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WKU Student Continues Basketball Camp for Fourth Year

BOWLING GREEN, Ky (6/13/13) -- When Perry Swack was a sophomore in high school, he felt the need to start a church basketball league. He said that there was a church softball league, but not basketball and he felt that was a need that needed to be reached as a lot of kids enjoy basketball. That year, the winter of 2007, Swack began the Church Basketball Association.

This league consists of churches of multiple denominations across the Bowling Green and Warren County area having teams from their youth group to play one another.

From 2008-2011, the league was played at the recreation center of First Baptist Church. However, after the 2011 season, First Baptist expanded their programs so that the recreation center would be used more often and the league would not be able to continue there. Swack had to begin working to find a new location.

"God opened a door at Forest Park Baptist Church," Swack said.

As the league was played at Forest Park, Swack decided to have a camp that would be a way of giving back to the community and getting more people involved. Every summer, he has been having a Church Basketball Association camp.

He noticed that Dishman-McGinnis Elementary School was across the street from Forest Park. He and another leader of the Assocation, Derek Logsdon, visited the school and when they arrived at the playground, they found a small area with one basketball goal that was shabby. They traveled to the back of the building and found a huge concrete slab with several basketball goals.

"It was like the promised land," Swack said.

After talking with the school, Swack was able to begin having the camp there. Through sponsorship, $1,800 was raised last year for the camp in order to use for t-shirts for the children that attend, as well as snacks and various other things for the camp.

The camp is currently going on. It began on June 10 and continues through June 14. Over $2,000 has been raised through sponsorship this year and is still coming in. Swack hopes to use extra money to give back to the community. The camp has more kids than every before, at a little under 100. There have been between 40-50 staffers help this year.

Next month, Swack is planning to work with several of the staffers to go visit the homes where children have come from and have follow up time with them after the camp to see how they are doing and how they can be helped.

Now a senior at Western Kentucky University, Swack will be passing leadership of the camp and association off to someone else after graduation in May. He is going to theological seminary to train for the ministry. It is still undetermined which seminary.

He said he is still in prayer of who to pass it off to. He also said that he would love to come back to Bowling Green during camp week, even while in seminary to help with the camp.

"Part of good leadership is leaving things better than they were when you came and finding adequate leadership to take your place when you are gone," Swack said.

He said that Dishman-McGinnis is closing its school because they are breaking ground on a new location, but the camp is still going to be able to be held at the old school because it is in a community of need.

Aaron Frasier
SurfKY News Group

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