NTPRD’s Second Annual Hunger Drive Games 2016

This past weekend at Enon Primary School gymnasium, the National Trail Parks and Recreation District kicked off its second-annual Hunger Drive Games. The event debuted in Nov. 2014, with an outdoor arena and count of 40 tributes of all ages (7-18+). The event was established to support activity in our youth, as well as to spread awareness of hunger in Clark County. The benefactor of donations for the drive is the Enon Emergency Relief.

hgd3The idea for the event itself developed after the Hunger Games-themed birthday party, and it was molded by all those involved into a fun-filled two hours of healthy competition and activity. Due to registration count, the decision was made to make this year’s event a Youth Hunger Drive Games. Last Friday was the deadline for the “reaping” (registration) for the event — the 11 tributes’ ages ranged from seven to 12: sisters, brothers, friends and peers.

Before the games could truly begin, the tributes endured a series of skills tests, including ones with weapons training challenges, IQ challenges and an interview-based challenge.

The weapon training consisted of “spear” (pool noodle) throwing, “archery” (Nerf arrows), target practice for the dodge ball showdown to come in the arena, and hand to “hand” (with a spoon) combat. One participant representing District 8 swept the floor in the spear-throwing competition, and another tribute got a perfect score in the archery competition. One child’s success was followed by more victory, with record time for his clearance in the dodge ball target practice of 39 seconds. The next skills test was done in rounds, hand to “hand” (spoon) combat practice, in which the tributes were required to keep balance of a baseball on a black plastic serving spoon while they made efforts to knock their opponent’s baseballs to the floor. Round one was taken home by a kid representing District 1, and after a battle of two brother tributes, one of them came out on top in round two; another participant took round three, after a battle between the three tributes, the brother tribute took the cake and concluded the weapons training challenges.

The IQ challenges consisted of a Hunger Games name-that-character test, timed 45 seconds, and a word search, timed 10 minutes, both of which a female tribute dominated. After the tributes hgdcompleted their tests, they huddled up around NTPRD’s very own Effie Trinket to begin their interview-based challenge. Each tribute was given an item and was asked how they would utilize their object in the arena or the wilderness, and their answers were priceless. Armed with items like aluminum foil, one child made plans for a shelter as a protection tactic; while armed with a small five-pound weight, another tribute would find ways to provide herself defense and her opponent with a hit to the head. Another participant had a fine idea for his jump rope, as he had plans for a trip wire or pulley system; but in the end, it was another student that scored highest in this challenge, armed with a Ziploc bag and a dream to fish.

Upon registering, each tribute was given two “life bands,” and upon every win in the pre-skills challenges, they received another. Every time a tribute is hit, they must lose one life band, and, once you’re out, you’re out! The tribute who hit you had 10 seconds to pick up your life band or its fair game to any tribute. The one who ends the game with the most of their own life bands wins, and in this year’s case, it was a male tribute. The runner-up of the Second Annual Hunger Drive Games was the brother participant, who also walked away with the award for “Most Life Bands” for retrieving 17 life bands from lives lost of his tribute peers.

A morning filled with activity, brain stimulus and lots of non-perishable food donations resulted in fun for each contestant, entertainment for the audience (their parents) and one step towards doing the best we can as a community to provide for each other.

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