High School Debate Camps

Program Overview

The Public Forum Debate Camp welcomes high school students that compete in public forum debate and students that are just starting out and want to learn how to debate. We divide students up by age and experience level. So if you are nationally ranked, we have the program to take you to the next level. If you are a beginner, Public Forum Debate Camp will give you a wonderful introduction to debate.

Public Forum Debate Camp instructs high school students in the essential skills for success in competitive debate. Taught by renowned teachers with sterling track records, this debate institute teaches students the key processes of effective debate such as case construction, composing briefs, research, rebuttals, cross-fire, evidence analysis, and summary and final focus. Debate students leave our academic camp with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience needed to succeed in debate.

    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.

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Critical Focus on Core Skill Improvement

Our goal is to bring every debater to the next level. How do we do that? We focus on 10 critical areas that all debaters must show complete proficiency in before they leave camp. The areas include:

  • Effective Evidence Comparison
  • Winning Impact Calculations
  • Appropriate Time Allocations
  • Successful Issue Selection
  • Word Economy
  • Ethos and Confidence
  • Strategic Crossfire Techniques
  • Advanced Focus on End Game Strategy
  • Cross-Examine Their Debate Opponents
  • Advanced Rebuttal Brief Development

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Practice & Applications

We challenge our debate students to apply the material they have learned in their lectures. Rather than just hearing and forgetting huge amounts of information, they put into practice the theories presented in class.For example, following a lecture on evidence and statistics children will be split into small groups. 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, stretch, and cement a child’s understanding of the core skills we are teaching, helping them 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. – Overnight Campers
    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. – Commuters arrive
    and sign in at designated location.
  • 8:45 a.m. – Morning Announcements
    and review of activities for the day.
  • 9:00 a.m. – Skill lessons
    on areas such as topic analysis, crossfire, rebuttal speeches, final focus, summary speeches, flowing, Evidence Comparison, Impact Calculus, Appropriate Time Allocation, Issue Selection, and word economy.
  • 10:00 a.m. – Small group exercises
    applying the lesson plans including crossfire drills, refutation practice, final focus and summary speech redos, flowing exercises, and mini-debates.
  • 11:00 a.m. – Elective Course
    can be on topic analysis, international relations theory, economics, feminism, critical theory, advanced brief writing, and other pertinent topics to the resolution.
  • 12:00 p.m. – Lunch
    in 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 Debate Time
    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!
  • 5:00 p.m. – Dinner
    Buffet dinner for overnight students and commuters.
  • 6:30 p.m. – Office Hours
    Student’s will be able to go back in the classroom to work on their assignments or skills they may need additional assistance with. It’s a great opportunity for students to work individually with the camp staff.
  • 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.

A full sample schedule of the camp can be found here.
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2018 Locations

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Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Locations

Search by Date

Early June

Not yet 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.

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