“I have nominated us to play the Survivor – Gifted Island game” Sprite told me.
“It is like a cross between Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race and that show about the camp for badly behaved teenagers.”
So I thought I should find out more about what was involved with the game.
It is played by teams of one parent, one teacher and one gifted or 2E kid.
You don’t get voted off the Island – you just have to stay there and survive and everybody gets to watch how you cope and laugh or cry about it.
Apparently there are wonderful rewards for all the ones that survive. They haven’t exactly said what they are but they mentioned things like cures for diseases and improvement for the environment and beautiful art, music and literature.
There’s one twist – the teachers are on one island and the parent and kid are on another island. Part of the strategy of the game for the parents is to form alliances with other parents (parent support groups) and with the teachers. But it is harder to make alliances with the teachers because you have to find a way of communicating with their island or building a bridge or a raft to go over there.
To start with you are only given the food you need (not taking into account that the food provided may be an allergy concern for your child) and basic tent shelters. You can participate in challenges along the way which provide rewards such as books by experts, enrichment opportunities for the child and a mobile phone with access to the Internet.
Some of the initial challenges which can lead to rewards are
- Cook a meal with the provided ingredients which is guaranteed to be enjoyed by all the members of the tribe on your island
- Invent word games and stick and sand games to keep the kids from becoming bored
- Stage a Talent show concert
Sometimes the contestants (both the teachers and the parents) get given clues leading to information about people and programs that would be helpful and have to devise ways to get to the places and come up with a method of covering the financial costs involved. There was a hint that there could be another island with psychologists and education consultants on it.
One of the rewards which the students can win is to spend time on the teacher’s island being mentored in their chosen field.
Just as you gain the rewards of the mobile phone and Internet access and get excited about the possibility of building alliances you discover that there is a further plot twist to the show. False or misleading information is being fed to all the Survivor contestants which causes dissention between members of the same group and misunderstandings about the opinions, attitudes, motivations and actions of the other groups. Rumour that there is prize of a million dollars for the sole survivor leads to competition rather than cooperation. And myths about the definition and characteristics of giftedness add to the difficulty of building alliances.
“Oh and all the Dabrowski Dogs will be coming to the island with us too!” Sprite added.
I thought to myself ‘And I would not be at all surprised to find that the perfectionist poodle and the Black Dogs will be there also.’