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I'd like to start a chess club at my high school, but I don't know how to go about doing it. Anybody who's got advice on how to do it feel obliged to post it here. I need all the help I can get.
Thanks in advance for all responses,
Well since noone here can know how your school works, it would make much more sense to ask your principal or teacher.
Start by asking the Principal whether you can have the use of school facilities (after classes are over, for example) for your club meetings. Venue is the #1 issue.
Ask the caretaker.
Yes, and ask for an area that you can place chessboards adjacent to each other, aka the cafeteria.
Good for you! I have seen a few clubs organized along different lines lately.
The first step is to get others to help, because it will take more than one committed person. Ideally, you can find a teacher but older students will do. You need at least one other committed person, so that when you cannot be there to organize things then someone else can.
The next step is important: DECIDE WHAT THE SCOPE OF THE CLUB WILL BE. Do this with the other person/people you have found.
For example, are you going to have organized instructional sessions or just play some skittles games with pointers given one-on-one? Are you going to organize unrated informal internal tournaments? Are you going to send a team to your local rated tournaments?
How are you going to get the word out? Can you put it in the school newspaper or announce it on the P.A. system?
Do your members have boards or will you need to order a starter package of boards and pieces (and clocks?). Try chesshouse.com for the school packages, they are cheap and deliver. Will you need to charge for this? How much? Can someone sponsor it, such as a few interested parents of the children?
Once you get a regular meeting place and time, and interested people, the rest will fall into place. However, you should have an idea of how you want it to happen so you can guide it.
I was in the same position a few months ago, and after a few bumps in the start up can endorse everything that Tactickle says. I have a venue, supportive school teachers, a community generous with unused equipment, and enthusiastic kids.
Since it is taking place on their lunch break, and is voluntary, I wanted to keep it fun so as to keep them coming back. Well, they do and now my problem is how to advance things. I have twenty or so kids, age 8-11, who pour in and love to pull out the boards and have a game with a friend. Great! But I can't watch all, or even any to any depth, and the 45 minute session ends without anyone progressing (or so it feels to me).
They all seem to enjoy it, and I'm glad to introduce them to it. But I want to take a smaller group further, and don't have the time to do that and keep the enthusiastic rabble going as well.
Which is a long way of echoing the previous comment: decide what the scope of the club will be.
Since it's a while since your first post (from CmanBst) I'd like to hear how you're getting on.
We've found a sponsor, so it shouldn't be long until we're able to get going. Knock on wood!
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