SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Bryan “Bear” Bosto, who is one of the co-founders of the Minnesota Swarm’s Lax-4-Life Camp, was recently recognized at the White House as a Champion of Change for his efforts in bringing the traditional Native American sport of lacrosse back to his community in Fond du Lac, Minn.
Bosto, who serves as the Manager of the Brookston Community Center, has hosted Lax-4-Life for the past two years at this facility in Northern Minnesota. Lax-4-Life is a week-long summer lacrosse camp held in July for Native American boys and girls that provides coaching on the sport as well as lessons on leadership skills, healthy decision making, nutrition knowledge, and physical fitness. This past summer in its second year of existence, Lax-4-Life saw its participation numbers double to nearly 50 kids from seven tribal communities.
“It’s a huge honor to be recognized for the work that we are doing,” Bosto said. “A lot of hard work went into this one project.”
Bosto was chosen along with a handful of others from across the country in part of the Let’s Move campaign, which honored local leaders who are inspiring and empowering America’s youth to lead active, healthy lifestyles.
“I’m really proud of him and happy that he was recognized for the things that he is doing both for his reservation as well as for the state of Minnesota,” Lax-4-Life Co-Founder and Swarm Co-Owner Andy Arlotta said. “He has championed this program on his reservation from day one.”
During Bosto’s trip to Washington D.C., First Lady Michelle Obama congratulated the Champions of Change recipients in person and presented the ceremonies’ opening remarks. Bosto also received a signed letter from President Obama for his work.
“I brought it home and looked it over,” Bosto said. “I looked pretty close to see if it was signed by an autopen, but it’s wasn’t. It was an actual signature from the President.
“The great thing about it is that I’ve had kids asking questions about this document. They’ve been asking, ‘Where did you get this?’ and ‘Why did you get this?’ I’m passing on that mentorship role now. You do some hard work and keep going, you never know where your life is going to take you.”
The 2012 Lax-4-Life Camp presented by the Minnesota National Guard will be held this summer from July 23-27 in Fond du Lac, Minn. Last year, Lax-4-Life was recognized at the White House during First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move in Indian Country initiative.