September 29, 2023 / News / News & Notes

A Student Take on Elite Weekend

Written by Kelsey O'Riley

Editor’s Note: Liberty North High School attended the Walsworth Elite Weekend in Kansas City in September. We asked editor Kelsey O’Riley to document her thoughts on the experience to share on our blog. If you would like to attend the virtual Elite Weekend Oct. 13-15, you can sign up here.

This was my second time attending the Walsworth Elite Weekend, the first being as a design editor and this year as an editor-in-chief. Elite Weekend has always been an exciting and worthwhile experience. It offers a chance for not only me, but the entire editorial board to learn together, watch ideas come together and get the support we need from the many helpful advisers and instructors there.

What Did You Learn at Elite Weekend 2023?

We walked into Elite Weekend with just an idea for our theme, but with the support and advice we were given throughout the weekend, we left completely prepared and excited about the book ahead of us.

We learned various new skills from instructors and other advisers during Elite Weekend, like how to develop our theme, ways we can carry our theme through the book and how to take and select good photos. Attending Elite Weekend gives us the ability to not only have time to be completely dedicated to the yearbook, but to also have the resources to fully develop anything we need to work on.

Who Benefits from Elite Weekend?

Elite Weekend has things for every person on staff, regardless of their position.

Our staff loves going to Elite Weekend and loves everyone who is there to support us. Our editorial board’s favorite parts of Elite Weekend are being able to get critiques and talk to the professionals. Being able to have one-on-one time with professionals to learn from them as they help us shape and develop our ideas is really the highlight of Elite Weekend for us. It allows us to better prepare for the year, and we are able to get honest feedback about our ideas from the people that know yearbook the best.

When yearbook experts come over and help us, it’s a cool experience to get to see them work, and it’s very rewarding when they get excited with us. Being able to work with them so closely is really amazing because we are able to learn what they like best and bounce our ideas off of them. It’s an amazing feeling to see how excited everyone gets for us when our ideas start to come together. The one-on-one experiences and the large group activities and presentations are super helpful. Because so many amazing experts present on so many different topics, no matter what your role on your staff is, there is something for you to learn. We are able to use these presentations to get ideas on how to better run our classroom, effectively edit copy and photos and creatively turn inspiration into reality.

Would You Recommend Elite Weekend?

Elite Weekend truly is an amazing experience! We have been so lucky to be able to attend. Whether you are on staff for the first time or it’s your fourth year going, you learn something new each time. While Elite Weekend is the perfect opportunity for yearbook staffers to be able to grow as reporters, photographers, writers or editors, it’s also a really great opportunity for staff bonding.

Being able to go to Elite Weekend is an opportunity that I will forever cherish, and I hope everyone in the yearbook world has an opportunity to attend and grow from Elite Weekend in the same way my staff and I have been able to.

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Kelsey O'Riley

Kelsey O'Riley is the 2023 Editor in Chief at Liberty North High School in Liberty, Missouri.