Back in 1986, some folks in Melrose decided to start using the television access channel given to the city by the cable company. They formed the first board of directors for what became known as Mel-TV 3.
It started as a primitive operation by today’s standards. (I currently have much more editing power in my computer at home then the station did back then.) No one on the board had any television or editing experience. It was a “learn as you go” type of training employed. The station was run completely by volunteers. Programs had to be loaded manually into tape decks at the time the program would be aired. Nothing was automated.
I was the scoutmaster of the Boy Scout troop at the time. (And still am the scoutmaster.) I had played around with a video camera and thought this new Mel-TV 3 station would be a great way to get some free PR for the Boy Scouts and let the public see what the Scouts have been up to. The people at Mel-TV 3 were happy to air any programming I gave them. They needed anything they could get at the time. A local business sponsored the programming.
We began by taping our courts of honor. The only editing required was to add some titles at the beginning and the end of the program. I took on the editing responsibilities and discovered I liked doing it. I had found a new hobby.
I began bringing a camcorder along on camping trips and to summer camp. I edited pictures from our Philmont trips into slide-shows with the boys doing the narration. The Scouts and I even did some original programming. The troop became a regular source of material for the television station.
Well, here it is, twenty years later. The troop still provides programming for Mel-TV 3. In fact, we provide from five to ten shows per year for them. Things have changed a bit though through those years. VHS is out, digital is in. I do the editing on my home computer instead of going to the station’s studio. And much of the programming from the last couple of year’s is burned to dvd format.
I have never had a parent complain about the Scout programming. The Scouts and their parents enjoy watching the shows. They really like the dvd’s produced throughout the year. The tapes and dvd’s have made great keepsakes.
Yeah, it is work to film the events and edit the programs. But I think it is worth it to keep Scouting visible in the community. I would suggest that you look into doing the same in your community.