After 18 successful summers, here are some answers to some of our most regular questions:
We get a lot of great questions each year. Here are some of the answers that may assist you, along with LINKS to various pages in our site that further explain things. Free to CONTACT us too! We like hearing from you. UPDATES for 2021 are also noted below:
QUESTION: How are you navigating the summer 2021 season within the current schedule of restrictions?
ANSWER: Our approach to summer 2021 is detailed on our 2021 PLAN page. Details on our proposed 2021 Health Partnership for the successful operation of in-person camps is detailed on our HEALTH PARTNERSHIP page
QUESTION: How do I know if Debate Camp is a good FIT ?
ANSWER: Debate Camp Canada strives to meet all abilities levels of familiarity with public speaking and debate. We work well with campers who have an emerging interest in the world around them and are eager to learn new skills. Our program is designed to give options throughout the week; so campers meet rising levels of challenge and build confidence at a comfortable pace.
QUESTION: Is there any advance preparation required for Debate Camp?
ANSWER: NO. Come to camp and have fun. Learn and develop your debate and public speaking skills - without homework! By design, this a summer academic enrichment camp, with certain emphasis on the "summer" and "camp" qualities of the experience!
QUESTION: Why do you set up Debate Camp where you do?
ANSWER: Debate Camp selects its locations based on a partnership model; typically with independent schools who themselves are interested in mission-appropriate summer activities on their campus each year. Our enrolment at all locations is comprised of students from all schooling backgrounds; public, private, chartered, magnet and home schools. We typically set up on campus locations that allow a balance of indoor and outdoor activity, so we can keep the "camp" qualities of Debate Camp. Partner schools for 2021 are still being confirmed.
QUESTION: How does camp divide the AGE-GROUPS and ability levels that attend?
ANSWER: Debate Camp Canada organizes its weekly program according to the 3 or 4 ability groups. Campers are placed at the outset of the week, shortly after we try and hear from everyone in a few forums. Parents may also pre-register their camper in an abiliy level they feel is suitable. As a guideline, we consider grade completed in June to ensure campers are comfortable among their age-group peers as well. Campers may move between ability streams throughout the week to ensure the correct level of challenge. A full description of the program levels at any of our camps is provided on: our PROGRAM LEVELS page
QUESTION: What is the entry age for Debate Camp?
ANSWER: Debate Camp welcomes campers who are 10 years old and have completed grade 4 (rising grade 5 / MINIMUM AGE 10) to its day camp program. Debate Camp welcomes completed grade 7 (rising grade 8) to the overnight program. After 18 successful summers, we feel that these ages represent the points at which campers have the intellectual ability for constructive debate, as well as the maturity required for all aspects of our program.
QUESTION: What is your REFUND POLICY?
ANSWER: All refund policies for 2021 Debate Camps, in-person and online, are available HERE
QUESTION: If signing up for 2 WEEKS, or 2 locations; is the program identical each week?
ANSWER: All Debate Camp Canada programs are built around the same educational goals. There is some variety in weekly schedules between the many camp locations throughout Canada. For multiple week campers we ensure that after the initial week, campers are placed up in the ability group streams for following weeks, to ensure a new level of challenge (provided everyone is comfortable with this).
QUESTION: What is the LEVEL UP program?
ANSWER: The Level-Up Program is specifically designed for campers who have experience with public speaking and debate and are seeking a level of training designed for further competition. Debate Camp reserves the right to confirm camper registration for this stream. Each camp sets aside a limited number of spaces in this program area to ensure the requisite numbers for ability-matched BP and CP debate rounds. A full description of the Level Up Program is described on our LEVEL UP page.
QUESTION: What are the main differences between the DAY CAMP and OVERNIGHT CAMP? [NA for 2021]
ANSWER: In addition to the memory-making qualities of the overnight camp experience; the program has 3 additional workshops daily and up to two additional opportunities for debate rounds each day. Overnight camp also differs programmatically by offering two optional bilingual debate workshops and supervised recreation that includes swimming and field games. Public Speaking is offered all camps; but is given specific focus at overnight camp. In 2020, overnight camps will include local sightseeing and cultural outings. A full description of the day camp is described on the following link: DAY CAMP. A full description of overnight camp is described on: OVERNIGHT CAMP [we apologize Debate Camp fans; there will not be an Overnight Debate Camp in 2021]
QUESTION: How do we get to your overnight camp? [NA for 2021]
ANSWER: Debate Camp has one overnight camp location, in our home province of Nova Scotia, Canada. We have extended the program (by demand) to 9 days/8 nights and have included a with-flights tuition option, where WE arrange the round-trip air travel from cities in which we see a lot of campers each summer (namely, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Boston and New York) . Full details on how accompanied transportation options look and / or how we meet campers who have their own air travel arrangements - see our AIR TRAVEL page.
QUESTION: What do you do for FUN at camp?
ANSWER: Debate Camp has some legendary games that we have developed over our 18 years - - to ensure camp remains camp, and less like formal, year-round school. We have thematic games that happen each day, some that extend all week (.e. "assassin") and all camp gatherings have a component of friendly-competition, table, trivia and improv games, as well multiple impromptu speaking opportunities. All camps have a component of organized outdoor or open-space (gymnasium) recreation as well.
QUESTION: If signing up for a particular week and location, can I transfer weeks if PLANS CHANGE?
ANSWER: Yes, all camper registrations can be transferred between weeks provided there is space available - up until June 1, 2020
QUESTION: Why are Debate Camps so EXPENSIVE?
ANSWER: In our case we are staffed to a teaching and supervision ratio of 1 staff to 8 campers. This ratio allows for successful British and Canadian / American Parliamentary rounds, where groups of 2 or 4 campers can receive constructive feedback at 3 - 4 points in each camp day. Unlike sports camps, or some academic camps where the instruction ratio may exceed 1:8, Debate Camp requires small group teaching and learning to be effective. We apologize for the fee increase in 2021, particularly for in-person camps where additional health protocols have increased related operational costs.
QUESTION: How do I activate the SIBLING DISCOUNT?
ANSWER: The sibling discount code for 2021 is DCSIBS - and it discounts all campers in the same family account by 10% on the second registration when booked at the same time. The prompt for the code appears in the order confirmation screen before processing payment. Please note, this code is reserved for SIBLINGS and does not apply to extended family or friends. Separate discount codes may be occasionally issued by Debate Camp for promotion purposes only.
QUESTION: Once camp is underway - how can I stay in touch and see pictures?
ANSWER: Debate Camp posts pictures and updates on its facebook page; 2 x each week during all operating camp weeks. Campers who appear on our social media or webpages need to have parental consent for media release signed as part of their registration.
QUESTION: I signed up - now what?
ANSWER: Debate Camp keeps in touch by email in advance of each camp. Updates are sent to the parent email address entered on the online registration form - - approximately 2 weeks before camp's opening day. Registration confirmation emails are sent immediately and serve as a receipt for fees paid. A reply to the confirmation email reaches our office. Phone inquiries are welcome, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm ATLANTIC STANDARD TIME (EST + 1 / PST + 4). There is no homework or advance preparation associated with camp attendance.
QUESTION: My camper has come home after the first day and is not sure about the LEVEL they have been placed in?
ANSWER: CALL US - or more specifically, call the number for the Debate Camp Camp director for your site location (provided in the welcome email) and we will ensure day 2 placement is more comfortable. Debate Camp is fluid it the level placement to ensure all days spent at camp are enriching. We are happy to adjust things at any point in the week.