Debate Camp teaches and develops camper skills in parliamentary debate. Campers work in teams of 2 to generate ideas in support of, or in refutation to a selection debatable topics (new each day). Full descriptions of the parliamentary debate style and sample topics for each program level are available here:
Public Speaking skills at Debate Camp are developed in 2 ways: First, debating itself works towards 2 - 3 minute speaking times for all campers, often with limited notes and inspired by the topic and / or an opponent's case. Secondly, we warm up all sessions with impromptu speaking games, that encourage participation and help campers overcome any reluctance to speak in the company of others. Full description of Debate Camp's public speaking program is available here:
MODEL UNITED NATIONS
Model United Nations is introduced after speaking and debating skills development is underway; and campers then take on the role of select countries as they try and solve a fictional world problem. It is one of the best days at Debate Camp and the format and program are described further here:
INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACHES ALL CAMPS
LEVELLED INSTRUCTION: All camps divide the grades 5 - 11 registrants into 4 or more ability groups at the outset of camp. We strive to ensure all debate partnerships and speakers opposite are at an experience level that ensures the right level of challenge. Parents may pre-register their camper into the ability group they see fit, however, Debate Camp reserves the right to ensure campers feel comfortable with their level of challenge throughout the week. To help with this, see the following link:
INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS: Debate workshops are designed in an interactive, student-centred way and aim to help campers develop skills in case construction, refutation and counterpoint techniques, parliamentary interruptions, tools for effective delivery and efficient research skills.
TEAMWORK AND FEEDBACK: Debates happen in partnership, normally in teams of 2 or 4 speakers - who work together. Campers co-develop cases, ensure effective rebuttal and receive feedback together; often as a side - pointing out strengths of argumentation and delivery. We aim for 3 to 4 practice rounds daily.
PRACTICE: Debate Camp is a place to learn, and we believe one of the best ways to develop new skills is through practice and effective feedback. At camp, debaters are on their feet, raising points, countering and developing new abilities in an active way. We are more about this active form of learning and less about lecture-style teaching. For a full description of the debate styles used in practice click on:
ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT: Debate Camp is a place of new ideas. We believe that to open young minds to the world around them, particularly global issues and current events, helps in case construction and broadens possible speech topics.
CHALLENGE BY CHOICE: Debate camp provides countless opportunities to advocate for an idea, form a response, stand and speak on a point. Whether in impromptu speaking games, debate feuds, or formal rounds - campers who take these opportunities get the most out of camp.
SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT: Camp is also a supportive place, with lots of encouragement available for those who are trying new things. Campers are coached to honour what is being said by their opponents and welcome the efforts of others, even in competition.