Terry Wheelhouse, Nick Koester and Jacob Pedersen say they get no pay, but plenty of experience helping out at the Barriere Radio Station.
Since ‘The Bear’ 93.1FM in Barriere, went live a month ago, its doors have been open to local talent and those interested in radio. Station owner, Steve Shannon, says he ran a radio school many years ago, and when he started The Bear he offered an opportunity for Barriere teens to learn what radio is all about.
Barriere Secondary grade 11 students Terry, Nick, and Jacob, say they jumped at the opportunity, and their enthusiasm is steadily increasing as they learn what having your own show on radio is all about.
Starting June 12, the station went live with ‘Radio Boys’, Monday through Friday, 7 to 9 p.m. The show is managed in its entirety by the three teens. After initially learning the ropes for their job, Shannon says he can now leave the boys to run the station on their own during ‘Radio Boys’ airtime.
“We had absolutely no experience to start,” said Jacob, “But we are learning lots, and I’m already liking radio more and more.”
“It looks great on the resume too,” added Terry, noting he too is enjoying the job and the possibilities it provides for future employment or career choices.
The boys say their two hour show, five nights a week, plays music that they choose ahead of time, is requested by listeners, or requests that may be called in during the show.
“At 8 p.m. each night we take phone in requests,” said Terry, “We play all genres, but mainly it’s music requested by youth, although we are willing to talk to anyone with a request.”
Asked how they can quickly comply with phone-in requests, Jacob said, “We can pull the requests off You Tube, pull up the lyrics, make sure there is no swearing in them, and then we can play the request.”
He says that Terry is kept pretty busy loading and preparing the music, Nick is the main spokesperson, and for himself he’s kept pretty busy being a “Jack of all trades”.
Jacob says the radio show has been a tremendous assist in giving the youth of Barriere a voice in the community. “They have a voice now, we gave them a voice. We’re letting the youth of the community talk for us.”
“We’ve talked about doing interviews with the ‘man on the street’,” said Nick, “Like, go grab that person and find out what they think.”
Nick notes the three are strong supporters of encouraging the District and the community to provide more for teens to do in the area than is currently available.
“There’s no stuff for kids to do in Barriere,” said Terry, “There must be somewhere we can have a paint ball park, or even use the old IGA building for bowling. What about a BMX park where kids can practice tricks and stuff?”
“We want to let the public know what the youth think,” said Nick, “Kids want a swimming pool or a splash park.”
“People would be physced about that,” said Terry.
All three teens are adamant that the Bandshell is “for older people, not our age group”.
“We want to talk to the public and let them know what teens would like to see,” said Nick, “We can gather interest, and then raise funds if everyone is in favour of something for teens to do. We can start a movement that is positive in the community and that will benefit everyone. This is talking about our community; and we want to hear from those in it. Call us or come on down. Stop us on the street. Tell us what you want to see in Barriere for youth.”