Every summer I go to yearbook camp — two actually! I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember. My first yearbook camp was in the summer of 1992, right before my first year teaching yearbook. The next summer I was nearly eight months pregnant with my oldest child and I taught my first yearbook mini session. I’ve had a few summers off, but I’ve gone pretty consistently for at least the last 15 years.
My friends are always a little confused. What exactly do you do at yearbook camp? They’ll ask. Well, we create yearbooks. We teach journalism. We work on deadlines and captions and headlines and layouts. We work long hours to put together a book that students will want and enjoy. We talk about events and activities that occur throughout the school year, things that have been happening throughout school years since I was in school. We try to think of new twists and new ways to cover these events and activities. We talk endlessly about how to get as many kids as possible in the book. We talk yearbook, all day long!
But it’s more than that. I’ve been coming to the same camps for so long that I’ve seen kids grow up. I’ve seen people fall in love and I’ve seen them fall out of love. This is my family. I love these people even though I only see them once a year. We’re connected and I know their stories. They know mine. I go home tired and I go home happy. It’s good to be a part of a community.