What former students have to say...

To all the instructors and staff: Congratulations on a job done beyond comparison. The instructors are easy to get info from, their teaching technique's are set for all to learn from and advance their own personal talents. The on-field drills make you want to think ahead and apply yourself to the same levels as the people putting you thru the drills. Classroom discussions allow for questions, yet don't get lengthened by unnecessary irrelevant stories. The lodging is top-notch, and the available area dining fits all tastes. I drove the 13 hrs home constantly chatting on the phone with my colleagues at home telling them about all I learned, and can't wait for our local spring meetings to answer questions and pass along what I learned. Gentlemen, thank you. I will be recommending the camp to all that are interested. 
Creighton Barker, IHSA Certified Baseball Official 
Feb 2013 Southern Umpires Camp
WOW !!! What a great learning experience. I highly recommend this camp to all umps that are serious about being a better ump. I learned more in 24hrs. than i did the last 12 months. Well worth the time and money.. Thank You for allowing me to attend. 
Chris King 
Southern Umpires Camp 2013
Tony; I just wanted to thank you and let you know that I had a great time at the camp this past weekend. I learned a lot and made few new friends. You and your staff did an excellent job with organization, content, and the facilitation of the camp. It was money very well spent! I am looking forward to using the new skill set on the field this season. Thanks again for a great camp I will recommend to all my colleagues and partners they should attend the Southern Umpire Camp. 
Maurice Turner
I wanted to write a quick email to you to say thank you for your part in my training as an umpire. Many people contributed to my maturing as an official, but you were one of those making an impact in the beginning. I attended your International camp in 92 and many of those one-day Pro Clinics that you were a part of.

I was selected to work the 2012 LL Baseball World Series after 20+ years of volunteering. It was simply a dream come true. At the end of the tournament I was selected for the plate in the Championship game, pending the final two teams. The team from my region made it to that game, so I had to be shifted (by policy) to the third-place game.

But it still felt good.

All that said, the purpose is to say thank you for your part in that.... whether you knew it or not. 
Robbie G, Macon, GA

Just wanted to say thanks for providing us the chance to work with some awesome instructors this past weekend. Picked up some great information and met some good umpires. Also, thank you for all you do to support our troops and the charities that the camp donates money to. It's always a great feeling to be a part of something like that.

So please pass along my gratitude to the entire camp staff for their efforts over the weekend. I think every umpire that has never attended a camp like this should and I will encourage every umpire I work with that has not attended one, to attend one. 
Brent C; Louisburg, NC; International 2010 Graduate

I attended Tony Thompson's Southern Umpire's Camp in Atlanta last week, and I would encourage anyone looking for additonal training to attend as well. The instruction in 2-man mechanics and rules was excellent, led by MLB umpire Paul Nauert and AA umpire Tripp Gibson. The cage sessions were also very good, led by Gibson, Nauert and MLB umpire Marvin Hudson, as were the on field situations. The camp staff does a great job of having everything set up before you get to the fields, so there is no waiting around while things get set up; you get to the field or the cage and you start. There was very little wasted time.

It is definetly worth the time and money to attend this camp; you will leave better than you were when you got there. I would imagine that the International Camp in October is just as good, and I will definetly go back. 

A big thanks to you and your staff for putting on a first class camp last weekend. I leaned a TON and really appreciate how helpful everyone was towards my improvement and especially how smoothly the entire camp ran from start to finish.

Thanks again and I look forward to returning to your camps in the future. 
Best, Brandon McWhorter, Southern 2009 graduate

I would like to thank you for the most satisfying sports camp experience I have ever had. Not only were the clinicians remarkable as a group, but the fact that every session went off without so much as a hiccup was just amazing. All of the instructors were first-rate, and Paul Nauert is so gifted that I was stunned by his energy, intensity and clarity of thought. I was extremely impressed by his extraordinary ability to teach and communicate in a clear and understandable way. Tony you came across as genuine, down to earth, and friendly. Every aspect of the Southern Umpires Camp exceeded my expectations!
Thank you, B. Caraway, Easley, SC
2009 Southern Camp
Thank you all for putting on a great camp! I thoroughly enjoyed the entire 4 days and I was very impressed with the level of instruction given as well as the passion for the game that was evident from everyone. I think you guys covered just about every facet of the game in a short amount of time! 
Chris Blackwell, High Point, NC
I wanted to once again let you know how much all of us from Virginia enjoyed the camp. Everything from the instruction provided by the umpires, the friendly nature of your staff, to the fellowship among the campers was nothing short of first class. It is easy to see why this camp has been around for 25 years.
R. Duff
I want to take the opportunity to, again, say THANK YOU. The camp was more productive and informative than I could have imagined. All the Instructors, not just Jerry, Paul, and Brian were fantastic. I was amazed at the 1 on 1 instruction that was given to everyone. I have called mostly smaller kids to this point, but I am really trying to get more older games this season. My goal is to try and get as much experience this season, so I can try and get into HS ball next season. I really appreciate all the help and instruction you guys provided. I can't wait for this season to get started. 
Thank You,
William (Skip) Griffith ; 2008 Southern Camp
International Umpires Camp Staff: 
Just wanted to say "Thank You!" for conducting a superb umpire camp this past weekend. Your sacrifices, diligent efforts , total dedication and genuine interest in providing each attending umpire/student with the best possible instruction were truly indicative throughout this past weekend's International Umpires Camp.

Again, thanks for doing what you do for the baseball umpires community. Additionally, thanks for your strong and faithful support of our military men and women and veterans.

Wayne Eaton
2006 International Camp

Tony, I thought the camp was extremely well run, and the quality of instruction was excellent. The ability of the staff to break down the rules and explain them from a practical standpoint was outstanding. As was pointed out, rule books aren't written to make them understandable to the inexperienced, and I haven't been able to find any publication that explains the nuts and bolts of the application of the rules without relying on a regurgitation of the rule itself; which doesn't provide a very good explanation of the rule. The staff was able to provide an explanation of the rules in layman's term that helped me gain a better understanding of how the rule should be applied during live action. As you know, that's critical.

The expertise of Jerry Crawford and Paul Nauert is obvious. As major leaguers, one would expect them to know the rules and mechanics inside and out. So I was more impressed with their presentation than their knowledge. Brian Hale is another matter. He's not a MLB umpire, so I didn't expect him to match their level of expertise, but that was anything but the case. Not only does he appear as knowledgeable about the rules and mechanics, his presentation, the way he got his points across was on par with the Paul and Jerry. All three was impressive and did an outstanding job, making the entire experience both informative and enjoyable as was the rest of your camp staff.
Thanks again for the opportunity to participate.
Terry Spratt,
2006 Southern Umpires Camp graduate

Now that I am back in the quiet office, I have had time to reflect on the absolutely great and highly professional camp. I was amazed at the high quality of the professionals teaching both in the classroom and on the field.

I was impressed by the fact that each student received individual instruction from Jerry Crawford or Paul Nauert no less than six (6) times each. At the other camp, I got in only once (with) the MLB umpire. The video of those sessions will be invaluable.

Also, I was impressed with the fact that no one ever said, "No" to any reasonable request. I was having a problem and asked Jerry Crawford to help me and he took the time after the drills and duplicated the lesson on my video so that I would have it to study and learn from later. Clearly, he did not have to do that, be he made sure that I received what I needed to be a better umpire.

Again, Thanks for the excellent training. I will certainly pass the word to the 300 members of my association.
Steven Levine
Alexandria, VA

Thanks for a great camp. I feel like I came away with a lot of valuable information especially regarding the mechanics aspect of umpiring from this weekend. I really appreciate y'all taking the time and effort to put this camp on. I plan to take the great info I received and try to use it in a positive way to further my umpiring career.

I really feel like I learned a lot and it was well worth the time and money. I'm already talking it up to other folks in my association. 
David Hall
Americus, GA

I had a great time, the instructors were ALL top notch, the class work, and all field instruction was very informative, the camaraderie amongst my fellow umpires was also a good time, I will recommend this camp to my brothers in my association.
Ron Rowan
Florida, NY
Tony Thompson has put together an excellent group of instructors. Each student is given personal attention from MLB Umpires on their plate and base mechanics. I highly recommend that each student invest in the video of the 3-man field work, as well as their individual cage instructions. Seeing yourself the way others see you will help you fix the little things to improve your presence and make you a more confident umpire. It is a valuable tool. The networking that happens between the students is also a huge benefit. Being a female in a very male dominant arena has its’ hurdles, but Tony and his staff are truly a professional group with class. Thank you!
Ila Valcarcel
Pine Island, FL
I really enjoyed the camp this year. I learned a lot and will definitely be attending in the future
Troy Brown
Tuscaloosa, AL
Both camps are excellent. I just returned from the International Camp and I have reflected on the experience and made notes while fresh on my mind. As with the Southern I am pleased with what I learned. I am now anxious to get on the field and start applying what I learned
Tom Kessler
Texas City, TX
I am still helping the younger guys with the mechanics I learned at the Southern and International Camps
Kevin Borgna
Wake Forest, NC
The International Camp is a very challenging camp that really increases umpire knowledge, confidence and game management. I learned so much from this camp! I hope to be able to make it again soon.
Clay Kitchings
Barnesville, GA
I recommend the camp to everyone. I had the best time and learned more there than at any other time. My plate work was improved by the lessons learned and my base work also improved.
Alan Baker
Charlotte, NC
The 2004 Southern Umpires camp was worth every dollar that I invested. The instruction was exceptional and the entire experience was a great deal of fun. It was a joy to meet guys from all around the country who came for one express reason -- to improve themselves as umpires. I highly recommend the camp to all amateur umpires -- both young and old alike. The entire instructional staff are professional, well organized and the practical on field and plate work is fast-paced and demanding, yet younger officials are given encouragement.
Gordon Greer
Greenville, SC
This is by far the best four day camp I have ever attended. I still use many skills I learned after two years.
Cory Gottsegen
Tequesta, FL
My time and money that I have invested in attending the International camps has been returned to me many times over. With the training I received I have been able to advance from High School to College Baseball and the skills I learned made umpiring baseball more enjoyable. Thanks for a wonderful life changing camp
Rick Trollinger
Raleigh, NC
Great camp with a lot of individualized instruction and outstanding instructors.
Steve Tull
Magnolia, DE
Thank you for a fun filled, informative 4 days in Atlanta this past weekend. The entire staff was friendly, approachable and most importantly knowledgeable. You guys run a top notch program. Thanks for making us amateur Umpires better!
Marcial Santos
Miami, FL
The International Camp is a well organized, professionally instructed, priceless umpiring experience. If you're truly dedicated to being the best umpire you can be, International is a stop you must make along the way.
Steve Deibel
Warrenville, SC
First class camp! Definitely the best I have attended. Very organized with no wasted time. Very good instructors and instruction. Lots of fun and laughter.
Doug Lee
Panama City, FL
I know that I will be a more complete umpire due to attending the International Umpires Camp. The instructors and information were first class in all aspects. I look forward to my sixth year in college and 10th year in high school umpiring! I would recommend this camp to any umpire looking to improve their skills and prepare for the next level in their career. Great Camp and Great Job.
Jeremy Parker 
Knoxville, TN
Great camp. Will attend again. Camp teachers are great and have a wealth of knowledge to share with students.
Alain Urbano
Miami, FL