When most people think of summer camps, they think of a place where you can play sports, do arts and crafts, and go swimming. There’s one camp, however, that stands out. Play By Play Sports Broadcasting Camp, founded by Jeremy Treatman and Steven Goldstein, teaches kids all over the country the basics of a career covering sports for radio or TV.
“I’d listen to all the Phillies games, and I always wanted to be a sportscaster,” says Treatman, now a broadcaster for Comcast-TV and an Eagles reporter for 102.9 FM in Philadelphia. “And when I got to be an adult in my 20s, I thought, You know what? I think one day I’m going to start a camp where kids will have that opportunity to learn about sports broadcasting.”
The camps are for boys and girls ages 10–18. They happen in 10 different locations: South Florida, Dallas, Baltimore, Philadelphia, North Jersey, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Cleveland, and Chicago. The camps last for one week in each city, and provide lodging for kids who want the overnight experience. All camps are held on college campuses with the exception of Chicago, which is at a Holiday Inn.
The itinerary for each camp varies slightly depending on the city, but it’s the same basic program. Monday focuses on introductions and preparation. Then station work begins Tuesday. The older group of 14–18-year-olds does studio work, anchoring like on SportsCenter.
While the older group is doing their on-camera work, the younger group of 10–13 year olds does radio play-by-play of the World Series, Super Bowl, NCAA basketball championship, and the NBA Finals. The younger group will also participate in the trivia contest, before the groups switch after lunch.
Wednesday is typically a day where the camp will take a trip to a local professional or college stadium. The South Florida camp went to Marlins Park. The campers will usually do live reports from wherever they go.
The last of the on-camera work happens on Thursday. In the morning, the older group will head off to do an NFL Preview Show and “In Your Face” (the camp’s version of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption). The younger group will play Sports Scattegories or something similar. Finally the camp ends on Friday with a day of games like Sports Jeopardy and Sports Family Feud.
Throughout the week, professionals in the business visit the camp to share their stories and give advice on the broadcasting business. But once the week is over what many campers most treasure are lasting friendships.
“SBC friends are the best,” says North Jersey camper Ben Curtis.
Kids leave with enduring relationships because for the first time in their lives they are around kids similar to them. Every kid that goes to this camp is always a little different than everyone else in their school environment. Their love for sports usually is unmatched, which makes the relationships they make at camp so special. Roughly 40% of campers return for the next year.
“I think it’s a great experience,” three-time South Florida camper Max Bernstein says. “You get to learn how to broadcast the right way.” Kevin Fielder, who has attended the South Florida camp three times, learned to be prepared for anything: “I have learned that you always have to be on your feet, you can never expect things to go your way because they never will.”
Daniel Radov has attended 14 camps, a record for most camps attended in the 15 years that it has been in business. While many people might find that excessive, it has helped Radov succeed. At the age of 17, he had a radio show on Baltimore’s WSNT, and he’s now an undergrad at Columbia University.
Radov is just one of many former campers who have ended up being successful in broadcasting. Adam Lefkoe, who went to the Philadelphia camp in 2002 and 2003, currently works at Bleacher Report. Scott Braun, who went to the North Jersey and Baltimore camps from 2005-2007, hosts for MLB Network. Fifty former campers are now working in the business, with many more interning during college.
Not only does the camp offer top quality training in broadcasting, but the owners will do everything they can to get campers internships at local stations. Based on the success of the camp, we should expect to see many more campers become some of the top broadcasters in the field.