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Meet Caitlin!

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Geography Girl 

Caitlin Snaring is the first female to win the National Geographic Bee in 16 years. She spoke to Girls Inc. Online about the Bee, how she mastered all of that information, and why she wants to be a diplomat.

Find out why Caitlin has a passion for learning about other cultures. Then, check out the Explore Your World activity and learn something new!

How did you become interested in geography and competing in the National Geographic Bee?

Whenever my family and I went on vacation I was very interested in our destination and wanted to see it on a map, particularly places like Hawaii—I wanted to know why it took so long to get there! In seventh grade my mom found out about the Bee and asked if I was interested. We started by buying a book that helped me study and went from there.

Interested in competing in a geography bee, but unsure of where to start? Check out Caitlin’s study steps!

  1. Political geography (leaders, etc.)

  2. Cultural geography (language, religion, etc.)

  3. Economy (what resources does the country have, what is produced there, etc.)

  4. Physical geography (mountains, rivers, etc.)

  5. Historical geography (previous rulers, empires in control of country, etc.)

The Girls Inc. mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. As the first female winner of the competition in 16 years, how do you think you can inspire girls everywhere to achieve this mission?

Competing in the Bee gave me a chance to show my passion for geography. I hope it will inspire more girls to participate in the competition and make them realize that it isn’t just about memorizing facts—it’s also about learning how people in other cultures live. It will open up other areas of interest that they may not have thought about before.

You studied a lot of information in order to win the Bee. How do you think you’ll use all this information in the future?

I’m sure my studies will help me in both my high school and college classes as well as in my future career as a diplomat.

Do you think people know enough about geography and world cultures? Why do you think it is important for young people today to know about geography and culture?

I don’t think geography is pushed enough in school. I think it’s important for people to be aware of what is going on in the world and to understand other cultures. When you’re watching the news it’s helpful to know where the countries being discussed are located as well as some background information on them.

In your studies of history, who was the most inspiring woman you read about and what about her made an impression on you?

Condoleezza Rice (the U.S. Secretary of State) is an awesome woman. She works really hard on peace agreements and she also plays the piano, which I am learning as well.

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What is your favorite cultural celebration and why?

I would really like to see the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain (during a festival honoring a saint, people run alongside bulls to lead them to the bull ring!) It’s a very interesting festival and it’s kind of funny, too.

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world to explore, where would you go and what would you want to see?

I really want to visit Hue, Vietnam and see its Citadel and imperial monuments because it was my winning question in the Geography Bee. I am very interested in Asian cultures and I would really like to explore Southeast Asia. India is very interesting to me as well; the holy city of Varanasi is where people come from all over to bathe in the scared Ganges River.

Now that you’ve won the Bee, what’s next? What are your plans for the future?

A recruiter for international diplomats recently contacted me and she gave me some great advice about colleges and planning for my future career as a diplomat. Next year I plan to try out for Teen Jeopardy, as I hope to see Alex Trebek again (he hosted the Geography Bee.)

What do you do for fun?

I am learning to play the piano and I also make pottery.

What's Next?

  • Meet more inspiring girls and women.

  • Embrace diversity by exploring your world!

  • Share your inspiration on the Girls Inc. message boards.