I’m in Escondido, California, for our first-of-two national tournament preparation camps. Later this morning, 45 debaters from across the country will be coached by these folks:
If you’re involved in Stoa debate, you’ll recognize many of them. As they have grown up through homeschool speech and debate, they took a liking to passing on their expertise to the next up-and-coming debaters. That’s when my organization (Training Minds Ministry) snatched them up as coaches.
Travis Herche (pictured with his wife, Christina) was a national contender in 2006. Cheyenne Ossen (next to me) was 1st Place Lincoln-Douglas Speaker, and she’s seated next to Matthew Erickson, Lincoln-Douglas titlist in 2012. Farthest to the right is Chase Harrington, 2010 Stoa Title Winner.
Not pictured: My daughter, Lydia Jeub, is also a coach and speech title winner of two years in a row (she took the picture). Isaiah McPeak, coach of Ethos Debate, another producer of great training for speakers and debaters. And my one-and-only international coach, Vance Trefethen, who will be skyping in from France to coach kids and teach some sessions on preparing for nationals.
Can I be honest? I love these coaches, and I love the NITC program. It started in 2009 when my coaches at the time saw the great need to bring serious competitors together for a couple days of prep right before their “big week” of competition.
The advantages that have bloomed since then have been incredible:
- Debaters prepare “final installments” of Blue and Red Books, giving them fresh briefs literally hot off the press.
- Debaters orient themselves to the area a few days before all other competitors, getting them focused for competition.
- Debaters scrimmage at least two rounds, loosening them up for competition, usually quite a long time since their last qualifying tournament.
- Debaters collaborate from all over the country with “intel” from their states and regions, giving them a strong cultural mix perfect for nationals compeition.
- Debaters are coached by some of the coaches who are able to stick around for the rest of the week.
Our record speaks for itself: we have taken home titles three of the five years in existence. Without fail, the debaters insist that they do much, much better at Nationals with NITC at their backs than if they didn’t. NITC is perhaps our best camp program.
It’s too late to register for Stoa NITC, but if you’re involved in NCFCA, be sure to sign up for their NITC. Slots are filling up quickly! Register here.