Three Years and Going Strong: The Lax-4-Life Camp Brings Sport to Native Youth
Since 2009, Lax-4-Life Inc., a national lacrosse campaign, has continually aimed to provide and support adolescent and young adult suicide prevention programs. Most recently, Lax-4-Life received national praise when they were honored at the White House during Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move in Indian Country” initiative in 2011.
This year the National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Minnesota Swarm has partnered with the Minnesota Army National Guard and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superiors Chippewa to present the third annual Lax-4-Life Camp.
According to their press release, the camp started on July 23rd, and is a five-day intensive lacrosse camp for Native boys and girls held on the Fond du Lac reservation. It offers “a healthy alternative to problems that currently affect Native Communities such as gangs, drugs, suicide, violence, and diabetes. The partners aim to preserve the heritage of the Native’s ancestral game and help restore the tradition of lacrosse to tribal communities.”
Lax-4-Life campers will receive lacrosse instruction from a few noted NLL professionals including Andrew Suitor, Minnesota Swarm captain and 2012 NLL Transition Player of the Year, Aimes Caines, Minnesota Swarm assistant coach, and Meg Herlofsky, head coach of Hamline’s Women’s Lacrosse Club.
On top of these training sessions, campers will also attend classes that cover topics such as resiliency, risk reductions, and suicide prevention hosted by the Minnesota Army National Guard throughout the week.
"The Minnesota Army National Guard is a strong supporter of diversity and we believe that capitalizing on the best each person has to offer starts with empowering today's youth with opportunity, tools and support necessary for personal development and growth," said Lt. Col. Stephen Burggraff, Commander of Minnesota Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion about their partnership with Lax-4-Life.
Once again this year all camp activities will take place at the Brookston Community Center and thanks to Lax-4-Life’s partnership with the University of Minnesota, campers will lodge at the university’s Cloquet Forestry Center at no cost.
“Exciting, is the only way that I can best describe this year’s event,” said Bryan “Bear” Bosto, Manager of the Brookston Community Center and Lax-4-Life co-founder. “We continue to provide a door of opportunity to our Native youth with the partnerships that have been created through Lax-4-Life. The University of Minnesota has agreed to a five-year commitment to the camp, and the Minnesota Army National Guard has provided more than what was asked for which is simply amazing.”
For more information about Lax-4-Life Inc., please visit their website here.