Summer Debate Camp 2021

June 21st - June 26th

Teenager on Laptop
Virtual Conference
Outdoors Meeting


About Camp

The BDC Summer Debate Camp will take place virtually from Monday, June 21st through Saturday, June 26th. Students will practice their debate skills during the week and showcase them during a camp tournament on Saturday. The format of debate we will be teaching at camp is called Public Forum Debate. You can learn more about Public Forum here


During the week, students will learn the fundamentals of argumentation, persuasive writing, research, and public speaking. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about current events from the experts that study them. Through a variety of fun activities, lively discussions, and practice debates, students will become more critical thinkers and confident public speakers. In addition, experienced debaters will have the chance to hone their abilities and learn advanced debate strategies. The skills learned through debate encourage achievement in school, success in the workplace, and meaningful engagement with our communities and the world around us.



The Summer Debate Camp is open to all middle school and high school students in Kentucky. Our camp is designed for both students who are new to debate and more experienced debate students. No prior debate experience is required and students do not need to be a member of a school's debate team to attend. We will offer a novice and an intermediate track. Not sure if debate is for you? Camp is a great way to try out debate in a supportive, fun, and non-competitive environment. Whether you want to be the next debate state champion or are just looking for a fun, educational way to spend a week, our camp is right for you. 


Camp will be led by esteemed high school coaches Neomia Hagans-Flores and Ryan Ray. Neomia is the head coach at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and Ryan is the head coach at Henry Clay High School, both in Lexington. At the 2021 Kentucky State Tournament, Ryan's and Neomia's teams finished in first and second place and their students won numerous individual awards. 

Neomia and Ryan will be supported by BDC Director Lily Nellans, guest experts from the University of Kentucky and the wider debate community, and the highly-skilled college students of UK's national-championship debate team. 

Daily Schedule 

Monday - Friday will follow the daily schedule below. Saturday, students will compete in a mock tournament with other campers. All times are in EST. 

10:00 - 11:30 AM: Topic Lesson - students will learn about current events like the economy, healthcare, or foreign policy from an expert in the field

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM: Lunch Break (Students are responsible for providing their own lunch)

12:30 - 2:00 PM: Skills Lesson - students will learn and practice important debate skills like constructing an argument, finding evidence to support arguments, and public speaking

2:00 - 2:30 PM: Afternoon Break

2:30 - 4:30 PM: Practice Session - through various activities and practice debates, students will continue practicing their new skills

Registration & Logistics

  • To attend camp, students must complete a registration form, available here. 

  • Registration is due by Friday, May 14th to guarantee a spot. We will accept late registrations as space allows. THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED. PLEASE REGISTER BY FRIDAY, MAY 28TH! 

  • There is no cost to attend the BDC Summer Debate Camp. We suggest a recommended donation of $75 to cover the cost of camp if your family is able. Additional donations to help cover costs for students who are unable to pay are always appreciated. 

  • Please contact us at or 515-499-5392 with any questions.