Do you have what it takes to be a Tribute?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

(aka HPLD's events based on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

A year or so ago my sister was shoving a book into my hand, demanding that I read it. After about a month of resisting, I finally gave in. I am so glad I did. From the first page, and throughout the rest of the trilogy, ideas were swirling around my head. At my library, we are always looking for new program ideas, and this one practically planned itself. When we sat down to settle on a date, we decided that with the movie recently released, the best time to do it was now.
Since we live in the Midwest, we have a TON of great wooded areas that could work as arenas. We eventually chose a beautiful area that was technically a park, so the kids could climb, run, jump, and even make their own weapons and shelter if they wanted to.
We planned our event to span over two days. One day was set aside for training, while the next was for the actual Games. We hoped that with this setup, the teens would have time to absorb the educational information we gave them, and think of some strategies for how best to win the Games. We even arranged for the local movie theater to have a showing of the Hunger Games the night of the training. With events like this, it pays to live in a small town.

"All tributes are required to attend training."

The survival training program was set up completely by our library's genealogist, and she did an marvelous job. True to Hunger Games form, we had separate stations for the kids to learn different skills. There was literature on shelter building, tying knots, edible plants, and everything else having to do with basic survival skills. I was pleasantly surprised at how seriously they studied the materials. To keep things interesting, we also had many hands on activities, such as tying knots and practicing camouflage. 

At the end of the training, the kids took a very intense quiz. So intense, in fact, that even I had a hard time with it.  Here is a sample of what the questions were like. Do you know the answers?

1. Never pass up the chance to ________, ________, ________, or________.
2. Never step ________ something you can step ________; never step ________ something you can step ________.
3. Name three useful knots, and be prepared to demonstrate one of them.
4. Name three poisonous snakes commonly found in the Midwest.
5. Name five edible animals you could catch with a snare.

The results of the quiz proved what we had hoped for: the kids had learned a ton. Now it was time for them to apply that knowledge in the arena! In my next post I'll talk about how our very own Hunger Games played out.

I hope you have a great day, and here's a piece of advice... stay alive.

(To read part two of our event, please click here.)

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