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My favorite camp of the summer was the one my 9-year-old son Declan did on a spit of grass on the side of the street in our neighborhood. It was free and put on by a group of high school boys who love the game of lacrosse so much that they dedicated a week of their free time introducing and teaching it to 9-12 year-olds.
“We’ve played lacrosse our whole lives and remember how awesome it was to play at such a young age,” said Isaiah Dawson, one of the camp counselors who now, in his senior year at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, California, is ranked by Inside Lacrosse as the No. 1 high school senior player in the country. “We wanted to give that experience back to the younger kids. I remember playing in 4th and 5th grade, and how much of a blast I had doing camps and there were a lot of times it was really expensive to go to them. So we kind of have the best of both worlds to be able to do it ourselves and give it to them for free.”
The idea was borne when 14-year-old freshman Tyler Buchner was looking for meaningful charity work to do to fulfill his school’s requirements. Doing random acts of charity, an hour picking up trash or putting away books at the library, he didn’t feel like he was making a difference. “I got bored and wasn’t’ really passionate about it,” says Tyler, “so I figured, what if I could do something I enjoy, something I have a passion for and thought lacrosse would be the perfect way to do it.” Tyler sent out a text message to a few of his teammates who also loved the idea and jumped on board. With the help of his mom’s contact list they had a roster of campers signed up to attend almost immediately.