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Summer teen program brings 'fear' to students
Participants down bizarre concoctions at library event
-A-Teen Fear Factor Pic2
Teens ate peach preserves and dill pickle sandwiched between two slices of spam at the Dawson County Library's Teen Fear Factor event on June 25. Contestants competed to win an inflatable black armchair. - photo by Tia Lynn Lecorchick

The Dawson County Library hosted a Teen Fear Factor event on June 25 as part of its Summer Teen Program. 

Participants had to pass through nine challenges of eating peculiar and uncomplimentary combinations of food.

An inflatable, black armchair with bright red, yellow and orange flames on the sides was the grand prize for the person who could finish the last challenge the fastest. The last challenge was drinking a shake made up of all the left over foods from the other stations.  Featured foods included pigs feet, sardines, escargot, spam with peach preserves and crickets. 

Some teens downed the bizarre concoctions all at once, while others ate a little at a time, as much as they could stand.

"I can eat it all!" said Christopher Bywaletz, 13, as he dangled a slimy snail over his mouth.

Adam Shelp, 13, took home the grand prize after chugging a shake containing spinach, pickle juice, spam, beef baby food, tapioca pudding, peach preserves, dill pickle, crickets, larvets, pickled pigs feet, sardines, mustard sauce, escargot, carrot cake ice cream, clams and milk.

Shelp out drank eight other finalists who had also made it to the last challenge.

"I was surprised how many kids made it to the final round," said Tracy Walker, the youth services specialist at Dawson County Library. "Everyone seemed to be having a really good time."
The fear factor event was the third event for teens that the Dawson County Library has hosted this summer.

In the past few weeks the library also put on a murder mystery and a Stranger Danger self-defense class for teens, ages 11 - 17.

On July 9 the library will host an open mic night, where participants can sing karaoke.

On July 16 the library will host an arts and crafts workshop where teens can make and decorate their own wearable moccasins. The art and craft workshop is the only event that participants will have to sign up for in advance.

"The roster is already looking pretty full," said Walker.

The library will end the summer teen program with a blow out party on July 23. The party will feature a Castaway/Survivor theme. The party room will be transformed into a tropical deserted island for the event.  All events start at 4 p.m. and are for ages 11-17.

"The Summer Teen program is a great way of getting kids back into the library and connecting the library to fun and excitement, not just a place where you have to be silent all the time," said Walker.
Walker points out that these events often serve as a gateway for people to become more comfortable and familiar with the library.

"After these programs end, kids wind up exploring the library for themselves and looking at books that interest them," said Walker.

This is the fourth year that the Dawson County Library has conducted the Summer Teen Program.
"We want to make the library fun. But we continue to encourage kids to read as well as attending these kind of events," said Sarah McGhee.

For more information about the Dawson County Library's Summer Teen Program, contact Tracy Walker at (706) 344-3690.