Debate Camps

Our online and in-person debate camps provide a great opportunity to learn the core skills of debate in a supportive environment led by an expert coachCamps meet from Monday to Friday, four hours each day, with separate morning and afternoon sessions, and are geared toward students aged 10-17, although capable younger students are considered on a case-by-case basis (contact us to discuss this). 

The camp experience

Students of all experience levels are welcome in our camps, which provide a fun and collaborative environment where students can learn the basics or build on their existing skills. Camps begin by developing the core concepts and skills of debate through a series of engaging activities, which may include evaluating demonstration debates done by more experienced students. Once newer students are comfortable with the basics, they begin to apply those skills in practice debates using a popular high school debate format. Along the way, students receive personalized feedback from our team of nationally ranked former college debaters. 

Beyond meetings, some light homework (approximately 1-2 hours per day) is assigned to help reinforce what’s been learned. All students receive a Ready Set Debate Member Handbook, along with learning plans that are customized to their individual proficiencies and areas for improvement.

Comparing popular debate formats

To understand the differences between debate formats (e.g. Public Forum, Team Policy), it’s helpful to compare them to goal sports such as football and hockey. This is because debate formats, like goal sports, have the same core objectives and strategies, but differ in specific rules and style. We teach in a way that starts with the core skills, then applies those within the specifics of a particular format. In our experience, this approach means each format is equally easy to learn, and allows students to develop strong cross-format literacy and adaptability.

In Summer 2024, we are teaching 5 popular formats that are currently practiced in various major debate leagues: 

Lincoln-Douglas uses teams of 1 debater on each side, and typically focuses on applying moral value frameworks to questions about philosophy and ethics.

World Schools uses teams of 3-5 debaters on each side, and typically focuses on questions that might be considered by legislators in a contemporary parliament. Debates are conducted using elements of parliamentary procedure, such as point-of-information requests during speeches. 

Public Forum uses teams of 2 debaters on each side, and typically focuses on applying cost-benefit analysis to questions about government policy. It is distinct from Team Policy due to its substantially different match structure (e.g. speech order, cross-examination format).

Team Policy uses teams of 2 debaters on each side, and typically focuses on applying cost-benefit analysis to questions about government policy. It is distinct from Public Forum due to its substantially different match structure (e.g. speech order, cross-examination format).

Congressional models a legislative session in the U.S. Congress, and does not have a traditional match structure with set team sizes and length. Competitors may present and argue in favor of their own legislation and argue in favor of or against others’ legislation, during moderated debate segments of varying lengths. Debate segments typically focus on applying cost-benefit analysis to questions about government policy.

Camp tuition schedule

We’ve made it easy to save when you submit multiple camp registrations at once. Whether you are registering multiple students, registering for multiple camps, or both, you’ll have access to the discounts listed here.

Please contact us if you want to register for multiple camps or submit more than four total registrations.

Number of registrations Tuition per in-person camp Tuition per online camp
One
$345
$295
Two
$325
$275
Three
$300
$250
Four
$275
$225
Five or more
$250
$200

Summer 2024 camp schedule

Our camps run from Monday to Friday, with separate sessions during the morning (8:30am-12:30pm Central Time) and afternoon (1:30pm-5:30pm Central Time). All scheduled weeks include in-person camps at STEAM Learning Club, 8750 Collin McKinney Pkwy, McKinney TX. Some weeks, noted on the chart below, also include online camps.

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Week Format focus In-person (morning) In-person (afternoon) Online (morning) Online (afternoon)
June 3-7
Lincoln-Douglas
n/a
n/a
June 10-14
World Schools
n/a
n/a
June 24-28
Public Forum
July 8-12
Team Policy
n/a
n/a
July 15-19
Lincoln-Douglas
July 22-26
Team Policy
July 29-August 2
Congressional
n/a
n/a