NOVA Debate Camp

NOVA Debate Camp is a two week, online Public Forum debate summer camp run by high school and college debaters from across the nation. Our mission is to increase accessibility and equity in debate by reducing cost barriers to participation and competitive success. Public Forum debate is a competitive high school debate event organized by the NSDA. Students compete in teams of 2, alternating between affirming and negating resolutions surrounding domestic and foreign policy, such as Medicare for All or NATO defense policy. We are firm believers in the educational and personal benefits competitive debate offers: research skills, argumentative writing, public speaking, critical thinking, etc. Unfortunately, debate is dominated by few schools with many resources. Most successful programs have private coaches and thousands in funding, and students’ families spend thousands on summer institutes where students receive personalized instruction for several weeks, drastically improving their skill. Naturally, prices put camps out of reach for most. NOVA aims to counter this inequity by removing the financial barriers to participate in debate by providing the same instruction as traditional camps for free, increasing the number of students in debate overall. Over the course of a traditional camp, students attend lectures based on their experience level, hone research skills, engage in practice debates, run drills to practice particular types of arguments, and more. At the end of the camp, students apply their skills in a camp wide tournament. In order to provide the best possible experience to our debaters, we follow this structure, giving students different ways to learn. Each lab has two instructors who are selected through an interview and application process that seeks out upperclassmen that demonstrate the ability to lead effectively and teach with compassion. Historically, NOVA’s lab instructors have been some of the highest ranked competitive debaters in the country.

Funded by San Antonio, TX (April 2024)