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DOWNEY – Thinking ahead was a skill the members of the Downey High School yearbook staff were no strangers to as they developed the theme for their 2009-2010 yearbook at a camp held at Cal State Long Beach.
From Aug. 8-12, a group of 29 students attended classes, ate meals three times a day, and lived in actual college dorms, all in the hopes that by the end of their stay at camp, their concept for the yearbook was well developed and understandable to all.
For five days, the Yearbooks at the Beach camp played host to Downey High and other schools from across Southern California. Students in attendance were kept to a strict schedule each day. The schedules, however, were far from typical.
“We wake up, rush to get ready, and try to grab breakfast,” said Copy Editor Andrea Ortiz. “We just change and go.”
Depending on a staff member’s area of expertise, they were placed into different classes where advisers taught the students all they needed to know about writing, photography, design, and for some, a yearbook experts class. Not for the faint of heart, yearbook experts was reserved for only the brightest, most experienced staff members.
“The assignments are very demanding,” said Downey yearbook Co-Editor In Chief Victor Kowalski.
Being at camp wasn’t all work and no play, however. Each day, activities were set aside from classes and lectures to ensure the staff members had the chance to bond. From a hypnotist show to a gathering at the beach, every staff member became fast friends by the end of camp. Being friendly and familiar with each other only helped the students grow together as a staff, as they spent many late nights in the dorms working away at their concept.
“Working with the staff went smoothly and comfortably,” said Editor-In-Chief Tiare King. “They really speak up and have been making good progress with coming up with ideas for the concept.”
By the end of their five days at camp, the entire staff is asked to present their concept in front of a panel of judges. There, selected members of the staff present ideas for certain sections of the book, explain the theme, and show examples of design and coverage ideas. After their presentation, the judges give critiques on their theme and offer suggestions and ideas on how to perfect it further throughout the year.
Though the yearbook may not reach the hands of students until the end of June, the members of the Downey yearbook staff work long and hard during the school year to ensure their book is something they can be proud and something their peers will enjoy immensely.
Published: September 4, 2009 – Volume 8 – Issue 20