UHSpress Bootcamp: Staffers in Training


After introducing herself, sophomore Robin Ntankeh talks to junior Kaitlyn Mould about her dream job. During this ice breaker, students were talking to new people and discussing questions that were asked. “It was very fun to talk to people on a personal level about their future and why they joined the program,” Ntankeh said. “I enjoyed getting to know the people that I’m going to be working with for the next nine months.”

Jordan McKendrick

All year long, the UHSpress staff is seen at games, in classrooms, at club meetings and so much more. However, every year the press team loses seniors and gains new staffers. But when do new people get the chance to learn the ways of UHSpress? Bootcamp that is held over summer is just one of the ways that new staffers can adjust to new role on campus.

On August 8th, from 8am-8pm UHSpress held a mandatory bootcamp for both yearbook and news students. Although the allotted 12 hours was a long period of time, there was no problem filling up the agenda. With having a yearbook staff of mostly sophomores, and almost double the size of last year’s news staff, there was much content to go over with the new staff.

At the start of the day, staffs were separated into groups with their managing editors, and an additional editor to begin working on a branding project. This project consisted of creating a team name, mission statement and logo that we would be referring to throughout the year.

“Before bootcamp I had no clue about the personalities of my staffers but the branding activity helped us problem solve and learn how we all work together which gave me the opportunity to bond with my staffers,” managing editor Brooke Williams said. “At bootcamp we also had several lessons on photography and were able to practice each one outside, and I feel like it’s vital to learn by experience rather than just a PowerPoint which is exactly what we were able to do.”

The group “the Magnifactors” review their photos they gathered after the first scavenger hunt. The groups mutually decided on their best photos to receive feedback from the photography editor. “Working together with my group helps all of us get better at what we do,” senior Connor Darby said. “We have friends to bounce ideas off of and having multiple people helps because they can point out the little things that one set of eyes might miss. Working with a team just makes the finished product better.” Photo by Jordan McKendrick

After the first photography lesson, groups went to complete a scavenger hunt, giving the new staffers the opportunity to become comfortable with the cameras and practice everything covered in the first lesson. The groups were sent out with two editors to help teach them the settings on the camera and advise them on ways to get the best photos possible.

“[Without having my group during the scavenger hunt] I would have been so lost, especially without Emily and Carson. The pictures were coming out blurry or with a blue contrast on them,” senior Kendall Walsh said. “I definitely think that [bootcamp] was necessary because I would have gone in the first day completely lost and wouldn’t have had a clue what to do.”

In between photography lessons, the staff participated in multiple ice breakers to familiarize themselves with the people that they would soon be working with during the school year.

“The circle activity ice-breaker helped me learn more about people because of the questions that were asked, and I could remember their responses which helps the name stick more,” sophomore Julia Annunziato said.

Although there was time set aside for learning things about photography, interviewing, and equipment, there was also time for just having fun. Everyone was allowed short breaks and even time to go down to the gym to play volleyball.

“I think having free time gave the bootcamp variety instead of just sitting down all day taking notes,” sophomore Robin Ntankeh said.“We got to go outside, eat, hangout, and it showed the fun side of the program.”

Junior Grace Rooney and sophomore Chloe Evers share a laugh after almost colliding trying to hit the volleyball over the net. The staff took a 30 minute break from work to go downstairs and play volleyball. “Having time set aside to play volleyball made it fun because it allowed us to just relax and get to know each other without stressing about the responsibilities and work that comes with UHSpress,” sophomore Chloe Evers said. Photo by Cierra Stark

Although it was a day packed full of information, bootcamp gave insight to the new UHSpress members of what to expect as a part of the staff. The excitement for what’s to come this year for the staff is clear, members ready to take on new challenges and hit milestones.