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Our commitment to ensuring Debate Camp remains available to all ...

Debate Camp aims to bring young people together for meaningful intellectual discourse.  We believe that debating, public speaking, knowing about the wider world – are important skills for this generation.



As a marker of our 20th year in operation, Debate Camp would like to undertake further development of its non-profit work.  We seek to formalize the creation of a non-profit entity that would ensure the growth and development of a highly diverse camper population, inclusive of socio-economic variance, with particular focus on under-represented communities in the regions in which Debate Camp operates.  


In an attempt to ensure our camps remain open to an equally diverse range of camper socioeconomic backgrounds, we have inaugurated The Debate Camp Foundation.  We strive to ensure Debate Camp continues to serve a diverse range of Middle School age campers, regardless of ability meet full tuition requirements, can participate and benefit from the skills of public speaking, debate and the mind-broadening opportunities that come with meaningful engagement with campers from a range of backgrounds.


Founded in August 2022 - The Debate Camp Foundation has undertaken to develop program enhancements and an informed structure for designing a sustainable funding strategy, with an anticipated first annual fundraising drive schedule for autumn 2023.  Our Foundation Trustees have met regularly and bring a sound mix of non-profit, legal, educational and philosophic leadership to the initiative. 








Calvin Rosemond, BA, JD Law, - Board Chair: Cal has a long association with Debate Camp, as a camper in some of our first seasons (2004 - 2007) and Program Staff (2011 - 2013).  His early impact on the life of camp has shaped our philosophy and raison d'etre ever since.  A graduate of McGill University and The University of Windsor, Cal currently practices law in Toronto, ON.

Kate Vavpetic: AB, MA, M Ed, - Board Vice Chair: Kate is a longstanding member of the Debate Camp community and is a current parent of two regular campers.  A graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Education, Kate has held teaching positions at Hotchkiss (Lakeville, CT) as well as serving as Head of Senior School at Shady Side Academy (Pittsburgh, PA) and most recently as Head of School / CEO at GEMS United School in Dubai. 

Lewis Fainer, BA, JD Law - Board Member: Lewis pioneered the Program Coordinator role at Debate Camp (2011 - 2015) to an extent that many of the games and learning activities he created are still in use in recent summers.  A graduate of McGill University and the University of Toronto, Lewis currently practices law in Toronto ON and New York, NY.

Mars He: BA, MA, - Board Member: Mars is also a longstanding member of the Debate Camp community, having been our first ever Intern, followed by Program Staff (2012 - 2014) and Program Coordinator (2015 - 18) at some of our first camps in Hartford, CT and Boston, MA.  A graduate of Harvard Graduate School, Mars currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.


Nick Szymanis, BA, B Ed, MA - Principal:  Nick and his wife Oona, founded Debate Camp in 2002.  A graduate of Queen's University and the University of Toronto, Nick is a career educator, having held teaching and administrative positions at Crofon House (Vancouver, BC) Havergal (Toronto, ON) as well as serving as Director of Academics at Sterling Hall (Toronto, ON).  Nick and his family live and work in Halifax, NS.



Daiyam Basharat - Grant Officer:  Daiyam is a 4th year International Development Studies and Sustainability Studies student at Dalhousie University. He is an experienced debater who has served as the President of the Dalhousie and King’s Debate Society (SODALES) (2021-2022) and Vice-President East of the Canadian University Society of Intercollegiate Debate (CUSID) (2022-2023). Daiyam also serves as a debate coach for one of our in-school debate programs at Armbrae Academy (Halifax, NS)


In August 2023, Debate Camp will be inviting membership from a cross-section of our community patrons, inclusive of past and current camp leaders, former campers and parents to a constitute a 16 - 20 member group to meet annually, provide input to the foundation's work and appoint and elect membership to the Board of Trustees.



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