By Ashley Rader
While many school clubs have year-ending parties and games, the Genre Club has taken a novel approach to its just-for-fun after-school event.
The club’s Hunger Games follows the lead of the best-selling trilogy by Suzanne Collins: students “fight” until only one survivor remains to become the victor of the Hunger Games.
Club members can invite non-club members to participate; otherwise, the Hunger Games are limited to club members.
The HHS Hunger Games were started last year by now-retired HHS librarian Melinda Arwood with help from members of the Genre Club, which is the high school’s book club. Genre Club Vice-President Juan Pearson said Arwood decided to begin the Hunger Games because the book was extremely popular with the student body at HHS.
Current librarian Marci Bailey said the club decided to continue the event as a tradition for the students.
Genre Club President Taylor Harmon said the Hunger Games books were more popular with HHS students than any other recent book series.
“There was never anything like this before,” Harmon said. “The ‘Twilight’ books were big, but not this big.”
Students have the option of bringing their own “weapons” to the Hunger Games. Options include Nerf weapons, water guns that do not look like real weapons, water balloons, marshmallow shooters, socks with flour or washable markers.
The weapons are placed in a central area. Students who brought a weapon get a head start to select their supplies before the students who did not bring a weapon to the HHS Hunger Games.
“You might not get the weapon you bring,” Harmon said. “You might not get a weapon at all.”
The event is held in the student parking lot and the area surrounding the high school’s vocational buildings. Under the rules – created by the club, not the “Gamemakers” who control play in the books – students are not allowed to leave the school grounds or to go onto private property. A hit to the arm or leg is considered to be a wound, while a hit to the torso is a kill and the player is eliminated. Any hit to the head or face eliminates the person who made the hit.
The game is run on an honor system, and after students are hit, they are to report to the school office to report their demise. Their name is then announced on the intercom, like those of the fallen players in the book.