Public Speaking & Debate

Capitol Debate's Public Speaking & Debate Camps teach the fundamentals of public speaking and argumentation, enabling middle school and high school students 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 Public Speaking and 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. Working within our custom Club Debate format, students focus on powerful persuasion and public speaking skills, and work on classic debate topics. By the end of camp, students will feel prepared to give outstanding speeches in class, perform in a school debate or join their school's debate team, 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.


At our Public Speaking and Debate Camp level, middle school and high school students will learn the fundamentals of public speaking and argumentation, enabling them to develop core presentation and debating skills that boost confidence and self-esteem. Students at the Public Speaking and Debate Camp level will work on effective public speaking and argumentation, allowing them to further advance their presentation and debate skills to prepare them for the real world. The camp offers students the chance to improve their communication skills in a safe and secure environment while having fun!

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

Skills and Areas of Focus

  • 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

See for Yourself the Impact of Our Summer Camps!

Not only will Capitol Debate students learn new skills through our programs; they will feel an increase in self-worth, learn critical thinking skills and improve public speaking and communication skills with their peers. Two weeks at camp will result in lifelong friendships and memories that will resonate with our students throughout their academic, personal and professional careers. Campers return to our program year after year because of how life-changing our Summer Debate Camps prove to be. Our parents will tell you themselves that they proudly stand by their investment in Capitol Debate because of the impact it has had on their families.

Practice & Application

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, 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.

Sample Schedule

    Here is a sample daily schedule for this program:
  • 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 Commuters 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, crossfire 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.
  • 2:30 p.m. - Team building exercises focused on boosting teamwork and collaboration skills.
  • 3:30 pm. - Practice Debates: Students debate almost every day and receive full critiques from national champion coaches.
  • 5:00 p.m. - Dinner Buffet dinner for overnight students and commuters.
  • 6:00 p.m. - Study Hall: 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 including karaoke, movies, board games and access to staff for additional support on debate cases.
  • 10:00 p.m. - Room check and curfew.

View complete sample schedule »


Virtual Camps from the comfort of home


San Jose State University San Jose, CA
University of San Diego San Diego, CA
UCLA Los Angeles, CA


Yale University New Haven, CT


Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL


Notre Dame of Maryland University Baltimore, MD


Babson College Babson Park, MA

New Jersey

The Hun School of Princeton Princeton, NJ
Drew University Madison, NJ
Lawrenceville School Lawrenceville, NJ
Rider University Lawrenceville, NJ

North Carolina

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC


Ohio State University Columbus, OH


Villanova University Villanova, PA
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA


University of Houston Houston, TX


Marymount University Arlington, VA


University of Washington Seattle, WA

Washington, D.C.

American University Washington, DC


National University of Singapore Pulau Ujong, Singapore

Please note that 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 for camps and at least two weeks for other programs. Any add-ons, tournament or fees paid cannot be refunded and are non-transferrable. Summer camp cancellations received after May 1st or programs cancellations after two weeks prior to program starting must also be made in writing and will follow the cancellation credit timetables. For more details please visit our Terms, Policies, and Conditions page.