Applications to the 2021 Summer Debate Camp are now open!

M: (281) 773-1397 | leadership@debatedrills.com

Online Debate Camp


June 1st - 30th, 2021 | Online

The DebateDrills Online Debate Camp is an unparalleled summer experience for students of all ages, debate events, and styles. In our innovative and individualized debate camp, students explore new skills and topics, dive deep into topics they have previously struggled with, and work in structured learning progressions that are designed and guided by subject matter experts. 

"Definitely take part in the DebateDrills Online Debate Camp. You won't spend countless hours preparing for a would-be topic or weakly covering different areas of debate. Instead you'll be working with some of the best debate minds in the nation and discussing high-level debates with a depth that other camps and programs don't go into."

- Advay Chandra | Student | Bishops High School '22
 


Why DebateDrills?

Individual Attention

Every student gets extensive 1-on-1 attention in guided and thoughtfully designed methods. We believe there is no substitute for consistent, guided 1-on-1 coaching.

Flexible Scheduling

Our approach provides the flexibility necessary for students to rigorously develop debate-specific skills while having the freedom to pursue other activities over summer.

Proven Results

3 Straight TOC Finals Appearances. 2 TOC Championships. The youngest-ever TOC Finalist. 120+ bids. 3 State Championships. 

Instructor Expertise

Our coaching staff comes from a diverse debate background. Students learn from highly experienced instructors who have been trained at the highest levels.

A past alumni of the program, Parker Whitfill, subsequently went on to win the Tournament of Champions, widely considered the most difficult and prestigious tournament in the United States. He summed up the program as follows:

“The main difference between DebateDrills’ Online Debate Camp and other residential debate camps is the focus on skill improvement. DebateDrills’ Online Camp was 75% skill focused while other residential camps I had attended were closer to 25%. Large residential debate camps simply don’t have the logistic capacity to drill with every student for multiple hours a day. I could focus on the stuff that really matters: rapidly improving my execution of skills that would be crucial in important debates the following year. 

A major benefit of DebateDrills’ Online Debate Camp is that it was personalized. Working with DebateDrills allowed me to tailor the curriculum to my own needs, instead of arbitrarily being put into a group setting where debaters come from all parts of the country and have very different goals and needs. Because residential debate camps have such a diverse group of students in each "lab", they tend to focus on broad skills that will help every student in the lab, which is an inefficient method to teaching a competition like debate.” 
 

Features

The DebateDrills Summer Intensives will help rapidly accelerate your growth. Here’s a brief snapshot of the major offerings - click on a tab to learn more:

 

We assess each student’s strengths and weaknesses to design learning progressions unique to their individual weaknesses. Assessments include audio recordings of specific speeches from debates online and drill material we have created, a written diagnostic, and a 1:1 call in mid-May where we run each student through a series of drills to more precisely understand their current skill set.

Based on the results of the ILA, each student does structured 1-on-1 tutoring with our award-winning instructional staff.

Each student will be put in a small group of learners with similar interests and needs based on the results of their ILA. Labs will focus on different key skills and utilize our core teaching methods that have established us as the most successful private debate coaches in history. Our Curriculum Directors have spent hundreds of hours carefully designing each group session and our camp staff has spent extensive time being taught best teaching practices and learning our curriculum. We personally place each Student in the appropriate learning track to guide their growth from Novices to Experts regardless of their age and current skill level. 

Given we are industry leaders in online private academic debate education in the United States, we have heavily invested in professional software to provide high quality virtual debate education. This software stack has been revised over the years based on the user feedback of hundreds of previous families, and has helped us deliver over 5000 hours of services since 2016. Our commitment to high-quality service allows us to effectively teach our students virtually and provide seamless user experience for both parents and students.

Our in-house Video Library contains over 500 hours of do-it-yourself resources, spanning Lectures, Round Analyses, Rebuttal Redo Packets, and Tutoring Lesson Plans. All Summer Intensives Students get unlimited access to these resources.

Modeled after our record-shattering Club Team, all campers will use Slack (a messaging platform) to discuss debate with their peers in the program and the Summer Intensives Instructors. Students use Slack to schedule practice rounds amongst themselves, ask questions about anything debate related, and create a community of dedicated students and highly accomplished coaches.

We curate content files and materials for practicing and mastering various skills and topic-areas. Since we use the previous seasons debate topics to center our education and drills, we ensure campers can focus on improving their skills and not be stuck doing mindless research assignments that are unlikely to be useful during the season. Research assignments are specific to student needs and thoughtfully designed to help students tackle specific research weaknesses.

Our Curriculum Directors hold office hours daily, ensuring every student has extensive access to ask additional questions and get individualized help from our core leadership and content creation staff.

We hold Demo Debates and live analysis of these debates throughout camp between staff members to help students observe live examples of the types of debates we want them executing. 

From camp-wide movie nights to playing online games as a group, we are committed to making debate fun. We will hold weekly camp-wide virtual bonding activities on weekend evenings. 

From surprise guest speakers, to career workshops, to live analysis of high profile debates, we are constantly providing fun, new activities for our campers.

DebateDrills Alumni Rex Evans and Tej Gedela pose for a photo with DebateDrills Coaches Raffi Piliero and Whit Jackson.

Testimonials

"The summer before my senior year, I decided to skip a formal 2 or 3-week debate camp and instead attend DebateDrills' Online Debate Camp. This was one of the best debate decisions I made, and I’d highly recommend you consider doing something similar if you are serious about debate."

Parker Whitfill | Student | 2017 TOC Champion + 3rd Speaker 

"The DebateDrills Online Debate Camp fueled countless hours of relentless drilling and facilitated a slow, focused mastery of debate that I have not found at any other program."

Max Perin | 5th Place, 2020 Glenbrooks Invitational

"The DebateDrills Online Camp offered a variety of valuable resources that really helped me progress with areas of debate I was inexperienced in. The individual, focused training helped me target my weaknesses in debate and rapidly improve through practice."

Ali Ansari | 2020 Elimination Debates, Harvard-Westlake Varsity Invitational

“You won't be spending countless hours preparing for a hypothetical topic or weakly covering different areas of debate. Instead, you'll be working with some of the best debate minds in the nation and discussing high-level debates with a depth that other camps and programs don't go into.”

Advay Chandra | 3rd Place, 2020 Cypress Bay Varsity Invitational

“What's different about DebateDrills' Online Debate Camp compared to other camps I've gone to, and what I liked the most, was that everything was very individualized, from my learning material to the pacing. At other camps, even if I grasped a topic, if one of my peers did not, we would have to spend more time covering it. However, with the summer intensive, time was allocated to everything I struggled with.”

Rosalyn Li | Roeper School Class of 2022

“The biggest positive of Camp was the 1-1 tutoring experience because while other camps usually just move along at a set pace and try to cover a lot of concepts for everyone, the tutoring really helped me hone in on specific skills and helped me improve them significantly at my own pace.”

Pranav Kaginele | 5th Place, 2020 Loyola Varsity Invitational

“The DebateDrills Online Camp's unique combination of tutoring plans tailored to my individual needs as well as various practice drills such as the Rebuttal Redo Packets provided for a far more educational experience in comparison to other camps that I've attended in the past.”

Arnav Garg | 9th Place, 2020 Apple Valley Varsity Invitational

“The DebateDrills Online Debate Camp allowed me to work at my own pace and really work on things as much as I needed to without having to do busy work or useless drills that I was forced into at other camps.”

Tanay Bawa | Lovejoy High School Class of 2022

“Having camp online was an amazing journey, I still experienced the rigor of an in-person camp with much more flexible scheduling around other summer activities.”

Teja Buddhavarapu | 5th Place, 2020 Columbia Varsity Invitational

"Compared to other camps, the Summer Intensive does an excellent job at fine-tuning their content depending on the individual needs of students. I was able to choose hours that worked well for me, and everyone was extremely accommodating.

Sameer Nayyar | 3rd Place, 2020 Apple Valley Varsity Invitational

Pricing

We offer 2 options for families interested in having their child attend our Online Camp. The Core Package is designed to resolve inefficiencies of traditional camps and provide learners with a challenging and comprehensive summer debate camp experience. The Intensive Package is for families interested in further individualized attention. We recommend the Intensive Package for students that want to make the most of their summer and are fully dedicated to success in debate. 

Package

Tuition
  • Individualized Assessment
  • Camp Tournament
  • Slack & Dropbox Access
  • Demo Debates
  • DebateDrills Academy Premium One-Month Membership
  • Drills Lab
  • Analysis Lab
  • Skills Lab
  • Office Hours
  • 1 on 1 Tutoring
  • Advanced Strategy Lab
  • Round Robin
  • Priority Varsity Club Team Access

Core

$1,995
  • 2 debates
  • 8 hours
  • 8 hours
  • 8 hours
  • 15 hours
  • 4 hours
  •  
  •  
  •  

Intensive

$3,995
  • 4 debates
  • 8 hours
  • 8 hours
  • 8 hours
  • 30 hours
  • 20 hours
  • 6 hours

We offer a $100 Referral Discount for each referral! See our FAQs below for more information.

Get Started

Instructors

Curriculum

Our approach to debate education is informed by decades of practice, pedagogical research, and unprecedented success. Our approach is defined by a commitment to providing our students with:

  • Individualized attention, feedback, and direction;
  • Graduate level understanding of academic topics;
  • Experience in learning from and practicing with recorded high-level debate rounds;
  • Technical mastery of even the most advanced skills.


We couple these commitments with an array of focus areas. Students should not have to sit through days of instruction they aren’t interested in. That’s why we have multiple debate “tracks” for students. We let the students’ interests dictate the field of study, and let our expertise dictate how that field is mastered. Click on the fields of argumentation below to explore what they entail!

This track focuses on strategies and techniques to improve debating on traditional NSDA style debate circuits. We will explore key areas of persuasion and strategy, including but not limited to:

  • Leveraging rhetoric and artful writing
  • Maximizing credibility, persuasive appeal, and room presence
  • Mastering the value/value criterion/contention model of debate
  • Defending and refuting popular frameworks
  • Writing strategic cases for traditional debates
  • Giving powerful rebuttal speeches
  • Utilizing key substantive knowledge, including philosophy and policy
  • Using advanced techniques without alienating judges

Ideal for students who have minimal exposure to national circuit debate. In this track, students will learn how to:

  • Flowing, no matter how fast their opponents speak
  • Increase speaking speed (i.e. spreading)
  • Speak extemporaneously
  • Navigating resources online
  • Leverage of debate strategy
  • Effectively research
  • Use and counter policy arguments, critical arguments, philosophical frameworks, and theory/T

In this track, students will learn:

  • Impact weighing
  • Link weighing
  • Answering extinction scenarios
  • Writing and answering tricky counterplans
  • Writing strategic affirmative positions
  • Defending and answering permutations

In this track, students will learn:

  • Giving the 1AR using a materiality framework
  • Going for and answering identity based Ks
  • Going for and answering “high theory” based Ks
  • Going for and answering the Cap K
  • Giving the 2AR against Ks
  • Dismantling common K tricks

In this track, students will learn:

  • Constructing and defending consequentialist frameworks
  • Constructing and defending non-consequentialist frameworks
  • Learning how to identify and efficiently answer tricky frameworks
  • Reading and defending against critiques of analytical philosophy
  • Mastering philosophical concepts in a substantive and academic way

In this track, students will learn:

  • Answering and defending conditionality
  • Answering and defending plan-inclusive counterplans
  • Answering and defending topicality
  • Answering and defending paradigm issues (e.g. non bi-directional aff paradigm issues, drop the debater vs drop the argument, reasonability vs competing interpretations, RVIs)
  • Impact weighing abuse (e.g. fairness vs education, aff theory vs neg theory, multiple shells vis a vis one another)
  • Identifying and answering “tricks” (e.g. skepticism, permissibility triggers, descriptive frameworks, floating PIKs, etc)

All of the above tracks will utilize an host of different techniques to maximize student learning, including but not limited to:

  • One-on-one tutoring
  • Weekly seminars with Live Q&As
  • Customized content lectures
  • Campwide discussion and interaction on our Slack forum
  • Provision of tons of files and materials so that students can focus on learning, not researching


Unlike other summer workshops, we orient our instruction, tutoring, and seminars using the previous season’s debate topics (especially the TOC topic). Each track has beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions, and depending on the students Individual Learning Assessment, we craft a strategy and plan of attack for each student custom to their needs.

FAQ's

We field requests and have historically not had a problem accommodating specific requests, but ultimately we assign students to labs and specific instructors based on student needs and instructor availability. We’ve hired an award-winning staff and we make sure that you get personalized instruction targeting your specific needs and weaknesses. 

All activities are designed to run from 4-7 PM PST on weekdays and 11-7 PM PST on weekends. We offer families flexibility to ensure their students can participate in other activities during the month of June. Everything is organized, scheduled and delivered using our professional software stack. Specific details are sent out in mid-May.

Absolutely! Many of our instructors and students attend both our Camp and a residential camp. We have specifically timed the Camp so that students can get the best from both experiences. If you are going to a residential camp after the Summer Intensives, we are glad to draft an email to the Camp Director and update them on your progress to help with your lab placement.

Ultimately, it depends on how hard you push yourself. You should expect to attend lab for 6 hours per week at minimum, and have 3 hours of homework per week. Additionally, you should expect to tutor weekly and do 1 hour of homework per hour of tutoring. Historically, our average student spends roughly two to five hours a day on debate during the Online Camp, but students can - and have - been more or less involved depending on their schedule and dedication. 

Yes! The reason families love working with us is because we are focused on your unique needs and prioritized customized learning plans that are not one-size-fits-all. Every student goes through an Individualized Learning Assessment (ILA) in May to create specific learning progressions based on their strengths and weaknesses, which rapidly accelerates progress. 

Nope! Our Online Debate Camp is available to all students - our Club Team and Summer Intensives do not overlap. 

Our program is designed for 6th to 12th graders interested in competitive academic debate. We teach both traditional and circuit debate in Lincoln-Douglas and Public-Forum styles. If this does not describe you, but you are still interested in joining us, please contact us directly to discuss further.

Yes! Since starting DebateDrills, we have extensively coached traditional debate styles, including the California State Champion, the Middle School National Champion, the JV National Champion, the Texas State Champion, the Florida State Champion, and the New York State Champion. Our traditional debate curriculum is designed by Paras Kumar and Cameron Baghai, who have collectively taught over 1500 hours of traditional debate in both individualized and group settings to students as young as 3rd grade. 

When students apply to the Summer Intensive, they are given the option to list a referral. If you are listed as a referral for a student who has confirmed attendance to the Summer Intensive, you will receive a $100 credit to apply to the DebateDrills Summer Intensive or Classes. There is no limit to how many students you can refer! Please note a) two families may not refer one another and both receive the referral credit, b) families who have already worked with DebateDrills may not refer families who have also previously worked with DebateDrills, and c) families may only apply the referral credit for Camp or Classes and may not exchange their credit for cash value, Club Team tuition credit, or 1:1 tutoring credit. 

Still have questions?

Get in Touch

Application

We intentionally limit space to ensure we provide high-quality service. We anticipate having 60 students for the 2021 Summer Intensives. As always, our instructional team will be top-notch. Our group of students will be capped to ensure that each student gets the individualized attention they deserve. Click on the button below to apply to the Summer Intensive.