We all love Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but have you ever considered that Camp Half-Blood might be a better place to hone your abilities?
Hogwarts and Camp Half-Blood share a lot of similarities. They’re both safe havens for gifted teenagers, protected by magic to make sure no one else can enter the premises. Each one is full of eccentric teachers you can’t help but fall in love with, despite all their quirks. And a lot of bad things tend to happen at feasts or off in the forest, even when there are spells in place that are supposed to prevent that sort of thing.
Camp Half-Blood versus Hogwarts
Don’t get me wrong, if I got a letter from Hogwarts, I’d jump at the chance to visit the castle for even just a day. But sometimes I think Camp Half-Blood might be the better choice overall. My arguments:
1. There are literal gods
Magic is cool and all, but wouldn’t it be more cool if you got to talk to Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, theater, and ritual madness? Okay, that last one might not sound that great, and it’s true that he’s been cursed to drink Diet Coke and tends to be a bit grumpy, but not all the gods are as terrible as Mr. D. If you’re a demigod, it’s nice to know someone is looking out for you once in a while.
2. It’s summer camp
Hogwarts is a school, but Camp Half-Blood is a summer camp! Sure, you still have assignments and chores, but it’s definitely more hands-on than most of the classes you’d be taking at Hogwarts. Would you rather sit through Professor Binns droning on about another boring thing that happened in the past during History of Magic, or would you rather take a lesson on the proper use of flaming arrows with your good buddy Chiron?
3. Better uniforms
You have to wear a uniform at both Hogwarts and Camp Half-Blood, so there’s no getting around that. Though there are some discrepancies between the books and the movies, at Hogwarts you have to wear a robe and own a pointed hat at the very least. If we’re to take the films into consideration, everyone has to wear a white button-down shirt with a tie and sweater, and while the boys get to wear pants, the girls have to wear skirts. At Camp Half-Blood, all you have to do is make sure you wear a garishly orange t-shirt with the camp’s logo on it.
4. There are more than four houses
This is a major reason why I like Camp Half-Blood better than Hogwarts. We all know you can only be placed into one of four houses at the school for witchcraft and wizardry: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. However, at Camp Half-Blood, there were initially 12 cabins to choose from, one for each of the gods and goddesses who had a throne on Olympus. After the Second Olympian War, Percy requested additional cabins for some of the minor gods, and now there are at least 20. Which cabin you belong to is also based off of your godly parent, not some personality traits that could possibly change as you grow older.
5. Centaurs are allowed
We all remember what kind of push-back there was when Firenze was hired to teach Divination after Trelawney was fired. Though many of the students enjoyed what the centaur had to teach them, this was during a point in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix where fear of those different from you was rampant. At Camp Half-Blood, not only are centaurs allowed, but Chiron was actually the activities director.
6. You get to be outside
Maybe this isn’t a point that will sit well with everyone, but as cool as the Hogwarts castle is, the students really only get fresh air once in a while, whether they’re traveling to Care of Magical Creatures or Herbology, on top of the astronomy tower, or out for flying lessons or Quidditch. That’s all well and good, but the forest is off limits, and many students find themselves too busy to venture outside the castle walls. At least at Camp Half-Blood, you get to see sunshine a little more regularly.
7. There’s a more reliable Oracle
Professor Trelawney wasn’t a fraud, and she did end up predicting some of the biggest prophecies in the Harry Potter universe, but 99% of the time she kind of didn’t know what she was doing. At Camp Half-Blood, the Oracle was surely cursed (its spirit stayed inside its host’s body even after the woman died and it was not pretty), but it regularly gave out prophecies to all those seeking a quest.
8. You’re actually allowed to go on quests
Remember all those times Harry, Hermione, and Ron snuck out of their dorm rooms, or even Hogwarts itself, because they weren’t technically allowed to go on a quest, even though they ended up saving the day anyway? Imagine what their lives would’ve been like if they’d been given the proper guidance and tools. The books would be a lot shorter, that’s for sure. At Camp Half-Blood, the campers are allowed to go on quests, and even though it’s typically without adult supervision, they’ve at least been preparing, sometimes for years, to take on a task like this.
9. You’re supposed to almost die
Okay, bear with me for a second. Hogwarts is supposed to be safe, right? The spells surrounding the school, the talented witches and wizards teaching the classes, Dumbledore. All of these factors mean the castle is supposed to be even more impenetrable than Gringotts Wizarding Bank. So, then, how is it that Harry nearly ends up dying every year? At least at Camp Half-Blood, everyone knows the lifespan of a demigod is pretty limited. When someone almost dies, it’s not shocking. Everyone learns pretty quickly that this is the life they must lead. I, for one, would rather be prepared.
10. Ambrosia is better than Skele-gro
Remember Skele-gro? Harry had to take some after he broke his arm during a game of Quidditch and Professor Lockhart accidentally got rid of all the bones instead of repairing them. Skele-gro is an awful tasting potion that’s incredibly painful and takes hours to grow back the bones you lost. No one wants that. Ambrosia, on the other hand, heals you from battle and tastes like your favorite food. I know which one I’d choose.
Bonus: No one will ever yell at you like this
Which is better, Hogwarts or Camp Half-Blood?
The images above are from The Lightning Thief illustrated edition, on sale in stores now! Read our review.