I first went to a meeting of bird watchers when I lived in Virginia. It was a relatively large group (20 - 30) people. There I found people who shared my passion for birds--I could rhapsodize about a bird with people who actually understood. Most importantly, there were people who knew a lot more than me. I went on trips with them, and they helped me improve my identification skills. They showed me the good places to see birds. I had my first experience with bird banding. Birders generally are very helpful to amateurs, remembering that we have all been (and many remain) novices.
When I moved to Wichita Falls, I started looking for a bird club, worried there wouldn't be one in a smaller town. Wichita Falls does have its bird club, the North Texas Bird and Wildlife Club. This club is not exclusively birds, but that is the primary topic of discussion at meetings. The club is very small, which is unfortunate. All of the same good things happen here. People are friendly and helpful, regardless of experience. The members rotate preparing programs for the meetings and bringing snacks. Friendly people, interesting information, and food--what more could a person want in an organization?
I know we would love to have more people visit and take part. Meetings are the third Tuesday of each month at 7PM at the NALC building on Southwest Parkway (next door to Wichita Valley Nursery) in Wichita Falls.