"Kid Nation," That Reality Show Where 10-Year-Olds Lived On Their Own, Was Truly Wild And I Need To Talk About It

    You may also remember this as the show that got shut down for violating child labor laws.

    We all, as kids, at one point wished for a few days without parents. Most likely while watching the Jimmy Neutron movie or Home Alone.

    Kid Nation was a 2007 reality show that took this desire in an extreme direction. The show placed 40 kids, from ages 8 to 15, on a desolate ranch in New Mexico and tasked with creating a functioning society. BY THEMSELVES.

    the Kid Nation cast

    Now, there was one adult — this dude — but all he does is host challenges every few days. Guy's in the show less than Chris Harrison was on The Bachelor.

    Jonathan Karsh intro on the show

    Instead of an adult being in charge, the kids would elect four of them to serve as leaders for the week and basically delegate tasks.

    the original town council

    The council could also give $20,000 gold stars to kids they thought were good members of the community.

    the host asks Michael what he'll do with $20,000, and he says he'll give it to his parents

    Speaking of the council, does anyone remember Laurel??? She was my idol. I wonder what she's doing today.

    Lauren talking to the camera

    The challenges weren't awful — they were usually a mix of physical challenges or scavenger hunts — but things sometimes got messy when it came to the prizes.

    the kids running to start a challenge

    But when they weren't competing, the kids had to do a lot of heavy physical labor, cooking, and cleaning. Which they were obviously not thrilled about.

    But there was a lot of other drama too, coming from things like vandalism, political mudslinging, religious differences, and moral quandaries. Who remembers the episode where one boy killed two chickens for their meat after a few of the kids banded together to try to save them??

    Overall, the whole thing was pretty messed up.

    Jimmy, age 8 from New Hampshire, says "I think I'm gonna die out here"

    Was it an interesting social experiment? Yes. Was it entertaining? Yes. BUT AT WHAT COST???

    the kids pulling wagons of supplies

    The show was unsurprisingly canceled after the first season resulted in a lawsuit and concerns over the legality of the show. My fifth grade class was devastated because we all wanted to apply. Looking back...it was probably for the best.

    Who else remembers this show? If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend a viewing party of the first episode.