Starting a LEGO Users Group for teens

by admin on February 20, 2014

in Community News

(Written by Lorca)

If you are any type of FOL (Fan-of-LEGO), whether casual, adult, or teen, chances are you have had a desire to meet other LEGO aficionados like you. If you live in an area with many FOLs, all you have to do is perform a quick search online and join any one of the LUGs (LEGO User Groups) in your area. However if you happen to live in an area where fellow LEGO fans live in closed pockets and a gathering of them is hard to come by, the only choice you have is to start your own group. And that was exactly my predicament, so I thought to share with you what I did as it may help you in a similar situation. 🙂

LEGO User Group Welcome

I drafted the concept for my own LEGO group after I attended a very small LEGO club meeting for homeschoolers called the “Homeschool LEGO Club”. There were only four members, including me. I had been particularly disgruntled at the unfair, self-centered LEGO trading conduct of the head of the club. That night I researched the possibility of another LEGO club in my area, but the nearest was Indy-LUG two hours away, and it is exclusively for ages 18 and over. So the only option I have left is to forge my own LEGO club, and thus LEABI was born (which stands for LEGO Enthusiasts Association of Bloomington Indiana).

LEGO User Group for Teens

I wrote a set of LEGO trading and conduct bylaws (set up for an array of possible trading catastrophes) and also wrote the following guidelines for all potential members:

  1. You must be a mature 12-18 years old. Mature, because the bylaws are for emergency use only. 12-18 is because a problem that plagued the other LEGO club was the fact that it had started to become a toddler playground, with many 7-year-olds gallivanting about the room.
  2. Have an above mild interest in LEGO. This is not meant to discourage new LEGO fans, but to keep membership to those who have a real interest in the hobby, and not just have a couple of LEGO sets they never use.
  3. Have a sizable amount of genuine LEGO. No TFOMBs (Teenage-Fans-of-MegaBloks) please, if that actually exists… 🙄

After writing these rules, I sketched outlines for the LEABI website on paper. The next day I used a website-builder called Moonfruit to put my site design in digital form. I then created a registration form with questions such as “Why do you like LEGO?” and “Why do you want to join LEABI?”. These questions help gauge potential members’ “TFOL-ness”.

After taking the LEABI website online, I made a template for my fliers, which I would hang in various places throughout Monroe County (where I live). A week later I printed copies of the fliers and hung them around well-traveled public areas, the grocery stores, and between the pages of all the LEGO books at my library.

When LEABI has at least five members, LEABI will meet at the Monroe County Public Library once a month. Activities will include showing MOCs (My Own Creations), trading, and discussing LEGO related subjects. We will also trade LEGO, although participating in trading is completely optional. In the future LEABI could also take field-trips to LEGO conventions, LEGO stores, and other LEGO-related destinations.

I hope this article helped you a bit to know what you could do if you don’t have a LEGO club in your area. And if you live in Indiana, you are a TFOL (Teen-Fan-of-LEGO), and would like to join LEABI, please visit the LEABI website and get in touch! If you have any questions about running a club or about joining LEABI, feel free to ask in the comment section below. Thanks for reading! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Purple Ninja Girl of Power intersting February 20, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Interesting. I wish I could do that in my area if I wasn’t so booked 24/7.

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legodude19 February 20, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Cool. I’d like to do something like that also, I just don’t have the time really.

Just curious, how well is that working out for you? Have you gotten many responses? I hope your club makes it!

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Lorca Strand February 21, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Quite well. So far, I’ve only had one member join. I will definitely receive more when the weather clears and I blind the public with LEABI fliers.

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~EliteBrick~ February 20, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Nice idea for making your own LUG it sounds really fun and enjoyable.

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LK901 February 20, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Nice. I wish I had a LUG near me…. 😛
If anyway is setting up there own LUG and want a website, feel free to ask to me to code a HTML/CSS website.

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Chris July 10, 2015 at 1:59 PM

I am and could use some help. I will start the website in the summer of 2016. If you could give me your email we can start together. I’m planning to make an online lug for tfols.

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LWC guy February 20, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Really cool idea! When I was eleven me and a friend made a Lego club. We did much the same thing as you, traded parts and showed off our MOCs. We also had a competition theme for every meeting and we would vote on each other’s entires.

We tried to encourage all ten or so members onto the online community, and half of them did join MOCpages eventually. But as we got more involved online the club kind of flopped :/ It was good fun for the two years it lasted though!

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Ryan February 20, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Hey admin can I join?

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admin February 20, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Well, you will have to live near Lorca and ask him, it is his club. 😉

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Lorca Strand February 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Do you live in reasonable driving distance from Bloomington? If you do, then I would be more than happy for you to join!

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DX ZX KENDO NRG PWR JAY-MOUTH OF LIGHTNING (Seriously i have a mouth of lightning) :) February 20, 2014 at 4:54 PM

THATS SO COOL! I would love to do that but I don’t think there is a group near where I live…

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BLProductions February 20, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Interesting! I could not start a Lego club in my town, because my brothers and I are pretty much the only Lego fans in the area. Or so I thought…
Today we went to Walmart and Target looking for some new sets, and both stores were almost entirely sold out! At Target I did find TLM series collectible minifigs, though, and I found Abe Lincoln, but my mom didn’t give us enough time (such a Lego-hater) so we couldn’t buy anything. 😡
So there is no way I could do this. Wish i could though 🙁 . Sounds so fun.

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LK901 February 21, 2014 at 5:33 AM

I’m in a similar position :P…… Except there are no LEGO fans within 2 hours drive and boat journey too me (except for maybe two or three…….)
Maybe I’ll set up a LEGO website.

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admin February 21, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Actually, setting up a website that is specifically for TFOLs in your area is not a bad idea at all. You could incorporate picture sharing, live chatting, even video-conferencing, so you could hold meetings that are almost like a real one. 🙂

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LK901 February 23, 2014 at 6:43 AM

I’m considering doing something along those lines.
Do you know of any good cheap hosting companies (less than 70$ a year)?

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admin February 23, 2014 at 9:31 AM

There are tons of them. In fact, most companies offer their cheapest plan between $3-5 per month, so there are plenty to choose from. Mine is Arvixe.com, but there is also BlueHost, HostGator, WebHostingBuzz, etc.

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LK901 February 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Thanks!
I have a website (I use it more for testing PHP than anything else), but my father handles the hosting. I’ll have to look into some cheap hosting plans.

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admin February 23, 2014 at 10:30 AM

You could actually ask your Dad if he can host another webstie for you. Most plans, even the cheap ones, come with unlimited websites, so if he has other websites already it won’t cost him any more.

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ninja of stealth February 21, 2014 at 12:41 PM

your moms a LEGO hater? maybe she was just having a bad day. speaking of moms, I think my mom grew up having LEGO bricks! but anyhow, I don’t think there is a club like that around here and there’s not very many kids my age in my neighborhood so, yeah, that’s stinky.

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~Brick February 20, 2014 at 8:54 PM

I would love to start my own LUG, but 2 things stand in my way; I’m not a TFOL, and the LEGO fans in my area are spread far and few.

Still, a very inspiring article!

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Lorca Strand February 21, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Just so you know, emoticons courtesy of Anna.

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Rich January 19, 2016 at 7:34 PM

If I may, how was your club doing now? I am planning on starting one in my area but want to double and triple check that I’m not overlapping another club. Do you have any suggestions for how to find out if there is another thriving club near me.

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admin January 20, 2016 at 9:16 PM

Rich, you can check at the following map if there is a LUG near you: https://lan.lego.com/lugs. Keep in mind that these are LUGs recognized by LEGO. There may be other, smaller, unofficial LUGs or clubs in your area as well. In addition to the LUG map, if there is a LEGO store near you, you can inquire there as well if they know of any LUGs in the area.

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Rich January 26, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Much appreciate it!

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Ethan July 14, 2019 at 7:40 PM

Is this club still active?

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Ethan July 14, 2019 at 7:47 PM

If so, I may be interested.

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admin July 14, 2019 at 9:22 PM

Ethan, I don’t think so. This article was written by Lorca years ago, and the website is no longer active.

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