Lincoln Douglas Debate Camps

The aim of Capitol Debate is to improve students' debating skills. To do this we emphasize the foundational theories of forensics, encourage students to apply these theories in small groups, and foster understanding through skilled instruction. The lessons and lectures are structured to allow students to learn the fundamental theories of all facets of Lincoln Douglas debate. From affirmative and negative cases to progressive positions, such as critiques and counterplans, students will receive extensive instruction from experienced coaches. Students will improve their debate skills because they know the theories and have applied them. They will build self-confidence. They will be practiced and experienced communicators, prepared to debate competitively in school, at college, or in their career.

Curriculum

The best way to promote in-depth understanding of Lincoln Douglas concepts and positions is through application and skill-building exercises. Students apply the many concepts they are introduced to in lecture labs by utilizing a variety of drills, speaking exercises, mini debates, and practice debates to emphasize and reinforce the lessons learned.

Our Lincoln Douglas camps are led by lecturers with ample experience, championship credentials, and a gift for teaching. Their oversight guides students as they learn the ins and outs of effective debate. The debates are watched. The students are critiqued and informed. Detailed feedback is given to every debater, after every debate, and reinforces what is taught in every class. Students, our staff will teach you to become artful debaters. We emphasize application. We explain theories through practice. We teach debate by letting students debate. We refine their skills with feedback. Students at our Lincoln Douglas debate camps will learn theories and strategies in the following areas:

Skills and Areas of Focus

  • Stock Affirmative Cases
  • Stock Negative Positions
  • Metaethics
  • Counter-Plans
  • Critiques
  • Topicality

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.

Practice & Application

The best way to promote in-depth understanding of Lincoln Douglas concepts and positions is through application and skill-building exercises. Every class ends with application. The students are split into small groups, and these small groups learn to take the concepts and apply them in practice. To help students apply the many concepts they are introduced to in lecture labs will utilize a variety of drills, speaking exercises, mini debates, and practice debates to emphasize and reinforce the lessons learned.

Sample Schedule

    Here is a sample daily schedule for this program:
  • 7:30 a.m. - Rise and shine! We offer an expansive breakfast in the campus dining hall, which includes eggs, pancakes, orange juice, cereal, waffles, yogurt and fruit.
  • 8:30 a.m. - Commuter Check-in: Commuters arrive and sign in at designated location.
  • 8:45 a.m. - Morning Announcements: Announcements and review of activities for the day.
  • 9:00 a.m. - Skill Lessons: Focusing on areas such as articulation, voice projection, body language, ethos/confidence, argument structure, refutation, cross-examination, organization and logic.
  • 10:00 a.m. - Small group exercises applying the lesson plans including articulation exercises, refutation drills, crossfire questioning and attacking fallacious reasoning.
  • 11:00 a.m. - Get Up and Speak: Students practice speaking by doing impromptu speeches, sales presentations, mini debates and/or extemporaneous speeches.
  • 12:00 p.m. - Lunch at campus dining hall for overnight students and commuters.
  • 1:00 p.m. - Lab time: Hands-on instruction in preparing for debates. Individualized instruction includes assistance in researching, writing, structuring and organizing pro and con cases. Instructors guide students in preparing rebuttal briefs for upcoming debates.
  • 3:00 pm. - Practice Debates: Students debate almost every day and receive full critiques from national champion coaches.
  • 4:30 p.m. - Free time: Join a game of basketball, swim, shoot pool, play foosball, soccer, video games, frisbee or watch TV on the big screen!
  • 5:30 p.m. - Dinner Buffet dinner for overnight students and commuters.
  • 6:30 p.m. - Office Hours: Student's will be able to go back in the classroom to work on their assignments or skills they may need additional assistance with. It's a great opportunity for students to work individually with the camp staff.
  • 7:30 p.m. - Debate exercises.
  • 7:00 p.m. - Commuters depart.
  • 8:00 p.m. - Activities in dorm: socials, movies, and games.
  • 10:00 p.m. - Room check and curfew.

View complete sample schedule »

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.