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  • Type:
    Virtual Program, Day camp, After-school / weekend classes
  • Focus:
    Public Speaking
  • Cost:
    $383 to $585/week
  • Ages:
    10 to 16
  • Gender:
  • Main language:
  • Capacity:
  • Programs:
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  • Summary Profile

    About Debate Camp

    Debate Camp inspires youth to confidently speak, debate and think on their feet! In-person camps will be offered in Eastern Canada and Northeastern US. Sessions of our popular Online Debate Camp are available Jan to Dec 2021. We open young minds to world issues and help them engage in constructive dialogue and debate - while having fun! All ability levels welcome. Join us!
    • Special needs: Not available
    • LGBTQ+ friendly community

    COVID-19 Response 

    Debate Camp is currently planning for a limited re-opening of several of our Day Camps in June, July and August 2021. We have restricted our locations to regions in which we can safely access and generate staff teams within travel-restricted zones should these still apply in June, July and August. Debate Camp will continue to offer its popular Online Debate Camps across all North American (and UK) timezones throughout 2021.

    ​We apologize to families in Western Canada and US regions, where we will not be re-opening in-person 2021. As well, we will not be operating our popular Overnight Debate Camp in Nova Scotia in 2021. The organization and travel-planning time required for the successful operation of these camps exceeds the present decision making time (February - April 2021) while we await clearance from government health authorities.

    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. For locations where public health guidelines are giving indication that in-person day camps are permitted, we will open registration and contact families who have completed the online interest form.

    We wish to thank ALL of our camper families who joined us online in 2020 - all 800+ campers we met via Zoom and continue to engage with in after-school and holiday camps.

    View recent COVID-19 updates from Debate Camp

    Video Gallery

  • Programs, Rates & Dates

    Programs and Sessions Calendar

    Choose the right programs and sessions for your child; Debate Camp currently has 1 program available; 3 TBD.

    Filter activities :

    Choose location:

    Virtual program
    Ages: 10 - 16
    $383 to $393
    Virtual Program,
    Oct 04-22 $383 - $393
    Virtual Program,
    Nov 01-20 $383 - $393
    Debate|Public Speaking
    Virtual program
    Ages: 10 - 16
    Virtual Program,
    Date TBDCost TBD
    Public Speaking|Debate
    Public Speaking|Debate
    Virtual program
    Ages: 10 - 16
    Public Speaking
    Virtual Program,
    Date TBDCost TBD
    Public Speaking

    Financial Aid & Payment Details

    Payment Options:

    Deposit required with acceptance Yes
    Credit card payment Yes


    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.

    User reviews of Debate Camp  — Read all 7 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 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 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

  • Location & Site Details


    Forest Hill, Toronto, Bridle Path, Toronto, North Toronto, Toronto, Montreal, QC, Ottawa, ON, Online
    View all locations


    Washrooms Facilities

    • Flush Toilets

    More details about accommodations: Debate Camp operates at CAIS accredited Independent Schools across Canada


    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.

    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:

    In the News

    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


    • 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, to Windsor Nova Scotia stands to make us truly a national program, with campers from across Canada attending each summer. In addition, we have opened two new day camps in the Toronto area and one in Vancouver, to serve all those eager students unable to make it to our annual overnight camp. Over the years, Shawnigan Lake School and Rosseau Lake College have provided great campus environments in which our programs have developed. 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.

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