Rookie Public Speaking & Debate

The Rookie Camp allows younger debaters to get a 1 Week taste of Capitol Debate Summer Camp. Designed specifically for rising 5th-grade students (entering 5th grade in Fall 2019), the rookie debate camp introduces students to the fundamentals of public speaking and basics of debate. Starting with Public Speaking, our rookie debate camp will guide students through the techniques of public speaking, helping them to discover the gift of communication. They will learn to present a polished speech before their peers. They will go through exercises and practice sessions to develop delivery skills such as vocal variety, articulation, and voice projection. The Rookie students will also be exposed to the basics of argumentation and develop communication skills, problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, and increased self-esteem. Students will learn how to organization, researching, writing cases, and planning defenses. Rookie Camp is the perfect introduction for students to find their inner voice. Our special week-long session gives rising 5th graders their first taste of individual freedom and the fun experiences of summer camp. Rookie campers are expertly guided by dedicated staff who have been specially trained to work with younger debaters. During the session, Rookie Camp debaters seamlessly integrate into the general camp program. This allows campers valuable opportunities to experience camp life and model new behaviors from elder campers.


Rookie debaters will first be introduced to public speaking. Students will prepare, organize, and present a speech in front of their peers. Our experience has shown that such exercises best develop, stretch, and solidify a child's understanding and grow their abilities in the core skills we are teaching. Rookie debaters will also be introduced to the foundational principles of debate such as structuring an argument, backing it with evidence, researching, writing cases, and planning defenses.

Skills and Areas of Focus

Skills and Areas of Focus

  • Articulation
  • Eye Contact
  • Voice and Tone
  • Hand Gestures
  • Confidence
  • Writing
  • Researching
  • Using Supporting Materials
  • Organization Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Vocal Variety
  • Articulation
  • Voice Projection

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

Putting lessons learned into classroom exercises allows students to best develop and solidify a student's understanding of the core skills they've learned, helping to maximize their potential. We continuously challenge students to work both individually and in groups following any lesson or lecture to test their understanding. It isn't enough to give students information. We seek to ensure thorough proficiency on the student's part to guarantee growth and progress every step of the way.

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.

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.