If I Were to Run a Hunger Games Camp…
Some camps and libraries are already holding Hunger Games camps or events. I had thought about it but wasn’t sure what parent’s reaction would be to a camp based on such a violent book. Schools are actually putting the Hunger Games on their required reading lists. There are a lot of good qualities about some of the characters and some great discussions can come about from this story.
So I thought, “If I were to do a Hunger Games camp what would I do?” Well, it would go something like this…
On the first day campers would be placed in the different districts. Each cabin or group would be assigned a district to represent. It would be neat to have customized challenge coins made for each district’s “citizens”. In each district there would be a specific craft and activity that depicts the strengths of their “homeland”. During the week campers visit other districts to partake in their “traditional” crafts and activities.
Examples may include:
District 1- Luxury
Craft: necklace made with a gem (manufacturers luxury items including diamonds and gems)
Activity: treasure hunt (wealthy district)
District 2- Masonry
Craft: any craft with rocks
Activity: dodgeball (peace keepers are trained here and children are raised with a warrior mindset)
District 3- Electronics
Craft: robot making using tin cans and other things
Activity: drama/theater games (since they make televisions)
District 4- Fishing
Craft: any fish or sea life type of craft
Activity: knot tying (they make and fight with nets)
District 5- Power
Craft: lightning bugs
Activity: science experiements with electricity
District 6- Transportation
Craft: balloon racers (be creative)
Activity: remote-control car obstacle course
District 7- Lumber
Craft: talking sticks
Activity: tomahawk throwing (yes, some camps do it) or campfire building
District 8- Textiles
Craft: hemp bracelets
Activity: tie-dye shirts
District 9- Grain
Craft: seek and find bottles (yes, rice is a grain)
Activity: popcorn kernel spitting contest
District 10- Livestock
Craft: cow craft
Activity: make goat cheese
District 11- Agriculture
Craft: snowy owl using cotton
Activity: play Tracker Jacker Sting
District 12- Coal Mining
Craft: mini bows and arrows (focusing on Katniss)
Activity: archery, of course
During the week there are a number of activities that can be done.
- Survival Skills
- Shelter building
- Campfire building
- Identifying plants (poisonous, edible)
- Purifying Water
- Cooking food over a campfire
- Traps and Snares
- First Aid
- Teambuilding within the districts
- For Peeta’s sake
- Baking classes
- Camoflauge activities
- Strength contests
- Cake decorating
- Bring in goats (in honor of Primm)
- And, of course, any typical camp activities you normally run
When you do camp announcements someone from the Capitol should do them either on stage or via a projector shown on a large screen. The Capitol residents should be glammed out in costume and make-up. You could even have president Snow do it. Just make sure he is wearing his white rose.
If you want to do some special Hunger Game meals get the Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook. You may want to allow only the wealthy districts to go up for seconds during meals. After all, this is the HUNGER Games.
At some point during the week I would choose 2 Tributes from each district. Their names would be drawn out of a bowl.
If someone who was chosen does not want to be a tribute any person from their district may volunteer. The first person of the same gender in that district who yells out, “I volunteer to be Tribute”, will get the spot.
I would then have the counselors of each district choose campers to be mentors, escorts and stylists for their Tributes.
As an evening activity (or special event if it’s a day camp) each district will get to design the clothing of their Tributes for the parade and interview. Using thrift store clothes, paper, cloth, face paint and anything else that may be supplied or they can find, campers may dress their Tributes as posh or as silly as they want.
The Parade and Interview
Once the Tributes are ready they will come out in pairs and parade around for everyone to see. Once they have done that they will each be quickly interviewed by the host. I would keep it to 2 or 3 questions.
The best three districts are awarded an item dropped from somewhere high, tied to a parachute. The item is something that will help them out in the Arena.
I would have the staff dress appropriately for their districts. The program staff should dress as though they are from the capitol; colored hair, flashy and colorful suits and dresses, etc. If you have unit leaders they might want to be dressed as Peace-Keepers.
On the final day the Tributes will enter the Arena. I would have a tent to represent the Cornucopia. At the start everyone is required to run and grab a bag and a weapon.
Each bag would have different items. The items would help the Tributes in the different stations they would have to go through.
- Campfire diagram
- Plant and berry identification chart
- A plastic bag or tarp
- Archery glove
- Knot tying cheat sheet
- First aid gauze
- Water purifying tablets
- Extra hit points (see Weapons)
Tributes would race through the stations, completing them as quickly as possible. Tributes would be able to complete the stations in any order they wanted too. After completing the first station they would then be able to use their weapons. More on that later. The stations would be:
- Campfire building
- Plant identification
- Shelter building
- Trap/Snare building
- Climbing/High Ropes
- First Aid
- Water purifying
- Orienteering Course
Each time a Tribute completes a station task their Hunger Games passport is stamped. They must collect all the stamps, completing every task.
After the first station Tributes may use their weapons. They cannot use them in a “station” area, however. Tributes can only be “tagged” with a weapon while they are going from one station to the next.
If a Tribute is “tagged” they lose a hit point (gold coin). Each Tribute starts with 10 hit points (gold coins). Each time they are tagged they must give up a gold coin to the Tribute that tagged them. If they lose them all they are eliminated.
The weapons should vary:
- Nerf guns
- Tracker Jackers (stuffed animal bees or wasps – homemade or store bought) that can be thrown
- Nerf-style bow and arrow
- Fun noodles to represent swords, spears, etc.
- Hackey Sacks to represent throwing knives
All Tributes should wear eye protection, or at least make sure that Tributes know they cannot hit anyone above the waist (or shoulders, if you prefer).
The first Tribute to get to the finish line receives 24 hit points (gold coins). The second Tribute receives 23 hit points and so on. The last Tribute receives 1 hit point. Since gold coins can be earned by “tagging” others, finding them in a bag, earning them after the parade, and finishing – it can be anyone’s game. The Tribute to finish first won’t necessarily be the victor.
Once a Tribute is crowned the champion their district is awarded a special treat of some sort (a dessert bar, s’mores, watermelon, trophies, etc.). Then everyone partakes of a feast or BBQ. I would make it a big party.
Here are some sites that I think are worth a look if you plan on running a Hunger Games camp or party.
What ideas do you have for a Hunger Games theme?