Lacrosse the Nations is starting up a new campaign this week. It's called "Your First Day of Lacrosse."
It's in honor of our approaching trip to Panama, and the children we will have the privilege of working with down there. This will be the FIRST time these kids will ever see the game of lacrosse. Some may absolutely hate it, some will love it. "Your First Day of Lacrosse" is a campaign that's aimed to honor the moments of discovery that await these kids. And to reconnect all of YOU - LtN's supporters, donors, and believers - to this first moment of discovery for you: the first time you experienced something that you knew you'd love for the remainder of your life.
When was the first time you ever saw a lacrosse stick?
Did you pick it up? Try and play?
Did you look on with admiration?
Did you sit there wondering what the heck those kids were using sticks to throw a ball around for?
No matter how familiar or how foreign the sport of lacrosse was to you, at one point in your life, on one day, it was something brand new and exciting - something that made you feel a certain way.
As we prepare to launch our pilot programs in Panama, I've started thinking a lot about what makes programs successful, what creates the best experience and provides the most benefit to those involved. I remembered back to when I was first introduced to the game of lacrosse, and how it made me feel to play on my very first day. It was tricky, it was cool, it was fun, and it was different. Within the first practice, I was able to pick up catching and throwing pretty easily, and I was pretty pumped as a little 5th grader showing off my skills to novice 6th and 7th graders. Lacrosse made me feel like no other sport had so far. As a young girl it gave me confidence and put a smile on my face.
As I grew, so did my love for it - it became a way to socialize, to compete, to learn from and with others. It inevitably made me a better person, got me to an incredible college (Go 'Ders), and introduced me to people who have changed my life in every sense of the word. Lacrosse allowed me to travel to Nicaragua, where I learned more about myself in 13 months than I had thus far in my 22 years. During my time there I shared my every-day life with absolute strangers - incredible kids, families, and role models (@Normdaddy) that I would NEVER have met otherwise. I can trace so many of my attributes, so many of my favorite memories, so many of the most challenging but rewarding moments of my life back to my first day of lacrosse.
"Your First Day of Lacrosse" is a campaign we are running over our social media from now until the end of our summer trips to Panama. We will be sharing stories of our players, staff members, volunteers, and friends on what they remember about their first day of lacrosse. We hope that you all will be able to use these stories to jog your own memory of your first days. Share these memories us. Post it and tag us, recount it with your friends, respond to this blog post, whatever you'd like! Remember your first day of lacrosse with admiration, and be sure to reflect on where you have come since that day. We will be asking our new kiddos in Panama these same questions after their first day of lacrosse, in hopes that this will be a time that they look back on one day with the same nostalgia and gratitude that we do.