“The questions were pretty easy,” he said. “What is interesting is there always seems to be a recurring theme for me where some of the questions kind of relate directly to me and what I do. Like I always go to Montana and one of the questions was about Bozeman, which I drove through, and also my grandmother lives on Lake Champlain so I knew that one. It always seems like some year there is something that connects with me personally.”
The one thing Tommy said he has gained from all his experience competing is confidence.
“I never have really done very good in state competition and have never made it to a different round, but it really felt good and has driven me to study harder,” he said.
Tommy will have to take a written test to advance to states. He said although he will study more before the exam, he is not nervous about taking it.
“The test usually isn’t that hard,” he explained. “A lot of the questions asked during the bees are specifically geography questions and on the test you have cultural, historical and geographical questions so it is a nice little break. It is a lot less stressful because you are not in front of everybody and there are no other competitors except for yourself basically. But I do think there is pressure going into the test because I’ve been in (state competitions) two times so there is a little bit of pressure for me to get there again.”
Brotherton said he thinks Tommy will do well at the next level if he makes it. He said it would be nice to see CCS represented at nationals, but that is not the main focus.
“The ultimate goal is to have a fun competition where kids can kind of get on stage and show their knowledge of geography. It is something that is not taught as much anymore. It is an interesting aspect of history and a fun little thing to learn about, “ he said.
According to Brotherton, the district has never had a student move on to the national level before.
The bee is hard to study for because there is so much information that can be included, Brotherton said.
“That is where Tommy excels because his knowledge is so broad. The only ways to really prepare is to read a lot and study lots of maps,” he said.