Leo clubs are an official activity of Lions Clubs International that encourages young men and women to serve others in their community and around the world.
- Leo clubs are sponsored by local lions clubs and may be either school-affiliated or community based.
- Leo club activities include regular meetings, service projects & social functions.
- The Leo motto – Leadership, Experience, Opportunity – is fulfilled as members work together in response to the needs of others.
What’s in it for me?
- Leadership Experience
- Teamwork & Social Skills
- Self Esteem
- Problem Solving & Decision Making Skills
- Career Possibilities
What’s In it for the Community?
- Creates Awareness of Community Needs
- Helps Improve community and youth relationships
- Enhances community development
- Improves quality of life for recipients and givers
- Opportunity for youth to volunteer service
Typical Leos Projects
Typical Leo projects include Hearing, Environment, Citizenship, Drug Awareness, Public Service, Youth Welfare, Youth Exchange, Health, School Support, Save Sight and Spotlight on Children.
Who Benefits from Leo Clubs?
- Participation in Leo activities and projects helps young people prepare for the future by developing leadership, organizational and social skills. Members experience increased self-esteem and personal growth as they meet challenges and accept responsibilities.
- By volunteering their time and talents for the benefit of others, Leos learn firsthand the value and rewards of service. Leo club involvement can start young men and women on a lifetime of helping others.
The Sponsoring Lions Club:
- By sharing in service activities, a Leo club can increase a Lions club’s effectiveness in helping others. Leo projects within the community also contribute to a Lions club’s visibility and good reputation. Working with young people can help Lions club members experience renewed interest and enthusiasm for projects and activities. If Leos are sons or daughters of Lions, club involvement becomes a “family affair”.
Who Can Be a Leo?
Leo club membership is open to young men and women between the ages of 12 and 28. Membership is divided into two groups, the school based Leos are generally between the ages of 12 and 17 whereas the community based clubs have members ages 18-28. Young people of high moral standards who wish to serve others are eligible to become Leos. School administrators, Lions, friends of Lions and community leaders can provide names of potential members. Candidates may also be recruited through public announcements.
What is the Leo-Lion Relationship?
The success of a Leo club depends on a close partnership with its sponsoring Lions club. The Lions’ role is to offer support, guidance and counsel while the Leos are responsible for planning and implementing their own activities, financing their projects and maintaining the smooth operation of the club. Leos have their own club officers and constitution.
The Leo club advisor (a member of the sponsoring Lions club) serves as the chief liaison between the Leo and Lions clubs. Duties of the advisor include offering constructive suggestions to the Leos, reporting on their activities to the Lions club and promoting a cooperative relationship between the two clubs.
The Privileges of Leo Membership?
As a sponsored activity of a Lions club, Leo clubs are entitled to many services and benefits offered by Lions Clubs International. Information and club materials include new member kits, guides for service activities, leadership aids, ideas for fundraising, club supplies and international newsletters. Leos can participate in the annual Lions Clubs International Convention, attending their own functions. Leos are also entitled to receive official awards and recognition for their achievements.
Because of the international scope of Leo clubs, members enjoy the global identity of a worldwide organization. International programs such as club twinning, youth exchange and youth camps enable Leos to connect with and learn from other young people around the world.
What About School-Based Clubs?
Leo clubs can be formed in state or private schools. The supervision by the sponsoring Lions club is exercised in full cooperation with the school authorities. The Leo club is subject to the regulations and policies established for all student organizations and activities. A faculty advisor, usually a member of the school’s staff or administration, serves as a liaison between the school and Leo club. The faculty advisor also works closely with the Leo club advisor.
How Do We Begin?
If Lions club members are interested in sponsoring a Leo club, visit the Resources page for handbooks and information on how to run a Leo Club.
When you join Leos you become a member of a worldwide organisation with more than 5500 Leo Clubs and a membership in excess of 140,000 operating under the sponsorship of Lions Clubs in 138 nations.
In Australia and Papua New Guinea there are currently over 1400 Leos who are members of 68 Leo clubs. These Leo Clubs have proud records of Achievement in all areas of service to their local communities. All of our clubs provide ample opportunity for their members to learn and to be involved.
How Much Time will it take?
Your involvement in Leos depends on the amount of spare time you can afford.
Leo Club Objects
- To provide the youth of the world an opportunity for development and contribution, individually and collectively as responsible members of the local, national and international community.
- To stimulate among it’s members acceptance of high ethical standards.
- To develop leadership
- To provide experience through service to the community
- To provide an opportunity to promote international understanding.
Participation in the Leo Club Program enhances the lives of young people. As active community members, Leos learn the true meaning of the Leo club motto – leadership, experience and opportunity.
- Leadership – Leos develop skills as organizers, time managers, and motivators of their peers.
- Experience – Leos learn the importance of cooperation through the performance of community service.
- Opportunity – Membership in a Leo club provides young people with a chance to excel, to develop character traits, and to receive recognition for their contributions to the community.
To Join a Leos Club, is by Invitation. If you are interested in joining a Leos Club please fill in our form on the Lions Australia Join Lions page. The form goes to our National Office and is then forwarded on to a District or Lions Club in your area.
Spotlight on Children
Spotlight on Children is the international project for Leo Clubs, providing Leos with ways to help children, such as collecting food and clothes for children in need, repairing a playground, implementing an after-school tutoring program, visiting children in a hospital or fundraising for immunization programs. More details are in the brochure available on our Reources page.
Leo Club Twinning
Several Leo clubs around the world are interested in forming a relationship with a club in another country. This is known as club twinning. Contact a club directly using the details on our Leo Twinning page.
The first Leo club in Australia was formed at Ingham in 1968. There are now 72 Leo clubs in Australia with over 62 school-based clubs. The Leo Program has grown to include more than 144,000 Leos in over 139 countries.
Forty-one years ago, Coach Jim Graver started the Leo ball rolling. Chances are, that ball was a baseball. Back in 1957, Graver was the coach of the Abington High School, Pennsylvania, USA, baseball team. Graver was also an active member of the Glenside, Pennsylvania, Lions Club. With fellow Lion, William Ernst, Graver talked about starting a service club for high school boys. “The Kiwanians had their Key Clubs and the Rotarians had their Wheel Club (since changed to Interact Clubs),” Ernst is quoted as saying in an October 7, 1976 newspaper article in The Evening Bulletin.
So they asked their fellow Lions for support. Without hesitation, the Glenside Lions agreed that a Lions youth group was a good idea. Graver and Ernst set to work. ”We needed a nucleus, a group of kids to start with,” stated Ernst. “So we got Jim’s son to come to the first meeting with his whole baseball team.” Nine sophomore, junior and senior boys joined the group of 26 baseball players. Together, the 35 teens formed a club. On December 5, 1957, the Glenside Lions presented a charter to the Abington High School Leo Club.
As the world’s first Leo club, the group created the Leo acronym – Leadership, Equality, Opportunity (Equality was later changed to Experience.) And, the group chose maroon and gold – their school colors – to serve as the Leo club colors. Other Lions clubs soon began organizing youth service clubs and in 1967, Leo clubs were adopted as an official program of Lions Clubs International.