The idea of attending summer debate camp as a high school debater even at the most elite of debate programs is in itself a hardship. No more so true in the case of the students of Newark Debate Academy, the very opportunity provided to them, fully funded by NDA, is one that is both life changing and provides them with the competitive and intellectual benefits that normally the nations most elite debaters would only have access to.
When the school year is over for most students, it's only the start of the next debate year for our students. Each season begins in July, and every debater dedicates themselves to 2-3 weeks of intensive work. Summer debate institutes like those at Howard University or the University of Vermont, dubbed by the New York Times as "a boot camp for the mind", expose debaters to new cultures expanding their global perspectives.
For the NDA, this experience is invaluable for reasons beyond debate competition. Summer institutes provide an environment for academic develop and for many students their first taste of college life. We have found that that alone has had a lasting impact on our debaters and positively influences their decision to pursue higher education.
GOING AWAY TO INSTITUTE
Debaters who often tend to only socialize within their league, state, regional or individual high school program are given the opportunity to develop networks with debaters (collegiate and high school) and debate coaches and administrators. Many of these individuals are from different parts of the nation and even some from or working in different countries. The networks and relationships that the NDA debaters develop be they personal or professional is a particularly enriching element of attending a summer debate camp as they travel to the various camps across the country, interacting with the numerous amount of inviduals from different types of debate programs, schools, regions, and even debate forms. This engagment of different peers and mentors, most entirely new is extremely beneficial in the very sense that it allows debaters to expand their minds for pedagogical and social/economic/cultural diversity, they develop not only as debaters but as individuals.
The benefit of high school students seeking to attend and excel at college would have an ample opportunity to visit and attend a 2-6 weeks debate camp at a University such as North Texas, Emory, James Madison, Dartmouth, Morgan State and George Mason. Many NDA debaters are awarded the opportunity to visit Universities they may plan to attend, they get to experience the college campuses of the many universities that host debate camps and meet administrators and students that attend said schools. The chance to attend and live the college life as a high school student helps in determining and making decisions about colleges they wish to apply to. This access also allows debaters and coaches looking to be recruited or recruiting to get a feel of the debaters’ interaction in the atmosphere and whether the campus and student life is a good fit. Newark Debate Academy for decades has provided high school debaters with the opportunity to attend some of the most prestigious and best camps in the nation. The ability to fund completely the cost for a student to travel, attend, eat and enjoy the summer debate camp of their choice is an investment not only in debate but in the individual debaters.
For more information on our students camp experiences this past summer check out this article! - http://newarkdebateacademy.org/news/45-newark-debaters-deep-into-summer-study
NDA Summer Institute
Everyone should have the chance to attend a great camp even if you are younger or new getting into debate. One of the most beneficial parts about summer debate camps and Newark Debate Academy is the ability for the many members to come together and develop a local camp that is treated and noted in the same tone as many of the camps that we send the debaters of NDA. Frost Valley is an amazing camp that take debaters who attended a summer camp, debater that could not attend an away camp, the younger debaters (freshman and sophomores), middle school debaters and pairs them with some of the best debate minds from Universities like Rutgers-Newark and the high school coaches of NDA. This 5 day event takes place in the mountain areas of New York State and provides the debaters with lodging and meals with the only thing debaters and staff have to work on is debate skills and community building. Many debaters wish that the experience of Frost Valley could be as long as some of the other camps they attended do to the quality and benefits it produces.
The format for the day is as follows:
Morning: SAT prep work & debate training (including history sessions)
Afternoon: traditional camp activities - hiking, boating, high fall, etc.
Evening: practice rounds
Evening movie or reflection campfire to close the day
Here's what debate students have to say about their camp experience:
"This was a great camp. I met new people and learned a lot!"
"This was too short. Can we stay longer next year?"
"I liked the SAT prep. I needed it."
"We were able to set up our structures for each part of Public Forum speeches."
For more information on our students Frost Valley experience check out this article - http://newarkdebateacademy.org/news/50-bringing-debate-to-the-woods