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Is there a grades 7 to 12 summer debate camp curriculum or online debate camp curriculum that enables both student and parent to maximize their respective time and investment? There just might be. It combines the best of the new and the best of the proven.
What is the best of the new? Those who design and serve as coaches of summer debate camps or online debate camps should train their debaters to compete on the vast, academic-year debate circuit. This means that they should teach, and teach well, how to compete in the various tournament formats, such as public forum, policy, congressional, Lincoln-Douglass, Model Congress and Model United Nations.
The dividends of competing on the debate circuit are tremendous. For one thing, the circuit is popular with youth, to say the least. Something on the order of 250,000 American students compete. Debaters make a lot of friends! Also, academic debate is an exciting, intense intellectual effort. Even though no one earns course credit, some debaters, during a school year, are so devoted to tournament competition that they spend as much time as it takes to complete a Masters Thesis! Last but not least, college admissions decisively, by a wide margin, prefer those who labor on this circuit.
What is the best of the proven? An outstanding debate camp will also turn to classical curricula, wherein responsible leadership is taught, that is, wherein independent, critical thinking and “real-world” (general audience) persuasion is taught. To teach critical thinking is to prepare the student to become a broad-minded expert or authority in his or her own right. To be sure, the student is shown how to utilize preexisting experts, but is also shown the weaknesses of relying heavily upon them. To teach persuasion is to impart the crafting and delivery of a speech for professional-career settings.
The dividends of being an independent thinker and good speaker are written across the pages of history. The Greeks and Romans, among others, trained their youth to stand tall and lead. Civilization emerged.
What is the combination of the best of the new and proven? The ultimate debate camp shows the student how to hone their real-world leadership skills (independent, critical thinking and general audience persuasion) while successfully competing on the academic circuit.
If the combination of the new and the proven debate curricula makes sense to you, then it is well worth your time to examine the middle school and high school summer and online programs that are offered by Statesman Debate Institute.