Camp Orlando, sponsored by Walsworth Yearbooks, brings students from Florida, Texas and even Tennessee together. The camp, held at the DoubleTree at Seaworld, brings yearbook and newspaper journalists together to learn, plan and make memories during the summer only a few weeks before school starts. With so much going on in only four short days, memories made range from attendee to attendee.
Students prepare projects in their assigned classes, along with procuring marketing and design projects for the distribution and planning for the quickly approaching school year. Along the way campers face obstacles while completing these projects and for some staffers, mistakes tend to happen throughout this completion.
“In my junior year of Camp Orlando, we didn’t prepare anything for our marketing project and it was a total mess. Our original idea changed into so many new things so we weren’t prepared at all when it came time to make our poster,” Becca Roberson said.
As these situations arise, longtime staff members use their problem-solving skills to their advantage in making the best projects possible. Sometimes what’s around campers can be most beneficial in contributing to a final project.
“When we finally came up with an idea to use, we didn’t really have anything to execute it, so we literally used whatever we could find to finish our poster. We ended up using baby wipes, a tissue box, old newspapers and scraps of paper to put it all together,” said Roberson.
While some campers have difficulties with the assignment aspects, others have actual situations that occur. These not only make the long and grueling days more eventful and memorable, but also give a good story to tell when the school year starts and staffers reminisce about their days at camp.
“When I was a sophomore attending Camp Orlando, I was the only guy at camp so therefore I had my own room. One night we were all working on our design project together in my room and a female escort came knocking at my hotel room door, thinking it was someone else," Nick Piccione said. "Everyone in my room was freaking out and we had to call security to make sure that they
weren’t actually trying to visit my room. It was so funny and definitely something memorable that I took away from camp.”
The events that happen at camp help yearbook and newspaper staffs bond and become closer than ever, even if the situation not necessarily comes up on purpose. Bonds that become stronger at camp use and tell these experiences to their advantage while working together for their publications, and these staff connections allow yearbooks and newspapers to achieve the best final products possible.