Florida School Starts Violent Hunger Games Themed Camp

Ever daydreamed about living in Panem and taking part in its annual Hunger Games? Thats exactly what kids in Largo, Florida, get to do along with Katniss, Peeta, and a ton of controversy.

The camp’s theme is based on the popular trilogy about a dystopian competition to kill in order to survive. Sounds like clean fun right? The weeklong camp is open to 26 kids grades six through nine. Campers participate in activities such as tug-of-war, and “kill” their opponent by stealing their flag (think flag football).

Although it’s run by a private Country Day School, last week’s article by the Tampa Bay Times portrayed the campers as too eager to embrace the theme and casually saying things such as, “I will probably kill you first,” and “I might stab you.” For the final tournament, kids created posters with slogans like,”Losing means certain death.”

Not surprisingly, a crying 11-year-old boy claimed he got trampled on.

By Tuesday, the camp posted a defense on its website regarding the article that read, “As a school, we believe editors chose to eliminate all of the wonderful coverage of the camp and then elected to lead the reader to believe that the focus was on violence. This misrepresentation and the suggestion that a child was hurt while in our care could not be further from the truth.”

After further consideration, Lindsey Gillette, the camp’s head counselor, declared a rule change to the next tournament.

“Instead of ‘killing’ each other by taking flags, the campers would instead ‘collect lives.’ Whoever had the most flags would win,” the Tampa Bay Times article reported.

This camp is just one of the school’s themed sessions offered over summer. Other ones include Cartooning Art, Top Chef, Mad Science, and Kayak Camp.