Dear Classic Debate Camp Friends,
When we initially launched Classic Debate Camp-Virtual (CDC-V) at the beginning of April, our plan was to offer both CDC-V and our in person camp at Miami University concurrently. However, in the best interests of all involved, we have made the difficult decision to transition our entire 2020 learning experience from a residential camp to our newly developed CDC-Virtual model. We came to the decision not to hold our in person camp this year for a number of reasons:
SAFETY: People are continuing to get infected by the coronavirus. A student who is asymptomatic could come to camp and infect other campers or staff members. If someone were to get infected while at camp, he/she could spread the virus to others in his/her family who may be more at risk of complications.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: The difficulty and cost of doing our camp at Miami as safely as possible seemed almost insurmountable. For example, we would have to require campers to wear masks and then replace or wash them every day. We would also need to hire additional health personnel to monitor everyone’s health on a daily basis. And all staff members would need to constantly ensure that everyone was social distancing and practicing good hygiene on top of their teaching and other duties.
UNNECESSARY RISK: If anyone did develop symptoms at camp despite all our precautions, we would likely have to send everyone home as soon as we found out - ending camp early for everyone.
ADVANTAGES OF CDC-V: In addition to being the safest option, CDC-V allows us to deliver our essential product - high quality debate instruction - to a greater number of people because it costs less and doesn’t require transportation to camp. Furthermore, it is likely that at least some tournaments will be online next year. So CDC-V would prepare campers to debate in that new format.
RELATIONSHIPS: The Classic Debate Camp tradition of excellence is rooted in the relationships we nurture with our campers and the relationships our campers develop with each other. We are confident that CDC-V will not limit our ability to build relationships.
COMMUNITY: If the pandemic has taught us all anything, it is the importance of community. We all depend on each other, and we all have a responsibility to each other. This is as true of the debate community as it is true for our society. Whether next season’s debate tournaments take place in person or in virtual locations, we want our campers to be ready to compete at their best. But not only that, we also want them to pass on what they learn at camp to their teammates and friends, so that our work at CDC-V can benefit the whole debate community.
We have realized that developing an online experience that exactly replicates the in-person camp is simply not realistic, but we are excited that campers enrolled in CDC-V will have access to the same high-quality curriculum with even more personalized instruction from our exceptional coaches and junior staff members from across the country. In 2020, we will have five national champion debaters on our staff - more than ever before - as well as two state champions.
If you would like more information about CDC-V, please click here.
Finally, with the number of people continuing to be impacted by COVID-19, we are hoping that all of you - no matter where you reside - remember that although this is a very serious situation, it is temporary. If we remind ourselves daily that we must not only look out for our own health and safety but also have a great responsibility to look out for each other, we can and will pull through this global crisis.
Director, Classic Debate Camp