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: $3,395 includes Tuition, Room and Board
Registration Closes May 1
Check-In: 1 – 3 p.m. on First Day of Camp
Pick-Up 12 – 1 p.m. Last Day of Camp
Field Trips: Saturdays 2 – 9 p.m.
Sundays 2 from 10 a.m. – 8p.m.
Meals: All meals provided
except on field trips


Rates: $2,995 includes Tuition & Lunch/Dinner
Registration Closes May 1
Check-In: 1 – 3 p.m. First Day of Camp
8:30 a.m. each Morning
Pick-Up 8 p.m. Middle School
9 p.m. High School
Field Trips: Saturdays 2 – 9 p.m.
Sundays 10 a.m. – 8p.m.
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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University of Houston | June 7 – June 19

Capitol Debate is pleased to expand its middle school camp to the University of Houston for the summer of 2015, from June 7 to June 19. Founded in 1927, the University of Houston is the leading public research university in the vibrant international city of Houston, which is the nation’s fourth-largest city and the energy capital of the world.

Register Now – Residential
Register Now – Commuter
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University of San Diego | June 21 – July 3

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.

Register Now – Residential
Register Now – Commuter
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University of North Carolina | June 28 – July 10

We are excited to announce the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as one of our new locations for the summer of 2015. UNC-Chapel Hill is renowned for its beauty and strong academic culture, and we are positive that every student will have a memorable camp experience.

Register Now – Residential
Register Now – Commuter
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Loyola University Chicago | June 27 – July 9

Easily accessible for our Chicago students, Loyola University Chicago is among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Register Now – Residential
Register Now – Commuter
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Loyola University Maryland | July 12 – July 24

Students at our debate camps stay in Loyola’s dormitories and have access to extensive academic and athletic resources. Loyola University Maryland’s beautiful campus sits on 79 acres in a northern Baltimore suburb with an urban feel. U.S. News & World Report named Loyola a “Best College” in the north region in 2015.

Register Now – Residential
Register Now – Commuter
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Lawrenceville School, NJ | July 25 – August 6

Due to incredible demand, our Lawrenceville School Summer Debate Camp is sold out, and we are no longer accepting wait-list applicants.

Camp Sold Out
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Babson College, Boston | July 26 – August 7

Located 14 miles west of Boston, Babson College is a 350-acre private business school in Wellesley, Mass. Babson has been ranked No. 1 for entrepreneurship an unprecedented 20 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report.

Camp Sold Out
Request Information

Not ready to sign up? 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.

Request Information

***Cancellation and Refund Policy: Payments are nonrefundable. Credit will be provided up to 1 year from the date of the event. Full payments are fully nonrefundable but you can use 100 percent of it as credit one year after the date of the event.