It’s true, you know. Your 4th of July celebrations can inspire yearbook staff celebrations. Because all the hoopla around this holiday is really just a big ol’ birthday party, right? So, what if you celebrated staff birthdays and holidays the same way you celebrate the 4th? OK, maybe not exactly the same way (we’re guessing fireworks are against school policy), but with the same enthusiasm and adherence to traditions. Here are 4 things to celebrate that can change the way your staff works together.
By far the easiest celebrations to plan and execute, birthday parties can be as simple or as elaborate as your energies dictate. The important thing is to help make your staff members feel special on their special day. Simple celebrations can be a card (hand-made would be awesome!) signed by all the staff members and a little culinary treat to share while singing the birthday song. How about having a birthday crown, a birthday sash or a big “It’s my birthday” button for the birthday girl/boy to wear during class? Bigger parties can include decorations, a cake with the appropriate number of candles, a simple staff game, (like a round of Heads Up, 7 Up), and even a personalized birthday quiz about the “guest of honor” for the other staff members to take (with a little prize for the person who know the birthday girl/boy the best). Use your imagination and skills of your staff members to make each celebration an “event to remember”.
Of course, this will take time out of your production schedule, and depending on the size of your staff, chances are there are going to be weeks with multiple birthdays. Don’t let that scare you away from celebrating. Consider giving a card to the birthday girl/boy and a small treat (candy, cookies, etc.) for the staff on the actual day, and then having a bigger party with all the fixin’s and events at the end of the week, or even once a month to celebrate all birthdays in that time frame. And don’t forget to celebrate the half-birthdays of the staffers born in the summer months. They deserve a staff special day, too!
Sometimes we just need a little distraction, and what’s better than a little holiday party? Of course there’s Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentines’ Day, but there are so many more! Did you know August is Happiness Happens Month and hosts Tug of War Day (27th) and National College Colors Day (last Friday of the month) and January is National Polka Music Month and hosts Elvis Presley’s birthday (8th) and National Kazoo Day (28th)? Check this calendar for other fun holidays to celebrate to help break the stress of yearbook production. Let your creative instincts run wild!
We don’t usually think of celebrating deadlines, but why not? You can celebrate deadline work afternoons/nights or successfully completing a deadline. It doesn’t matter…just celebrate! Each deadline celebration can be a theme day–60’s, 70’s 80’s, etc. day, or pirate day, or Disney day…you get the idea. Have a friendly contest for the best costume of the day and have a pot-luck lunch/dinner with theme-appropriate food. You can even plan the theme days now and encourage parents on back-to-school night to sign up to help “cater” the meals. Play theme related music, or have each staff member submit one song title to be part of the playlist during your work or meal time.
At your first deadline party, start a team game you play each deadline party like Taboo, Catch Phrase, Pictionary or Guesstures. Just play a couple of rounds each party to keep the game going all year. Be sure to have a nice prize for the winning team.
These can be simple shout-outs for the day-to-day successes during production. Give out certificates, these Shout Out cards, candy bars, stickers, or prizes box from your local dollar store, the dollar isles at Target or from Oriental Trading Co. Categories can include things like: Staffer of the Week, Best Photo of the deadline, Best Interview of the deadline, First Completed Spread, Best Secondary Package Idea, Best Comic Relief Moment, Most Positive Attitude…or whatever best fits your staff’s personality. Again, let your creativity reign. The important thing is to celebrate even the smallest successes.
What celebration traditions do you have on your staff? We’d love to hear how you throw a party!
Oh, and Happy 4th of July!