Laxin’ Out Loud is a girls youth lacrosse tournament hosted by Top of the Bay Lacrosse at Calvert and Cedar Lane Regional Parks. Cecil and Harford Counties- the locations of both parks- played hosts to around 6,000 avid girls lacrosse players and their families, mainly from the Mid-Atlantic states. My fellow summer intern Adam and I were offered the opportunity to work the tournament at Calvert Regional Sports Park, getting to experience first hand everything that goes into executing a well run tournament. One of our TEAM Maryland partners, Cindy Cantor with Cecil County Parks & Recreation, took Adam and I under her wing as we got to witness first hand the fruits of her labor- securing the land, developing a site plan, building Calvert Regional and recruiting events- come to fruition.
The tournament at Calvert Regional Sports Park not only featured great lacrosse, but many other exciting things to do around the park. The tournament had 4 different food vendors and many different lacrosse related vendors for parents and players to shop in between their games. But, the most interesting thing at the park and the thing that really made Calvert Regional Park stand out from other youth tournaments was the DJ sitting atop the hill outside the turf field. Throughout the day, he was playing music to keep the mood light, and allowed the girls to engage in something other than lacrosse while at the field. This interaction between the teams was awesome to see, and eventually turned into a dance competition. In between games, teams put together a quick dance and would show it off to other teams next to the DJ. The DJ became a focal point in between games, and helped keep the girls minds off of the sweltering heat.
Although the park seems to be in the middle of nowhere, Cecil County Superintendent of Recreation, Cindy Cantor, spoke about what made the 112 acre park with 10 fields including the counties first synthetic turf field so spectacular. She said, “Just above Baltimore, Calvert Regional is located 5 miles from PA, 10 miles from DE and 30 miles from NJ make it ideal as a Mid Atlantic tournament site.” As Cantor alluded to, the locations of the park makes it much easier for tournaments, like Laxin’ Out Loud, who want to attract a variety of teams from across the Mid Atlantic or beyond to their competitions. Cantor is truly is jack of all trades as she drives around her gator helping people carry their heavy coolers to field as well as taking pictures and helping make sure the event runs smoothly. The great staff who worked the event, worked in unison with non-stop chatter on their walkie talkies and the non-stop communication helped the successful weekend run without any issues.
When I was working directly with Cindy helping people get to their field quicker, I heard multiple people say that this was the best tournament they had ever been to and it is because Cantor believes that doing the little things goes a long way. When asked what she thought made the tournament so successful, Cantor responded, “The commitment of my staff to represent the county in the most positive way possible and actual seeing them enjoy the successful outcome was very gratifying for me. But the true success comes from the dedication of these young girls, their families, their love of competitive sports and the wonderful club sports organizations that bring them all together for an event of this kind is what makes a tournament truly special.” The team oriented culture at this park is what has made it so successful after only a handful of tournaments; ensuring that the Park will definitely grow into something greater in the future.
As for the future of the park, the plan is to include an additional field and parking, family and cultural amenities, a water feature, and more trails- worth noting, the Calvert Park already has flush-able, air conditioned toilets for attendees/athletes to use. Another thing mentioned was a band shell so they park could hold host to concerts as well. Calvert Regional Park is on track to become much more than just a site to hold a tournament, but a multidimensional park for families and athletes. If these goals are achieved, the park could see regional and national events hosted there in the future as well as events that will bring the community together. The brand new Calvert Regional Park is awesome and it is only getting better.