For Domenic James, a Moffat County High School junior, 16, a trip to New York City for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association conference was a collection of new experiences.
"I had never been on a plane before, so that was a new experience," said James, 16, who went to the conference with four other students as part of the MCHS yearbook staff. "I thought the conference was fun."
The five students, along with teacher and yearbook copy editor Casey Kilpatrick, flew to New York City for the conference from March 17 to 22. More than 2,000 students from across the United States attended the conference.
The students are all enrolled in Kilpatrick's yearbook class.
Kilpatrick said the trip was for the editors of the paper.
"We're restructuring the staff for next year," he said. "So, the trip this year was really a springboard for next year."
Each student attended different classes in the areas they will focus on in next year's yearbook.
"One of the more interesting things for me was learning how colors work together," said junior Rhiannon Miller, 17, who is the layout editor for next year's yearbook. "We learned which colors go together on the color wheel, which ones were pleasing."
Senior Hollie Shipley, 17, won't be using the skills she learned from the conference for next year's yearbook. Instead, she will be using them as she moves forward with her career in writing music or teaching English.
"I'm going to be gone next year, so this year was more fun for me," said Shipley, who will attend Hope International University in California. "One class I really enjoyed was lyric writing - learning how to write musically and how it all flows together."
Shipley went to the conference last year, and during both years, New York City left an impression.
"It was loud," Shipley said. "But this year was better than last year."
James said the photography classes were the highpoint for him.
"I learned a lot of lighting, which, I had never really thought about before," he said. "Usually I would just try to get someone in the middle of the frame, and move on. But I learned that lighting is a big part of photography."
Junior Kathrine Cork, 17, also focused on photography.
"I went to the same photo class, where we learned about light and they made you think about different camera settings," Cork said. "We also learned the 10 things an editor wants to say, but can't - things like keeping the staff happy, respecting people under you, and keeping the place fun while getting work done."
Going to the seminar helped the yearbook staff come up with a theme.
"Last year, after we came back, we came up with our theme for this year, which is A-Type-Cal," Kilpatrick said. "This yearbook will be focused on all of the different types of people that make Craig great."
The theme for next year will draw from comic books.
"It's comic book inspired - the layout will read like a comic book," Miller said. "All the fonts and color schemes will mirror the comic book design and feel. We'll Photoshop some of the photos to give them a comic book feel."
Kilpatrick said he tries to make each yearbook unique.
"The comic book theme will extend to layout," Kilpatrick said. "We want to be on the cutting edge. Everyone's used to seeing the same thing year after year, and we want to give them a yearbook they'll remember."
"Most year books are linear, but we want to go with something trendy that people will be proud to talk about.
Josiah Trujillo, 17, said after the food, one thing he will remember most was the other yearbooks on display.
"You'd see all these other yearbooks, and it was fun trying to figure out how to do it," he said. "Some of the ones there were national award winning yearbooks, and they win for a reason."
Going to the Big Apple also introduced the students to subways.
"I loved it," Cork said. "And we learned that open umbrellas don't go through the turnstiles."
"We might have left KP behind on a couple subways," James said. "He accidentally got on the subway before we could, and he was gone."
Despite the mix-ups on the subway, the students each came away with something.
"We got to meet a lot of new people - I made friends with people from Virginia and New Hampshire," Cork said. "The conference was a good experience, and it got us all out of Craig for a little bit."