May 13, 2011 / Staff Fun

This is the time of year to relax, bond with your yearbook staff

Written by Elizabeth Braden, CJE

It is that time of year when one yearbook staff is wrapping up and another is beginning its work. An awards ceremony, with a fancy or casual banquet, is a great way to cap the year. Whether this is held at a small banquet room at a nearby hotel or at a park shelter, invite next year’s staff to give them something to look forward to.

If you have a summer or fall delivery book, you may have a staff that is still producing their book. Your staff for next year should have plans to sell ads this summer and go to workshop. Consider some of these ideas for relieving stress or bonding, depending on your staff’s needs.


May is National Hamburger Month. Celebrate the end of the year with a cookout featuring hamburgers, or use a cookout to start the bonding process with next year’s staff.

Use Creative Beginnings Month to get your current year’s staff or next year’s staff to develop theme packets. A theme packet project is great for current staffers with spring delivery books to keep them busy and help them offer suggestions for next year’s staff. Or use this idea as a one-day workshop for next year’s staff before going to summer workshop. Here’s one way to do it.

May is Teacher Appreciation Month. Have your staff make and send cards to special teachers they have had from preschool to high school.

National Photo Month makes May a great time to provide extra training to photographers or to the entire staff.

Relieve some stress by playing some outdoor games in honor of National Physical Fitness & Sports Month and National Backyard Games Week May 23-30. Try relay races, a water balloon toss, hopscotch and Frisbee games for starters.

For Teen Self-Esteem Month, affirm to your current staff what a good job they have done, and tell your incoming staff that they are up to the task. One way to do this is to send them notes, maybe with a cookie or cupcake attached.

Have staff members bring in cookies to celebrate Cookie Monster’s Birthday on May 25.

Spelling is important to the yearbook. Since the Scripts National Spelling Bee is May 26-27, have your own spelling bee. Divide the staff into two teams for the competition.


If you have a sweet tooth and want to share your love for sweets with your staff, June is the month for you. In addition to National Candy Month, June 3-4 is Donut Day and June 16 is Fudge Day. Have staff bring in some to share.

June is Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing Month. Get into The Process Kit for 2012 and locate the Marketing folder and Resource Disk 1. Review the Do-it-yourself Marketing items and the Customized Marketing catalog and decide which items to use. Have your marketing manager and marketing staff plan your marketing and sales strategy for the year if you have not started. Also check out our Marketing Help page.

Say Something Nice Day is June 1. Review the current yearbook and, as a group, tell each staff member what their best contribution to the book was.

For Nature Photography Day on June 15, take cameras outside and photograph nature around the school to help photographers practice their skills and practice looking for potential images.

Consider collecting canned goods to donate to a local food pantry, which have trouble staying stocked during the summer.

Elizabeth Braden, CJE
Elizabeth Braden, CJE

Elizabeth Braden, CJE, is the editor of Idea File magazine. She has been a copywriter for Walsworth Yearbooks for more than 10 years, writing articles for and marketing materials, and proofreading copy for the Yearbook and Commercial divisions. She has taught at Adviser Academy. Her career has included reporting and editing for United Press International and editing for Knight-Ridder Financial News. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Media News from the University of Tulsa.