PHILOSOPHY

Why we do what we do...

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.

Debate Camp creates a learning experience that is safe, welcoming, fun, and intellectually-engaging.  Our program is meant to appeal to all ability levels, from the reluctant speaker to the already-accomplished debater.

 

We believe that learning is best served by engaging students in an academic experience, while at the same time ensuring they feel empowered to take risks. 

 

We believe that "camp" creates a novel and secure learning environment in which campers feel safe to try new skills, think on their feet, see the opposing view, and to trust their teammates.  Campers repeatedly inform us of how successful their academic experiences are - after Debate Camp, largely because they felt emboldened and confident in their ability to engage in discourse on subjects they felt unsure about only weeks previous.   " I learned so much"  is the most consistent feedback we get. 

 

We feel that debating is not an elite skill for competition purposes only.  Nor is it something that should be oversold / overcharged for the purpose of enhancing the college application process.   We believe that to have advocacy skills, an ability with rhetoric, an ability to effectively organize one's thoughts, an ability to listen and be heard and to honour one's opponents with effective points and counter-points, are skills that all kids should develop. 

As such, we annually review our fee scale to ensure we remain within reach of as many families as possible.  We continue to work on funding and recruitment structures so that we may continue to remove barriers to enrichment education.

 

   Moreover, we remain about training in the area of verbal advocacy; to stand, speak and be heard - an area requiring continued attention at a time when digital means provide so many alternatives to this.  In the generation of the smart phone, of potentially less human-to-human conversation over substantial matters, what we teach is even more coveted...

 

Education has forever operated on a belief in the skills, ability and good intention of the future generation. Debate Camp is honoured to be invested in this work.

 

 

 

 

Nick Szymanis

Founding Director

 

 

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