I've joined clubs ever since I was a kid growing up just west of downtown Omaha.
The first club I vaguely remember being a part of was a Smokey Bear Jr. Firefighters Club (or something to that effect). I gained admittance to that prestigious organization because I faithfully stamped out my parents cigarette butts when they tossed them on the ground. (Please remember that this was in an era where that was perfectly acceptable behavior.)
After that, I joined the Banana Splits Fan Club. Yeah, I was just that cool. Then I did a 3 year tour of duty in the Cub Scouts. I earned a bunch of pins and even learned my very first magic trick as a scout.
Once I hit High School, my club membership got a little bit more serious. I joined the debate team and became a member of the National Forensics League. I also joined Junior Achievement for three years. For some reason, I didn't belong to any clubs or groups in college. Maybe I was too busy working and studying.
When I got into magic, my affiliation with organizations really took off. My first magic club was the Omaha Magical Society. Shortly after that I joined the Society of American Magicians. I also became a member of the Lincoln Magic Club and I helped to start the Omaha Assembly of the Society of Young Magicians (Assembly Y144).
Once I became the Midwest Regional Vice President for the Society of American Magicians, my fate was sealed. After serving the maximum term of 3 years as RVP, I took a year off before running for National 2nd Vice President. This year I'm running for National 1st Vice President. In 2015 I will run for President-elect and then, if all goes well, I will become President of the Society of American Magicians in the summer of 2016.
The concept of being the President of the world's oldest and most prestigious magical organization is still a bit surreal to me. It's a long way from getting a plastic badge for stomping out your parent's cigarette butts.