WILLIAMSON — Since 1994 children have been able to learn the basics of basketball and the necessities of life at the First Baptist Bible Basketball Camp at the Williamson Fieldhouse.
Beginning July, 18. area children will be taught the basics of basketball along with the necessities of life at the 22nd annual First Bible Basketball Camp being held at the Williamson Fieldhouse. The event has helped shape the minds, hearts and jump shots of local children for the last 22 years and nothing much has changed said one of the event organizers; Robin Griffey.
“The last few years we have been averaging about a hundred kids at the camp. We still have the same format and everyone loves it,” said Griffey.
Perhaps the most important part of the camp is what the event organizers call “Chalk Talk,” where different individuals address the children about biblical teachings and how they transfer to every day life. The “X’s” and “O’s” of being a good ball player and person. For 22 year children have worked through four basketball stations before setting down with the coaches at the end of the day for “Chalk Talk.”
Craig Coster, an event founder, said, “As Pastor Tom Stevens and I spoke of our desire to bring kids into the church, we had witnessed wonderful experiences with Vacation Bible School but there was something missing. We started looking at the passions of the community and knew that athletics had to be involved. Everyone remembers the glory days of Wolfpack Basketball teams.So, we began trying to figure out what this would look like. Giving younger children the basic skills of playing basketball was the goal. We used some of the teens to teach basic skills of dribbling, layups, free throws, and scrimmage play.
Coster continued by saying, “However, the most important part of the evening was the “Chalk Talk.” Here, different individuals spoke to the children rotating through this part of the evening plans to share a “playbook” of Scriptural teaching. Each night had a different theme. At the end of the week, the announcer from Marshall University’s radio station was the keynote speaker to present the Gospel Message after the children demonstrated what they had learned. At that ‘closing program,’ the children showed their parents how they could do free throws, layups, etc… followed by a short scrimmage between different groups. Then, Stan Cotton, I think Stan was his first name, spoke and shared what Jesus Christ was doing in his life.I think there there were approximately 6-8 children per group and probably seven groups, though this is strictly from memory. “
The camp will go from July, 18. to July 22. and will have two age groups available. Ages 4-8 will begin at 6:00 p.m. and last until 7:30 p.m. Ages 9-13 will start at 7:30 p.m. and last until 9:00 p.m.
On the final day campers will enjoy a pizza party with everyone beginning at 6:00 p.m. The cost of the camp is five dollars, which is to compensate for the price of the t-shirts the children will receive. The campers will also receive a bible and a special prize on the final day.
If transportation is needed or if anyone would like more information don’t hesitate to call the church at 304-235-1930.
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242, or at [email protected] of on twitter @sidplaster)