Lincoln Douglas Debate Camps
The aim of Capitol Debate is to improve students’ debating skills. To do this we emphasize the foundational theories of forensics, encourage students to apply these theories in small groups, and foster understanding through skilled instruction. The lessons and lectures are structured to allow students to learn the fundamental theories of all facets of Lincoln Douglas debate. From affirmative and negative cases to progressive positions, such as critiques and counterplans, students will receive extensive instruction from experienced coaches.
Students will improve their debate skills because they know the theories and have applied them. They will build self-confidence. They will be practiced and experienced communicators, prepared to debate competitively in school, at college, or in their career.
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.
- 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.
Students at our Lincoln Douglas debate camps will learn theories and strategies in the following areas:
- Stock Affirmative Cases
- Stock Negative Positions
Our Lincoln Douglas camps are led by lecturers with ample experience, championship credentials, and a gift for teaching. Their oversight guides students as they learn the ins and outs of effective debate. The debates are watched. The students are critiqued and informed. Detailed feedback is given to every debater, after every debate, and reinforces what is taught in every class. Students, our staff will teach you to become artful debaters. We emphasize application. We explain theories through practice. We teach debate by letting students debate. We refine their skills with feedback.
Practice & Applications
The best way to promote in depth understanding of Lincoln Douglas concepts and positions is through application and skill-building exercises. Every class ends with application. The students are split into small groups, and these small groups learn to take the concepts and apply them in practice.
To help students apply the many concepts they are introduced to in lectures labs will utilize a variety of drills, speaking exercises, mini debates, and practice debates to emphasize and reinforce the lessons learned.
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.
- 7:00 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.
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!
Register Now for 2018
Camp cancellation credit timetable:
- 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
Other programs cancellation credit timetable:
- Two weeks before program start | 100% credit
- Within two weeks before program start | 50% credit
- Day of or No Show | 0% credit
For more information about Capitol Debate’s policies, terms and conditions of registration, please see our Terms, Policies, and Conditions page.