THE MAIN THING YOU SHOULD DO WITH HARDWARE IS BUILD PROJECTS! :-)
Hardware belongs to you as long as you are running the meetup. If you've run the meetup for less than a year and you decide you can no longer run the meetup, the hardware should go to the organizer who will be continuing the group.
If Hackster sends you hardware, we expect you to document your projects on hackster.io first, before other sites, such as instructables. Hardware should be brought to every meetup to lend out during the meetup. As you get more hardware, you'll have a hardware lending library. If your hardware ends up in a semi-permanent/permanent installation, that's fine too! Just be sure to post it on Hackster. And of course, sometimes you'll "let the smoke out" of a piece of hardware when you hook it up to the wrong type of power supply. No worries, it's all part of learning.
Sometime sponsors send extra hardware to use as prizes for the meetups. We'll let you know when this happens.