So, you’ve got a few students who want to start an environmental club? Great! Here are some tips on how to get a club started and how to keep it going strong.
Focus on your core group of people who show up. Oftentimes, their excitement for the group will naturally recruit others to join in.
Outreach = participation, get the word out! Parents teacher conferences; all-school announcements; school newsletter, newspaper or website; posters; facebook; email lists, etc.
Set agendas for your meetings. Have an agenda and try to stick to it. Consider having a certain structure you follow at every meeting such as: introductions, old business, new business, reports on specific projects, small group time, and closing thoughts.
Consider creating a mission statement. This will help the club to focus on activities that will help achieve your club’s goals and mission. Ask questions such as, “Why did this club form? What do you hope to achieve? Who do you want to reach? What results do you want to see from your efforts?”
Consider more short-term and achievable activities to focus on for your club’s first few projects. You want your club members to feel some immediate satisfaction in accomplishment to get them motivated to work on some longer term goals.
Keep everyone in communication with each other. Try to organize one main form of communication for your members to keep in contact with each other such as a web page on your school’s web site, forming a Google group (google.com), a Facebook page (facebook.com), or use the traditional calling phone system.
Do not hesitate to simply ask for help. Teachers, parents, and local environmental organizations can offer knowledge and leverage to your club.
Walk the talk! Encourage your club members to practice environmentally sound practices in their own daily lives as much as possible. Brainstorm about ideas of what you can do together and at home.