Origins: Winter Camp History Test

The Winter Camp History Test was inspired by the Mark Bollman penchant for trivia. The simple program was written by Steve Donohue during Winter Camp VII. Questions for the test were submitted by numerous attendees at Winter Camp, primarily Mark Bollman.

Because of the variety of Arrowmen who created questions. the test is fairly comprehensive. It asks twenty questions from a list of several hundred and scores the participant according to the number of correct answers.

A similar program was developed by Kurt Whybra to regulate attorneys at Winter Camp VII. Potential barristers were posed 20 questions and had to score 75% or better in order to practice law.

The original history test program has been modified to provide an oral exam for campers with less than impressive reading skills. The updated version makes use of an Alpha Products Speech Synthesizer for the TRS-80 Model I.


The program faded to obscurity until Winter Camp XIV, when it was updated it for the 1990's with a new version for IBM-compatible computers called the Winter Camp Trivia Challenge. Under the seemingly constant attention of Mark Bollman--> has swelled to over 1,000 questions. It now offers a special novice challenge, a "Greatest Hits" test, subject-specific tests, and trivia tests based on Channel 120 and Paradox Metaphor.

The trivia has also expanded to become a weekly contest on the Web Page, with arrowmen sending their answers to Mark for verification. It is hoped that one day the challenge will be available as an on-line test with immediate feedback.

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