Arden Girls Lacrosse - Established 1995 by Carolyn Johnson
Carolyn Johnson started the Arden Girls lacrosse league in 1995 after seeing a need in the community. The Crownsville resident, mother of 5 who grew up in Arden herself didn't understand why her girls needed to travel miles away to play lacrosse when Arden Recreation was right down the road. She also saw a gap in the feeder system to local high schools, noticing that the local lacrosse program was lacking the skill and attention needed to give girls in our community an opportunity to play lacrosse in college (in comparison with other very competitive county high school lacrosse programs).
The Johnson family has been a lifetime supporter of Arden Recreation* and Carolyn knew that a lacrosse league could be successful at their local, beloved recreation center. But Carolyn didn’t just want to start a few teams; she wanted to build a program that fostered mentor-like relationships between coaches and players to build a community of girls with confidence and a philanthropic spirit.
Carolyn executed this vision by first reaching to the local high school women’s lacrosse team. She asked a few high school girls (her oldest daughter included) to volunteer as coaches so they could teach players technical skills and the rules of the game, but also so they could serve as role models for these young girls. Funding was tight, so the girls used old soccer uniforms and Carolyn worked with local lacrosse retailers for financial support and volunteers like Bill Arnold who built the very first Arden Lacrosse goals.
After the first season, the popularity of girls lacrosse at Arden grew and those interested came together to raise funding for additional equipment and uniforms. Summer car washes at the Crownsville Bank of Glen Burnie were one of the favorite community events.
Carolyn also brought the girls together for an annual day of service to teach them the importance of giving back to the community. Service days included volunteer trips to Sarah’s House, The Chrysalis House, Koman Maryland Race for the Cure, and Bobbie Burnett’s Stain Glass Studio, benefiting “Camp Sunrise” summer camp for children with cancer.
As the program developed, so did the girls skill level. Many girls wanted to attend competitive summer lacrosse camps and clinics to further refine their skills and prepare them for college level lacrosse, but the expense of many competitive summer camps can be exorbitant. Carolyn recruited Division I college lacrosse coaches and players to volunteer as camp staff so she could create an affordable alternative. She used the same model to host affordable pre-season clinics to improve skills and prepare the older girls for high school lacrosse try-outs. Within 4 years, the first Arden Girls’ Lacrosse team won the county championship. Countless Arden lacrosse players have gone on to play competitively in high school and college, and many of them come back to Arden to coach. The Arden Girls’ Lacrosse program has expanded to be a well recognized program in the area and continues to serve the local community today.
*Carolyn’s husband, Severn Johnson, was a long time girls’ softball coach at Arden for 8 years.
*Carolyn’s mother, Joan Roberson, Co-founded the first Arden girls softball team 1971.
*Carolyn’s children (Rene’, Kelly, Tracy, Ashley and Stephanie) all participated and coached Arden sports teams throughout the 1990’s.
1995 - First Arden Girls Lacrosse Fundraiser and Registration
1995 - Arden Girls Lacrosse First Team
Successful first season leads to another year
1996 - Arden Girls Team Pictures
1999 - Anne Arundel County Girls LAX Championship
1999 - Arden Girls LAX 2nd Annual Camp
1998-2000 - Race for the Cure in Baltimore
2000 - Arden Girls Pre-Season LAX Clinic at Old Mill High School
All you need is a little service, skills and support!
2000 - Praise for years of a successful girls LAX program
2001 - Arden Girls LAX at University of Richmond, VA