During camp orientation, Mr. Paik presents an object lesson by pouring a cup of tea

Read testimonials from our 2020 campers:

I most enjoyed office hours, because it was more laid back, and I was also able to get a lot of help during that time too. - Aayush Vishwanath


I learned ALOT from this camp because the instructors were are really responsible and so well spoken. The powerpoints were very informative and feedback from the practice rounds was useful too. - Abby Li

I think the coaching was the most valuable part. It helped me gain new perspectives on how to run my case and really helped me with round strategy. - Aetan Parmar


Being able to talk to the instructors directly was really helpful in my experience to make sure I got things right. Before I really had no idea on what my case should be like other than writing reasoning and impacts. Now, with extra knowledge about narratives, I can become a better debater through effective case writing. - Andy Liu


You get awesome personal friendships, work time, and lectures by the most qualified and kind debate staff! I definitely liked the one-on-one time with instructors, and although sometimes it seemed like it was only going to be good for one topic, we ended up learning a lot about second-half-of-the-round strategies that'll be useful throughout the season. Thanks for a fun time and for setting me up for a great season!! - Andrew Piepho

Just having the opportunity to come back to camp and debate again has been immeasurably valuable to me, especially in the context of (1) only competing 3 times this past year in LD and (2) the coronavirus pandemic. - Arthur Li

CDC helped me learn to value the relationships you make in debate, while also preparing me to compete. - Becky Walker

CDC has, for the second time in two years, fundamentally altered how I view traditional debate. I’ll return to Missouri with a truly superior understanding of the workings of LD and how to win without sacrificing my own unique perspective... CDC prioritizes the parts of debate I think are so often neglected, resulting in our society’s diminished conception of debate: accessibility, rationality, and perspective. These virtues are reflected in almost all aspects of camp, and if you, like I, see these as ends in and of themselves, I urge you to consider attending CDC. - Ben Cohen

Thank you so much for boosting my development as a debater. Attending CDC made debate more fun! - Ben Kissinger

I learned more in one week than in the previous year and I enjoyed the new relationships I made throughout camp. I learned how to better restructure my summary, how to collapse, and how to improve my case-writing. I also learned that winning doesn’t matter as much as I previously thought before. Winning used to be my main goal but now, I realize that losses help grow me as a debater and that my real priority should be developing relationships and having a good time. I’m so thankful for the staff members that spent tens of hours in front of their screens for the sole purpose of furthering our experience. I enjoyed my lab a lot and I’m glad that I got the chance to be taught by so many talented and experienced people. - Ben Wilkinson

I learned SO much at CDC. I learned how to effectively weigh my opponent's arguments along with how to make effective arguments which really hit at the heart of my opponent's case. I learned about Syllogism along with Judge Appeal and Adaptation. I believe these 4 things were the most important because at the beginning of camp I was pretty bad at those aspects of debate... The camp tournament was amazing. At first I was skeptical about the whole disclosure part. But it turned out to be a really relaxing process which took a lot of weight off debaters' shoulders. It was especially good because all my hard work paid off and I broke at the tournament.  - Bhuvan Meruga

I really liked the people, staff and students. They were very helpful and I appreciate what they did to help me grow as a debater. But they were also a lot of fun to hang out with and to talk about avatar with. - Grace O'Grady


CDC gave so much helpful information that I otherwise would not have known. For example, they explained what framework was and how valuable it was to the round, and also explained how to get better at cross examination. Another part that was very helpful is the feedback they gave after a debate round. I really liked that part because a lot of their advice really made me fix the mistake and do better in the next round. I really liked the tournament at the end because there was no stress for me, as it was a game, yet it was like a real debate setting. I felt free to make mistakes, but also tried my best. The staff really helped us by giving us honest feedback. I did not expect that I could learn this much from one camp. - Harmony Guan

CDC connects with you with some of the finest coaches across the nation and some of the most successful competitors in Speech and Debate. - Isaac Stiepleman

What was most helpful to me were two things. First, drills and practice with a lot of feedback on how to improve certain speeches. Second, lectures, especially on strategy within a round helped me to gain a better perspective on how to debate... All four instructors in my lab (Mr. Lewis, Maya, Nick, and Kennedy) were a pleasure to work with. - Jack Morgenstein


CDC was extremely helpful first because it prevented me from getting rusty over the summer. Next it trained me for online debate next year. Third it provided me with a network of friends that will turn into a mutually beneficial research network. Lastly, it provided me with a lot of thought provoking experiences and interesting reminders on the important aspects of debate and the key strategies to winning and learning... This camp is excellent for anyone looking to learn traditional Lincoln-Douglas debate, develop strategies for researching in general, and make intelligent friends that share your interests. - Jackson Sturtevant

The temporary pain of being destroyed by a far superior opponent is far outweighed by the elation one feels after victory. Overall, the tournament was just a really enjoyable experience as even though I felt pressured to perform well, I also wasn't super nervous. - John Shin

In lab, there were some really interesting and productive discussions which helped us a lot to prepare. During the tournament, I thought it was nice to use the skills we learned and use them in actual rounds. - Jonathan Song


The biggest thing I improved on was rebuttals. Before camp, I wouldn’t directly address an opponent's arguments in rebuttal, which would usually cost me the round. But because of the individual instruction in labs, I got a lot better. For labs, I felt a strong connection to the people within. At the beginning of the week I was shy, but by the end of the week I was cracking jokes with them... I most enjoyed the sense of community. Usually that goes away when we transfer to a virtual platform, but not in this instance. - Maddie Kilgore


CDC has not only helped me become a stronger and more confident debater, it has helped me make some of my closest friends and introduced me to other members of the debate community. All counselors were not only very knowledgeable, they joked around with the campers and made us feel comfortable. - Maggie Chen

I enjoyed the community that the camp builds. It gave me a way to root for people that may not be on my team. - Owen Tritt

I learned a lot from the lectures on round strategy and the summary speech. I never properly learned these last year (as a freshman), so these lectures were very helpful to me. - Pranav Vuppu


My lab instructors were very knowledgable in what they were talking about. They helped me improve greatly. - Reyan Shariff

Fantastic learning opportunity for all interested debaters! CDC strengthens much more than just fundamentals of debate! - Rishika Gorai

I think that I massively improved throughout camp, as I won more ballots in the camp tournament that I had picked up all year. My summary speech has improved by a massive amount, and I have started enjoying debate more as well... I most enjoyed meeting new people, and interacting with campers and counselors. - Rohan Athavale

I loved just talking in labs; it was super enjoyable and interesting. - Sam Bowen

I most enjoyed the feedback after rounds during the tournament and after practice rounds. It was really helpful to see what worked and what didn't work. - Sam Mathews


This camp was amazing and even though we did not get to go to Miami University this year, it was very helpful and prepared us for what next season will be like. I loved the presentation by Sasha and Maggie on cases; it was really good and really thought out, and it got our attention after a long day of lectures. I also enjoyed the Panel of Champions because we got to hear about all the things people did that led to their success. The most helpful thing that I had learned at the camp was learning how to make my practice time better. I have had trouble in the past on how to efficiently practice before tournaments. - Samantha Powers

The coaching was so unbelievably helpful compared to any that I've received before, even though everything was online! The feedback they gave was always very specific. They didn't just say "you need to weigh more," for example, but they gave us examples of how we could do this so that we didn't feel lost and frustrated. They were so committed to teaching us as much as possible, and worked very hard. I really enjoyed the coaching that we received. Also I was so glad that CDC didn't put such a heavy emphasis on winning all the time/competition, but more on positivity, learning from your losses, and the supportive ways we should treat our competitors. - Sarah Zhao

The part of the camp that was the most valuable and helpful to me were the practice rounds, because they simulated a real debate round which I have never done before. - Sol Rivera

Working with my lab, meeting with instructors one-on-one, and attending electives helped me. These parts of camp helped me the most as the lectures introduced me to topics I was unfamiliar with and working with instructors individually gave me very specific help. - Steven Kim


I thought that I improved with many aspects of debate, case-writing, philosophy, formulating rebuttals, etc. I believe that the lab hours were the most valuable time of CDC, not just that they made me significantly better at debate, but that they also helped create connections with other campers and staff. - Urav Hingrajia

The whole experience was phenomenal. The camp, as a whole, was so welcoming and fun, and I gained a lot of knowledge from it. I would not be able to pick a specific part of the camp I loved the most, because in all honesty, just being with a bunch a people who are so passionate about debate is incredible. - Anonymous

I've really grown in terms of my understanding of framework and rebuttals especially. Before this year, I didn't have much of an understanding of the purpose of framework as well as attacking value criterions. My progress and understanding of these two concepts can be attributed to the fact that each instructor was willing to work with me one-on-one and was also willing to answer any questions I had. - Anonymous

The advanced LD lab enjoys a discussion with Mr. Lewis.

Day 2 Lewis Lab.png

Read what our 2020 campers wrote about their electives:

Army of One: How to Succeed in Debate Without a Team - Kennedy Hughes and Nikki Peter

The instructors had a very kind and positive disposition. - Jackson Sturtevant


I learned ways to tell people about debate and create a stronger team. - Clara Ives


The free resources to use and the chance to share info and become friends.  - Cassie Lemasters


I enjoyed knowing that I was not alone in my experience and wish to improve my team, and I think that I have a strong starting point for building a community now. Kennedy and Nikki gave incredible advice and resources for small teams, and I am very glad I chose this elective…. I learned that I have the capability to help build my team, despite how new it is. There are actionable steps I and my teammates can take to help us grow and become more active in the debate community in Ohio as well.  - Claire Ingram

The Art of Researching - Maya Arora and Bella Willhite

I liked the drills we used to improve our research skills… I learned how to search more efficiently. - Ben Wilkinson


I think the presentation was great… There were games incorporated so it was interactive, there were examples so we could see how to do something, and there were slides explaining so we can understand, and we had instructors to explain anything we didn't understand.  - Hunter Guan


Well, I'm not the biggest fan of research, but that's why I took the elective, I need to get better… I thought that we did get some good information on the topic of research, and it was helpful in finding terms that we would need.  - Urav Hingrajia

I really liked how we practiced the skills we just learned by researching at the end. - Eesha Talasila


A Crash Course on Constitutional Law - James Lewis and Edith Lui

Interesting new perspectives on a topic I’m already familiar with. I never truly realized how revolutionary the early courts were in cementing the role of the justice system. - Ben Cohen


I liked how the teacher was open to questions and the lecture-based format. - Sol Rivera

Perceptual Dominance, Crossfire Strategy, and How to Own the Room No Matter Your Gender - Sasha Haines and Maggie Mills

I like that we got to learn cool tips that I didn’t think we would learn. I like how we learned about the power poses and that we need to develop our own before-round routine…. That I need to be myself and not try and be like other debaters. - Samantha Powers


It was very engaging and informative. They also gave good examples that enhanced their actual presentation. - Pranav Vuppu


I liked how comprehensive it was - it covered virtually all the ways that a debater can up the perceptual dominance before and during the round. I also liked the interactive portions, like analyzing the crosses of Sam Arnesen and Sasha, and the powerposing exercise. - Abraham Paik


Make yourself look confident and confidence will follow. - Sam Bowen

That being in control doesn’t mean yelling or being rude; it means being kind and seeming very professional. - Colin Moore

Winning LD Rounds Before They Begin: High Level Strategy and Making the Most of Every Minute - Nehal Chigurupati and Grace Johannes

I liked how we went in depth into each speech you give in the round. - Eesha Talasila


I liked how Nehal explained the deontic and consequentialist strategies. I also liked the memes. - Reyan Shariff


There was an entire hour straight of new and great info. - Jack Morgenstein


I learned a ton of new high level LD strategy. - Shreyas Teegala

How to Get Into College and Succeed - Anish Ganesh, Edith Lui, and Rachael Harris

Being ahead of the game and being unique will help you get into colleges. Also, being organized will help a lot. - Pranav Vuppu


Great advice overall!! I got really good advice on self-reflection and essay writing!  The instructors kept it real. - Shreyas Teegala


I liked how they gave more of the inside details about college, more than you would hear about normally. - Urav Hingrajia


The instructors had a lot of insight about college applications and overall college life vs. high school life… Mostly doing something you're committed to and enjoy, and putting that on your resume is better than "attending" multiple clubs that you don't like.  – Andy Liu


Ways to actually enjoy and survive in college. - Clara Ives

Introduction to Political Violence - Katie Blowers and Madelynn Einhorn

It was super interesting to look at all the different examples of political violence and the motivations for each one… I never really realized how the classification of terrorists depends a lot on who is doing it and their reasons why. – Carter Kilby


Very thoughtful; it was deep yet understandable. - Allie Dettelbach


The speakers were engaging and open to answering our questions or addressing our comments. - Grace O'Grady


Political violence may sometimes seem irrational, but various actors who utilize it often take calculated risks to determine its effectiveness. - Ben Wilkinson

Turning Debate into Activism - Bella Willhite and Nikki Peter

Everyone has their own implicit biases that are forced upon them by their surroundings or society. - Maddie Kilgore


I think it is an important discussion. I was happy to participate in it. - Ed Driscoll


I really like that the conversation was productive and showed how anyone could act. We discussed issues but were also given productive ways to help. It felt empowering. - Becky Walker


It was nice to have my own experiences with inequality in the debate community validated, both as a female presenting person and as a debater from an unfunded district with less resources. - Claire Ingram


I really enjoyed the Implicit Bias tests they had us take. Very interactive and personal to each individual. We also had discussions about injustices and inequalities in the debate community, which is an important subject to discuss. - Matthew Pecasting


I learned that the research we do in debate for certain topics can be used to further activism in our own communities. - Eesha Talasila

Using Creativity in Case Construction: How To Self-Write a Framework and Deploy/Counter Unique Arguments - Shreyaa Nagajothi, Rachael Harris, and Zach Paganini

I liked how they gave lots of examples of the concepts they were talking about. I learned the best ways to attack unique arguments and frameworks. - Bhuvan Meruga


I liked the three instructors different perspectives on different types of framework… Taking a basic framework and making it more unique was a really good tip. - Carter Kilby


The enthusiasm of the instructors was clear. Research and understanding of one's own case is the most important part of running unique arguments well. - Jack Morgenstein

Last Resort: Improvise! - Karishma Ponkshe and Hannah Kim

I liked practicing CX questions and learning how to handle the worst situations. - Maddie Kilgore


Don't give up your round whatever your state is; you always have a chance to come back. - Urav Hingrajia


I liked the activity where we had to do a rebuttal on the spot. - Ben Wilkinson


I liked how we actually participated and used what we learned. - Clara Ives


I liked how they had activities that made us think on our feet, like improvising. - Andy Liu


The interactive activities were fun and good practice. - Jackson Sturtevant


Being able to see what it is like to think on your toes using real values and value criterions. - Grace O'Grady


Introduction to International Relations - Nikki Peter and Kennedy Hughes

I learned more about philosophy and about how countries interact with each other. - Ben Wilkinson


There are many different unique valid international relations theories. – Jack Morgenstein

I am really interested in international relations and the one thing I took from it the most was about the book to read "The Melian Dialogue" to learn more about international relations and to be prepared for college classes on it. I thought it was very enjoyable and interesting I honestly think that the instructors did really well. - Samantha Powers


Leadership - Peter Paik, Edith Lui, and Rachel Harris

I really liked how organic it was with everyone talking and having a good time. We learned but we had fun doing it… I learned about how you need a goal, followers, and a leader. - Becky Walker


A number of new and interesting clarifications concerning the virtues which enable good leadership. Leadership requires personal connection. - Ben Cohen

A good leader is also a good friend. - Colin Moore