University of Pennsylvania

Summer Debate Camps

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

Capitol Debate is pleased to bring our Debate and Public Speaking Camp to UPenn. The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League University located in Philadelphia. It is known for being one of the United States first 9 colonial colleges, and the nation's first school of medicine. Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, it also has the top ranked Business school in the United States, the Wharton School. "UPenn" as it is known, has produced two Presidents, over 20 billionaires, and a myriad of Fortune 500 CEOs. The impressive campus features Gothic architecture reminiscent of Oxford or Cambridge. Notable alumni include Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, Noam Chomsky, and Willam Carlos Williams.

Summer Camps at University of Pennsylvania

  • Public Speaking and Debate Camp
    July 14 to 26, 2019
    Cost: 3,999 $3149 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

Note: Residential students must be 15 years or older at the time of camp.

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.

University of Pennsylvania 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

Gail Nicholas

Camp Director

Gail Nicholas has coached speech and debate for over 30 years at Bob Jones Academy where she teaches American Government. For over a decade she has served as the district chair for the National Speech…  Read More »

Seanna Meehan

Camp Wellness / Nurse

I have been a nurse since 2009 and received my BSN in 2013. I have practiced in different fields, but for the last five years, I have been working as a school nurse, both of which are private boarding…  Read More »

Robert Adanto

Camp Instructor

Robert Adanto is excited to be teaching at Capitol Debate this summer. While competing for Arizona State University Forensics, Robert became the first Sun Devil to win an individual event national cha…  Read More »

Michael Perry

Camp Instructor

As a member of the Instructional Team at Capitol Debate, Mike is passionate in his desire to help students develop important life skills that will have a positive impact on their educational experienc…  Read More »

David Dejesa

Camp Instructor

David Dejesa is the advisor and debate coach of record for the Riverside Speech and Debate Team in Greer, SC. He has twice served as the South Carolina Speech Coaches' Association President and is cur…  Read More »

Josie Banks

Resident Advisor

Though Josie competed in Public Forum Debate, her background is primarily on the public speaking side of the activity. She participated in multiple Modern Woodman Speech contests throughout her earlie…  Read More »

Grace Findley

Resident Advisor

Grace Findley is a senior at Boca Raton Community High School where she has served as PF captain since her junior year. She has reached elimination rounds at tournaments such as Harvard, Nova Titan an…  Read More »

Griffin Badalamente

Resident Advisor

One of the oldest members of the Capitol Debate family, Griffin has debated public forum with Capitol for 7 years, his first tournament being middle school nationals in 6th grade. Griffin has gotten t…  Read More »

Morgan Moore

Resident Advisor

Morgan debated with the Shipley School Debate team for three years and was co-captain of the team during his sophomore and juniors years of high school. She has years of experience with the Lincoln-Do…  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 timetable found in the Terms, Policies, and Conditions page for applicable credit.