Advising a large Builders Club of 50-150 members brings specific opportunities and challenges. A sizable membership can translate to many service projects that fill significant school and community needs. It also offers challenges specific to managing many students — keeping them interested during large meetings, giving all members meaningful tasks and handling logistics for off-campus and on-campus service projects.  

Consider these tips for running a large club: 

  • If it’s possible, break the club into subgroups and hold several meetings throughout the week or month so members get to know one another and the ratio of advisors and officers to members is lower.  
  • If possible, use a permanent and accessible (supervised) meeting space where members can hang out during lunch or recess periods to work on club projects.  
  • Identify a large space (perhaps a gym or courtyard) where your club can conduct large-group icebreakers to get members out of their seats and working together. 
  • Ask for help! Request that the club’s Kiwanis advisor and other Kiwanis volunteers assist regularly with activities. Ask parents and guardians to help, too. Make sure adult volunteers complete a Kiwanis background check and meet other Kiwanis Youth Protection policies to serve as a club chaperone. 
  • Create and use committees to separate the large group into small teams. Engage as many members as possible to use their talents on tasks they like. Be flexible about forming committees throughout the year as needed. For example, have committees for beginning-of-year tasks (like member recruitment), ongoing work (like marketing) and end-of-the year tasks (like submissions for awards and contests). 
  • Create as many leadership positions as possible. Some clubs have co-officers (such as co-presidents or co-treasurers), a sergeant at arms and co-committee chairs. This breaks up responsibilities for handling many tasks for busy students and provides more leaders to guide and work with members. 
  • Train officers and committee chairs in meeting facilitation, project planning and running a day-of-service event. If your leaders are trained, they will feel more confident and be prepared to lead. Members are more engaged and interested when their peers lead activities.   
  • Create on-campus service projects so students who are unable to attend off-campus activities can participate fully in service.