I am SO excited! Today is the day Scooter will compete in the National Finals of The Great Canadian Geography Challenge. He became a provincial champion back in April hence qualifying for the National Finals. He will compete online today at noon (Eastern time) from a computer in the main office of his school under the supervision of his geography teacher. We will be able to monitor the proceedings from our computers at home as the results will be posted at the end of each round. We'll just need to refresh our screens every once and a while.
I called the Geography Challenge people this morning to find out exactly how to log on to the contest website and spoke to a very helpful organizer of the event. When I told her my step-son was one of the Ontario finalists, she said that the Ontario competition is even more challenging because there are so many who successfully complete the qualifying test. In some provinces, all the kids who pass the qualifying test make the provincial championships. In Ontario, over 200 passed the qualifying test so they had to narrow it down to about 50 of the top qualifiers who then competed for the top 10 spots in the province. Simply, only 1 in 4 who passed the qualifying test in Ontario made the top 10 in the province whereas in some lesser populated provinces just passing the qualifying test won them the provincial spot.
Aside from the fact that Scooter is a very bright young man, things that have contributed to his excellence in geography include: natural curiosity about the world and his place in it; the fact that at a young age his favourite book was the "Readers Digest Children's Atlas of the World" which he poured over from cover to cover and carried everywhere quoting factoids to all who would listen; extensive travelling with Skip and me as well as his mother and that side of the family; being intensely curious about maps and where we are when we're on the road; playing the Traveller IQ Challenge on Facebook; watching science and nature shows on TV, etc., etc. I guess all these experiences add up. His dad and I LOVE to travel and have taken Scooter on holidays to Costa Rica, Phoenix, a Caribbean cruise and car trips to New York State and Ohio. He is fun to travel with and a very good navigator. He hasn't had a chance to use our new GPS yet but I'm sure he'll be as enthralled with it as I am.
So don't try to contact me from about 11:30 this morning until about 3. I'll be doing the 'proud parent' thing. I can hardly contain myself, I'm so excited.