By LAX Coach Ashley Mossey
My first summer at ‘The 6’ will forever be a summer to remember. Throughout my two sessions I made connections and friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I can see why the campers keep coming back each summer – of course it’s fun to go to sport majors and work on getting better at your chosen sport, but together as a unit we all fit together becoming one community. Each camper is unique and is recognized in a way that allows them to grow athletically, personally and become a better Jew. During lacrosse, we would embody the Jewish value of the day and apply it to each drill we did throughout the morning and evening sessions. Pride, sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership, growth, and intention are values that the campers can focus on in their sports majors but also apply in their everyday lives.
One of my favorite parts of camp was our bracelet ceremonies. I would give out a bracelet either at the beginning or end of each sports major session, but throughout the day, young lacrosse girls would come up to me and ask if they, too, could give out a bracelet to a teammate who demonstrated the J-Life value of the day. We set aside time each day for the girls to give out bracelets and speak in front of the group as to why that individual deserved it. Giving the girls the power to cheer on one another and to let them know their hard work was not going unnoticed were always special moments for me.
Another great part of camp was the Leadership Team vs. Camper game we played on our second to last night of second session. The girls led the warm-up, partnered with the staff to teach them the basics of lacrosse, and played with sportsmanship and pride, displaying to one another that together they can work and win as a team!
Each day we would walk onto the field and embody the term “anachnu chayalim,” which in Hebrew means “we are warriors.” This is a tradition passed down from the previous coach and is a great way to intertwine our Jewish culture into lacrosse. Anachnu chayalim signified that when we stepped onto the field we shut out any distractions and got into the mindset to play. At the end of each session one camper would lead our cheer and together would say “we are warriors, we are strong!”
Watching these young girls become empowered as Jewish athletes is something I’m very lucky to have witnessed. I can’t wait to come back and do it all again next year with what I hope is the largest summer of LAX ‘The 6’ has ever seen!