Day Camp Yearbook Time


I have compiled the list of orders for day camp. I must print and bind 95 yearbooks and burn 72 DVD’s. Yes! These girls not only built memories that last a lifetime; they have souvenirs to reference.

I have people ask me on a regular basis how we put together the yearbook and get it bound. How much money do we make? What is our process? I shall clarify. It takes me about two days to organize the pictures into folders named after the themes of each page I plan on creating. After five years of practice, our pages are pretty much set: units, staff, crazy days, flag ceremony, swimming, etc. The important part is not exceeding 60 pages total or the book will not fit in the comb binding we use.

I use Word because I already own it. I do not want to spend more money on formal publishing software which will cut into our profit. Plus, I’d have to spend more time trying to figure out how to use it. Learning curves suck!!! I did try Microsoft’s Publisher one year. I HATED it. The pictures were easier to manipulate onto the page where I want them, but the font selection was sorely lacking and I couldn’t do fun things with the pictures like add shadows. So, I went back to Word. After five years, I’m able to put the book together in a little over a week.

Printing is done at my house on my ink jet printer. We did not have anyone with a color laser printer (though we do this year so we might try it) which will make it cheaper. I print on 32lb paper. Any thicker and the book is too thick making it difficult to bind. Any thinner and you can see straight through to the other side creating a confusing jumble of images. The document has to be set as book fold to print properly which makes each page half a 8-1/2 x 11 sheet. I have looked into having FedEx Kinko’s print it for us, but the price, which I have wiped from my memory in shock, was so much we would have to charge $30 for the book to make any money. Our goal is to pay for storage, not fleece the campers. The printing takes me another week.

I do, however, go to FedEx Kinko’s to get the binding done. They cut the pages in half, punch the holes for the backbone, place a clear plastic sheet on the front and a thick black piece on the back, and bind the book with a black comb. Last year I bound 50 books and it cost me a little under $200. I write that check with a smile on my face.

In the end, we profit about $600 which pays for storage for the year. It’s a ton of work for me, but much less work than having to keep up with the equipment for camp scattered to the wind or all stored at my house. So, if you are planning to copy my method, make sure you have some madness thrown in or it will never work! If you have any other questions, leave a comment and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability.

That’s enough procrastinating. It’s time to get back to sorting pictures. Your yearbooks are coming; your yearbooks are coming!

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