CBS' Kid Nation
, a reality series that features 40 kids trying to run their own town with minimum adult supervision, received a lot of negative buzz even before it premiered and during its first few weeks on air. Many bashed the network and the show, saying they were blatantly exploiting children. However, for show participant Morgan Wood
, Kid Nation
proved to be a worthwhile experience.
"There's not one thing I regret (about the experience)," the 13-year-old Morgan told The Indianapolis Star
. "There were so many new things I was able to do."
She admitted, however, that she did have some apprehensions about being away from her family for 40 days, the amount of time she and the other Kid Nation
participants were tasked to spend in the resurrected town, Bonanza City. However, it became easier as time went by, especially since she had become friends with most of the other children.
New friends are not the only rewards Morgan Wood got from her Kid Nation
experience. During the course of the series, she proved to be one of the most determined, positive and hard-working kids in Bonanza, which earned her a $20,000 gold star. Then, on the show's first season finale, she received one of three $50,000 stars. However, it was only her parents, Steve and Amanda Wood, and the show's cast members that knew of her big win, as they weren't allowed to divulge information until after the entire season had aired.
Steve and Amanda are also satisfied with the way Kid Nation
turned out and how their daughter was portrayed, although they still don't know who nominated her for the show.
Show executives contacted the family in last November. The audition process went on for three months, and Morgan Wood was one of the 60 possible contestants chosen from thousands. During the final auditions, the family learned that the show would be about teamwork, to the relief of Amanda.
"I just wanted to make sure none of the kids would be voted off," Amanda said, later sharing that she believes it was the “poise and leadership qualities that [Morgan] and the others had” that drew the producers' attention.
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: The Indianapolis Star
(Image Courtesy of The Indianapolis Star)