Finding the perfect theme the name of the game at California yearbook camp

Written by Jim Jordan

Summer yearbook thoughts from the road, with a first stop at Walsworth’s yearbook camp in Sonoma, Calif., on Friday and Saturday.

After some fun lead by Walsworth area sales manager Howard Dusek that emphasized the importance of digging deep through interviews to find the unique stories on campus, we got down to the challenge of finding and perfecting that perfect theme/concept to drive the creation of each school’s 2011 yearbook.

Susan Massy gave a presentation on theme and then the staffs broke off to do group brainstorming. Then we gathered back for presentations on coverage by me, and photography by Crystal Kazmierski. From the engaged responses I got, I could tell this was going to be a great workshop.

After dinner we met for a two-hour block in our individual classes. It was instantly clear that my editors and advisers were really taking the task of creating the 2011 book seriously. It will definitely be a great year for them and I sense the 2011 editions will be their best books ever.

Remember this is Sonoma in the heart of the Napa/Sonoma wine country, so everything at California State University, Sonoma is named after things to do with wine and the wine industry.

Each school had five minutes to pitch their theme to us and we were able to give them lots of praise and constructive criticism. A total of 13 schools presented in that hour and a half time slot. Some themes were great and others needed more work, but each school was engaged in and excited about the creative process they were in.

I think this is the best shape these schools have been in this early in the workshop. We will have to see where it all goes.

After that session there was an adviser mixer for those who weren’t too exhausted from a day of driving and hard yearbook creativity!

Looking forward to seeing what today will bring.

Jim Jordan
Jim Jordan

Jim Jordan is a Special Consultant for Walsworth Yearbooks and the host of the Yearbook Chat with Jim podcast. He is former yearbook adviser at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, California. Jim was the 1996 JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year, and shares his expertise with students and advisers at workshops and conventions across the country. Jim is the lead mentor for Walsworth's Adviser Mentor Program.