Dear Olympians and Olympiad Families!

Greetings from Honolulu – we’ve just arrived! The 2nd International History Olympiad is just a few short days away, so here’s your much-awaited General Email #4 with over 2500 words of important things to know for the Olympiad. Please pay particular attention to the Health Form listed in #2 below!

  1. Where to report upon arrival

The different Olympiad competitions will take place almost entirely in or right next to Frear Hall on the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus. A map can be found here of the campus. Accordingly, check in will take place on the ground floor just inside the entrance to Frear throughout the 16th and 17th. We’ll have a table set up where you’ll receive your room key and meal card and let us know you’ve made it. Note that there’s a $25 replacement charge if you lose your key. So don’t do that.

  1. Health Form

I am attaching the Olympiad Health Form to this email (if you’re reading this online and need a copy, email This is the most important part of this entire email! You must fill this out and have a parent scan it and send it to by 3pm Saturday Hawaii time. We will contact everyone individually if you haven’t sent it to us by then.

  1. HMH Form

Many people haven’t yet filled out the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt release form. If you’re reading this online and need a copy, email Especially as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is sending a representative to observe the Olympiad this year, we would really appreciate these forms being signed, scanned, and sent to as soon as possible! Or you can bring a signed paper copy with you. Students who are 18 and older can sign the form themselves, otherwise, a parent’s signature is needed.

  1. Help Email, Phone, and Location

Because of a delay in Gmail’s forwarding capabilities, we are switching the email henceforth to: If you email, it will still work, but there may be a delay of up to a few hours as the email is rerouted to the account – so use that instead. The help hotline phone number for all Olympiad questions between 9am and 10pm is: (202) 569 9400 – please save this as needed! For after and before hours, a different staff member each night will be on call to help out as needed- we’ll give you a room number in Frear Hall to go to for emergencies. Between 7am and 9am, go to the Headquarters Room (925) for help.

  1. Shuttles

Nolwenn will be in touch regarding shuttles for all those who signed up for them. If you are arriving on July 16 and need a shuttle, look for Raynell Cooper. If you are arriving before noon on July 17 and need a shuttle, look for Shravan Balaji. If you are arriving after noon on July 17 and need a shuttle, look for Niki Peters. All 3 shuttle people will have a big Olympiad flag with them. If you run into trouble, call the help phone listed above!

  1. Last Chance to Adjust Events / Who Signed Up For What

To see who specifically has signed up for each event, see:

Specific room assignments will be posted at the Olympiad for each event. Note that in many instances there are good shots at medaling available for students who wish to add an event or two to their schedule (Varsity Civilization bronze is there for the taking…). Again, after Thursday we make no guarantees that students can further sign up for events, though we will try to accommodate add requests where we can. Also, the Middle School Pearl Harbor Simulation is fully booked up at this point too, so no adds there.

  1. Finalized Schedule

The Finalized Schedule can be found here. At this point we don’t anticipate any major changes, though exact start times of many events will only be conveyed at the Olympiad. Note that in many cases, events will end before the scheduled time listed.

  1. Family Members Going to Pearl Harbor

We have exactly enough Pearl Harbor tickets for all students, staff, and children of families who are staying at the university but are not taking part in the Olympiad. These tickets include a set time to visit the USS Arizona memorial at a specific time between 2pm and 4pm on July 23. All of these students, staff, and other children will come on the bus with us to Pearl Harbor, leaving the University at 12:15pm sharp on July 23. We will arrive at Pearl Harbor at about 12:45pm, and then while not touring the USS Arizona Memorial, students can visit the museum there.

Other family members who wish to visit Pearl Harbor are welcome to meet us there, but they must arrange their own transport there and back. Likewise, they are also responsible for securing their own tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial if they are interested. This can be done in the following ways (all this information courtesy of the US Park Service at the USS Arizona Memorial)

  1. If you are willing to pay about $80-$100 or so, you can get a guided tour from private tour operators that would include the USS Arizona Memorial.
  2. The day before at 7:00am at

700 tickets are released and you can try to reserve these online.

  1. On the day of the visit (i.e. July 23), the National Park Service gives out 1,300 free walk-in tickets daily, on a first come, first served basis. It is highly recommended that you arrive at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center early. Doors open at 7:00 AM Hawaii Standard Time.
  2. See here for further information.

Note that family members will not be allowed to visit the USS Missouri with our group on July 23, but on July 24, after the Closing Ceremonies, family members will be able to take a brief tour of the ship between 9:30 and 10:30.

  1. Press Corps

Are you interested in helping to prepare articles for local and international media about the Olympiad? Content for our websites? Interviewing players, staff, and family members for IHBB TV? Tweeting, Instagramming, Blogging? Then come to the Olympiad Press Corps opening meeting at 9pm on Monday in the 12th Floor Conference Room. Raynell Cooper will head up this initiative, so see him for further details.

  1. What to bring – Update

Here’s a list of some good things to bring

  1. Sunscreen. Like serious 50+SPF sunscreen (the sun will be basically directly overhead at noon).
  2. Small gifts from home for new friends.
  3. Binoculars. (If you’re doing the bird watching walk)
  4. Deodorant, shampoo, and other toiletries so that you don’t become odious to those around you.
  5. Your knowledge of history, a thirst for competition, and good sportsmanship.

Here’s a list of some bad things to bring:

  1. Fruits and vegetables. Hawaii will not let you bring these in.
  2. Formal clothes. No need for them; we’re casual throughout.
  3. Unnecessary valuables. We’re not responsible for anything valuable you bring, including a laptop and smartphone, even though bringing those is actually a good idea provided you’re willing to take responsibility for them.
  4. Cigarettes, alcohol, drugs. This should be obvious, but we have a zero tolerance policy for any of these.
  5. Your pet lobster. Leave Mr. Pinchers at home, please. He wouldn’t pass through Hawaii’s strict quarantine anyway.

Both of these lists are obviously not meant to be complete. Use common sense while packing (and throughout Olympiad week).

  1. Parking

On Monday-Friday, parking is available in the Parking Structure (see map) from 5am-4pm for $5 and from 4pm-midnight for $6. On Saturday, parking is available for $6, flat rate all day. On Sundays, park anywhere on campus (except where obviously not allowed) for free.

  1. Wifi

Everyone will have free wifi access – the password will be given out upon arrival. Because of this, and because various internet sites will likely prove to be a helpful study resource, students are allowed to bring a smartphone or laptop as long as they accept responsibility for looking after it. Note also that this is not an invitation to wander off campus playing Pokemon Go nor an invitation to spend all week online when you could (and should) be taking advantage of the opportunity to make friends from around the world. Olympiad staff will encourage you to do this if we see you spending too much time online.

  1. Library

Just a reminder that at the Olympiad, we’ll have a library of books that students can check out. Students can sign out at most one book at a time, and are limited to 24 hours per book unless a duplicate copy is not currently signed out. The library will be maintained in the HQ room (Room 925). Many of the titles that we have will be on the topic of the Scramble, but we also have books that will help on many of the other quiz bowl-based and non quiz bowl-based competitions.

  1. Post Olympiad Tournaments on July 25 and July 26

If you are interested in either of the post-Olympiad tournaments that will take place outside on Waikiki Beach, please sign up here. Note that both tournaments will take place in the afternoon, and will feature 2 player teams. Solo teams are not permitted since we have a limited number of buzzers. Sign ups are limited to the first 14 teams for each (for now, at least)! The tournaments will start by 1pm and will end by 5:30pm if you’re looking to make other plans for either of those days, but very likely, they won’t take a full 4 hours to play through. To a certain extent, though, the length will depend on the number of sign ups.

Both tournaments will be all-subject quiz bowl (i.e. not just history focused). The tournament on July 25 is for teams of 2 family members. The tournament on July 26 is for teams of any 2 players (find someone to play with). These are free to take part in; there will not be any age divisions either for these.

  1. Parent / Family Member Event Selection

As you may (or may not…) be aware, certain Olympiad events are open to Parents and other family members! These include the following:

-Hula Lessons (limit 5)

-Ukulele Lessons (limit 3)

-Bird Watching Walk (limit 3 on each walk)

-Exchange Student Dinner Talk

-Elections Dinner Talk

-Battery Exam

-History Bee (i.e. the general one on July 23 at 8am)

None of these cost extra to take part in (though for the ukulele lessons, you’ll need to get your own ukulele). For the Battery and History Bee, we’ll have a small prize for the champion among the family members. If you are interested in any of these, please email me to let me know which ones you would like to do as soon as possible!

  1. Written Exam Update

The Written Exam format is now set. This year, players will have 80 minutes to complete the Exam. There will be 8 short answer questions – students will need to write one paragraph for each of these. Middle School Division players will need to answer 5, JV players will need to answer 6, and Varsity players will need to answer 7. Then there is a full-length essay, for which there will be 3 topics, and students will need to select one.

  1. Update

If anyone is interested in competing in the research competition, but didn’t sign up for it since they weren’t going to be bringing a laptop (which we had said was required), they should email me within the next few days. We can almost certainly find a laptop for you to borrow.

  1. USS Missouri Update

The USS Missouri has let us know that they will be able to accommodate family members who wished to spend the night on board. Currently, we have the following people signed up for it. If you are a family member who would like to spend the night on board the USS Missouri and you don’t yet see your name below, then please email me asap!

Family members currently signed up are:

  1. James Starnes
  2. Ji Won Lee
  3. Nam Il Kang
  4. Hye Jeong Jeong
  5. Ernesto Nucup
  6. Eric Replogle
  7. Arvinder Oswal
  8. Carmen Phipps
  9. John Tierney
  1. Gym Access

We looked into getting access to the Warrior Recreation Center (i.e. the on campus gym) but were told that outside guests (i.e. us) can only get in through a “Buddy Pass” that a current student or faculty member of the university could get. So, go make a friend from the university if you really want to work out in the gym. Better yet, just come to the running club each afternoon J

  1. Birding Walk (and Classical Music and Art History and Cold War) Update

Somewhat unexpectedly, 20 students (and a number of staff) signed up for the bird watching walk. This is great, but 25 or more people would scare off the birds! So we’re adding a second birding walk on the morning of July 20, and we’re flipping the order of Classical Music and Cold War on July 20 to allow more people to go on the Birding Walk (which will be back by 9:30, the new start time of Cold War; Classical Music moves to 8:30). Also, if you didn’t originally sign up for the Art History Bee because you wanted to go birding, but now would like to sign up for Art History, you can do so (as long as you didn’t also want to do the Classical Music Bee more). We’ll have a list of who’s going birding when available at the Olympiad by the evening of the 18th, but we’ll take your sign ups into account with this. If you would prefer to switch your birding day, you can likely do that too if you let us know in advance.

Note also: both birding walks will now begin at 7:10 to allow for a quick bite of breakfast. We will likely go a bit off campus, but this remains to be seen.

Also, just to be clear, we are looking for birds, not Pokemon Go monsters on the walk…

  1. Still Waiting On…

These and other topics will be conveyed to you either in General Email #5 (going out on Friday or Saturday) and/or in individual emails

  1. The location of the Opening Ceremonies
  2. Specific Individual Role Assignments for Pearl Harbor Simulation
  3. How to purchase your ukulele if you signed up for ukulele lessons

Congratulations on reaching the end of General Email #4! We know there’s a lot here, but all this information is provided to help things run as smoothly as possible. Safe travels and we’ll see you soon in the Aloha State!