Thinking about starting a club? It’s a great way to meet people with similar interests, do an activity you enjoy, learn more about an activity you're interested in, and gain leadership experience for your college application! But what are good clubs to start in high school? In this article, I’ll give you a list of dozens of clubs you can start!
Why Would You Want to Start a Club?
There are many good reasons to want to start a club. I mentioned some reasons above such as meeting new people, doing an activity you enjoy, and gaining leadership experience.
However, another reason you may want to start a club is if you have no opportunity at your school to pursue an interest you have. For example, you may have a passion for film, but your school may not offer any film classes or have any film clubs. If that's the case, start a film club to pursue that passion!
Even if your school has a class or club in your general area of interest, maybe you want to focus your attention on a more specific topic. For example, perhaps your school offers an art course, but you're passionate about sculpture specifically; consider starting a sculpture club.
List of Clubs to Start at Your High School
Now that you know why you should start a club, what are some potential club ideas? I’ve sorted the clubs into ten main categories: 8 subject area clubs, hobby clubs, and charity clubs.
- Subject area clubs are clubs that come from an interest in a subject area taught in school. I've identified eight subject area club categories: Art, Drama, Film, Science, Math, Literature, History, and Language.
- Hobby clubs are clubs that stem from an interest in a hobby that most likely wouldn’t be taught in high school (such as chess, anime, video games, and skiing).
- Charity clubs are clubs that are linked to a specific charity with the goal of raising awareness, working for that charity, or raising money for that charity (such as Operation Smile, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer, and Becca’s Closet)
NOTE: The category a particular club has been placed into is not important. I simply created these categories to organize this list. No one category is better than another. It’s best to create a club you’re passionate about no matter the category.
Below, I'll give you club name ideas along with a few ideas for activities the club could do. When you start your club, you don't have to do all of these activities. You may want to do the simpler, smaller activities first before trying to plan one of the bigger activities (such as an international trip).
Art Club Ideas
Analyze famous sculptures, work on your own sculptures, get feedback on your work from other club members, plan a trip to a local museum, plan a spring break trip to Florence, Italy to view sculptures in person.
Analyze famous photographs, take group trips to picturesque spots to snap some photos, create a dark room where you develop photos.
Art History Club
Members can present one of their favorite pieces of art for the club to discuss, visit local museums, plan a club spring break trip to Paris to view art in person at the Louvre.
Art Review Magazine
Start a magazine, review famous pieces of art, hold contests for student artwork to be published in the magazine, write reviews of local art shows.
Drama Club Ideas
Each semester read a different Shakespeare play and put on a production of that play, plan a club spring break trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, hold a Shakespeare festival, host a contest for the best Shakespearean monologue or a writing contest for a Shakespearean sonnet.
Each semester read and perform a new classics play, plan a club spring break trip to Italy and Greece to see where Classical writers lived.
Help students find classical and modern monologues they like, each week have students perform their monologue in front of the group, give them feedback and ideas on how to improve the monologue performance, perform all the monologues once per semester.
If you’re hoping to attend a college for acting, you’ll be getting great practice, since you have to perform a monologue as a part of your school audition.
Comedy Sportz Club
Host competitive improv games, split up into teams, bring in judges who will score each team (similar to Whose Line Is It Anyway).
Teach club members improv (either by hiring an improv teacher or by reading a book like the Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual), play improv games, put on improv performances once per semester.
Film Club Ideas
Foreign Film Club
Watch a new foreign film at each meeting and discuss it, host a foreign film festival, encourage club members to create their own short foreign films, plan a club summer break trip to the Cannes film festival.
Read a famous screenplay every week, analyze why the screenplay was a success or failure, read a book about screenwriting (such as Save the Cat), have each member pitch loglines and develop outlines for a screenplay, give them feedback, then read the screenplay drafts to the club at the end of the year and host a staged table reading of each member’s screenplay.
Watch and analyze the works of famous directors (Hitchcock, Fellini, Spielberg, etc.), hold a film festival for student’s short films, host a movie marathon fundraiser for charity.
48-Hour Film Festival Club
Organize a 48-hour film festival (over a weekend or school break) where teams are given a topic for a short film and then have 48 hours to write, shoot, and edit the film. Screen the short films at a festival.
Science Club Ideas
Future Scientists Club
Bring in scientists to discuss their profession, plan a club trip to a local lab, discuss the latest scientific research at meetings, plan science fair projects, get feedback from other members on your science fair project.
Marine Biology Club
Bring in marine biologists to discuss their profession, watch videos about interesting sea creatures, plan a club trip to a marine biology center, set up a volunteer beach clean-up (if you live near a beach), hold a letter writing campaign or get signatures for the Save the Whales Foundation.
Future Medical Professionals Club
Bring in doctors and nurses to discuss their professions, plan club volunteer activities at a hospital, set up job shadowing with a hospital for club members, host a toy drive for your local children’s hospital.
Math Club Ideas
Math Homework Club
Host a free tutoring service for students who need math help, volunteer at middle schools to help kids with their math homework.
Hold contests for who can memorize the most digits of Pi, hold a Pi day lecture on the concept of pi, hold a Pi day bake sale where you sell pies for charity.
Literature Club Ideas
Literature Magazine Club
Start a literature magazine, write reviews of newly published books, hold a contest to publish a student’s short story.
Creative Writing Club
Members can present a piece of creative writing they wrote or enjoyed reading, give feedback and advice on other members' writing, publish the best creative works in a magazine at the end of the year.
Assign a book each month for the club to read, meet and discuss that book the following month, hold a book donation drive for the local homeless shelter.
Foreign Book Club
Enjoy reading books in translation? Consider starting a book club where each month the club reads a different translated book (try to read a book from a new country or continent each month), meet and discuss that book the following month.
History Club Ideas
Discuss different aspects of WWII each week, bring in a WWII veteran to discuss their experience or a WWII historian to discuss their knowledge, plan a club spring break trip to Normandy, Paris, and Berlin to visit important WWII sites, host a WWII trivia contest where teams compete to see who has the most WWII knowledge.
Ancient History Club
Discuss different ancient cultures at each meeting, bring in an Ancient History specialist to discuss their knowledge, plan a club spring break trip to Egypt, Rome, or Greece, host an ancient civilizations costume contest for Halloween.
Language Club Ideas
French/Spanish/Chinese/Foreign Language Club
Speak only in that foreign language at club meetings, host traditional cultural events for (i.e. Chinese New Year Party), offer free tutoring to students who need help with that foreign language, plan a club trip to a country that speaks that foreign language, read a book written in that language each semester.
French/Spanish/Chinese/Foreign Cooking Club
Speak only in that foreign language at club meetings, learn to cook a new dish from that culture, host dinner parties or trips to restaurants.
Hobby Club Ideas
Learn to speak some Japanese, read anime and discuss it as a group, watch anime tv shows and movies, plan a club trip to an anime convention.
Host a chess competition between members, bring in chess masters to discuss chess strategy, watch famous chess movies and documentaries.
Video Games Club
Host a video game competition, discuss the evolution of video game technology, bring in a person who works at a video game company to discuss possible careers in the video game world.
Plan a club trip to go skiing, watch skiing competitions together, bring in a professional skier to learn about their experiences.
Discuss new political events, volunteer for a campaign, host a public viewing of a political debate, plan a political rally, gather signatures of support for a bill.
Start a magazine to analyze campaigns, discuss important bills and political issues, interview local politicians.
Start a club where people from different religious backgrounds can discuss their similarities and differences, each week a different person can present information they think other members may not know about their religion, bring in religious leaders (Imams, priests, rabbis, etc.) to discuss their jobs.
Plan weekly or monthly outdoor activities (hiking, biking, camping, fishing, etc.), plan a club spring break camping trip to a National Park, volunteer to plant trees in a local park, bring in a conservationist to discuss their job.
Charity Club Ideas
Operation Smile Club
Host fundraisers to raise money for Operation Smile to provide free surgeries to children with a cleft lip, organize a walk to raise awareness for cleft lips, bring in (or Skype with) a child who received help from Operation Smile to talk about how the surgery changed their life.
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Club
Help plan a walk to cure breast cancer in your area, host a school-wide fundraiser, bring breast cancer survivors in to talk about their experiences.
Children’s Hospital Volunteer Club
Organize volunteer opportunities at a local children’s hospital, host a book donation drive to collect books to donate to the children’s hospital, host a bake sale to raise money to donate to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Soup Kitchen Volunteer Club
Organize volunteer opportunities for club members at a local soup kitchen, host a toiletry collection drive to donate to your local homeless shelter, host a food collection drive to donate to the soup kitchen.
Save Endangered Species Club
Organize volunteer opportunities for club members at local animal shelters, host a fundraiser to donate money to the WWF, visit a wildlife rescue center, plan a club spring break trip to see endangered species in another country.
Top 3 Tips for Starting a Club
Now that you have some ideas for clubs to start in high school, how do you go about actually getting one up and running? I’m going to give you my top three tips for starting a club, but for a more details, including recommendations on brainstorming a club idea, registering the club with your school, running meetings, and more, check out our full explanation of how to start a club.
Tip #1: Starting a club is a lot of work, so make sure you have the time and effort to dedicate to it!
When you start a club, you’re not only going to have the duties of President of that club (organizing meetings, delegating tasks, etc.), but you’re also going to be responsible for developing the club. You’ll need to figure out the rules and purpose of the club, recruit members, plan events, etc. You need to put in a lot of work to start an effective club that will continue running after you graduate.
Tip #2: Start a club that you’re passionate about!
If you’re going to be spending all of this time starting a club, make sure it focuses on something you enjoy! You need to be excited about the club in order to convince other people to join. If you don’t like your club, why would other people join?
How can you decide what type of club you would be passionate about? First, think about what you enjoy doing. What is your favorite class? What are your hobbies? Do you have a new skill you'd like to explore further? Is there a topic you'd like to learn more about? Is there a cause you care about? It's likely that one or more of your answers can be developed into a club.
Tip #3: Follow through on your club!
Make sure to register your club with the school. Next, plan the first meeting, and post fliers with the meeting date around your school to spread the word about your club. At your first meeting, discuss the purpose of the club, what major events you’d like to plan, and then hold an election for board members (president, treasurer, secretary, vice president). You're now well on your way to running a successful and interesting new club!
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As an SAT/ACT tutor, Dora has guided many students to test prep success. She loves watching students succeed and is committed to helping you get there. Dora received a full-tuition merit based scholarship to University of Southern California. She graduated magna cum laude and scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. She is also passionate about acting, writing, and photography.