Debate Camp Canada operates according to the following educational practices and principles in all aspects of our program:
LEVELED INSTRUCTION: All camps divide the grades 5 - 11 registrants into 4 or more ability groups at the outset of camp. We strive to ensure all debate partnerships and speakers opposite are at an experience level that ensures the right level of challenge. Parents may pre-register their camper into the ability group they see fit, however, Debate Camp reserves the right to ensure campers feel comfortable with their level of challenge throughout the week. To help with this, see the following links:
ABILITY LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS - detailing the common grades and speaking experiences suited to each level:
SAMPLE TOPICS page to review the type of impromptu debate topics used in practice rounds at each ability group.
INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS: Debate workshops are designed in an interactive, student-centred way and aim to help campers develop skills in case construction, refutation and counterpoint techniques, parliamentary interruptions, tools for effective delivery and efficient research skills.
TEAMWORK AND FEEDBACK: Debates happen in partnership, normally in teams of 2 or 4 speakers - who work together. Campers co-develop cases, ensure effective rebuttal and receive feedback together; often as a side - pointing out strengths of argumentation and delivery. We aim for 3 to 4 practice rounds daily.
PRACTICE: Debate Camp is a place to learn, and we believe one of the best ways to develop new skills is through practice and effective feedback. At camp, debaters are on their feet, raising points, countering and developing new abilities in an active way. We are more about this active form of learning and less about lecture-style teaching. For a full description of the debate styles used in practice click on:
ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT: Debate Camp is a place of new ideas. We believe that to open young minds to the world around them, particularly global issues and current events, helps in case construction and broadens possible speech topics. Our MODEL UNITED NATIONS is key in achieving this and a full overview of this program area, including sample simulations is available on the following link:
CHALLENGE BY CHOICE: Debate camp provides countless opportunities to advocate for an idea, form a response, stand and speak on a point. Whether in impromptu speaking games, debate feuds, or formal rounds - campers who take these opportunities get the most out of camp. For a full description of our Public Speaking program, inclusive of sample impromptu speaking topics please visit:
SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT: Camp is also a supportive place, with lots of encouragement available for those who are trying new things. Campers are coached to honour what is being said by their opponents and welcome the efforts of others, even in competition.
DORMITORY and DINING:
Campers at Debate Camp are housed in comfortable, gender-separate dorms with Debate Camp Program Staff housed on each floor. Our supervision ratio for all camps is 1:8. Rooms are furnished for 2 occupants. Roommaterequests are available. Camper roommate pairings are otherwise determined by age group. Food service allows for a selection of options at each meal. Dietary requests are accommodated with advance notice via the registration process.
Debate Camp staff meet campers arriving via ferry, flight or at designated pick-up location. On travel days, parents / campers can use the camp line to ensure campers meet camp staff at their destination airport / ferry terminal. All shuttle buses are exclusive to Debate Camp and are supervised by camp staff. Parents are welcome to drop off campers at camp; ensuring they arrive by 5:00pm on the start-up Sunday of the overnight camp week.
RECREATION and OUTINGS:
Debate Camp is well known for its balanced approach to learning. Admittedly, debating and public speaking are academic activities. The energy required for success here is often best served by some opportunities for thematic fun and improv-type games. Recreation times and swim outings are available each day. Evenings often conclude with a campfire. Cultural outings and local sightseeing opportunities are detailed specific to each camp location:
AGE GROUPS and PROGRAM:
Debate Camp's overnight program suits campers in grades 7 - 11. All instruction is leveled according to camper age and ability. The LEVEL UP program stream is conducted on its own schedule, allowing for additional debate rounds each day. Overnight camp also has optional debate workshops and debate rounds conducted in French and additional workshop times in Global Awareness and World Issues.
We keep in touch with all of our camp families both in advance and during the camp session. Parents / guardiansreceive a confirmation email immediately following registration, and a second email detailing pick-up / drop-off instructions, and details about camp's OPEN HOUSE afternoon; sent 1 week prior to camp's opening day. During the week, pictures and daily updates are posted on camp'ssocial media pages: Facebook and Instagram (see contact information at the bottom of this page). At the end of theweek a progress card that shares some of each camper's individual growth in is available to parents / guardians and campers.
Mill Bay, BC
2735 Mount Baker Road
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