Florida camp brings ‘The Hunger Games’ to life

We understand the fascination with “The Hunger Games.” We’ve obsessed over Katniss, Peeta and the rest of the tributes – but would we ever take part in a real-life “Hunger Games” competition? Probably not.

But a summer camp in Florida is offering kids a chance to take part in a real-life version of the elimination challenge, and as expected it’s raised a few eyebrows.

For those unaware of “The Hunger Games,” first a best-selling young adult book then a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, the story is about a group of children, or tributes, picked each year from 13 districts to compete in a dystopian competition for the chance to survive. Only one tribute makes it out alive.

Bottom line: It’s a story about kids killing other kids, often in a violent manner.

Lisa Gartner, a Tampa Bay Times staff writer, spent a week at the camp. The 26 kids in the tournament spent a week training, then competed in the games “to the death.”

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

Other things muttered by the kids during that week were “I will probably kill you first” and “I might stab you.” You know, things you really wouldn’t want kids saying.

The camp tried making the games a little less violent: Head counselor Lindsey Gillette revised the “killing” aspect to “collecting lives” by snatching flags form one another.

Despite the counselor’s attempts, it seems like killing was a central part for the kids, as some girls decorated posters with the words “LOSING MEANS CERTAIN DEATH” — with glitter, of course.

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dr. Dre is king of hip hop with…

With $620 million in estimated pre-tax earnings, veteran rapper and record producer Dr. Dre topped Forbes list as the highest paid hip hop artist, ousting Sean "Diddy" Combs from the…

News

Bin Laden son-in-law sentenced to life in U.S.…

A seemingly unrepentant Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in New York following his conviction on terrorism charges.

National

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Television

Craig Ferguson wants you to see his new…

Craig Ferguson thinks his new game show will become "a comedy show in which a game is played and money is won."

Television

Anthony Anderson on dealing with your 'ish'

Anthony Anderson discusses finding the humor in his "Black-ish" family.

Gossip

Photos: See who Robert Pattinson was caught holding…

Robert Pattinson has a new girlfriend.

The Word

The Word: Kris and Bruce Jenner's predictably public…

They said it wouldn't last — mostly because of that separation almost a year ago. And now, more than a year later, Kris and Bruce…

MLB

Bud Selig honors Derek Jeter as both prepare…

Bud Selig’s 22-year reign as commissioner will end Sunday, and while it’s had its share of negative moments, it also had Derek Jeter.

NFL

Column: Geno Smith not the answer for Jets…

There were highs for Jets quarterback Geno Smith in Monday night’s loss to the Bears and there were incredible lows.

NFL

3 things that went right in Jets loss…

It wasn't the result the Jets wanted, a 27-19 loss to the Bears, but this team deserves some credit.

Sports

Here's the 8 best and worst sporting goodbyes

With Derek Jeter set to retire following the 2014 Major League Baseball season, we look back at some of the great and not-so-great sporting goodbyes.

Home

NYC fall real estate hot list

The upcoming developments and areas everyone's buzzing about.

Style

Milan Fashion Week shows the best of Italian…

Metro rounds up the cut of the collections at Milan Fashion Week.

Tech

The 2014 Maker Faire saw robots, printers and…

Got a broken button maker? There’s a fix for that – and Tony Stanzione of the Fixers’ Collective says he can show you how.

Parenting

First look: Uniqlo's fall/winter 2014 kids collection

Get a sneak peek at Uniqlo's kids and babies fall/winter 2014 line.