After hours and with the lights off, our library has hosted several popular Hunger Games Laser Tag programs.
But this ended last fall, after I turned on the lights after the program to find many handmade “hideouts,” constructed from chairs precariously stacked three high atop a table, and other chairs covered in dirt and leaves from our plants.
In hopes of lessening the danger to our library, I began planning a Hunger Games Training program, focusing more on the creative and strategic planning sides of the Hunger Games series. I still incorporated some danger into the mix by designing arrows. But with the lights on and nowhere to hide, the library easily survived the program.
For decor, we used these gorgeous Hunger Games signs Risa Rodil created. We also designed a forest mural with trees, berries, jabberjays, and mockingjays. This was recreated three times, as we were unprepared for the amount of tape needed to hold this to our walls. Each time we checked on our mural, we found it in a heap. Luckily, it lasted through the program, and we happily tore it down in the end. We served poisonous berries (grapes), coal from District 12 (Oreos), and bread from Mellark’s Bakery (French bread with cinnamon sugar butter).
The program consisted of four stations.
Station One: Makeovers with Cinna: Teens used eyelid temporary tattoos, crazy fake eyelashes, hair chalk, glitter, and Hunger Games temporary tattoos to help fit in at the Capitol. We also had pictures of Katniss’s braid that the teens could copy. This was very popular with the younger girls at the party.
Station Two: Interviews with Caesar: I prepared a list of questions (ex. What are you hoping will be available at the cornucopia? Do you feel you’re more physically or mentally strong? Who do you see as the biggest threat?) that teens could answer as they prepared to enter the arena. As I knew this would be nerve-wracking to some, I tried to conduct this very informally, asking a group if they wanted to be interviewed.
Station Three: Private Practice with the Gamemakers: The teens created their own bows and arrows. The arrows had eraser tips on the end and were decorated with washi tape, markers, and feathers. Many teens wrote quotes from the books on the arrows while others wrote their target’s names on them. I used directions from Modern Kiddo for the arrows and Sophie’s World for the bows. I had tried the bow and arrow out beforehand and could not make them work so I happily thought we were in the clear, but some of the teens did get them to work. The pencil tip did make them less destructive. No news stories have been published’ bout arrow injuries in our community thus far.
Station Four: Training with Haymitch: In the middle of training, we took a break to play Hunger Games Jeopardy at this station. The categories consisted of characters, setting, advice from Haymitch, Reaping/Training, and The Games.
Arrow designing and the makeovers were by far our most popular stations. The event brought in an equal number of guys and girls, with girls spending more time on makeovers and guys spending more time eating. As in the Breakfast of Books, this program fosters reading as a social activity as well as a personal one, meeting a goal of our summer reading program.