Lax-4-Life Campers - 2010.
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm in partnership with the U.S. Marshals and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa are proud to present the second annual Lax-4-Life Camp, a four day overnight lacrosse camp for Native American youth, at the Fond du Lac Native American Reservation from July 25-28.
The camp is also in partnership with the Native American Law Enforcement Summit (NALES) and Lax-4-Life co-founder Clint Letch, Under Armour and the Fond du Lac Diabetes Foundation.
The partners look at this unique venture as a way to offer a healthy alternative to problems that currently affect Native communities such as gangs, drugs, violence, and diabetes. The group aims to preserve the heritage of the Native’s ancestral game, with an end goal of restoring the tradition of lacrosse to tribal communities.
“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to continue this program for the second year in a row,” Swarm co-owner and vice president Andy Arlotta said. “Big-time partners have gotten involved such as the U.S. Marshals, which gives us that much more credibility in what we are doing. To be able to continue to grow this program with new reservations and new kids is really exciting. The support we’ve received from the Fond du Lac Reservation has been tremendous. Without the efforts of Bryan Bosto and the Fond du Lac Tribal Council, this camp would not be possible. I’m really excited to see everyone again next week and get our second year up and rolling.”
Five tribal communities were represented during the inaugural camp in Northern Minnesota last year, which featured close to 30 kids. The number of campers is expected to surpass 50 boys and girls from seven tribal communities this year. Tribal communities in attendance next week include Fond du Lac, Prairie Island, Oneida Nation, Little Earth, Lac Courte Orelles, Grand Portage, and Mille Lacs.
“I believe it is important to give our youth an opportunity to succeed,” Brookston Community Center Manager Bryan Bosto said. “To hear Andy Arlotta talk directly with our youth last year about the possibilities of assisting our kids with skills development training, assist with the creation of a team, college recruitment and drafting Native Americans from our communities into the professional lacrosse league is what made me want to do this again this year. This is the first time that our youth had the opportunity to be in hearing distance of a professional owner talk directly to them about their future. For me it’s about giving our youth the opportunity of success through leadership skills both on and off the field.“
Campers will receive instruction from former NLL forward and Swarm assistant coach Aime Caines, defenseman and world champion Joe Cinosky, and director of lacrosse operations Kevin Dunnigan. Camp curriculum will not only cover the basics of lacrosse, but will also offer valuable life lessons with sessions focusing on health, nutrition, culture and community.
“This is a great opportunity for these kids,” Caines said. “It offers them a chance to meet different kids from other tribal communities and build lasting friendships. At the same time they learn the history of their game and build a connection with the sport. This camp is much more than just lacrosse. It teaches them useful life lessons that they can then apply in their communities.”
Lax-4-Life Camp curriculum and programming includes:
- Basic and intermediate lacrosse instruction - Individual skill development
- Tactical instruction and competitive play - Five-on-Five game play sessions
- Cultural and community sessions - Healthy habits and nutrition workshops
- Athletic speed and agility training - Lacrosse equipment maintenance lessons (stick stringing, etc.)
2011 Lax-4-Life Partners
Presenting partners: U.S. Marshals, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Minnesota Swarm
Supporting partners: Native American Law Enforcement Summit (NALES) and Lax-4-Life Co-Founder Clint Letch, Under Armour
Community partners: Fond du Lac Diabetes Foundation
For its efforts in developing lacrosse programs for Native youth on the Fond du Lac and Prairie Island Reservations, the Minnesota Swarm was recently recognized at the White House on July 11 during First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move in Indian Country initiative. This past year, the Swarm helped support the first all-Native youth box lacrosse team in Minnesota and developed a lacrosse organization on the Prairie Island Reservation.