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Summer Academic Enrichment Eligible Programs

Program Info
Program: High School Policy Debate Camp (10 Days)
Sponsoring Organization: MN Urban Debate League

Main Contact
Name: Neeyra Estrada Pena
Title: Operations Coordinator
Address: 2211 Riverside Ave CB 26
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Phone: (612) 330-1730
Web Site:
Curricular area: Social Science
Grades Served: 9 , 10 , 11


The core goal of Policy Debate camp is to prepare our students for success as they compete in debate. Most debate competitors from well-resourced suburban and private schools are expected to attend debate camp, where they can build skills and knowledge over the summer that will allow them to take a running start to the upcoming season. We designed camp as a low-cost, high-quality alternative for students who want a rigorous but fun camp experience. Our goals revolve around community-building, skill-building, and forging connections between students and the college debate community.

This camp will cover basic and advanced content.

Basic: The core session offers instruction for beginning through advanced students. Students will: • Prepare for competition on the NSDA national topic (emerging technologies), including research, skills development, strategy, and critiqued practice speeches & debates. • Attend topic lectures by licensed teachers, university instructors, and receive mentorship by college students who currently compete on debate teams. • Collaborate and learn in research groups and have daily speeches and skill building development.

Advanced: This camp is designed for experienced debaters who want to bring their skills to the next level. Campers will: • Receive advanced instruction on the National Speech And Debate Association (NSDA) topic, leadership training, argument preparation, and speaking skills, focused on national-level competition. • Develop their leadership skills and become leaders in camp and be prepared to take on leadership experiences with their school team. Work directly with college competitors and coaches to understand complex concepts related to debate theory and critical theory.

These skills and content knowledge directly translate to essay writing and analysis in social studies courses. Public speaking, argumentative writing, and deep reading of non-fiction texts prepares students for success in their English


The core principle of our camp is that debate is best learned by doing. Students will have a practice debate almost every day at camp. This space is where we learn new arguments, research new topics, and try-on new ideas.

Our policy debate camp is designed to help students grow their skills for the upcoming debate season. The upcoming topic is involves intellectual property rights and how they intersect with AI, the arts, and healthcare. Camp attendees will be prepared to tackle this challenging topic in the upcoming season through focused lectures from collegiate debate coaches, current college competitors, and topic-area experts.

What sets our camp apart from other policy debate camps is the intentional community-building aspect. We believe in building a tight-knit community and growing our own leadership. The vast majority of our junior staff were participants themselves in our camp. While much of the day will be spent undertaking rigorous study and skill-building in debate, students will have intentional time for building relationships with others through free time and fun debate games. Returning to campus means we can bring back tie-dyeing T shirts, roasting s’mores, and shaving cream fights this year.

Former camper, Emily, noted that the relaxed environment of camp helped her learn: “Debate camp’s so educational, but it’s also about having fun. Sometimes tournaments are a lot more about, ‘Do you win? Do you lose? How can you win next time?’ and involve pressure. Here, camp is less pressure.” Especially, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that building bonds of support between students and their mentors is important for wellness. Although academically rigorous, our camp is designed with this in mind.

Program Dates

This High School Policy Debate Camp will be held over the following days:

06/29/2024 – 07/12/2024 SU – SA 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Can students reside on campus? No

Can students commute to campus? Yes

Can students take online classes? No

Estimated commuter cost per student
Tuition: $1,125
Fees: $0
Books: $0
Supplies: $0
Transportation: $0