There are some things that just seem to go together. Peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, SpongeBob and Patrick, and of course, Homegrown Lacrosse and summer camp. We asked campers from recent years, “What was your favorite part of Homegrown’s summer camps?” We have compiled our survey results and the campers have spoken.
Starting out the list at number ten is the food. Our camps take place at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, MN, where we have the privilege of dining in their recently completed cafeteria known as “The View.” Stir Fry? Check. Pasta? Check. Build your own ice cream cone? Double Check. The possibilities are endless. One camper responded to the question of what was your favorite part of camp with simply, “FOOD!.”
Next on the list are the Counselors. More specifically the LDP counselors, who are volunteer high school and collegiate players. The purpose of our LDP program is to provide young players an opportunity to gain confidence in their teaching ability and also to develop as a leader. Players and LDP counselors really form a bond throughout camp and it is no more evident than during the "Counselor Panel." This portion of camp takes place on the last day when the LDP counselors gather in front of the campers who are allowed to ask any questions they want. From “What is your go-to dodge?” to “What kind of shampoo do you use?” it is a fun and valuable experience for all involved.
Coming in at number eight is “Choose Your Own Adventure”. This camp favorite allows players to pave their own way and allows for Staff / LDP Counselors to share the games and skills they are most passionate about. Each afternoon campers choose from a fresh menu of diverse elective options that run the gamut from specialized skill stations like Sniper Series, Scorpion Series, "Witness the Fitness" and Face-Offs to unstructured game options like Ultimate Lacrosse or Chumash. Players can even opt to connect with Nature via a hike along the Mississippi or learn to string their own stick.
Exclusive to the overnight camps is staying in the dorms. The Middle School and Varsity Prep camps all offer the ability to stay on campus throughout the entirety of the camp and the results of this are pretty special. Players get a taste of living on their own and get to form a bond with players from all over Minnesota.
Channel your inner Katniss Everdeen because making the list at number six is the “Lacrosse Hunger Games," now also know as "Lacrosse Fortnite." During this game, allegiances are set aside. One-hundred enter but only one returns. It is a camper favorite and quite the spectacle to see.
This is arguably one of our most unforgettable “Choose Your Own Adventure” options, the “Nature Walk with Coach Voss.” Outdoorsman and nature enthusiast Coach Vossen takes campers through the woods and down to the Mississippi River Bluffs for a chance of discovery and reflection. Campers get to embrace nature by encountering things like an epic view of the Minneapolis skyline and a hidden waterfall.
Making the list at number four is the "Tournament of Campions". The tournament requires courage and skill. Rumor has it that past Champions include Lebron James and Paul Rabil. Campers, Counselors, and Staff are divided into four teams which compete throughout the week in everything from full-field games, to dance contests, to competitive ball-hunts (a Senior Staff favorite...). The team atmosphere is where relationships amongst players really strengthen. These games get pretty intense and it is fun to see the teams come together throughout the course of the camp.
The third on the countdown is enrichment. The enrichment sessions take place every day after lunch and are meant to encourage growth not only as a lacrosse player but as a person as well. Sessions include goal-setting, team-building, yoga, reflection and other age-group specific character development topics.
Coming in at number two is the skill growth that takes place at camp. At the beginning of each camp, we challenge each camper to be a sponge - to soak in as much knowledge as they can over the course of their time at camp, and they do. The strides that campers take with stick skills, shooting, defending and lacrosse I.Q. are impressive. It is truly rewarding for all involved hearing feedback from parents about the growth in their child's game after they leave camp.
Topping the list of the Top 10 Reasons We Love Summer Camp is… the fun. Hunger games, nature walks, and counselor panels. It is evident that Homegrown summer camps are unlike most lacrosse camps you’ll encounter. Off-field sessions are just as important as the on-field sessions. The primary focus of camp is not only raising the level of lacrosse skill but also providing each individual camper an unforgettable experience.