YMCADuring the Fall of 1994, WHSH-Channel 66, a Boston area TV station, called Maynard High School looking to create a ten-minute feature about WAVM. WAVM accepted, and the students were thrilled. It wasn't often that someone outside the town took an interest in them.
After waiting a couple anxious weeks for the program to be edited and aired, the students finally saw themselves on regional television one Monday morning. However, no one expected what would happen next.
The very next day, the station's phones began ringing off the hook. From as far away as Cape Cod and New Hampshire, high schools and colleges were calling to request tours of WAVM. They had seen Channel 66's special and wanted to witness the program for themselves. Mags and the students were flabbergasted. They hadn't foreseen this situation and were set scrambling about to honor all of the requests.
Mixed among the calls was Marcia Dudley, State Director of the YMCA's Youth & Government Program. The day Channel 66's program aired, Dudley just happened to be home sick and immediately knew that WAVM would be a good group to get working with the a Youth and Government Program that the YMCA organized. When Marcia phoned, Mags welcomed her idea, embarking WAVM on its third major, annual project.
For YMCA's Youth and Government, some 300 students from all over Massachusetts take over the State House in Boston for three days to simulate Massachusetts' legislative process. In addition to assuming the roles of Governor, Lt. Governor, State Senators, etc., the students propose, debate, and vote on bills after a full year of preparation researching legislation, preparing speeches, and practicing parliamentary procedures. The State House even culminates in a banquet for the students.
WAVM was invited to its first YMCA project in the Winter of 1995 as a news crew. For Marcia Dudley, WAVM's goal was to keep the legislative students, who were locked away in the Senate Chambers all day, knowledgeable about what was going on in the House Chambers; and vice-versa.
The WAVM crew, including Tracy Reilly and Amy Forand, set up an editing bay in a conference room of the Tremont House, a Boston hotel not far from the State House. "Being the first group," Tracy Reilly said of the event, "we didn't know what to expect. But it was non-stop work."
For the next three days, video crews with interviewers worked 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. covering
the event and shuttling footage back to the Tremont House to be edited. At midnight, a
half hour program covering the day's events would be aired throughout the hotel's closed-
circuit TV system. In addition to that, a compilation reel recapping the whole weekend
would be shown at the banquet.
The 1995 legislative conference went off without a hitch for WAVM. In fact after the
showing of two videos on the Banquet night, the students received a surprise standing
ovation, "which we did not expect," recounted Amy Forand. "We thought we were just a
nuisance all weekend." However, according to Marcia Dudley, "WAVM was everywhere
but were not intrusive. We didn't know how the taping happened. We never noticed the
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