About 180 girls from across Western Canada with dreams of volleyball stardom packed into a gym in southern Saskatchewan this weekend.

They were all vying for the spotlight in the only camp of its type in the country.

Scouts representing universities from across the United States and Canada came to the town of Assiniboia, population 2,300, located about 170 kilometres southwest of Regina.

The event at the Assiniboia Composite High School gym takes place largely due to the efforts of local motel owner and former coach Bill Fong, who started the camp two decades ago.

People have watched with astonishment as his small camp grew, he said.

  "Basically, people just came, schools just came," Fong said. "If you're going to see kids, you've gotta bring the schools up."

Some of the girls at the camp go on to win scholarships to play university volleyball.

"We had a girl at a camp, she was a great setter. Ten guys line up, they wanted to talk to this girl. She ended up going to Michigan State," Fong said.

Kim Lissinna, originally from Kelvington, Sask., is a former Assiniboia camp attendee who was back on the weekend as a university scout.

She was picked up by Weber State after a scout spotted her at the camp, played NCAA volleyball in Utah, and is now an assistant coach in South Carolina at Charleston Southern University.

Moving on to the next level of volleyball success was an eye-opening experience, she said.

"They will have packed houses of 5,000 fans at a volleyball match and it's definitely different," she said. "I mean, in my high school we were lucky to have five kids show up to watch."

Fong says based on past experience, about 60 per cent of the girls who go through the camp will go on to play in university.