A Hunger Games inspired lock-in for 5th to 8th Graders was held on Friday, June 13th. Karla Riley, Trinity’s 5th – 8th grade Sunday School teacher, came up with the idea for this lock-in to teach her students about how hunger is used to manipulate populations around the world. Based on the book trilogy by Suzanne Collins, ten “Tributes” registered for this overnight experience. Also very importantly, eight “Advisors” or “Haymitchs” also participated. These high school students led their assigned tributes to each competition. While they were occupied hunting supplies from the Cornucopia, adults were setting up a surprise game of Lazer Tag in the parking lot.
Tying in with scripture, the evenings games and topics included self-esteem, integrity, willingness to sacrifice for others, and so much more. Part of the admission to the games was an offering of a food item to be donated to the Blanco Good Samaritan Center.
One of the most poignant experiences for the Tributes was the actual meal. All meals were served in large “to go” boxes so they could not tell what was in them. Neither the tributes nor the advisors knew what was about to happen. When each opened their box, some contained only a piece of pita bread while the others contained an over-stuffed BBQ sandwich, pickle, potato salad, chips and dessert. Naturally, they were all expecting the same meal. Those getting only bread and water were horrified when they saw what others got. One tribute started to cry. Her advisor very quietly slid his box of food over to her and comforted her. One tribute said, “Now I get what you are doing here! Now I see.” Some began to share their meals with those who got only bread. In the end, all got the same meals…and plenty of it.
After the meal, they all settled in to watch the movie, “Hunger Games, Catching Fire”. This time, they understood more about how the use of hunger was used to control the districts. The evening didn’t end there. There were more games and activities until about 3 a.m. Some slept for a couple of hours, but the aroma of pancakes and eggs stirred them awake.
Thank you to all the adults who participated in the scene set up, furniture moving, grocery and meal planning, clean up, and all the details that made this an incredible night together: Ron and Tami Bigler, Harry and Merle Conger, Angie Daniels, Charles Riley, and Hal and Sandy Switzer. A very huge thank you to Karla Riley for spending hours upon hours dreaming all of this up.
Even with all the adults helping, we could not have done this without the “Advisors” - high schoolers who were willing to spend 24 hours with our young tributes. God bless Chase Horton, Hunter Riley, Savannah Kershaw, Talon Cain, Tanner Cain, Wade Wardlow, Tyler Bigler and Gus Martinez III.
Our prayer with them before the evening began was based on a popular Christian song: A man who saw so much pain and suffering in the world became angry with God and asked God why he would let bad things happen in the world. “Why don’t you do something about it?” the man cried. And God replied, “I did, I created YOU.”