How to Host Your Own Debate Camp

Here’s a question I get often: Can we hire Monument to come run a camp in our hometown? Great question, and I have a thorough answer for you.

I host the Training Minds PREMIUM Speech & Debate Camp here in Colorado. Kids and coaches from across the country make the trip, and it’s worth it! We coach kids for six days to launch them into a successful speech and debate season. It’s awesome and I hope you can make it.

However, bringing your entire speech and debate club is quite the commitment and expense. We host the camp at the beautiful Ponderosa Ranch in Larkspur, Colorado (just north of us). All lodging, meals and materials are included. I personally work hard to keep expenses at a bare minimum, but even so, the camp experience is still $600 a person (coaches are 1/2 price). Bringing several kids can break the bank of a small speech and debate club.

The solution involves two steps: (1) Send a representative or delegation and (2) hire our coaches.

Send a Rep

Don’t skip to #2. You need to experience the Training Minds camp. We are different from any other camp in the nation in several ways. Here are a few:

  1. We hire adults who are out of competition. Some camps hire kids who may be good at debate, but they aren’t teachers. We select our coaching staff very carefully.
  2. We do coached rounds, not a tournament. Most camps will conclude with a scrimmage tournament. We’re crunched to six days, so we don’t include one. Instead, we manage our time for students to debate with a coach, and they face a whiteboard to be coached.
  3. We are in the middle of paradise. Speech and debate is mentally exhausting, which is why we host camp in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. Most other camps are in church basements or college campuses.

There is a lot to be said of the structure and strategy we teach. Our coaches have tried-and-true curriculum that has helped thousands of students develop successful skills that go a long way. Warning: There are wrong ways to coach kids. Uncoaching is more expensive than sending your kids to the Training Minds Camp. You’ll learn speech and debate correctly.

We will welcome your entire club, but that’s not how most people do our camp. The typical camper is the mom and/or dad who brings their kids, maybe a couple more from club that they chaperone, and they get fully trained in Colorado. They bring the teaching back to their hometown and spread the cheer. We love how Monument influences more than just those who come to camp.

Sending a representative or delegation opens the door to the next step.

Hire a Coach

You’ll get to know our coaches at camp. They all provide coaching services outside of camp. However, their time is limited, and they typically fill up their year quickly. You need to connect with good coaching at camp.

There are two ways coaches connect with you and your club back home. First (the easiest) is through Skype. Last year my club hired “Coach Vance” Trefethen to Skype into our club’s living room to work through briefs and case strategies. We bought blocks of time from him to do so, and he was able to work from his computer in his living room, too. It worked great! Two of our teams qualified to Nationals, and the #1 speaker at NITOC was Vance’s long-distance student. Needless to say, our campers did fabulously well.

The second way (more difficult) is to fly the coach in for a time of one-to-one coaching with your club. This time is more limited and it is more expensive, but definitely possible. “Coach Joseph” Abell does this quite a bit. A club will cover his fees and travel, set a timeframe and schedule, and the date is on. Joseph brings the Monument strategies with him, just as all our coaches do.

Good, solid coaching from Monument will help launch your club into championship levels. I hope you’re able to come to the Training Minds PREMIUM Speech & Debate Camp in July. Once you do, you’ll be well on your way to success in speech and debate.