Today’s international Leo Club program began with a single club at Abington High School in Pennsylvania, USA, organised in 1957 by the Glenside Lions Club. The program has grown to over 7000 Leo clubs in 190 countries around the world.
The first Leo Club in Australia was formed in Ingham in 1968, and there are currently 120 Leo clubs registered in Australia and Papua New Guinea (Lions Multiple District 201).
Who are Leos
Leos are young people who want to make a difference.
Aged between 12 and 30 years, Leos are the youngest members of Lions Clubs International.
They get together to deliver projects that will help to make the world a better place.
- LEOS serve their communities
- LEOS gain experience
- LEOS learn new skills
- LEOS have fun
- LEOS make friends
- LEOS develop teams
- LEOS become leaders
- LEOS seize opportunities
- LEOS build a better future
Each Leo club is sponsored by a local Lions club as a youth development activity.
Leo clubs may be based within a school or in the local community. A member of the sponsoring Lions club is appointed as a Leo Club Advisor, and school-based clubs will often also have a staff member to assist.
Membership is open to young people aged 12 to 30 years, but clubs are designated ‘Alpha’ or ‘Omega’.
Alpha Leos are 12-18 years old.
Alpha clubs focus on the individual and social development of teens.
“It’s a lot of fun … and we’re making a difference in our community.”
Omega Leos are 18-30 years old.
Omega clubs focus on the personal and professional development of young adults.
“During my time as a Leo, we’ve taken our ideas and turned them into reality. People respect that.”
NOTE: In Australia, some Omega community-based clubs may have a broader age range. Special arrangements are made to cater for the combination of older and younger members in these clubs.
School-based Leo 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 organisations and activities. A faculty advisor (member of the school staff) usually oversees the operation of the Leo club and works closely with the Leo Advisor.
Community-based Leo clubs
Leo clubs can be formed in any community from the smallest regional centre to the largest city. It only needs a group of young people who want to help their community, make new friends and learn new skills, and a Lions club willing to sponsor and support them. Community Leo clubs may be in the Alpha or Omega age range.
Leos & Lions
The success of a Leo club depends on a good relationship with its sponsoring Lions club.
The Lions’ role is to offer support and guidance, while the Leos are responsible for planning and implementing their own activities, financing their projects and maintaining the smooth operation of their club. Leos have their own club officers and constitution.
Beyond the club, Leos are part of a global organisation and have opportunities to connect with other young people through club twinning, youth exchange, youth camps, forums and conventions.
Lions clubs benefit through their association with Leos who bring youthful vitality, new ideas and lots of fun into the club projects. Enjoyable shared experiences may encourage Leos to transition into Lions membership when the time is right.
Forming a new Leo club
What Leos do
Leo Club Purposes:
1. to promote service activities among the youth of the community to develop the individual qualities of LEADERSHIP, EXPERIENCE AND OPPORTUNITY
2. to unite its members in friendship, fellowship and mutual understanding
Serving the community
Since the first Leo club was formed in Pennsylvania USA in 1957, Leos have been making a difference in their local and global communities.
Leo clubs have the freedom to determine their own project goals, in line with their community’s needs and their club’s priorities. The possibilities are endless, but some typical Leo projects include:
- protecting the environment through clean-ups and tree planting
- helping the elderly or disabled in the community
- volunteering at school or community events
- assisting children in need
- raising funds for medical research or equipment
- sending care packages overseas or volunteering abroad
- working with the sponsoring Lions club
- supporting any worthwhile cause they choose
See more Leo projects on the Leos Facebook page.
Leos conduct their own meetings so learn how to run a club effectively. They are able to use their initiative and creativity, organise projects, work as a team and develop leadership skills in a cooperative and friendly environment.
Leos also have the opportunity to participate in District, State, National and International camps and conventions where they can meet and socialise with other like-minded people, share ideas and broaden their impact.
“I love going to conventions to spend time with my Leo and Lions friends. We have so much fun together and I always come back with lots of ideas and enthusiasm to take our club forward.”
Whether it’s a meeting, a project or a social outing, you can be sure that Leos will be having fun! Isn’t everything better when it’s done with a smile and a laugh with friends? Some Leos may even tell you that LEO stands for ‘Let’s Enjoy Ourselves’.