Lions Clubs International Centennial Celebration - 240M People Benefited  |   Centennial Merchandise
Jump to Main Content
Lions 100 Lions 100
Jump to Footer

Lions on Campus

Wing-Kun Tam, Lions Club International President from 2011-12, visits students at the University of Georgia during a Campus Lions Club ceremony, November, 2011.

Wing-Kun Tam, Lions Club International President from 2011-12, visits students at the University of Georgia during a Campus Lions Club ceremony, November, 2011.

Lions on Campus

section

Touchstone Story #53

“We wanted something more.”

That’s how Kjerstin Owren Myre and Hans Holand explain the origins of Lions Club Bergen Student, a campus club at the University of Bergen in Norway.

Students at the University of Bergen were active in debate clubs, student organizations and other groups, but nothing was providing the challenge, or the foundation, that allowed them to learn, grow and lead.

“We wanted an experience that combines the fun of being a student with professional organization work and leadership development . . . to explore our passion about humanitarian work,” the pair said, “the opportunity to initiate projects and manage them with other high-potential students.”

So what happened?

“We discovered Lions. Since then, we haven’t looked back.”

Campus Lions Clubs around the world operate like traditional clubs, but they’re located on college or university campuses. Membership is mostly for students but can include university staff and faculty. There are more than 500 campus clubs with 13,000 members around the world, with the first campus club chartered in 1999.

Lions Club Bergen Student has organized Aid in Meeting (AIM), a cultural exchange and aid program that sends students to Uganda and Zambia, sometimes to rural areas that lack electricity, to work with other charitable or humanitarian organizations in support of local communities there. Lions drawn to AIM are self-starters and future leaders, and Lions Club Bergen Student has become a resource for students who want to broaden their horizons and take on humanitarian work but don’t yet have much experience.

“Our job is to identify their individual motivation and passion,” said Myre and Holland, “and to direct the sum of individual passion and motivation toward the club’s common goal: helping people in need, locally, nationally and internationally.”

Taking on responsibility and leadership—serving their friends and neighbors—builds leadership skills and strengthens responsibility for members of campus clubs. Campus clubs regularly offer “alternative spring breaks,” sending students to build houses as volunteers for Habitat for Humanity instead of partying on the beach during a weeklong vacation from college classes.

Campus clubs work locally, as well. The Sam Houston State University Lions Club of Texas has, for going on five years, adopted a two-mile stretch of Highway 75 outside of Huntsville, Texas. Twice a semester, the Lions clean the roadside, often collecting more than a dozen bags of trash that can be taken to recycling centers. The Sam Houston State Lions also work with their sponsoring club, the Huntsville Lions, on an annual Christmas parade and other charity events.

Campus clubs introduce younger members to service with the Lions and create opportunities for those campus Lions to join another Lions club when they graduate and relocate.

Wing-Kun Tam, Lions Club International President from 2011-12, attended the charter ceremony for the University of Georgia Campus Lions Club in 2012. “I believe engaging young people can bring energy into our clubs and provide new insights,” he said. “To ensure the future, we must give young people the opportunity to lead.”

Lions Clubs Norway sponsors a delegation of students from Bergen and Trondheim who are participating in Lions Club Bergen Student’s Aid in Meeting (AIM) program in Uganda and Zambia, 2015.

Lions Clubs Norway sponsors a delegation of students from Bergen and Trondheim who are participating in Lions Club Bergen Student’s Aid in Meeting (AIM) program in Uganda and Zambia, 2015.

section

Jump to Top