Folks, I love competition – especially competition between young children fighting each other to the death. That is why I applaud Jared D’Alessio on his decision to open a Hunger Games inspired summer camp in Largo, Florida. He was just wanting to share the joy that comes from stabbing an opponent to death with all the little children everywhere.
For those that haven’t read the books and somehow missed out on the amazing movie that followed them, the Hunger Games chronicles the story of a young woman named Katniss Everdeen as she murders fellow young people in increasingly violent way in order to win extra food for her district (village). What could possibly go wrong by inviting 26 children to a summer camp that is based on that scenario?
Kids showed up at the camp with swimsuits and suntan lotion and they quickly made friends. One little girl, Rylee age 12, told another girl, 12-year-old Julianna, that she would “hate to have to kill her because they were friends.” Julianna affirmed her friendship by smiling, patting Rylee on the shoulder, and saying, “Oh I will definitely kill you first. I might stab you.” Don’t kids just say the darndest things?
Oh, to have been able to be a part of it all! The first day of the camp was all about crafting. The girls, for instance, crafted sparkly posters with light-hearted messages such as: “LOSING MEANS CERTAIN DEATH” and “WHEN IN DOUBT, GO FOR THE EYES.” Then all the kids got to craft their weapons of war with some musing over how they would kill their opponents and others musing over how they would rather die themselves.
One little boy, Joey, expressed that he would “rather be shot by an arrow, than be stabbed by a sword.” Another little boy, 14-year-old Sydney, was excited to get started and was asking everyone, “What do we get to do first? Are we killing each other first?”
The week long camped spent the first several days readying the children for their “battle royale” that would take place on a Friday. The kids would be taught to show each other no mercy…until one of the camp counselors became a little freaked out over how violent the children were acting causing her to change the rules of the game. Lindsey Gillette, head counselor, told the kids that “we won’t be killing each other in the tournament anymore, instead you will be collecting lives.”
Oh come on Lindsey, you can’t try to stem the tide of violence being perpetrated by children who are attending a summer camp based on a series of novels about violence and children – that is unAmerican! If they try to play nice, they might end up with the “odds not in their favor.” Like the poor 11-year-old who was curb-stomped during the actual tournament! He was found lying in the grass crying after “several boys viciously stepped on him.” He should have just manned up and died like a good little competitor.
The fact is violence is part of human nature. So, it’s probably best to go ahead and bring it out in children by allowing them to take part in events that further glorify that behavior. This way, when they become adults, they will feel less guilty about killing someone who wears orange shirts. Kids have to be taught that it’s okay to savagely beat each other to death so long as it’s just a game. This means trophies for the person who slaughters the best.
Eli, another little boy competitor, got it. He bragged about being a sniper in a tree and taking out a small blond child who was hiding in fear because that is the only sane response to a bat-shit crazy situation. But, sanity has no place in summer camps, which is why Eli took Liam’s bucket head clean off.
Besides, these type of events also teach kids the value of making the right business alliances. One like boy, Andre, learned the hard way that picking the wrong friends can be the death of you when he was betrayed by a group of little girls who stabbed him viciously the second he turned his back on them! That should be called Intro to Corporate Culture 101! After all, it’s a dog eat dog world out there, and corporate America demands that you climb over the corpses of those who stand in your
Folks, we need to embrace this cultural phenomenon. If we had more of these gladiator fight-to-the-death-style events, we wouldn’t need violent video-games to teach kids how the world really works.