Some years back a friend lamented the decline of fraternal orders like the Elks and Eagles. Now their cousins, service clubs, are declining in membership.
Those who cheer for the service clubs point to their roles in community building. Participating in them is seen as training for community leadership and this is becoming lost.
With people of many backgrounds and expertise, these clubs have attacked the falling membership problem with enthusiasm. Nationally, no one has found a solution.
The problem, the link author points to, is that younger people value their time more than older people did at the same age. They work more hours and when not at work they have specific things they want to accomplish. The tradition of uneventful meetings and long group discussions about what to do next does not fit. This generation is more attracted to groups formed around causes, social justice, environment, fitness and so on.
My five young granddaughters have been scheduled to the minute in Jr. and High School then even more so in college. Time is the commodity they seem to cherish most. They want to accomplish certain things. I cannot see how they would find a service club attractive.
I ask one of them why she had left her church after confirmation. She said the church was not going where she was going. Perhaps service clubs and churches are faced with the same social change problem. Young people are going one direction and theses institutions are unable to find a way to get there.