Online Debate Camp (Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, Congress)

June 1 - June 30, 2021 | Online

Debate Camp instructors Lucas and White take a photo with students

The DebateDrills Online Speech and Debate Summer Camp is an unparalleled educational opportunity for students interested in Public Forum (PF), Congress, and Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate. Designed for all ages and styles, students explore new skills and topics, dive deep into concepts they have previously struggled with, and work in structured learning progressions that are designed and guided by subject matter experts.

"Compared to other camps, the DebateDrills Online Summer Camp did an excellent job at fine-tuning their content depending on my individual needs. I was able to choose hours that worked well for me, work on other non-debate activities, and everyone was extremely accommodating."

- Sameer Nayyar | Loyola High School '21
3rd Place, 2020 Apple Valley Invitational
2021 TOC Qualifier

A past alumni of the program, Parker Whitfill, subsequently went on to win the Tournament of Champions, widely considered the most difficult and prestigious tournament in the United States. He summed up the program as follows:

“The main difference between DebateDrills’ Online Debate Camp and other residential debate camps is the focus on skill improvement. DebateDrills’ Online Camp was 75% skill focused while other residential camps I had attended were closer to 25%. Large residential debate camps simply don’t have the logistic capacity to drill with every student for multiple hours a day. I could focus on the stuff that really matters: rapidly improving my execution of skills that would be crucial in important debates the following year.

A major benefit of DebateDrills’ Online Debate Camp is that it was personalized. Working with DebateDrills allowed me to tailor the curriculum to my own needs, instead of arbitrarily being put into a group setting where debaters come from all parts of the country and have very different goals and needs. Because residential debate camps have such a diverse group of students in each "lab", they tend to focus on broad skills that will help every student in the lab, which is an inefficient method to teaching a competition like debate.”
DebateDrills Online Debate Camp student, Parker, celebrates being crowned National Champion
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Features

The DebateDrills Online Summer Speech and Debate Camp is designed to help students rapidly accelerate their growth over the summer. Here’s a brief snapshot of the major offerings - click on a tab to learn more:

Individualized Learning Assessment (ILA)

We assess each student’s strengths and weaknesses to design learning progressions unique to their individual weaknesses. Assessments include audio recordings of specific speeches from debates online and drill material we have created, a written diagnostic, and a 1:1 call in mid-May where we run each student through a series of drills to more precisely understand their current skill set.

1-on-1 Tutoring

Based on the results of the ILA, each student does structured 1-on-1 tutoring with our award-winning instructional staff.

Unlimited Lab Access

Students are allowed to sit in on an unlimited number of labs as observers. Additionally, all labs will be recorded and posted for all camp students, regardless of what lab they are in.

Structured Group Learning

Each student will be put in a small group of learners with similar interests and needs based on the results of their ILA. Labs will focus on different key skills and utilize our core teaching methods that have established us as the most successful private debate coaches in history. Our Curriculum Directors have spent hundreds of hours carefully designing each group session and our camp staff has spent extensive time being taught best teaching practices and learning our curriculum. We personally place each Student in the appropriate learning track to guide their growth from Novices to Experts regardless of their age and current skill level.

Professional Online Software and Seamless User Experience

Given we are industry leaders in online private academic debate education in the United States, we have heavily invested in professional software to provide high quality virtual debate education. This software stack has been revised over the years based on the user feedback of hundreds of previous families, and has helped us deliver over 5000 hours of services since 2016. Our commitment to high-quality service allows us to effectively teach our students virtually and provide seamless user experience for both parents and students.

Access to Exclusive DebateDrills Video Library

Our in-house Video Library contains over 500 hours of do-it-yourself resources, spanning Lectures, Round Analyses, Rebuttal Redo Packets, and Tutoring Lesson Plans. All Summer Intensives Students get unlimited access to these resources.

In-House Library of Resources

Our in-house Video Library contains over 500 hours of do-it-yourself resources, spanning Lectures, Round Analyses, Rebuttal Redo Packets, and Tutoring Lesson Plans. All students get unlimited access to these resources for the duration of their time in our classes program.

Curated Summer Slack

Modeled after our record-shattering Club Team, all campers will use Slack (a messaging platform) to discuss debate with their peers in the program and the Summer Intensives Instructors. Students use Slack to schedule practice rounds amongst themselves, ask questions about anything debate related, and create a community of dedicated students and highly accomplished coaches.

Curated Camp Dropbox & Research Topic Starter Packets

We curate content files and materials for practicing and mastering various skills and topic-areas. Since we use the previous seasons debate topics to center our education and drills, we ensure campers can focus on improving their skills and not be stuck doing mindless research assignments that are unlikely to be useful during the season. Research assignments are specific to student needs and thoughtfully designed to help students tackle specific research weaknesses.

Daily Office Hours

Our Curriculum Directors hold office hours daily, ensuring every student has extensive access to ask additional questions and get individualized help from our core leadership and content creation staff.

Demo Debates

We hold Demo Debates and live analysis of these debates throughout camp between staff members to help students observe live examples of the types of debates we want them executing.

Virtual Camp-Wide Bonding Activities

From camp-wide movie nights to playing online games as a group, we are committed to making debate fun. We will hold weekly camp-wide virtual bonding activities on weekend evenings.

Bonus Optional Activities

From surprise guest speakers, to career workshops, to live analysis of high profile debates, we are constantly providing fun, new activities for our campers.
DebateDrills Alumni Rex and Tej pose for a photo with Coaches Raffi and Whit
Learn About our Track Record

Testimonials

"The summer before my senior year, I decided to skip a formal 2 or 3-week debate camp and instead attend DebateDrills' Online Debate Camp. This was one of the best debate decisions I made, and I’d highly recommend you consider doing something similar if you are serious about debate."

Parker Whitfill
2017 National Champion (TOC) + 3rd Speaker

Parker Whitfill's headshot

"The DebateDrills Online Debate Camp fueled countless hours of relentless drilling and facilitated a slow, focused mastery of debate that I have not found at any other program."

Max Perin
5th Place, 2020 Glenbrooks Invitational

Max Perin's headshot

"The DebateDrills Online Camp offered a variety of valuable resources that really helped me progress with areas of debate I was inexperienced in. The individual, focused training helped me target my weaknesses in debate and rapidly improve through practice."

Ali Ansari
2020 Elimination Debates, Harvard-Westlake Varsity Invitational

Ali Ansari's headshot

“You won't be spending countless hours preparing for a hypothetical topic or weakly covering different areas of debate. Instead, you'll be working with some of the best debate minds in the nation and discussing high-level debates with a depth that other camps and programs don't go into.”

Advay Chandra
3rd Place, 2020 Cypress Bay Varsity Invitational

Advay Chandra's headshot

“What's different about DebateDrills' Online Debate Camp compared to other camps I've gone to, and what I liked the most, was that everything was very individualized, from my learning material to the pacing. At other camps, even if I grasped a topic, if one of my peers did not, we would have to spend more time covering it. However, with the summer intensive, time was allocated to everything I struggled with.”

Rosalyn Li
Roeper School Class of 2022

Rosalyn Li's headshot

“The biggest positive of Camp was the 1-1 tutoring experience because while other camps usually just move along at a set pace and try to cover a lot of concepts for everyone, the tutoring really helped me hone in on specific skills and helped me improve them significantly at my own pace.”

Pranav Kaginele
5th Place, 2020 Loyola Varsity Invitational

Pranav Kaginele's headshot

“The DebateDrills Online Camp's unique combination of tutoring plans tailored to my individual needs as well as various practice drills such as the Rebuttal Redo Packets provided for a far more educational experience in comparison to other camps that I've attended in the past.”

Arnav Garg
9th Place, 2020 Apple Valley Varsity Invitational

Arnav Garg's headshot

“The DebateDrills Online Debate Camp allowed me to work at my own pace and really work on things as much as I needed to without having to do busy work or useless drills that I was forced into at other camps.”

Tanay Bawa
Lovejoy High School Class of 2022

Tanay Bawa's headshot

“Having camp online was an amazing journey, I still experienced the rigor of an in-person camp with much more flexible scheduling around other summer activities.”

Teja Buddhavarapu
5th Place, 2020 Columbia Varsity Invitational

Teja Buddhavarapu's headshot

"Compared to other camps, the Summer Intensive does an excellent job at fine-tuning their content depending on the individual needs of students. I was able to choose hours that worked well for me, and everyone was extremely accommodating."

Sameer Nayyar
3rd Place, 2020 Apple Valley Varsity Invitational

Sameer Nayyar's headshot

Pricing

We offer 2 options for families interested in having their child attend our online camp. The Core Package is designed to resolve inefficiencies of traditional camps and provide learners with a challenging and comprehensive summer debate camp experience. The Intensive Package is for families interested in further individualized attention. We recommend the Intensive Package for students that want to make the most of their summer and are fully dedicated to success in debate.

Interested in working with us this Summer but these options don't work for you? Click here to view our Summer Classes.

Package

Tuition
  • Individualized Assessment
  • Camp Tournament
  • Slack & Dropbox Access
  • Demo Debates
  • DebateDrills Academy Premium One-Month Membership
  • Unlimited Lab Access
  • Drills Lab
  • Analysis Lab
  • Skills Lab
  • Office Hours
  • 1 on 1 Tutoring
  • Advanced Strategy Lab
  • Round Robin
  • Priority Varsity Club Team Access

Core

$1,995
  • 2 debates
  • 8 hours
  • 8 hours
  • 8 hours
  • 15 hours
  • 4 hours
  •  
  •  
  •  

Intensive

$3,995
  • 4 debates
  • 8 hours
  • 8 hours
  • 8 hours
  • 30 hours
  • 20 hours
  • 6 hours

We offer a $100 Referral Bonus for each referral! See our FAQs below for more information

Instructors

Curriculum

Our approach to debate education is informed by decades of practice, pedagogical research, and unprecedented success. All of our camp directors have graduated from prestigious undergraduate institutions and were top competitors. Paras is a UC Berkeley graduate who left a PhD in education to become a professional debate coach. Cameron is a Yale Law graduate who left a career in law to do the same. Raffi is a Georgetown graduate who was one of the most successful dual LD and Policy competitors in competitive debate history. Together, they oversee the design of our curriculum and update it every year. Our approach is defined by a commitment to providing our students with:

  • Individualized attention, feedback, and direction;

  • Graduate level understanding of academic topics;

  • Experience in learning from and practicing with recorded high-level debate rounds;

  • Technical mastery of even the most advanced skills.

We couple these commitments with an array of focus areas. Students should not have to sit through days of instruction they aren’t interested in. That’s why we have multiple debate “tracks” for students. We let the students’ interests dictate the field of study, and let our expertise dictate how that field is mastered. Click on the fields of argumentation below to explore what they entail!

Public Forum Debate Focus Area

This track focuses on strategies and techniques to improve at Public Forum. We will explore key areas of persuasion and strategy, including but not limited to:
  • Strategic PF case writing

  • Theory and Topicality in PF

  • Policy arguments in PF

  • Adapting to "progressive" and emerging PF norms

Traditional Lincoln-Douglas Debate Focus Area

This track focuses on strategies and techniques to improve debating on traditional NSDA style debate circuits. We will explore key areas of persuasion and strategy, including but not limited to:
  • Leveraging rhetoric and artful writing

  • Maximizing credibility, persuasive appeal, and room presence

  • Mastering the value/value criterion/contention model of debate

  • Defending and refuting popular frameworks

  • Writing strategic cases for traditional debates

  • Giving powerful rebuttal speeches

  • Utilizing key substantive knowledge, including philosophy and policy

  • Using advanced techniques without alienating judges

Introduction to Progressive Lincoln-Douglas Debate Focus Area

Ideal for students who have minimal exposure to national circuit debate. In this track, students will learn how to:
  • Flowing, no matter how fast their opponents speak

  • Increase speaking speed (i.e. spreading)

  • Speak extemporaneously

  • Navigating resources online

  • Leverage of debate strategy

  • Effectively research

  • Use and counter policy arguments, critical arguments, philosophical frameworks, and theory/T

Cost-Benefit Analysis ("Policy") Debate Focus Area

In this track, students will learn:
  • Impact weighing

  • Link weighing

  • Answering extinction scenarios

  • Writing and answering tricky counterplans

  • Writing strategic affirmative positions

  • Defending and answering permutations

Critical ("K") Debate Focus Area

In this track, students will learn:
  • Giving the 1AR using a materiality framework

  • Going for and answering identity based Ks

  • Going for and answering “high theory” based Ks

  • Going for and answering the Cap K

  • Giving the 2AR against Ks

  • Dismantling common K tricks

Philosophical Framework Debate Focus Area

In this track, students will learn:
  • Constructing and defending consequentialist frameworks

  • Constructing and defending non-consequentialist frameworks

  • Learning how to identify and efficiently answer tricky frameworks

  • Reading and defending against critiques of analytical philosophy

  • Mastering philosophical concepts in a substantive and academic way

Theory and Topicality Debate Focus Area

In this track, students will learn:
  • Answering and defending conditionality

  • Answering and defending plan-inclusive counterplans

  • Answering and defending topicality

  • Answering and defending paradigm issues (e.g. non bi-directional aff paradigm issues, drop the debater vs drop the argument, reasonability vs competing interpretations, RVIs)

  • Impact weighing abuse (e.g. fairness vs education, aff theory vs neg theory, multiple shells vis a vis one another)

  • Identifying and answering “tricks” (e.g. skepticism, permissibility triggers, descriptive frameworks, floating PIKs, etc)

All of the above tracks will utilize an host of different techniques to maximize student learning, including but not limited to:

  • One-on-one tutoring

  • Analyzing high-level debates that focus on the topics in question

  • Weekly Seminars with Live Q&As

  • Customized content lectures

  • Campwide discussion and interaction on our Slack forum

  • Provision of topic files and materials so students can focus on learning, not researching

Unlike other summer debate camps, we orient our instruction, tutoring, and seminars using the previous season’s debate topics (especially the TOC topic). Each track has beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions, and depending on the students Individual Learning Assessment, we craft a strategy and plan of attack for each student custom to their needs.

FAQs

Can I choose which Lab I am placed in and who I tutor with?

We field requests and have historically not had a problem accommodating specific requests, but ultimately we assign students to labs and specific instructors based on student needs and instructor availability. We’ve hired an award-winning staff and we make sure that you get personalized instruction targeting your specific needs and weaknesses.

My schedule is busy and I am unsure if I have time. How does scheduling work?

All activities are designed to run from 4-7 PM PST on weekdays and 11-7 PM PST on weekends. We offer families flexibility to ensure their students can participate in other activities during the month of June. Everything is organized, scheduled and delivered using our professional software stack. Specific details are sent out in mid-May.

Can I attend both a residential debate camp and the DebateDrills Online Camp?

Absolutely! Many of our instructors and students attend both our Camp and a residential camp. We have specifically timed the Camp so that students can get the best from both experiences. If you are going to a residential camp after the Summer Intensives, we are glad to draft an email to the Camp Director and update them on your progress to help with your lab placement.

How many hours a day should I expect to work?

Ultimately, it depends on how hard you push yourself. You should expect to attend lab for 6 hours per week at minimum, and have 3 hours of homework per week. Additionally, you should expect to tutor weekly and do 1 hour of homework per hour of tutoring. Historically, our average student spends roughly two to five hours a day on debate during the Online Camp, but students can - and have - been more or less involved depending on their schedule and dedication.

Can I choose what I learn this summer?

Yes! The reason families love working with us is because we are focused on your unique needs and prioritized customized learning plans that are not one-size-fits-all. Every student goes through an Individualized Learning Assessment (ILA) in May to create specific learning progressions based on their strengths and weaknesses, which rapidly accelerates progress.

Do I have to be on the DebateDrills Debate Club Team to do the DebateDrills Online Debate Camp?

Nope! Our Online Debate Camp is available to all students - our Club Team and Summer Intensives do not overlap.

What age range is the camp best suited for?

Our program is designed for 6th to 12th graders interested in competitive academic debate. We teach both traditional and circuit debate in Lincoln-Douglas and Public-Forum styles. If this does not describe you, but you are still interested in joining us, please contact us directly to discuss further.

Do you teach traditional debate?

Yes! Since starting DebateDrills, we have extensively coached traditional debate styles, including the California State Champion, the Middle School National Champion, the JV National Champion, the Texas State Champion, the Florida State Champion, and the New York State Champion. Our traditional debate curriculum is designed by Paras Kumar and Cameron Baghai, who have collectively taught over 1500 hours of traditional debate in both individualized and group settings to students as young as 3rd grade.

How does the referral system work?

When students apply to the Summer Intensive, they are given the option to list a referral. If you are listed as a referral for a student who has confirmed attendance to the Summer Intensive, you will receive a $100 credit to apply to the DebateDrills Summer Intensive or Classes. There is no limit to how many students you can refer! Please note a) two families may not refer one another and both receive the referral credit, b) families who have already worked with DebateDrills may not refer families who have also previously worked with DebateDrills, and c) families may only apply the referral credit for Camp or Classes and may not exchange their credit for cash value, Club Team tuition credit, or 1:1 tutoring credit.

Still have questions?

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