Summer camps can be a great opportunity to learn lacrosse and take you out of your comfort zone to show you things you didn't think you could do! You of course have to do your research, as you want to go to an "instructional" type of camp, where you actually learn new skills or ways to improve current skills. Some camps are simply recruiting camps for high level players, where you simply are going to be recruited to play and there is no skill instruction taught; they mostly just play all day long. You don't really learn as much in those camps other than what you see from stronger players (indeed, those type of camps are for top level players looking to play D1 NCAA lacrosse).
Regardless, with any camp you will get out of it what you put into it (more on that at bottom), you just have to go in with right frame of mind and do your homework when finding a camp that works for your schedule
We strongly recommend players go to an overnight camp OUT OF STATE. Reason for this is simple: the level of play at in-town or in-state camps is currently not really conducive to maximizing your potential. When you are the strongest players in camp, it does not help you grow as a player because you will not be challenged by other top players(the only time its great to be the strongest player in a camp is at recruiting camps!). It is much better to go out of state to a college camp where majority of players are stronger than you are so that you can challenge yourself to grow.
The better overnight camps which are organized by top college programs will typically run $500-$600 for 4 days (3 nights) and include full days of instruction and activity.
- The March issue of Lacrosse Magazine annually has a directory of camps by state. All players with an active USL membership should be receiving Lacrosse Magazine unless they opted out (not sure why anyone would do that).
- InsideLacrosse.com has a very similar list online.
If you have questions about a particular camp or anything, don't hesitate to ask!
Out of State camps
- AmonteSports (affiliated with Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill) hosts some of the best camps. Recommend the Black camp for JV level and Purple camp for Varsity level.
- North Carolina Lacrosse Camps. UNC won the national championship last year, and their coach is notorious for doing things the right way, with good attitude, and not just being about winning. Our recommendation is the Super Stars camp TWO PLAYERS ATTENDING SUMMER ELITE CAMP JUNE 16-18
- Johns Hopkins Lacrosse Camps. Hopkins coach Janine Tucker is a very good teacher of the game, and her players always have great fundamentals. This also would be great camp to try. Recommendation is the Blue Jay Premier Camp
- Peak Goalie camp (in Mass) is highly recommended. This is a goalie-only camp.
- AmonteSports has goalie camps associated with both the Black and Purple camps.
Get out of it what you put into it!
Any camp you attend (not just lacrosse, but any sport or activity) it needs to be with the right frame of mind. If you go in with a willingness to learn and improve, to try new things and not be afraid to make mistakes (we don't learn UNTIL we fall; its how we get back up and move forward from the fall that matters), and above all with good attitude, then you will get alot out of it. Ask questions, ask for help on things you aren't sure of, or that you want to be even better at.
Coach Elmore: "I have had players go to an out of state camp and come back saying it was a bad experience. However, they only said that because they didn't want to be there in first place; I also contacted the camp and found out that my players had not tried hard, and were more interested in being social. They didn't get it that when you go to lacrosse camp, you are going there to play lacrosse!"