Camera clubs are a bit like Marmite, you either like them or you don’t.
Camera clubs have a reputation as being a few grey haired old men talking about the pros and cons of a certain film, or comparing how big their lenses are.
However, camera clubs are NOT all like this, and they can be a great place for the beginner to learn and get advice, and even get some good second hand bargains frm ther members. The club will have lots of people who share the same interest in photography, there will be range of abilities, and there will be people who will willingly pass on their extensive experience.
The club will usually run competitions where the work gets critiqued by an experienced photographer from the club, or a guest judge, and this can be a great way to get feedback, good or bad, about your work. It can be daunting entering your work into a club competition, but it is well worth the effort. You may even find it does well!
Digital photography has helped, I think, widen the age range at camera clubs too. If you are lucky you may even see club members in their 20’s! Seriously though, with digital photography and digital darkrooms becoming more accessible, it attracts more people who, in the days of film, may not have been quite so interested.
I would recommend finding your nearest camera club and going along to see what you think. Give it a couple of visits before deciding if it’s for you or not, take a willing victim friend or realtive with you if you are a bit shy, but give it a go. It can be well worth the effort.