Church Tourney At Berlin Park Approved

BERLIN – Town officials approved a local church’s request to hold a basketball camp at Henry Park at a meeting this week.

On Monday, the Berlin Town Council approved a request from Ocean City Baptist Church to hold a youth basketball camp at Henry Park from July 15-18.

“It has been our goal for a long time to have a positive impact on the community,” said Dustin Wheelock, who presented the church’s request.

According to Wheelock, the church has offered a soccer program for years and wanted to offer a basketball program as well.

“We just don’t have the facility to do it,” he said.

He said the church was seeking the town’s permission to host the four-day camp at Henry Park the week of July 15. The program will cost $50 a child, he said, but added that scholarships would be available for participants who needed financial support.

When asked how many kids he expected to participate, Wheelock said he was hoping for 100. He indicated that the church already had connections through its soccer program.

“There is a large amount of kids we can reach,” he said.

Councilman Dean Burrell asked why the church had asked for a waiver of the fee required to rent the park when it was already charging kids to participate. Ocean City Baptist Church’s Sean Davis said that the camp fee each child paid would cover the cost of equipment and shirts.

Mary Bohlen, the town’s administrative services director, said the church had initially presented the camp as a free activity and had not completed the form that allowed for a business use of the park.

“If they’re charging a fee it becomes a business use of park,” she said.

The council approved the church’s request, and a waiver of the park fee, on the condition that the required “business use of park” form was submitted. Councilman Zack Tyndall asked Wheelock to also ensure that advertising to promote the camp included information about the scholarships that would be available.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.