Fun & Games

Written by Sarah Ballard

Anyone who has been on the yearbook staff probably knows that it is not all fun and games. It is highly unlikely that any staff has not endured those long days – and sometimes nights – filled with coffee, food, the occasional tear and, of course, utter chaos. Therefore, in addition to overseeing the publication of a however-many-page chronicle of the year, it is the responsibility of the editor to make sure yearbook includes activities to lighten the experience and unify the staff. If not carefully monitored, cliques can form on staff, which, unfortunately, we teenagers are naturally inclined to make. It is crucial that the editor eliminate these divisions and make the staff one whole group.

To bond my staff and make yearbook more fun, we planned various activities during the day and night. Most of them included food, which seems to bring people together. Here are some of my favorite activities from my four years on staff that you could do:

  • Lake days: One staffer lived on a large lake and owned all the fun water equipment: a boat, jet-ski, tubes, wakeboards and water skis. A couple times during the year, all 33 of us would spend the day at his house tubing, swimming and skiing. We had a barbeque and everyone was required to bring food. It was one of the most fun and best bonding activities we had.
  • Movie nights: Another staffer had a large, beautiful backyard close to our school. So we turned it into an outdoor theater. We hung a large white bed sheet between two poles, borrowed a projector from school and watched a scary movie while eating pizza. Everyone brought blankets and sleeping bags and laid around watching the movie. It helps if it is very dark, cold and slightly creepy. Also make sure the movie truly is scary; stupid scary movies kind of ruin the atmosphere.
  • Card games: This started when we attended the JEA/NSPA conference in Denver in spring 2007. We all gathered in one staffer’s room and played cards one night. It continued when we returned to school and became a surprisingly heated competition. More card games were soon added such as Spoons, Poker (no money was involved, of course) and Speed, providing an opportunity to ease the stress without leaving the classroom.
  • Dinner: Our most frequent activity was just going out to dinner. For three of the four years I was on staff, we went to Kobe Japanese Steakhouse at the end of the year to celebrate completing the book. Good times are guaranteed watching a Japanese chef fling and twirl food and knives around. We also did something simple and cheaper like going to a local pizza place and getting Italian ice afterwards.

Remember, if a staffer does not feel welcome, their work and experience will be tarnished. Do not neglect the importance of bonding activities

Sarah Ballard