An increasing number of school-age children currently learns programming at after-school programming clubs, also referred to as code clubs. Some clubs are part of international programs like CoderDojo or Code Club, while others are independent. This work investigates how code clubs are organized in terms of participants, lesson material, style and assessments by means of a survey. It also explores the teachers' experiences and perceptions related to gender differences among their code club students and the learning difficulties that they identify in their classes. The survey results shed light on the differences between code clubs and school lessons. Code club teachers often have a computer science background and no education experience. Moreover, motivation and commitment are rarely identified as learning barriers for code club students, whereas debugging, error messages and abstract thinking are the most commonly reported difficulties. With respect to gender differences, boys are commonly perceived as being more confident and girls as being more persistent and able to concentrate better. Gender differences are also found in the preferred type of projects, the responsiveness to instruction and collaboration skills.