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  • Type:
    Day camp, Overnight camp, After-school / weekend classes, Virtual Camp/Program
  • Focus:
    Public Speaking
  • Cost:
    $495 to $595/week
  • Ages:
    10 to 16
  • Gender:
    Coed
  • Main language:
    English
  • Capacity:
    10 to 40
  • Programs:
Request more info
  • Summary Profile

    About Debate Camp

    Debate Camp inspires youth to confidently speak, debate and think on their feet! In 2022 our in-person day and overnight camps will be offered throughout North America. Our popular online camps will also remain available. We open young minds to the world and help them engage in constructive dialogue and debate while having fun! All levels welcome. Enrich your summer with us!

     

    We are proud to be celebrating our 20th summer this year and hope you join us!

    • Special needs: Not available
    • LGBTQ+ friendly community


    COVID-19 Response 

    Debate Camp is re-opening of several of our Day and Overnight Camps in June, July and August 2022. We will open day and overnight camps similar to summers' 2002 - 2019, albeit with limited enrollment to ensure we comply with the highest standards of camper safety in these times. Our policy for 2022 is outlined on: https://www.debatecamp.com/health

    We are in consultation with Canadian and American recreational children's camping authorities, partner schools and government guidelines as part of our Health Partnership Plan for the safe operation of in-person camps in 2022

    View recent COVID-19 updates from Debate Camp


    Debate Camp - profile photo

    Video Gallery

  • Programs, Rates & Dates

    Programs and Sessions Calendar

    Choose the right programs and sessions for your child; Debate Camp currently has 7 programs available; 7 TBD.

    Filter Activities


    Choose location:

    Name
    Type/Gender
    Specialty
    Location
    Date
    Bus
     Cost
    Email
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 10 - 16
    Debate, Public Speaking
    $343 to $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    May 09-22 Cost TBD
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Jan 07-Mar 04$383 - $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Mar 07-25 $343 - $363
    Debate|Public Speaking
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 9 - 16
    Debate, Public Speaking
    $346 to $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Jul 04-08 Cost TBD
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Dec 26-30 $346 - $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Jan 07-Feb 25$346 - $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Apr 15-Jun 03$346 - $393
    Debate|Public Speaking
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 10 - 16
    Debate, Public Speaking
    $346 to $403
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Aug 08-12 Cost TBD
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Dec 26-30 $363 - $403
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Jan 07-Feb 25$346 - $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Apr 15-May 27$346 - $393
    Debate|Public Speaking
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 10 - 16
    Writing, Creative writing
    $343 to $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Aug 22-26 Cost TBD
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Jan 07-Mar 04$346 - $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Sep 04-Oct 23$343 - $363
    Creative writing|Debate|Public Speaking|Writing
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 10 - 17
    Education (multi), Language Instruction
    $346 to $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Sep 24-Nov 19Cost TBD
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Jan 08-Feb 26$346 - $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Sep 04-Oct 23$346 - $393
    Instructor lead (group)|Creative writing|Debate|Language Instruction|Public Speaking|Reading|Writing
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 12 - 18
    Education (multi), Instructor lead (group)
    $346 to $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Sep 24-Nov 19Cost TBD
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Jan 08-Feb 26$346 - $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Sep 04-Oct 23$346 - $393
    Storytelling|Instructor lead (group)|Public Speaking|Writing
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 12 - 18
    Education (multi), Instructor lead (group)
    $346 to $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Sep 24-Nov 19Cost TBD
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Jan 08-Feb 26$346 - $393
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Sep 04-Oct 23$346 - $393
    Storytelling|Instructor lead (group)|Debate|Social Justice|Public Speaking|Writing
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 9 - 16
    Public Speaking, Instructor lead (group)
    $327 to $357
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Date TBDCost TBD
    Public Speaking
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 11 - 18
    Writing, Creative writing
    $316 to $346
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Date TBDCost TBD
    Storytelling|Instructor lead (group)|Creative writing|Public Speaking|Writing
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 10 - 16
    Public Speaking, Debate
    $363
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Date TBDCost TBD
    Public Speaking
    Day Camp
    Coed
    Ages: 10 - 17
    Debate, Public Speaking
    $476 to $595
    Public Speaking|Debate
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 10 - 16
    Debate, Public Speaking
    $293 to $363
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Date TBDCost TBD
    Debate|Public Speaking
    Overnight Camp
    Coed
    Ages: 12 - 17
    Debate, Public Speaking
    $1,943 to $2,043
    Public Speaking|Debate
    Virtual Program
    Coed
    Ages: 10 - 15
    Public Speaking, Debate
    $293 to $363
    Virtual Program,
    Online
    Date TBDCost TBD
    Debate



    Financial Aid & Payment Details

    Payment Options:

    Deposit required with acceptance Yes
    Credit card payment Yes

    Discounts

    Discount for 2nd child 10%
  • Insider Reviews & Perspectives

    The Our Kids review of Debate Camp

    our take

    Nick Szymanis founded Debate Camp Canada after having achieved a long and impressive career in private schooling. He held teaching and leadership positions at Havergal, Crofton House, and was director of academics at Sterling Hall. Director Oona Craig has a CV that is similarly impressive. In all, this is an academic camp that is placed very firmly on a foundation of academic experience and expertise. It’s not a traditional camp, of course, perhaps particularly because it’s not about providing a wide breadth of experiences, but rather an intensive focus on one: debating. That said, there is more breadth here than you might assume. Debate is a tool, like any camp activity, to get at other things, including confidence, resilience, skill development, and effective collaboration. The kids that attend find themselves in a group of peers that share their interests as well as their academic disposition, and many come away—as with any camp—with friends and memories for life.



    Editor's Review

    Three Things: Debate Camp

    Hear the three things that Our Kids’ editors see when they look at Debate Camp



    Insider's Perspective: Parent

    • 00:43 - What was unique about the program at Debate Camp that made you want to enroll your child there?
    • 01:58 - What would you highlight about the Debate Camp?
    • 02:53 - What does your son like best or find most exciting about camp?
    • 03:13 - When and how did you know that the camp was the right fit for your son?
    • 04:00 - Was there any change or noticeable personal growth that you saw in your son after his time at camp?
    • 06:03 - How can you as a parent support your child to get the most out of this camp?
    • 06:37 - How would you describe this camp to another parent?
    • 07:25 - What does your child say about the camp, either to you, or that you may have heard them say to friends?
    • show more


    User reviews of Debate Camp  — Read all 10 reviews


    Summer 2018
    Toronto (Parent)

    My daughter came to camp w/ an expressive communication disorder, and was encouraged to participate fully in all of the debates and activities-but was not pressured in a way that made her feel frustrated or discouraged. We are truly impressed w/ the entire program! Toronto parent - 201 ... Read More

    Summer 2018
    Calgary (Parent)

    My son had an amazing week! Staff ratio to campers was ideal. Staff made the camp educational yet fun at the same time. My son returned each and every day talking about all the debates, all the arguments for /against, and all that he learned. I love that the topics were diverse and reflective of current issues. My son looked forward to going each day and was so disappointed at week's end. Having lunch included was definitely an added bonus! Will definitely return next year and for more than one session this time! Thanks to all the staff! Calgary parent - 201 ... Read More

    Summer 2018
    Boston (Parent)

    My daughter found your camp on a web search herself. She asked me to enrol her in the camp. I wasn't thrilled about the particular week in the summer, as it impacted our ability to schedule other 2 week camps. However, she absolutely loved the camp, and will be joining again next summer! Her joy and learning was evident, and was such a great time for her exact moment in her developmental stage. At 11.5 years, my daughter is breaking into new independence, and new thoughts about life, communications, politics, how society decides upon its "rules, norms, and laws". This camp gave some structure to her ideas, and most importantly, gave her a structured way to practice public speaking which I have been trying to build into all of her experiences for years. Hard to do outside of drama classes. She LOVED this camp West Roxbury, MA - parent - 201 ... Read More

    Summer 2019
    Boston (Parent)

    My kids complained bitterly the first day in the morning. They complained less and less and by Wednesday they liked it but didn't want to admit it. They really loved it by Friday. My husband and I feel that it's been the best camp for them and are really happy with what they learned. Thank you!! Boston MA, parent - 201 ... Read More

    Summer 2019
    Montreal (Parent)

    I'm impressed that this camp offers something which presumes a natural inquisitiveness and intelligence in kids and empowers them. My son went in with great apprehension at the prospect of having to interact with new people and speak in front of them By the end of the week he was proud at having overcome some fear of public speaking and he said he would do this camp again. Montreal parent - 201 ... Read More

    Summer 2019
    Ottawa (Parent)

    I would like to thank you for offering such great summer camp for my daughter. She has registered with her friends together to your summer camp this summer. It was her first debate experience. I was very impressed about the high quality you offered, from facility to staff until the program designed. Although it is kind of pricey, it delivered something of high value. Most of all, I know she is learning things not just killing time. Your debate camp is really a five star summer camp. Ottawa parent - 201 ... Read More

    Summer 2020
    New York (Parent)

    Allow me to express my gratitude for the online camps you started this session. In the current situation they allowed my son to have a very productive learning experience, that created a tangible sense of accomplishment.

    Summer 2021
    Online (Parent)

    Great experience for my child. It can be hard to find others with similar interests; debate camp has shown my son that there are other kids who like the same things as he does.

    Summer 2021
    Halifax (Parent)

    We don't know you made debate camp such an enriching program for children but you have the formula down pat. Our daughter came home every day with her wheels fully pumped, her bucket filled to the brim. She regularly told us all about her day - and that doesn't always happen after camp or school. She was just so excited and needed to bring her family into the fold. She has now taught us how to debate and gave her sister the bracelet she made for her. From my heart: thank you! ... Read More

    Summer 2021
    Toronto (Parent)

    My son has attended several debate camps and has enjoyed each one immensely.

  • Location & Site Details

    Address

    Forest Hill, Toronto, St. Catharines, ON, North Toronto, Toronto, King, ON, Ottawa, ON, Online
    View all locations

    Accommodations

    Sleeping Accommodations

    • Dorm or Building

    Washrooms Facilities

    • Flush Toilets

    More details about accommodations: Debate Camp operates at CAIS accredited Independent Schools across Canada and follows ACA and state regulations in the United States.



    Property Details

    Sports facilities

    • Gymnasium

    Landscape

    • Open Field

    More details about property: Debate Camps are located at independent school and / or university campus locations conducive to a well rounded, safe, indoor / outdoor program for youth.



    Rentals & Services

    Offers outdoor education program for schools or corporate groups: Yes
    We offer educational programming in-person and online for school groups looking to start a debate enrichment program.


    Associations

    The American Camp Association Associations
    Canadian Camping Association/ Association des camps du Canada Associations


  • What's New

    Director's Message

    Nick Szymanis, Director
    BA, MA, B Ed

    Debate Camp creates a learning experience that is safe, welcoming, fun, and intellectually-engaging.  Our program is meant to appeal to all ability levels, from the reluctant speaker to the already-accomplished debater. This year we are proud to be celebrating our 20th summer at Debate Camp. 

    We believe that learning is best served by engaging students in an academic experience, while at the same time ensuring they feel empowered to take risks. 

    We believe that "camp" creates a novel and secure learning environment in which campers feel safe to try new skills, think on their feet, see the opposing view, and to trust their teammates. 

     

    We feel that debating is not an elite skill for competition purposes only. We believe that to have advocacy skills, an ability with rhetoric, an ability to effectively organize one's thoughts, an ability to listen and be heard and to honour one's opponents with effective points and counter-points, are skills that all kids should try.  We believe these are empowering skills that are highly relevant to life long learning. 

    Campers repeatedly inform us of how successful their academic experiences are - after Debate Camp, largely because they felt emboldened and confident in their ability to engage in discourse on subjects they felt unsure about only weeks previous.   " I learned so much"  is the most consistent feedback we get. 

    Moreover, we remain about training in the area of verbal advocacy; to stand, speak and be heard - an area requiring continued attention at a time when digital means provide so many alternatives to this.  In the generation of the smart phone, of potentially less human-to-human conversation over substantial matters, what we teach is even more coveted...

    Education has forever operated on a belief in the skills, ability and good intention of the future generation. Debate Camp is honoured to be invested in this work

    More info on myself, my team and our great little camp - visit: www.debatecamp.com



    In the News

    May 2, 2022
    DEBATE CAMP IS COMING TO PORTLAND, MAINE!

    Debate Camp is coming to Portland, Maine - brand new location at the Waynflete School! ... Read More

    November 17, 2016
    Time to keep talking

    Advice on speaking with kids in a troubled world.... Read More

    December 2, 2015
    Giving Kids the Edge: The Valuable Skill of Debating

    Giving Kids the Edge: The Valuable Skill of Debating Debating helps kids retain 90% of what they learn By Nick Szymanis... Read More



    Stories

    • Debate Camp Canada

      Debate Camp Canada has trained hundreds of eager speakers since it's start-up in the summer of 2002. Our camps have served the debate and public speaking communities in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. The new location of our residential camp, at Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ontario will serve our camper families well in location and in the beautiful campus we will be housed. In 2022 we have reopened day camps in King City and Calgary, locations closed since pre-2020.  Many debate and public speaking tournaments both in Canada and abroad, boast the participation of multiple debate campers from past summers - many of which have returned in the ranks of staff once actively competing at the university level. Our best stories certainly involve those campers who came to us, hesitant and often shy about public speaking and graduated after a few summers, with renewed self-confidence in a polished set of abilities that in some cases reaped rewards in tournaments or even just their own school's academic program. Moreover, everyone certainly had fun in the learning process. Join us in continuing this fine tradition.



    Frequently Asked Questions

    Does Debate Camp have good reviews?
    We interviewed families about their experience with Debate Camp. Watch the video here. You can also read 10 reviews of Debate Camp from past attendees.

    What types of programs does Debate Camp offer?
    Debate Camp runs: virtual programs, day camps, overnight camps. Programming specializes in: Debate, Public Speaking, Writing, Creative writing, Education (multi), Language Instruction, Instructor lead (group). Browse the program calendar for rates and dates.

    What age does Debate Camp start?
    Debate Camp has programs for children aged 10 to 16.

    How much does is cost to attend Debate Camp?
    Fees to attend Debate Camp range from $495 to $595/week.

    Does Debate Camp offer support for children with special needs?
    Debate Camp does not offer support for children with special needs.

    Does Debate Camp offer busing?
    No, Debate Camp does not offer transportation.




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