Summer Camping on Camera

Play by Play campers spend time on both sides of the camera. (Courtesy photo)

In 17 years of organizing sports broadcasting camps, Jeremy Treatman and Steven Goldstein have noticed something about those who attend: The children love talking sports.

That’s a great head start on a career in the business, if the campers are interested.

“The kids who come to our camp are sports fanatics,” Goldstein said. “They know every player, every team, every stat. What we do is we take that knowledge … and we put them on camera and teach them all aspects of sports broadcasting.”

Sports Broadcasting Camps is based in Philadelphia, where founder and co-owner Treatman worked in broadcast media. Co-owner Goldstein handles the business end of SBC.

Two years ago, they added Dallas to the roster of Play by Play camp cities that includes Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

The inaugural Dallas camp drew 24 children, and last year’s had 36, Goldstein said. “We’re hoping to have between 40 and 50 kids this summer.”

A feature of every camp is the chance to interview a professional athlete. Last year, it was Dallas Cowboys defensive back Anthony Brown. Campers also learn from professional broadcasters. Texas Rangers broadcaster Jared Sandler and Dallas Mavericks radio voice Chuck Cooperstein participated a year ago.

At the SMU camp, students will make play-by-play tapes of pro football, baseball, and basketball games and make sideline reporting tapes.

A list of participating sportscasters, athletes, and coaches hasn’t been announced yet.

“Every kid gets something different out of it,” Goldstein said. “For the younger kids, they’re on camera usually for the first time; they enjoy that. They enjoy meeting the celebrities, and it’s kind of a dream week for them.”

Older campers can get an idea of what parts of the business they may want to pursue as they head to college, he said. “Did they like the reporting part of it? Did they like anchoring? Did they like hosting shows? Or maybe they liked writing their own scripts.”

Forbes Magazine reported in 2016 that increasing media rights deals are creating a demand for broadcasters and content producers in a sports industry that could generate $73.5 billion by 2019 in North America. “There has never been a better time to break into the business of sports journalism,” wrote Forbes contributor Jason Belzer.

Goldstein said the camp gives serious broadcasting hopefuls a head start. He recalled hearing back from a former camper who went on to study broadcasting in college. The student said, “‘I was so far ahead of these other kids as far as on-air. None of these kids did what I did at 13, 14, 15, 16 years old,’” Goldstein said.

But the camp is for anyone, whether they are serious about becoming broadcasters or not, he said. “And other kids want to come just because they love sports and they love talking sports, and for them, they just have a blast during that week.”