Basketball: Danville Christian Academy camp about more than just basketball
Instructors Javan Jones, center, and Aalayah Purnell listen to youngsters Wednesday during the Danville Christian Academy basketball camp at Harrodsburg Baptist Church. (Mike Marsee / June 14, 2012)
Specifically, it also belongs to Harrodsburg Baptist Church, which has provided the facilities and some of the help for the DCA¿basketball camp, which is in its second year.
A handful of members of the church’s youth group are serving as volunteer instructors at the camp, where 53 kids filled the church’s two gymnasiums.
There are DCA¿players on hand, of course, and the camp is supervised by Jamie Middleton, the school’s athletics director and girls basketball coach. But the young church members who are helping to staff the camp say they’re glad to be involved, too.
“I’m having a blast,”¿said Cody Pike, a Mercer County basketball player and one of the teenagers from the church who is working with the kids. “It’s good to just to be out here and work with the kids. It’s about them.”
Given that the camp is run by a Christian school at a Baptist church, basketball isn’t the only thing the teens are trying to teach. And the HBC¿teens who are giving some of their time this week say they see the camp, which concludes today, as another ministry opportunity for their youth group.
“We’ll talk to them about God, and we have to try to relate basketball with God,” Javan Jones said. “Teamwork within basketball is how we aim for success, and also that’s what we need to do in Christianity is work together, because if one person decides to go and spread God to the world, it’s not really going to work, but if all the Christians come together and work together, we’ll be more successful.”
Jones said helping out at the camp is a little like working on a mission trip without leaving town.
“We don’t have to go anywhere, and it’s easy to get to the kids while they’re still young, and it’s easy for them to pick up something in their minds before they get older,” he said.
A fair percentage of the campers, who just completed grades K-5, are either DCA¿students or kids who attend or use the gym at Harrodsburg Baptist (or both), but Middleton said word about the camp was also spread to other local churches and to schools in Harrodsburg and Burgin.
Meanwhile, Jones and the other HBC¿staffers answered a call for volunteers from youth minister Chad Ramsey.
He just asked us in youth group, ‘Hey, who wants to help out with this?’ and we said, ‘Yeah, we’ll help,’” Jones said.
“It’s really fun, because I like kids, and I played basketball for a while, so it’s like the best of both worlds,” Aalayah Purnell said.
And they’re glad they did.
“It’s great, because we get to interact with the younger kids that are going to be in our position one day,” Purnell said. “It’s not all about basketball. They love to play basketball, but they get to learn about God, too. It’s really good, because I remember when I was little and I went to the church, we had opportunities like this, and it helped me with my walk with Christ, too, as a kid.”
Naturally, the teens seem to be having just as much fun as the younger kids.
“I like interacting with them, having fun with them,”¿Maggie Baker said.
And they’re happy that they’ve been able to teach them a little bit about basketball, too.
“It’s just nice to see after a couple of days, watching them pick up stuff that they might not have been doing before,”¿Jones said.