Pop Culture Specialty

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 I 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…

The Districts

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 experiments 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

Other Activities

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
    • Fishing
    • Traps and Snares
    • Navigation
    • First Aid
  • Teambuilding within the districts
  • Check out these HG party ideas.
  • For Peeta’s sake
    • Baking classes
    • Camoflauge activities
    • Strength contests
    • Cake decorating
  • Bring in goats (in honor of Primm)
  • Lots of Archery
  • Hunger Game skits
  • And, of course, any typical camp activities you normally run

Announcements

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.

Meals

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.

The Tributes

The Reaping

At some point during the week I would choose 2 Tributes from each district. Their names would be drawn out of a bowl.

Volunteering

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.

Other Roles

I would then have the counselors of each district choose campers to be mentors, escorts and stylists for their Tributes.

Fashion

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.

Costumes

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.

The Arena

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.

The Bags

Each bag would have different items. The items would help the Tributes in the different stations they would have to go through.

  • Campfire diagram
  • Kindling
  • Plant and berry identification chart
  • A plastic bag or tarp
  • Archery glove
  • Knot tying cheat sheet
  • First aid gauze
  • Medicine
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Extra hit points (see Weapons)

The Stations

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
  • Archery
  • 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.

The Weapons

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:

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 Finish

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.

A Feast

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?


28 Comments

  • We just did the Hunger games, we used the quarter Quell to change the rules so all the students could be tributes, they were reaped into the 12 districts the first night and had to create a banner and a salute. The banners were hung in the gym and then ripped in front of them at meal times if they lost. The lowest 2 teams on each game were dissolved into the remaining districts. We did training stations the first day including Archery, Spears, knife throwing, swords, camouflage, Fire building, snares and Hand to hand combat. We put a cornucopia in the dunes lit up with 85 students descending on it for the supplies. They fled for safety through the obstacle course, were chased by fire and Tracker Jackers in the Mut maze, retrieve water from the ocean to fill a 5 gallon bucket to lift Rue (Actually only took a couple of small water bottles worth) and the finaly was a capture the flag with a Mut zone in the middle of the field. And as if planned, District 12 won.

  • did you actually read the books? cuz they are not jacker trackers they are tracker jackers and there are 13 districts not 12. There might be other mistakes but stopped reading after these two.

    • Thanks Liam for catching that. I had Tracker Jackers in two other spots correct but my dislexia got the best of me on the other one. As for the districts only 12 of them competed in the Hunger Games. It wasn’t until the future books where we find out that people are actually living in District 13. I have corrected the Tracker Jacker mistake. Thanks again for catching that.

  • I just ran across this website. This coming spring I will be hosting a Harry Potter campout, and next spring, a Hunger Games one. I cant wait to read your ideas.

    • That’s great, Kara. I like the idea of a campout. Take a look at my articles and let me know if you have any questions.

  • Hey Moose, great idea man! This is pretty funny because me and my best friend were just talking about trying to set up a camp like this when we get out of the military. Im curious as to what your purpose is for posting this? Would love to hear more, email me at shawnbjohnson@live.com please. thx

    • Shawn, thanks for the comment. I really like specialty camps and with the Hunger Games now being the best selling book series of all time, having passed Harry Potter, it seems the right time to explore the camp possibilities. The fact that it is a young adult/teen series, albeit a violent one, makes it popular with the younger crowd. There have already been a couple of camps that have created Hunger Games weeks and have gotten good response from the campers and even the parents according to the directors.

  • Moose do you run a camp if you do where? I live In Florida and the only camp Hunger Games is MOSI and it COSTS $279 do you know any good ones please my son loves the hunger games and he loves his summer camps

    • Hi, Antonio. I direct a day camp in California. Our day camps are more expensive than that as well. I don’t know of any camps off hand that are doing a Hunger Games session. I did a quick Google search and didn’t find much. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

  • We are holding a HG camp here at our school campus this summer. What is the best way to place students in each district since it seems some are more desirous than others?

    • I would do it randomly out of a hat or something. If you think everyone will want to be in District 12 then say it’s the Quarter Quell. This year it is decreed that all Tributes come from one District. The district that was randomly chosen was District 12.

    • Unfortunately, McKenna, Suzanne Collins and her people do not think the Hunger Games is appropriate for a camp theme and will not give camps permission to use their name, logos, characters, etc. So if an organization were to run a Hunger Games camp they would have to do it on the downlow. Bummer, huh?

  • Thank you so much for all of this, i’m a Girl Guide leader in Australia and these ideas will Make a fantastic weekend camp

  • I asked and received my letter in the mail. We are changing our camp name. It’s too bad, if they would create a summer camp they would have gold.

    • Yep, I posted on our Facebook page that Suzanne and her people (publisher and agent) will not give permission to use the Hunger Games logos, characters, etc. for a camp. They feel it’s not appropriate for a camp. Unfortunately, they will not hear about how it can be done appropriately. For a book that is rated for 12 year olds it’s a shame that they won’t even consider working with someone to come up with an appropriate program, which is what I offered to do.

  • We are doing a mix of Hunger Games and Brave for a Girl Scout day camp in Colorado. (We called it “Brave Games” to avoid the wrath of Disney 🙂 Lots of archery, fort building, survival skills and a mix in for the younger girls with fortune telling, hair braiding and baking.

  • Campvalor.com
    Moose, awesome stuff. We have something similar, but we try not to run afoul of the author’s wishes. We are looking into doing a Camp Half-blood session next year though. Keep up the good work.

  • Instead of the weapons you listed, use Nerf weapons. Nerf swords, Nerf axes, Nerf bows, Nerf spears, Nerf knifes, anything Nerf that’s not a gun. also for training, let them use the weapons. no camouflage or other crap. they wont use that trust me.
    at cornucopia have granola bars and water bottles. have crates, and when a tribute dies use a pop gun. at the training rank them and people with highest score are the careers. I have done this before, and the kids loved it.

    • That’s a lot of GoPros, but that would make for some good footage to edit into a video of the Games.

  • I luv the hunger games I read the books then watched the movies I would love to got to that camp is it actually a camp or is it just an idea

    • Hi Sophia, I ran a week of Hunger Games day camp for three summers. It was for teens and it went really well. We called it the District Games and the storyline was that it is 20 years after the end of the Hunger Games and President Snow. The District Games are an annual celebration of unification between the districts and the capital. Districts continue to send volunteers to compete in the games, but it is no longer to the death. During the District Games the volunteers (campers) each grab a weapon (nerf weapon) from the cornucopia and each time they “tag” a competitor from another district, that competitor must give up one of his or her tokens. (All of them start off with 20 tokens). There are safety zones around the arena. In each zone there is a challenge where competitors can earn more tokens. Plus, they cannot be tagged in a safety zone. At the end of the time limit, the competitor that got through all the stations (they had to get their “passport” stamped) and had the most tokens, won. That was on the Thursday. On Friday we had our feast and awards presentation. The days leading up to that we had training, fashion classes, everyone was interviewed on video, there was the volunteer parade, and other similar activities. Sorry we no longer offer it. Perhaps you can start your own camp one day and have a Hunger Games week, or maybe ask your local library or parks and recreation department to put one on.

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