2020 PLAN

Since 2002, we have prioritized the creation of a "safe space" to develop new skills. In 2020, we will maintain this priority well.

A message from our Founding Director




Thank you for choosing Debate Camp.  For the many families who selected us in 2020, for your camper’s summer enrichment experience, we are grateful for your patience.  We sought a slower road to decision making, as we held out for as much official guidance on the safe operation of children’s camps in 2020 - as is possible.  


As of the week of May 11 - 15, it looks very much like some of the restrictions on children’s in-person programming in place for phase 1 and 2 re-opening schedules in most of the regions in which we operate camp will make it challenging to operate an in-person camp in June or July of 2020.  


The hallmark of our program has been friendly interaction between campers in either a 4 or 8 person debate format, that changes 2 to 3 times throughout the day. Moreover, some of the personal protective wear that is recommended for supervisors in early stages of camp’s summer operations, we feel - will present a barrier to the face-to face interaction required in debate and public speaking.


In our 18 summer history, we have not encountered an experience such as this, and never have we had to close or postpone a camp.  Our playbook, for how to manage this is being developed, for both July and August - where we are still closely observing phase 2 and 3 re-opening guidelines.


We again, appreciate your patience and for families who would like to plan ahead, please consider the following:





Debating, Public Speaking and Model United Nations - - the three most popular curriculum areas for us at all camps, do work well in an online format.  We have tested this over the past 6 weeks, by operating 2 sessions [6 x 90 min sessions] of Online Debate Camp that saw over 120 campers join us after school hours for the past 2 online camp sessions.  


Here are some of the comments we gathered:


Our son really enjoyed the debates online and I think he received more feedback than traditional camp.”​

“He really enjoyed it and actively discussed with us over dinner, enthused about the ideas and what he was learning.”​

“We cannot thank you enough for bringing Debate Camp online. Your sessions have been wonderful."

"Loved the experience entirely"




At Debate Camp we have worked hard to ensure our camps deliver a real learning experience, that after 5 days is demonstrable with clear skills progression in all of our campers.  In particular, our novice, sometimes shy campers impress us the most - with not much to say at the beginning of the week and then amazing us all with organized, free-spoken, 4 to 6 minute debate speeches by the end of the week.  


While in-person camps allow for this in a fun, interactive way - we believe that if we keep the ratios of between 1:4 for two-person Parliamentary Debate or 1:8 for four person, British Parliamentary Debate, we can deliver a similarly high-level of interaction and feedback that ensure campers progress, make new friends, have fun - and really learn something!




We believe that in the unique circumstance we find ourselves in 2020, we can still offer our core mission of an academic enrichment opportunity that is novel, memorable and applicable in life, school and higher learning.  Albeit, online - we can still:

  • interact well with young people from around the world

  • open young minds to some of the most pressing issues facing our world

  • learn life-long skills of persuasive speaking and organized, analytical thought

  • try something new…



Never before has Debate Camp had such a high-talent team of Program Staff ready and available to teach at low teacher-student ratio to our camper community.  Thankfully, our team is assembled and ready to deliver some outstanding program throughout the summer.  Meet our outstanding trainer team at PEOPLE



We recognize that families have made existing investment in Debate Camp 2020 - and to assist us with managing all of the changes as a result of the current world health situation, in a way that will hopefully see Debate Camps happen in 2021, we ask families to consider the following options:




9:00 / 9:30am - 12:00 / 12:30pm in PST / MST / EDT / BST and HKT 


• 2 PROGRAM STREAM options; Debate Multi-Style and Debate & Public Speaking

• OPTIONAL Model United Nations

• 5 X 180 min workshops / week

• 3 level options: OPEN / PLUS / LEVEL-UP

 6 session options:

ONLINE SUMMER DEBATE CAMP I:    9:00AM - 12:00PM - June 22 - 26 

ONLINE SUMMER DEBATE CAMP II:   9:00AM - 12:00PM - June 29 - July 3

ONLINE SUMMER DEBATE CAMP III:  9:00AM - 12:00PM - July 6 - 10

ONLINE SUMMER DEBATE CAMP IV:  9:00AM - 12:00PM - July 13 - 17

ONLINE SUMMER DEBATE CAMP V:   9:00AM - 12:00PM - July 20 - 24

ONLINE SUMMER DEBATE CAMP VI:  9:00AM - 12:00PM - July 27 - 31

• multi-session discount available

• 1 : 6 teaching ratio - limited enrolment

24 participants per time zone / per level

• $366.70 CAD /  $346.70 - early bird rate (until June 15)

• $260.15 USD /  $245.15 - early bird rate (until June 15)


4:00PM - 7:00PM start time options on all weekdays; some Saturday

AM and PM options PST / MST / EDT / BST and HKT


• 2 schedule options per level

• 2 X 90 min workshops / week

• 3 level options per time zone

 3 session upcoming session options:

ONLINE PM CAMP E:  June 22 - July 10

ONLINE PM CAMP G:  October 5 - 24

ONLINE PM CAMP H:  November 2 - 21

• multi-session discount available

• fee structure range - all taxes included:

• 1 : 4 teaching ratio - limited enrolment

24 participants per time zone / per level

• $382.38 / $271.39 USD 


10:00am, 2:30pm 4:00pm options in PST and EDT


• 3 schedule options per level

• 2 X 60 min workshops / week

• 2 level options per time zone

 2 session options:

ONLINE LATIN CAMP B:  June 1 - July 3


• 1:4 teaching ratio - very limited enrolment

12 participants per time zone / per level

• $395.00 CAD / $295.00 USD 

IN-STORE CREDIT OPTION B:  APPLY YOUR FULL BALANCE to IN-PERSON CAMPS 2020 - 2022 that will secure a spot for your camper in any of our upcoming in-person camps (inclusive of any fee increases in 2021).  This option is applicable to family and relatives of account holders.


OPTION C: DEFERRED REFUND SCHEDULE: Should you be unable to retain in-store credit options we will schedule your refund schedule to commence on May 31st 2020, over a 1 - 12 week re-payment period (balance depending).  We appreciate families’ understanding on 2 aspects of this option:


1. As we hope everyone can appreciate, we need to pace the refund process so to allow Debate Camp to continue into 2021


2. We apologize, but we need to hold back the $30.00 per registration cancellation fee, as these are comprised of network and credit card fees that we not recuperate from our payment provider systems



Debate Camp is watching closely the phase 2 and 3 re-opening schedules for the following areas:

- Boston, MA - The Roxbury Latin School - dates TBC

- Providence RI -  The Wheeler School - dates TBC

- Toronto, ON - Crescent School - dates TBC

- Ottawa, ON - University of Ottawa - dates TBC


We will keep our Debate Camp community posted on possible 1 week / 5 day in-person day camp options in these cities, should we feel it is reasonable and safe to operate.  Because we will be most likely shortening the camp day to a 9:00am - 3:00pm format and removing both lunch and school bus options, we will be offering currently registered families in each of these cities the refund / credit options outlined above. 


Should the camp locations outlined above be confirmed to operate, we will notify our Debate Camp community first and offer a RE-REGISTRATION process, inclusive of a new rate fee for the week and a new refund policy.  Additional health history for all staff and campers will also be required.


We wholeheartedly apologize to our Debate Camp communities in Western Canada, Connecticut and New York, we are unable to offer in-person camps in 2020.




Be it that we are committed to small ratios and high value programming, space in online camps remains limited. However, in the case of families who have secure registration for 2020 Debate Camps (formerly in-person) we will guarantee placement in the week / session series of your choice.   ALL registered 2020 families will receive an email from: info@debatecamp.com on Saturday May 16th, requesting a reply-back on their choice:

A) CONVERT to ONLINE - your paid balance will be transferred to a credit balance in your Active Network Account and you can select from any of the above choices on / by May 31st for guaranteed placement and before June 15th to secure early bird rates

B) CONVERT to CREDIT for future in-person camps your paid balance will be transferred to a credit balance in your Active Network Account and you can select from any upcoming 2020 - 2022 in-person Debate Camps at guaranteed placement and 2020 rates.

C) SCHEDULED REFUND for 2020 paid balances to be interval refunded to your credit card used in your initial registration.  Families whose credit card information has changed since their original registration may contact the Debate Camp Office: 1-888-512-8154 to relay that information.

Debate Camp will also be contacting ALL registered 2020 families by email and phone to answer any questions  We remain available for questions throughout the decision-making process and wish to thank you again for your patience.

All the best,





Nick Szymanis

Founder and Camp Director


Debate Camp - Main Office

2684 Agricola Street,

Halifax, Nova Scotia


e: info@debatecamp.com


Debate Camp Office:  902 - 453 - 0245
North America:  888 - 512 - 8154

calls answered: 10:00am - 5:00pm