The Boston Debate League’s FREE* Debate Camp provides an excellent opportunity for students to spend time this summer engaged in debate and argumentation, to develop their public speaking and leadership skills, and to learn about the Policy Debate topic for next year. Camp has been instrumental to students’ growth as debaters, public speakers, and leaders on their debate teams, with camp participants often assuming a mentoring role within the team and bringing back the skills learned at camp to their debate community.
But most importantly, camp is a place for personal growth, to work collaboratively with others, to experience the joys of winning, losing, and many other emotions—such as struggling to learn a new skill and eventually succeeding. And, of course we saved the best for last, it’s a place to have fun. One of our values as an organization is joy in learning, and during camp, the JOY is emphasized—believing that no matter how good the content is, if students are not having fun and enjoying the process, we’re not living up to our values.
We look forward to connecting with students and engaging them in safe, community-building activities. Ultimately, we hope debaters leave learning a little bit more about the world, but our real goal is for them to leave camp learning a lot more about themselves.
Registration: Opens February 2022 | Deadline: August 1, 2022
Camp Dates: August 15-26, from 8:30am – 3:30pm
Eligibility & Selection Criteria: Students will be selected on a first-come-first-serve basis. No prior debate experience is necessary.
BPS & BDL Member School Students: Students currently enrolled at BPS school or a BDL Member School can attend camp for free.
Non-BDL Member School Students: For students that attend a school that is not currently a BPS or a BDL Member School, the cost is $600 for the two weeks.
Contact: Ranner Faugas, Camp Director, Ranner@bostondebate.org
When and where is BDL Debate Camp? What is the earliest drop-off and latest pickup?
Debate Camp will be held Monday-Friday, August 15-26, 8:30am – 4:30pm. The earliest drop-off time is 8:30am, and the latest pickup time is 4:30pm. We will have breakfast and registration from 8:30am – 9:00am, with the formal program beginning at 9:00am. We will close the formal camp programming at 4:00pm, and end-of-day pickup is between 4:00pm and 4:30pm. In advance of camp, we will send information about the specific room/location for drop-off and pickup.
What are the COVID safety protocols (especially in light of the Delta variant)?
We will follow the latest CDC guidelines on safety for K-12 schools. These guidelines highlight that in-person learning can and should be happening, and that safety protocols be used to reduce risk. Everyone, staff members and students, will be required to wear masks indoors. Students will social distance during lunch, which staff will serve while wearing personal protective equipment (masks, gloves), and which will be served outdoors whenever possible. We will keep windows open in all rooms to allow for ventilation. Any student or staff member who is feeling sick will be expected to stay home from camp and refer to a health care professional for testing and care. All of the camp staff are fully vaccinated.
Are masks required indoors and outdoors? For everyone or just those that are unvaccinated?
Masks are required for everyone indoors. Once outdoors, we will allow for masks off. If weather forces us to eat lunch indoors, this will be the only time students and staff may take their masks off indoors. We will closely enforce social distancing, hand-washing/sanitizing, and proper ventilation. Students are expected to bring their own masks. BDL will also provide disposable masks for anyone who needs one.
What kind of social distancing will be happening inside?
Per CDC guidelines, students will be seated 3 feet apart from each other.
Who will be teaching and leading the camp?
Debate Camp will be led by a team of eleven educators, composed of BDL staff, debate coaches, and Boston Public School teachers. Seven of those facilitators are also alumni of the BDL program. Everyone on the camp staff team brings unique skills and gifts, and a commitment to ensuring that your student is welcomed, affirmed, learning, and having fun throughout Debate Camp!
How many campers will be in each cohort/group? Will they be with the same group the whole time?
During much of Debate Camp, students will be placed in cohorts – or what we call Debate Camp “labs”- of about 15 – 25 students. Each lab will be determined by students’ skill level and interest. Students will likely stay with the same group for the duration of the camp—unless they’re not being challenged in their lab, in which case they may move up to a more advanced lab.
Do parents need to sign campers in and out each day?
If your child is under 12, we ask a family member to sign them in with BDL staff. If your child is older than 13, they can sign themselves in with BDL staff when they arrive. We will email you again closer to the camp start date with a specific location for drop-off and pickup.
Are meals/snacks provided?
Only the best! We will provide cold breakfast, a hot lunch, and snacks.
Who should I contact at Debate Camp with questions or concerns?
Ranner Faugas, BDL Debate Camp Director | Email: Ranner@bostondebate.org