‘The Hunger Game’s has captured the minds and imaginations of many of us. From “Capital Culture” to the tribute band that I’m sure exists called Katniss and the Everdeens, who can’t get enough of ‘The Hunger Games? Apparently, there’s a camp in Florida called the Hunger Games camp. However, the children don’t actually fight to the death, like in the books and movies. It’s just an intense game of Capture the Flag.
Nonetheless, the activities are framed around the concept of ‘The Hunger Games’. The kids play along as if they are participating in the Hunger Games. They incorporate pretty violent imagery that, for some, can be pretty disturbing.
An article in the Tampa Bay Times documents some of the language the kids use:
“‘I don’t want to the kill you,’ [Rylee Miller] told Julianna Petty. Julianna, also 12, looked her in the eye. ‘I will probably kill you first,’ she said. She put her hands on Rylee’s shoulders. ‘I might stab you.’”
Holy moly. That is ‘Children of the Corn’ scary. Mind you, I did and still do laugh at the entirety of ‘Children of the Corn’.
When I read the ‘The Hunger Games Trilogy’, I thought they were YA masterpieces. However, when I saw the movie, by myself in a theatre full of tween girls probably judging me (which is how I see most movies), I did take a step back at some of the initial images of kids killing kids.
I get why people would find a ‘Hunger Games’ camp disturbing. In fact, some of the counselors felt it necessary to change some of the terminology. Instead of using the term “kill”, campers were told to “collect lives”.
Yeah, sure, “collecting lives” doesn’t sound more ominous.
Though I’m sure many people feel disconcerted about camp activities framed around such a violent story, as a former camper, it doesn’t seem too off-track. A lot of camps have something called color war. The entire camp would be divided up into teams, or colors, and compete against each other in an all – out “war”. That’s pretty violent terminology, despite the “battles” consisting of three-legged races. (However, due to lack of athletic skills or interest, my friends and I would go AWOL, i.e. we would fake stomachaches and sit on the grass to share our very diverse interpretations of third-base.)
According to counselor Simon Bosés, the kids don’t really understand what “I’m going to kill you” actually means. After all, a lot of children’s games and entertainment incorporate death, but most kids interpret it as “game over”.
“Death for this age isn’t a final thing. It’s a reset.” In ‘Hunger Games’ camp, if your life gets “collected” by someone else, you still participate in activities.
What do you think? Is Hunger Games camp going a little too far? Or, do you wish there could be one for adults? Sound off below!