Classic Debate Camp Invites Middle Schoolers to a Fun Week of Debate Just for Them

When: Mon-Fri, July 27-31, 11:00 am-5:00 pm, EST

Where: From the safety of their own homes

How: Through Zoom Video Conferencing

Who can join: Rising 7th and 8th graders, both novices and experienced speech and debate competitors

Who will teach: The caring, expert instructors of CDC, under the guidance of CDC Director Peter Paik


The MS CDC-V Curriculum

What skills will be taught: Students will develop their skills in public speaking, critical thinking, finding and organizing evidence, formulating arguments and rebuttals, and thinking on their feet.

What event will be used: Extemporaneous Debate. Extemp Debate is a one v. one debate event created by the NSDA. In each round, each competitor gives three 2-minute speeches: (1) a constructive, opening case, (2) a rebuttal speech refuting the opponent's case, and (3) a closing argument.


Why Extemporaneous Debate: Extemp Debate is ideal for middle schoolers because it has short, focused speeches, it has cross-examination instead of crossfire, it doesn't require working with a partner, and it prepares students for whatever debate event they will do in HS.

The MS CDC-V Schedule

Monday, July 27:

11:00-12:00   Camp Orientation

12:00-1:00     Icebreakers with Lab Groups

(labs consist of 6-8 students and 2 instructors)

1:00-1:30        Lunch Break

1:30-2:30        Introduction to Debate

2:30-3:00        Demonstration Round

3:00-3:30        Afternoon Break

3:30-5:00        Work in Lab Groups (how to debate via zoom)

Tuesday-Thursday, July 28-30:

11:00-11:30   Intro to the Day's Topic

11:30-1:00     Work in Lab Groups (prepare cases and rebuttals)

1:00-3:30        Practice Debate Rounds

3:30-4:00        Afternoon Break

4:00-5:00        Work in Lab Groups (debrief practice rounds)

Friday, July 31:

11:00-4:30     Camp tournament

4:30-5:00       Awards Ceremony and Closing


Frequently Asked Questions

How well will online instruction work?  Of course, in person instruction is what people are used to and would be easier. However, online debate instruction can be just as good as in person instruction when (1) instructors are top-notch; (2) students are motivated; (3) instruction takes place mostly in small groups, using different teaching methods, and it is tailored to each student; (4) students participate actively; and (5) students frequently receive constructive feedback. All these conditions will be met at MS CDC-V.

What equipment is needed? Students will need a computer (desktop or laptop), access to high-speed internet, and a work space with few distractions. An ethernet cable to connect to the modem (rather than using wifi) and a headset or earbuds with a microphone will enhance the student's experience of camp, but aren't absolutely essential.

What is the cost?  $400 for those who register by July 1

How does one sign up?  Go to the CDC registration page.