Middle School Debate Camps

Program Overview

Capitol Debate’s middle school debate camps teach the fundamentals of public speaking and argumentation, enabling kids to develop core presentation and debating skills that boost confidence and self-esteem. Our camps offer students the chance to improve their communication skills in a challenging, safe and secure environment that’s suited to each child’s age and experience level.

The curricula of our middle school debate camps aim to equip children with the ability to structure arguments, prepare debate cases, research evidence, write rebuttal briefs, deliver speeches and refute opponents. They prepare students to give outstanding speeches in class, perform in a school debate or join their high school debate teams, Model United Nations teams or speech teams.

Not only will Capitol Debate students learn debating skills; they will feel an increase in self-worth, learn critical thinking skills and improve communication with their peers.

Rates & Hours


Rates: $2,695 Aug 16th – Feb 1st
$2,995 Feb 2nd – April 15th
$3,395 April 16th – May 1st or when camp goes to waitlist
Registration Closes May 1
Rates includes Tuition, Room and Board
Check-In: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. on First Day of Camp
Pick-Up 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Last Day of Camp
Field Trips: 3rd Day of Camp Movie Trip 6:00 – 9:30 p.m.
5th Day of Camp Amusement Park Trip 12:00 – 8:00 p.m.
*Field Trips Included in $100 Activity Fee.
Meals: All meals provided
except on field trips


Rates: $2,295 Aug 16th – Feb 1st
$2,595 Feb 2nd – April 15th
$2,995 April 16th – May 1st or when camp goes to waitlist
Registration Closes May 1
Rates includes Tuition, Lunch & Dinner
Check-In: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. First Day of Camp
8:30 a.m. each Morning
Pick-Up 8:00 p.m. each Evening
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Last Day of Camp
Field Trips: 3rd Day of Camp Movie Trip 6:00 – 9:30 p.m.
5th Day of Camp Amusement Park Trip 12:00 – 8:00 p.m.
*Field Trips Included in $100 Activity Fee.
Meals: Lunch & Dinner provided
except on field trips
    Rest assured that students will get top-notch instruction with the Capitol Debate Guarantee:

  • Low faculty to student ratio – Capitol Debate firmly believes in individualized instruction, which can only happen with small class sizes. We promise an 8:1 student to faculty ratio.
  • Personalized Instruction – Capitol Debate instructors give students hands-on instruction with researching, writing, speaking and organizing. After practice debates, instructors give students lengthy feedback to help them improve their skills.
  • Senior faculty oversee all classes – Unlike other debate camps, Capitol Debate’s instructors have an average of 15 to 30 years of pedagogical experience in the classroom. Many have coached national champions!
  • Practice, Practice, Practice – We make sure students are not just sitting in lectures, but instead are getting up and speaking every day and applying the lessons learned in a small group setting.

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At Capitol Debate summer camps, middle school students will learn the art of public speaking and debate. Students will cover many topics including:

  • Structuring Arguments
  • Supporting Arguments
  • Researching Evidence
  • Writing Persuasive Cases
  • Drafting Rebuttal Briefs
  • Organizing Ideas
  • Delivering Winning Speeches
  • Standing Up Confident
  • Articulating Ideas
  • Refuting Opposition
  • Listening Carefully
  • Cross-Examining Opponents

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Practice & Applications

We challenge our debate students to apply the material they have learned in their lectures. For example, children will be split into groups following a lecture on evidence and statistics. With the guidance of experienced instructors, our middle school debate students will test their understanding by examining evidence and finding flaws in the statistics presented.

Our experience has shown that such exercises best develop and cement a child’s understanding of the core skills they’ve learned, helping to maximize their potential.

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Sample Schedule

Here is a sample daily schedule for our overnight and commuter camps:

  • 7:30 a.m. – Rise and shine!
    We offer an expansive breakfast in the campus dining hall, which includes eggs, pancakes, orange juice, cereal, waffles, yogurt and fruit.
  • 8:30 a.m. – Commuter Check in
    Comuters arrive and sign in at designated location.
  • 8:45 a.m. – Morning Announcements
    Announcements and review of activities for the day.
  • 9:00 a.m. – Skill Lessons
    Focusing on areas such as articulation, voice projection, body language, ethos/confidence, argument structure, refutation, cross-examination, organization and logic.
  • 10:00 a.m. – Small group exercises
    applying the lesson plans including articulation exercises, refutation drills, cross fire questioning and attacking fallacious reasoning.
  • 11:00 a.m. – Get Up and Speak
    Students practice speaking by doing impromptu speeches, sales presentations, mini debates and/or extemporaneous speeches.
  • 12:00 p.m. – Lunch
    at campus dining hall for overnight students and commuters.
  • 1:00 p.m. – Lab time
    Hands-on instruction in preparing for debates. Individualized instruction includes assistance in researching, writing, structuring and organizing pro and con cases. Instructors guide students in preparing rebuttal briefs for upcoming debates.
  • 3:00 pm. – Practice Debates
    Students debate almost every day and receive full critiques from national champion coaches.
  • 4:30 p.m. – Free time
    Join a game of basketball, swim, shoot pool, play foosball, soccer, video games, frisbee or watch TV on the big screen!
  • 5:30 p.m. – Dinner
    Buffet dinner for overnight students and commuters.
  • 6:30 p.m. – Guest lecturer
    Specialists in areas such as economics, foreign policy, environment, criminal justice and law are invited to speak to the students about contemporary issues.
  • 7:30 p.m. – Debate exercises.
  • 8:00 p.m. – Commuters depart.
  • 8:00 p.m. – Activities in dorm
    Ice cream socials, movies, and games.
  • 10:00 p.m. – Room check and curfew.

A full sample schedule for the entire camp can be found here.

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The University of Texas at Dallas
June 5 – June 17, 2016

Home of the Cowboys and many of the world’s leading telecommunications companies, Dallas is a metropolitan mecca full of arts, history, sports and culture. Capitol Debate is pleased to offer students the opportunity to attend a 2016 summer debate camp program right here at The University of Texas Dallas.

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Georgia Institute of Technology
June 5 – June 17, 2016

Students can spend part of their summer at a nationally ranked, top 10 public university (according to U.S. News and World Report) by attending Capitol Debate’s 2016 summer camp program at the Georgia Institute of Technology – a new location for 2016!

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University of Houston
June 4 – June 16, 2016

By popular demand, Capitol Debate embarks on the University of Houston for the Summer of 2015 from June 7 to June 19. Located in the nation’s fourth-largest city and the energy capital of the world. Founded in 1927, the University of Houston is the leading public research university in the vibrant international city of Houston.

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San Jose State University
June 18 – June 30, 2016

The oldest public school of higher education in California, SJSU was designed in the Spanish Revival style with influences from Gothic, Renaissance Revival, and Modern, reflecting the rich diversity found in San Jose. History, technology, beautiful landscapes are abundant at one of Capitol Debate’s new summer camp locations, San Jose State University.

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University of San Diego
June 19 – July 1, 2016

Our west coast students will study and live at the University of San Diego. The campus is situated five miles inland, on the edge of a canyon, a short drive from La Jolla, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, and Point Loma. It has been ranked among the Princeton Review’s Top 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses. The weather is absolutely perfect during the summer!

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University of North Carolina
June 19 – July 1, 2016

We are excited to announce the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as one of its locations for the summer of 2016. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is renowned for its beauty and strong academic culture and we are sure that every student will have a memorable camp experience.

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Seton Hall University, NJ
July 2 – July 14, 2016

Seton Hall is located 14 miles southwest of New York City on 58 green acres in the Village of South Orange, New Jersey. It lies at the foot of South Mountain, the first elevation west of New York City, and the height from which George Washington surveyed his troops during the Battle of Connecticut Farms.

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Occidental College, CA
July 3 – July 15, 2016

Located in the heart of Los Angeles’ vibrant cultural scene, Occidental College offers students a unique debate camp experience. Capitol Debate is pleased to offer Oxy as one of our three California locations in 2016.

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Villanova University, PA
July 3 – July 15, 2016

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in history or enjoy local arts and culture, can you can find both near Villanova University, one of Capitol Debate’s new summer camp locations for 2016.

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Loyola University Chicago
July 16 – July 28, 2016

Easily accessible for our Chicago students, Loyola University Chicago is renowned for its educational spirit and we are sure that every student will have a memorable camp experience at this incredible new location. It is currently (2014) ranked number 101 among national universities.

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Loyola University Maryland
July 17 – July 29, 2016

Students at our debate camps stay in Loyola’s dormitories and have access to extensive academic and athletic resources. Loyola’s beautiful campus sets on 79 acres in a northern Baltimore suburb. Debate students live in apartment-style dorms, dubbed “palaces” by The Princeton Review, with private bathrooms, living areas, dining rooms, and kitchens.

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Lawrenceville School, NJ
July 24 – August 5, 2016

Capitol Debate is pleased to continue offering our Princeton Summer Debate Camp, located at the historic Lawrenceville School, just outside of Princeton, New Jersey. The Lawrenceville School is one of the most prestigious private high schools in the entire world, and is offering their facilities for our summer debate camp.

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Babson College, Boston
July 30 – August 11, 2016

Capitol Debate is proud to offer it’s renowned summer program at Babson College by popular demand. Students at Capitol Debate’s Babson College Debate Camp will be housed in Mandel Hall, the newest and nicest residential building on Babson’s campus.

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Iona College, New York
July 31 – August 12, 2016

Join Capitol Debate near “the city that never sleeps” during our 2016 summer camp program! We’re pleased to bring our nationally recognized debate program to Iona College, located in the vibrant college town of New Rochelle, N.Y., just 20 miles from midtown Manhattan.

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Seattle University, WA
July 31 – August 12, 2016

We’re excited to offer several new, west coast locations for our 2016 summer camp programs, including Seattle, Washington. Capitol Debate’s summer camp is located in a thriving neighborhood in Seattle, easily accessible from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and through Amtrak, light rail and bus.

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Not yet ready to sign up?
That’s ok!

We know when it comes to your sending your loved ones to camp you want to make sure they are safe and cared for. Here at Capitol Debate we take pride in providing a safe, fun & educational environment that you can feel great about and that your children will love. We would love to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

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Cancellation Policy: All payments are nonrefundable. Should cancellation be necessary, full credit will be provided up to 1 year from the date of the event, if written notice of cancellation is provided prior to May 1st. Any add-ons and activity fees paid cannot be refunded and are non-transferrable. Cancellations received on or after May 1st must also be made in writing and will follow the below schedule for applicable credit to your account.

Cancellations within the policy will be credited as follows:
  • After May 1 | 85% credit
  • 30 – 22 days before start date | 70% credit
  • 21 – 8 days before start date | 60% credit
  • 7 – 4 days before start date | 50% credit
  • 3 – 1 day before start date | 25% credit
  • No Show | 0 credit
Trip / Cancellation Insurance: Trip and/or Cancellation Insurance can be purchased through a 3rd party provider such as www.aplusplans.com or www.insuremytrip.com. Plans range in cost from $20 to $285 and can protect your investment in various ways from lost luggage or missed connection compensation to cancellation for any reason with 70% – 100% refund options. Most plans require enrollment on or before the final payment is made for your trip so please be sure to look into these available options today.