who are loyal, motivated by the GMO cause, and hardworking. A club containing people like this will definitely succeed.
Once you’ve found people like this, talk with them to get their help in planning the club so that you don’t have to do it all yourself, and so they feel like an important member of the club from the start.
2) Find a Club Advisor
A club advisor is not an adult/teacher who “babysits” a club, they are a trusted mentor. Just like the responsible friends, this Advisor also needs to have a strong interest in the club’s cause, activities, and goal. The perfect Advisor will take an interest in the club, will love to be involved making the club more active, and will be a good “idea person” to help you make the club more interesting and successful.
3) Talk to Your School’s Club Commissioner
Even with the best team, you still need approval from the school. The approval process usually involves some sort of form that you must fill out, which is then approved by a person with the title of “Club Commissioner.” If the Club Commissioner gets the wrong idea about your club from what you write on the form, and they did not interpret the information on the form correctly, the club will be rejected.
So take some time to meet with them, tell them about your Club, and get their opinions and advice for the best way to fill out the form.
4) Plan How the Club Will Run
Have a planning meeting (or two) with your Responsible Friends (step 1) and Advisor (step 2), in order to…
- Decide who your club Officers are (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer (those last two roles can be combined if needed).
- Make a list of various club duties and tasks, and which friends will be responsible for a specific duty or task.
- Decide how often you want to meet, and where.
- Decide the best way to communicate as a group (a closed Yahoo Group? a private Facebook group? an email list? by phone? by text message?).
- Come up with some basic rule that will make the club flow smoothly.
- Begin talking about what sort of events you’d like to do, including bringing in outside speakers, taking field trips, etc..
- Begin talking about what sort of fundraising efforts you could do.
5) Talk With Other Club Officers Regularly
Make sure there is a high level of communication between all of your Club’s Officers. Without good communication, you are setting your club up for many problems, e.g., deliveries of fundraiser items are late. Associating with others beforehand makes it easy for an alternative or a solution. Consider whether it’s necessary to have a separate group or email list for just officers to communicate.
6) Get Others to Join
Once the Club is established and approved, all of the work rests in the Club Officers’ hands. Every Officer should make a point to get people to join. Seek out people who have a similar passion about food, the environment, and GMOs (though they don’t have to know about GMOs first… sometimes this is a great education opportunity!)
7) Prepare a Speech
Once you have a fair number of new members, hold a kick-off meeting to officially start your club. During this meeting, it’s important that all of the people in your club understand the motive of your club, its requirements for membership, and the various events and fundraisers being discussed. This will provide a clear view for the club members to be convinced to stay involved and active.
If you are not comfortable giving a speech, consider preparing a flyer with this information, then your speech won’t have to be as detailed, and you can keep it more to a questions and answers format, which your other Officers can join in to answer.
8) Stay Organized
Once a club has started, it may seem like all of the hard parts have passed, but there is still work ahead: the maintenance of the club. If you don’t keep motivated and active as a group, members will begin to leave, and the club will later be rejected and disbanded. This is where the importance of planning step #4 becomes evident.
9) Prepare for Summer Vacation
Check to make sure everyone knows what to do before summer. Once summer vacation starts, communication may slow down. If that happens, it is best to give Officers a specific task to do during the summer… like planning for fundraisers.