Lions’ University Nurture Future Lions by Sponsoring a Campus Club Like many incoming freshmen at the University of Georgia, Erik Krumins was excited to get involved in campus activities. After growing up with Lions in his family Krumins was ready to be a Lion, but he discovered the Lions weren’t on campus—yet. “I was at an event where all of the clubs were promoting themselves, and I asked about a Lions club. I found out there wasn’t one, so I thought it would be perfect to start one up myself,” says Krumins. Krumins got to work and within a few months the Athens Campus Club was chartered with 45 members. They didn’t do this on their own; their sponsor, the Athens Classic City Lions Club, provided guidance. “The Lions were so helpful in getting us started. It’s great that they’ve been excited to work with us,” says Krumins. Sponsors play a vital role in helping Campus clubs get off the ground and providing ongoing Lion wisdom. By designating a “go-to” Guiding Lion or two, sponsor clubs can ensure easy flow of communication. Athens Classic City Guiding Lion Paulina Bounds enjoys her role: “The most fun part is participating in what the club is doing, from their meetings to events to talking to them about their ideas and helping them problem-solve.” After Lion Paul Baker helped launch a Campus club at the University of Toronto in 2008, he was hooked. Baker explains, “Going to their meetings ignited something inside me and I thought, we need this everywhere.” Now an extension consultant, Baker has helped start a dozen Campus clubs, primarily in Canada. He believes the younger generation has a lot to teach Lions. “They show us a new, faster way of doing things. For instance, before one club was even chartered, a student posted a volunteer recruitment announcement for an event on Facebook. Within an hour 25 volunteers had signed up and they decided to make T-shirts. They’re ‘doers,’ just like Melvin Jones and the other young Lions were in 1917,” says Baker. Lions and Campus Lions develop mutually rewarding partnerships. Lions provide essential assistance, and students infuse spirit and enthusiasm into their sponsor clubs. Says Bounds, “The students’ energy is contagious—it rubs off on us.” That energy may make its way into Lions clubs once students graduate. “Some members have already told me they plan on looking for a Lions club wherever they end up after college,” says Krumins. Both Bounds and Krumins recommend that Lions clubs connect with college students, even if there isn’t a formal Campus club. Baker strongly advocates also focusing on future college students: “I call it the ‘Circle of Lions.’ It all starts with a Leo club. Just about every successful Campus club that I’ve helped launch started with former Leos. And then after college, they’ll seek out Lions clubs or even start their own, bringing in younger members—if we work with them.” –Jennifer Gilbert Gebhardt Did you know? • The Campus club program began in 1999. • Nearly 10,000 students, faculty, staff and community members have been involved in 400 Campus clubs in 54 countries. • LCI offers certification training for Guiding Lions. • The LCI website Member Center has many Campus club resources. • Lions with questions may e-mail: email@example.com.
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