Democracy Debate 1.0: Intro to debate

Camp Information

  • Grades: Boys and girls in upcoming grades 4-9 for the 2020-2021 school year
  • Location: Online  
  • Dates: July 6 - July 10
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.
  • Staff: Director: Mike Jackson, M.A. Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision; Community Middle School Social Studies/U.S. History Teacher, Princeton University Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Rider University Practicum in Education Mentor Teacher, Former World History Teacher & Lead Pilot Teacher of the 8th Grade Global Challenge -- awarded “Best Practice in Education” at the United Nations; Published Co-Author of “They’re Doing it in Social Studies ...Because They Have a Voice” on Teaching Controversial issues via Switch-Side Debate & Democratic Discussion: WW-P District Strategic Planning Team; Trenton Times & Trentonian “Coach of the Year.” 
  • More staff information
  • Fee: $150
  • Residency: No residency restrictions.


Have you ever been told that you love to argue? Or that you should be an attorney when you grow-up? Are you interested in winning arguments or influencing your friends, family, and classmates? Want to be part of the High School Debate, Mock Trial, Model Congress, or Model UN team?  If you answered “YES” to ANY of these questions, then the Olympic Debate & Mock Trial Camp is for YOU!  If gaining the skills needed to succeed in a career such as law, politics, finance, or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) field, or if gaining an advantage in advanced-level history courses such as APUSH (Advanced Placement United States History) or any course requiring research, evidence-based argumentation, and effective/persuasive communication interests you, then we’d love to have you at Debate Camp! This camp will help you gain and sharpen specific tools and techniques that will be transferable to public speaking, persuasive communication (not just speaking but also film-making, graphic design, and marketing and evidence-based argumentation including formal competitive team debates, public policy debates, impromptu debates, and mock trials. You will learn how to effectively research and organize logical reasoning, quantitative and qualitative evidence and impact to persuade others to support and act on your ideas and proposals.  

Each Camper/Debater will need a laptop, desktop, Chromebook or tablet compatible with Zoom & Google Classroom. All debate resources will be located in Google Classroom. Whole group Assembly floor meetings will take place on Zoom and small-group breakout lessons and work sessions will take place in Zoom breakout “rooms” and/or Google Hangouts. It is required and essential that each camper have a device that is charged or plugged-in and that there is reliable Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection available. 

We will debate school-related academic and social issues such as the pros and cons of homework, social media, school uniforms, and tablets vs textbooks. We will debate state-level and national issues such gun control, freedom of speech and minimum wage; as well as global issues such as climate change, human rights and disease control. You will learn from Ted Talks, Formal team debate competition video clips, how-to sheets, teacher/counselor demonstrations. Live guest speakers will show and tell us how advertising executives, business entrepreneurs, environmental scientists, trial lawyers, local politicians, and global ambassadors convince people to “buy into” their ideas. Campers will come away from Olympic Debate & Mock Trial Camp with the tools that will empower you to succeed not only in debates, but in ANY argument using specific tools and strategies such as the C-W-I (Claim-Warrant-Impact) approach and the 3-step Refutation Model. Each morning and afternoon will culminate with a competition and awards will be presented to the top debaters at the end of the week. The week will culminate with a festive Olympic Debate Tournament!

Financial assistance: There will be no financial assistance for this camp. 

Staff to camper ratio: 1 to 8

Click here to register