Cloquet, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Minnesota Swarm wrapped up its fourth annual "Lax 4 Life" camp on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Cloquet, but it was four days spent teaching kids about much more than lacrosse.
"Us being involved, we like doing it," said Aime Caines, the Swarm's assistant coach. "I'll come back as long as I'm invited. It's one of those camps, just to be here as a positive role model for some of the kids, is awesome."
It's a chance for Minnesota's only professional lacrosse team to give something back.
"The kids are the most important thing, giving back to them and giving them direction is huge for them," Corbyn Tao, a forward for the Swarm. "It gives them something to look forward to, role models, and all sorts of things."
With more than 40 kids here this week, the camp continues to grow each year.
While they play lacrosse all day, the camp staff says the most important part is sending the kids home with life lessons.
"It's more than just a lacrosse camp; it's more of a life camp," said Caines. "We touch on anything from suicide to diabetes, and we give them healthy choices."
"What better way to get kids in the community to take pride in themselves and still get that team concept. Maybe pick up a lacrosse stick instead of some drugs or a weapon," Clinton Letch, the co-founder "Lax 4 Life."
It's game that has ties to the native culture, but has been forgotten over the years.
"That's the whole goal, to get them playing their game on their reservations so that's what we're trying to get the kids out of this camp," said Caines.
"To keep my community connected to the game because back home they're not really connected to the game," Aaron Buckanaga, a camp counselor.
They're representing seven different tribal communities at "Lax 4 Life," a week–long camp that has made a life–long impact.
"Knowing the game, coming out more skilled than you came in, making friends, making connections, and meeting new people," said Buckanaga.
"I'm just glad I could be here and hope to come back next year," said Tao.
Posted by Sarah Wheeler