WGMU Radio Teaches Broadcasting to Summer Campers

Posted: July 24, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

For the 12th year, Rodger Smith, the faculty advisor for Mason’s student-run WGMU Radio, is supervising a radio summer camp for middle and high school students.

WGMU studio
WGMU’s studios are being used for radio camp this summer.
Creative Services photo

The camp runs out of the WGMU studios in the Johnson Center, where the station broadcasts over the Internet 24 hours a day. Campers learn how to put together their own music shows, produce commercials using broadcast software and conduct news reporting. The students engage in writing, recording and planning to get an idea of what it is like to be a radio DJ.

Each summer, Smith hires three Mason students with WGMU radio experience as camp leaders to help him run the camp. Mickella Ross, a junior integrated studies major, is one of the leaders working with the campers this summer.

“I worked as the production director for WGMU before, so a few summers ago they pulled me into working the camp. I enjoy it. It’s really fun,” says Ross.

There are three specific sessions in the summer camp. Smith teaches about radio news, two camp leaders teach radio air work, and one camp leader teaches radio production.

One of the WGMU studios remains on-air, so the campers can broadcast live the skills they are learning in the studio. The campers are also producing recorded material. At the end of the camp, the participants are given a tape to take home to their parents to show off the radio skills they have learned.

Eleven-year-old Matthew Griffith is one of this summer’s radio campers.

“I’m really interested in radio and I thought this would be a good opportunity to see what it’s all about. I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up, but after doing this camp, I think it is a lot of fun, so maybe I’ll be a radio DJ,” explains Griffith.

Camper Matthew Chellaraj, 13, says, “I’m taking radio camp this summer because I didn’t know anything about it, and I like sports commentary, so I thought it would be cool to learn about it.” He adds, “I want to be an ESPN guy, and I have learned a lot already. I think the camp is really cool because some of the stuff we are doing in camp is broadcasted on air.”

The radio camp, which runs from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., continues to attract more and more students each summer. Last summer, there were as many children on the waiting list as there were registered in the camp, so this year, the camp is holding two one-week sessions. The second session is being held this week.

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