Luke Winstel and Cheney Harden came to Communication and Media Preview (CAMP) wanting to learn more about sports communication. Luke, a junior, works as a sports announcer, covering six different teams for St. Pius X Catholic High School’s webcast. Cheney is a senior cheerleader at Cherokee High School and has a passion for photography and digital editing. They both live in Georgia, they both love sports, and they are both asking big questions about their futures. In other words, they are exactly the kind of students who benefit from the College’s newest high school program.
“I wanted to come to C&IS CAMP because I wanted to learn more about the sports broadcasting field and what it would be like to work on a broadcast team in college,” said Luke.
“The more I looked into CAMP, I realized that it would provide me with tools to use in the industry I want to enter: sports communication,” Cheney said. “My ideal career path deals with athletic management with a focus on image repair.”
After an intense week of diving headfirst into sports communication, they traveled home a step ahead of their peers. Through hands-on learning and classroom discussions, 50 students like Luke and Cheney discovered a variety of career opportunities surrounding sports communication at the very first CAMP. They engaged in specialized skill seminars, interactive presentations from industry professionals and C&IS faculty, a team lip-sync battle, collaborative workshops and a final group campaign.
“Getting experience through the campaign helped me hone my skills and develop as a communicator,” said Luke. “We were able to participate in a press conference with the UA men’s tennis and women’s gymnastics teams, which gave me valuable experience I can use as an aspiring sportscaster.”
Before ever stepping foot on campus as a college freshman, CAMP participants experienced what it’s like to learn from some of the nation’s leading educators in areas such as advertising, public relations, video production, news media and public speaking. The participants were immersed in an atmosphere that offered a real glimpse into what college is like.
“It was very beneficial to work with professors from The University in a smaller, group setting when it came time to work on our skills,” said Cheney. “I was one of the people in my group not as accustomed to visual design, so having the professors there to help teach us the skills we needed was awesome!”
No matter the task at hand—a skill session with a C&IS faculty member or taking notes during the hype video presentation from Crimson Tide Productions—CAMP encouraged participants to grow in areas where they may have had little experience. Introducing high school students to highly technical camera and production equipment and industry-leading, video and photography editing software comes with a steep learning curve. The students rose to the challenge and produced campaigns worthy of the UA Athletics teams they represented.
“A part of CAMP that was difficult for me was video editing,” said Luke. “I had never attempted it before, and it was very tough to learn at first. The faculty and CAMP leaders were extremely helpful, and I improved in two or three days.”
Whether it is print journalism or a web-based video broadcast, finishing assignments under a deadline somewhat defines the communication industry. CAMP participants gained valuable experience completing their campaigns while working against the clock. The adversity of a hard deadline and the teamwork needed to complete a major project went hand in hand in forging relationships.
“This was by far one of the best experiences I have ever had, bonding with the people at CAMP,” said Cheney. “From my roommates to my team members and even to participants who were on other project teams, I formed amazing friendships which will last.”
“I got to meet a multitude of peers with similar interests and learn from them,” said Luke. “I still stay in contact with them, and made many new friends I would not have if I did not attend CAMP.”
C&IS CAMP brought together students from across the country to experience the
world of sports communication. Altogether, this new program required a year of preparation and collaboration from C&IS faculty and staff, partners in UA Athletics and a small army of student leaders. According to Luke, it was all worthwhile.
“This experience was one of the best I have ever had in my life. Before CAMP, I was not really considering The University of Alabama as an option for college, but after CAMP, it is number one on my list.”
Registration is now live for C&IS CAMP 2018! For frequently asked questions, registration information and pricing, visit our CAMP website here.