The Colorado Mammoth wrapped up another successful Summer Camp, presented by Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, at Foothills Fieldhouse Wednesday afternoon with 80 youth athletes in attendance as the sun shined down and sticks stayed hot.
As the Mammoth remain dedicated to growing the game of lacrosse throughout the lacrosse-forward state of Colorado, youth athletes between the ages of 7 and 14 were scattered throughout two fields of hard-working campers as forwards Connor Robinson, Dylan Kinnear and Eli McLaughlin joined defensemen Jordan Gilles and Warren Jeffrey in leading the skill-building charge.
“We’ve been doing a lot of fun drills, keeping them energized. They’ve been really good, loud and fun, so it’s been easy to work with them,” Mammoth defenseman Warren Jeffrey shared Wednesday.
“A lot of these kids have season ticket memberships to our games, they come out and watch us and know who all of our players are, so getting out here and spending some time with them more personally means a lot to them and a lot to us. I remember doing camps like this at a young age and it’s cool to be a part of.”
Featuring a variety of drills sharpening shooting, passing and defensive techniques and approaches, Mammoth players turned camp instructors interacted with the lacrosse stars of the future during the three-day camp in sunny Lakewood, Colorado.
“You want to turn the practices and the drills into fun games where they can actually enjoy themselves and they’re actually getting better while they’re out there,” Mammoth forward Connor Robinson said.
“Lacrosse is supposed to be fun. If it’s not fun, why play? You’re supposed to have a smile on your face, running around with your friends. Beautiful day, the sun is shining. What’s not to love about it? Have fun, keep playing, it’s supposed to be fun!”
Despite many of the players involved in the training sessions are playing in other summer leagues around North America (Dillon Ward: PLL Water Dogs, Warren Jeffrey: PLL Archers, Eli McLaughlin: Peterborough Lakers, Connor Robinson/Dylan Kinnear: Langley Thunder), they understand the importance of taking time to give back to the Colorado lacrosse community.
“Summer camp, spring camp: It’s about coming out here with your friends, having so much fun, getting outdoors and enjoying the sunshine. This is the most fun. This is where you enjoy and kind of fall in love with the game, or at least, this is where I fell in love with the game. Coming out here for summer camps and playing lacrosse with my friends,” Robinson added.
“I had the privilege of being taught by great coaches and great players and really fine-tuned my lacrosse skills that way, so I’m really doing a disservice if I’m not able to share my experiences and knowledge with the kids and the next generation of players. Coming down to Denver and playing for the Mammoth, they do a great job connecting with local organizations and teaching the kids, so I’m more than happy to come show a few things. If they pick up one or two things, it’s going to help them throughout their entire lacrosse career and just growing up as kids.”
Organized and run by Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward, who also serves as the organization’s Lacrosse Development Manager, the All-World veteran has coached lacrosse for nearly 10 years now, and continues to do so alongside his wife and 2025 Pride squad.
“So much of our fanbase are young kids who play lacrosse or are being introduced to lacrosse, so for us to be out here and have the players accessible to teach them, work with them and have fun with them is huge for our fanbase and it’s great for us to have that connection with the community,” Ward shared.
“For us to be able to run a camp like this, have 80 participants come, and a lot of them be fans of the Mammoth … We’re trying to grow our fanbase organically from the grassroots, so this is a great way to do that.”
At the end of the week, prizes were awarded and autographs were signed, while plenty of calories were burned and the sticks got dialed in. But at the end of the day, it’s all about having a good time while growing the game.
“When you get a group of rambunctious 11-year-olds with metal sticks, balls and the ability to run around, it’s going to be pure mayhem for the most part, but it’s all in good fun,” Robinson concluded.
“These kids are here to get better, to improve their lacrosse skills and we’re just here to make sure they have a good time.”