San Jose State University

Summer Debate Camps

Teaching public speaking, persuasion, presentation skills and confidence through the art of debate

SJSU is conveniently located on more than 150 acres in downtown San Jose, midway between San Francisco and the Monterey/Carmel area. Situated near the Bay area and in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose is home to some of the world's largest, most admired businesses, while also offering a central location close to everything northern California has to offer, from mountain peaks and beautiful bays to thriving vineyards and historic landmarks. The oldest public school of higher education in California, SJSU was designed in the Spanish Revival style with influences from Gothic, Renaissance Revival, and Modern, reflecting the rich diversity found in San Jose.

Summer Camps at San Jose State University

  • Public Speaking and Debate Camp
    June 15 to 27, 2019
    Cost: 3,499 $2749 if registered by January 31*
  • At Middle School Debate Camp level, students will learn the fundamentals of public speaking and argumentation, enabling them to develop core presentation and debating skills that boost confidence and self-esteem. Students at the High School Debate Camp level will work on effective public speaking and argumentation, allowing them to further advance their presentation and debate skills to prepare them for the real world. The camp offers students the chance to improve their communication skills in a safe and secure environment while having fun! Complete description »

    *Cost covers tuition, room & board. Commuter program discounted by $600 and does not include breakfast.


Group rates available for community, church, international and school groups. Contact us at (800) 450-5012 for more information.
Cost excludes $47.50 charge assessed for safety regulations, local and federal governmental compliance. Please note that all program prices are subject to change without notice

Our Camp Parents Have Spoken!

Here's what they said about Capitol Debate's Summer Camps.
data from 2017 parent survey

Student's had Fun
Student's Learned a Lot
Want Students to Return
Recommend camp to their friends

Summer Camp: A Life Changing Experience

Not only will Capitol Debate students learn new skills through our programs; they will feel an increase in self-worth, learn critical thinking skills and improve public speaking and communication skills with their peers. Two weeks at camp will result in lifelong friendships and memories that will resonate with our students throughout their academic, personal and professional careers. Campers return to our program year after year because of how life-changing our Summer Debate Camps prove to be. Our parents will tell you themselves that they proudly stand by their investment in Capitol Debate because of the impact it has had on their families.

San Jose State University Camp Reviews

Activities & Schedule

Capitol Debate is the nation's leading expert in teaching communication skills to middle school and high school students. Our nationally recognized staff has hundreds of years of pedagogical experience in helping youth find their voice. Thousands of shy students have walked through our doors in our nearly 20 years of summer camps to become confident young adults and leaders in their community.

Typical daily Schedule

  • 7:30 a.m. - Rise and shine!
  • 8:00 a.m. - Breakfast
  • 8:30 a.m. - Commuter check in
  • 8:45 a.m. - Morning announcements
  • 9:00 a.m. - Leadership exercise
  • 9:30 a.m. - Morning lesson
  • 10:30 a.m. - Small group exercises
  • 11:30 a.m. - Get up and speak
  • 12:00 p.m. - Lunch
  • 1:00 p.m. - Hands-on class time
  • 2:30 p.m. - Team building exercises
  • 3:30 p.m. - Practice
  • 5:00 p.m. - Dinner
  • 6:00 p.m. - Study Hall
  • 7:00 p.m. - Commuter check out
  • 7:00 p.m. - Recreational activities
  • 9:00 p.m. - Residential unwind hour
  • 10:00 p.m. - Room check and curfew

Activities outside of the classroom include:

  • Field trip
  • Talent show
  • Spa night
  • Movie night
  • Field Day
  • Karaoke night
  • Leadership Activities
  • Team building exercises

The Capitol Advantage

Expert Staff

We have a group of accomplished educators who have taught and competed for years. Our instructors are on the leading edge of the debating & public speaking. Click here to view our full staff listing.

Top of the Line Curriculum

Our programs draw students from around the world because we focus on our resources year round to ensure that we can bring the best information to our students. Our curriculum focuses on theory and application to provide results that you will be able to see as they become better, more confident speakers.

Convenient Locations

Capitol Debate’s academic summer camps are spread across the United States, from East to West as well as internationally. With such a large number of location available you're bound to find the perfect camp location for you.

  • Low faculty to student ratio – Capitol Debate firmly believes in individualized instruction, which can only happen with small class sizes.
  • Personalized Instruction – Capitol Debate instructors give students hands-on instruction with researching, writing, speaking and organizing. After practice debates, instructors give students lengthy feedback to help them improve their skills.
  • Senior faculty oversee all classes – Unlike other debate camps, Capitol Debate’s instructors have an average of 15 to 30 years of pedagogical experience in the classroom. Many have coached national champions!
  • Practice, Practice, Practice – We make sure students are not just sitting in lectures, but instead are getting up and speaking every day and applying the lessons learned in a small group setting.

Expert Staff

Kinny Torre

Camp Director

I competed in policy debate for three in high school where I was the captain of my policy team and winning several tournaments in the Washington State Area. In college, I competed as a parliamentary d…  Read More »

Estelle Johnson

Camp Wellness / Nurse

Estelle is a Bay Area native that was raised in the heart of Silicon Valley. In addition to being a Certified Nursing Assistant, she currently attends San Francisco State University for her Bachelor's…  Read More »

Jack Berk

Camp Life and Wellness Coordinator

Though part of the residential life team at Capitol Debate, Jack's background is in teaching. He teaches 9th grade English at a public school in Nashville, Tennessee. When Jack was in high school, he …  Read More »

Tyler Durbin

Camp Counselor

…  Read More »

Alyssa Hooks

Camp Counselor

Alyssa is driven to help students find their voices in the form of sanctioned discussion. Debate is an avenue in which she feels like she's seen students find what they want to do in their life and wh…  Read More »

Haley Rubin

Camp Counselor

After competing in Congressional debate on the local, state, and national circuit for four years, Haley has had a significant role as a competitor and teacher in speech and argumentation. As the forme…  Read More »

Bryce Henshaw

Camp Life Administrator

Bryce Henshaw is a first-year college student at Willamette University and will be a Resident Advisor for Capitol Debate this summer. She has had five years of debate experience, four years in high sc…  Read More »

Please note that all payments are nonrefundable. Should cancellation be necessary, full credit will be provided up to 1 year from the date of the event, if written notice of cancellation is provided prior to May 1st for camps and at least two weeks for other programs. Any add-ons, tournament or fees paid cannot be refunded and are non-transferrable. Summer camp cancellations received after May 1st or programs cancellations after two weeks prior to program starting must also be made in writing and will follow the cancellation credit timetables. For more details please visit our Terms, Policies, and Conditions page.