For advisors, a club’s size matters when determining how to engage members, develop leadership, manage meetings and carry out service projects. For example, the K-Kids of Berlin — a community-based club in Berlin, New Hampshire, U.S. — has 12 active members. Renee Stewart, a K-Kids faculty advisor for 12 years, says she likes a club with less than 15 members because students become very involved.  

The Berlin club meets twice a month in the evenings and on other days as needed for projects.  

“We have an excellent attendance rate even with most of our members being involved with sports or other activities,” Stewart says. She feels that when the club was larger — sometimes up to 24 members— it was more challenging.  

A former K-Kids parent herself, Stewart understands how big a role adults can play. The Berlin club has two adult helpers and a Kiwanis advisor. Parents and a local Key Club help when the K-Kids club has a larger service project, such as building a parade float or picking up roadside trash. 

For Stewart, one tip for keeping a healthy, safe adult-to-youth ratio is to use a wait list for younger kids who want to join. 

Member recruitment often comes by word of mouth, through a club Facebook page and by referral from parents and school staff. Stewart says many new members join because current members invite a friend to attend a meeting. One club helper is her husband, a school bus driver — a role that she says is instrumental in recruiting members, particularly for a community-based club.  

Having officers is a challenge in running a small club. With such a large differential among students’ ages, Stewart finds it “tough to have proficient officers, as they truly are the ones to run the meeting.” Stewart often has an officer position filled by the same member for more than one year. “This does give me an opportunity to teach ‘Robert’s Rules’ for meetings, and other meeting etiquette,” she says.  

 The K-Kids of Berlin also has smaller committees for projects. “I remind the kids that everyone can participate in all the activities,” Stewart says, “but smaller groups for decision-making is best.”