This past Saturday, The Hunger Games Camp at Country Day School was featured in the Tampa Bay Times. As a school, we believe editors chose to eliminate all of the wonderful coverage of the camp and then elected to lead the reader to believe that the focus was on violence. This misrepresentation and the suggestion that a child was hurt while in our care could not be further from the truth. Country Day School always prioritizes the emotional and physical safety of our students. As we purposefully promote peace and kindness with all of our students, it is unthinkable that Country Day School would ever support or encourage violence. We encourage members of the community to view the online video that provides an accurate overview of the camp.
We welcome the opportunity to be part of the important national discussion on youth and violence. As educators, we continually encounter these topics in our classrooms, and feel that it is our responsibility to always encourage and promote open dialogue. We acknowledge that our students are faced with the mature subject of violence as it is often part of the daily news, textbooks, history, film, literature, and video games. As our program at Country Day School is highly academic in nature, our students often read at advanced levels many years above their age level. Therefore, as a faculty, we are always cognizant of the material and content presented in the literature of popular and classic books. With our oldest students, we would be remiss as a school if we neglected to address violent themes or ignored popular adolescent fiction, such as The Hunger Games trilogy or the Harry Potter series. We know instead we must help responsibly steward children through the proper understandings of these mature topics. In this case, after careful consideration, we decided to offer a camp for middle school students centered on The Hunger Games in response to adolescent interest in the popular book trilogy. Our decision was predicated on the development of a curriculum that replaced any subjects of violence with positive themes of character development and team building. Activities creatively integrated the academic subjects of physics, engineering, art, and theatre. Campers navigated through outdoor courses and had fun playing tug-of-war in the mud!
In alignment with our mission to provide a supportive and safe environment for learning, we are proud to have offered a positive camp for local middle school students