‘Hunger Games’ Summer Camp Criticized For Encouraging Violence

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Worst idea of the year: A school in Largo, Florida recently set up up a children’s summer camp that was reportedly inspired by The Hunger Games.

Whoever thought that setting up a week-long program centered around a violent kid-oriented story probably should have run the idea by a few other people beforehand. A number of folks were upset by the Country Day School’s decision to move forward with their ill-advised summer camp.

Since the books and movies are quite popular with young adults, it didn’t take very long for organizers to find 26 willing participants for the event. What seemed like a good idea at the time quickly turned sour when the kids expected to kill one another during the summer camp.

“If I have to die, I want to die by an arrow. Don’t kill me with a sword. I’d rather be shot,” one kid reportedly said.

Staff at the Country Day School intended to replace all of the bloodshed with fun games involving flags tied to belts and wrists. However, they soon discovered that the children were looking for a bit more violence during their seven-day stay at the Hunger Games summer camp.

When they realized the event was a little misguided, the organizers decided to shift gears. Instead of killing, the kids were encouraged to “collect lives” by accumulating flags. Staff decided to focus on team-building exercises with an emphasis on intellect, accuracy, and balance.

Child psychologist Susan Toler said she isn’t surprised that the kids wanted to participate in the violence they’ve read about in the books. She went on to describe the camp’s theme as “unthinkable.”

“When children read the books or watch the movie they’re observers and removed from the killing. But when they start thinking and owning and adopting and assuming the roles, it becomes closer to them,” Toler explained to the Daily Mail.

The young adult series by author Suzanne Collins is currently among the most popular books on the planet. The next movie, Catching Fire, is expected to hit theaters on November 22.

What do you think about the Hunger Games summer camp? Do you think the organizers were careless to base the event around the books?

[Image via Lionsgate]