Florida's Hunger Games-Themed Summer Camp for Kids Is Insane

A summer camp in Florida that offers its kids the chance to participate in a real-life version of the Hunger Games is lifting some eyebrows around the world.

The Hunger Games Camp, based on the best-selling YA book series in which kids kill each other in a dystopian competition for the chance to survive, is being hosted by the Country Day School in Largo.

Tampa Bay Times staff writer Lisa Gartner spent an entire week with the camp's kids, hearing things like "I will probably kill you first" and "I might stab you" pour out of the mouths of children like a quotidian greeting.

In fact, the fear that "competitors" might take the camp's promise of a fight "to the death" too literally prompted head counselor Lindsey Gillette to revise the "killing" component of the end-of-week deathmatch.

Instead, campers would "collect lives" by physically snatching a series of flags from each other.

Gillette, the head counselor at Hunger Games Camp, told Gartner she made the change because she found the violence expressed by the children "off-putting."

Meanwhile, a group of girls went about their business decorating sparkly posters for the competition.

One of the posters read "LOSING MEANS CERTAIN DEATH."

Despite Gillette's attempt to tone down the violence at Hunger Games Camp, the Games somehow still managed to end badly.

From the article's closing lines:

The body lying on the ground. CJ Hatzilias, 11, face-down, in the grass. He was crying. "They stepped on me," he said.

Someone went for help. "CJ, what happened?" Gillette asked.

"They stepped on me," he said.

D'Alessio knelt down. "I'm sure it was an accident."

CJ shook his head. He said some boys had knocked him down and kicked him.

[H/T: Vanity Fair, screengrabs via Tampa Bay Times]