Children and young people increasingly spend much of their leisure time in organised activities through clubs, membership organisations, weekend schools and classes. These may be extra-curricular activities organised by schools or privately.
The range of activities is too great to list but includes sports, music, dance, drama, uniformed groups (e.g. Brownies, Sea Cadets), subject clubs (History, Science) and religious groups.
What does this mean for museums?
Museums can run their own clubs.
- Many museums organise Saturday Clubs and/or Young Archaeologists Clubs for children with a range of activities which use the collections as a starting point. Chertsey Museum organise a Young Friends Club for 6 to 8 year olds and a Young Archaeologists Club for 8 to 16 year olds. The sessions offer fun and practical activities relating to the museum collections and temporary exhibitions. There are also art and craft workshops which follow a seasonal theme .
- More museums are offering clubs or groups for young people too. Find out more on the young people page.
- Some museums have worked with Extended Services or schools to create after school museum clubs.
Museums can support existing clubs as part of audience development:
- A number of the Brownie, Guide, Cub and Scout badges can be done at museums. HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose Trust used Institute of Physics funding to host a “Seeing Stars” night for Brownies doing their star-gazer badge. The easiest to support is the Collector’s Badge.
- Clubs and groups can also be useful for consultation. The Royal Navy Submarine Museum consulted with Brownies and Guides as part of their project to reinterpret HMS Alliance.
- Organised groups are often interested in museum events such as sleepovers. The Historic Dockyard at Chatham books groups in to stay overnight in HMS Cavalier and Dover Museum ran a special events day for Rainbows, Brownies and Guides as part of their temporary exhibition celebrating 100 years of Guiding.
- Groups that don’t traditionally use museums may welcome the chance to perform at a museum. Local Street Dance clubs are often looking out for places to perform.
- Find out about clubs and organisations in your area and sound them out about the possibilities.
- Museum of Farnham case study: Forming and Running a Museum Club (PDF, 586 Kb)
- The Young Archaeologists Club website lists all the YAC branches in the South East. Some are already run by museums, others may welcome a museum involvement.
Museums running clubs include: