Debate Camp operates according to the following educational practices and principles in all aspects of our program
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 links:
common grades and speaking experiences suited to each level:
review the type of impromptu debate topics used in practice rounds at each ability group
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. Our MODEL UNITED NATIONS is key in achieving this and a full overview of this program area, including sample simulations is available on the following link:
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. For a full description of our Public Speaking program, inclusive of sample impromptu speaking topics please visit:
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.