Largo school says Hunger Games theme misunderstood - WFLA News Channel 8

Largo school says Hunger Games theme misunderstood

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LARGO, FL (WFLA) -

A Largo day school says the theme of its summer camp program has been misconstrued and blown way out of proportion.

The staff at Country Day School has received worldwide attention for choosing a "Hunger Games" theme for its program that ended last week.

"Real-Life Hunger Games Camp Where Children Expect to Fight Each Other to the Death Exists" was the title Vanity Fair used for its website report of it. Other sites like The UK Daily Mail have also written version of what happened.

"Everybody - when they hear Hunger Games - they think death, fighting, children...stuff like that," said 12 year-old Alyssa Stewart. "That was not the case at all for the camp. The camp was mainly team-building and trust."

The initial report from The Tampa Bay Times quoted children saying things like "I will probably kill you first." But staff members say counselors tried to direct children away from violent themes.

"I think the point of the camp was teamwork and learning how to survive with a partner," said 12-year-old Rylee Miller. "The Hunger Games is pretty dark in the books but we're trying to put it in a teamwork-like way."

Rylee's mother, Kelly Miller, says she was 'perfectly fine' with the theme.

"You have Cowboys and Indians back in the day," she said. "You've got Star Wars...you have Harry Potter. Now you have Hunger Games. There's going to be another one. There will always be another one."

She, however, did say camps should err on the side of caution.

"I think you really have to know the administration and the school that's going to provide that camp and you have to trust and understand the expectations," Miller said.

See more about the camp and how the worldwide attention started Friday on NBC's Today Show. It starts at 7:00 on News Channel 8.

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