HLL Boys Happy to Host

Concord-Carlisle (MA) Lacrosse Program Brings Boys to Harlem for Weekend of Lacrosse and Service in Fourth Successful Visit

-- from Cynthia Sorn’s article in the “Carlisle Mosquito”, April 13, 2012

HARLEM, NEW YORK CITY  -  Kids in Carlisle and Harlem have more similarities than differences—that is one of the insights gained in an ongoing exchange between the Concord-Carlisle Youth Lacrosse (CCYL) program and Harlem Lacrosse & Leadership.  During the weekend of March 30, approximately 24 eighth-grade members from CCYL traveled down to the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem, New York City, for a spring “athletic leadership” exchange.

The FDA team visited Concord and Carlisle last October, staying with local host families. “It brings out the best in our community,” said CCYL head coach Tim Dibble of the recent event. The weekend represented the continuing partnership between Frederick Douglass Academy and CCYL.  The CCYL boys traveled by bus on Friday, March 30, and played numerous lacrosse games with players from Frederick Douglass Academy. “I’m so impressed with all the boys,” Dibble said. “Concord-Carlisle (CC) carried themselves incredibly well.”

When they first gathered together, there was a brief moment of social awkwardness, but it did not last long. “After about 90 seconds, the boys were like best friends…they were swapping jerseys and wristbands,” Dribble added.  The Concord-Carlisle boys paired with their Harlem counterparts and shadowed them in class at Frederick Douglass Academy.

After playing a few games on Friday, the CC boys were each partnered with a boy from Harlem. They shared personal information, and then described five facts about their partner to the whole group. “It was so great,” said Dibble, “because the process highlighted the players’ common interests and concerns.”

Dibble added that one of the major highlights of the visit was the two teams’ community service work for a nearby homeless shelter. The boys put together over 1,200 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. “The activity was inspirational,” Dibble said. “The boys were told that it wasn’t an exercise . . . that what they were doing was putting into the bag someone’s meal for the day. I was so impressed . . . in one second, these guys got it.”