The Middle School Experience 

Middle School Labs offered in Public Forum Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Argumentation/Public Speaking (OO, INFO, DEC, Congress, Extemp), and Interpretation (DUO, DI, HI, POI, OI).

Labs at each event site will be limited to the top 12 students in each event (in Public Forum - the top 6 teams if you apply with a partner). Students will gain the experience of event specific curriculum along with learning from top instructors in a small, student centered groups.


Our Middle School Leaders

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Elizabeth Wood-Weas
Debate and Argumentation Events

Elizabeth Wood-Weas is the Director of Speech & Debate at Mountain Brook High School in Mountain Brook, Alabama.  Her program is one of the most successful programs in the Alabama.  Her program consists of 6th graders through 12th grade debaters.  She actively coaches every event and has qualified numerous students to NSDA Nationals.  She was named the 2015 Alabama Debate Coach of the Year.   In addition to coaching, she serves as the District Chair for the NSDA Deep South District and has been in the tab room at NSDA Middle School National Tournament. 

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C. Ryan Joyce
Interpretation and Public Speaking

C. Ryan Joyce is the Director of Forensics at Phoenix Country Day School in Phoenix, Arizona.  C. Ryan was named the 2017 NSDA Middle School National Coach of the Year.   A three time high school national finalist himself (OO and DUO), he's no stranger to the National Stage.  His program is the most successful middle school program in the country with more than 50 national finalists and more than 10 NSDA National Champions.   He brings over twenty years of experience of teaching middle school students to our Middle School Experience.

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Kate Hamm
Argumentation And Public Speaking

Kate Hamm, currently Director of Speech and Debate at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, FL has been educating students in speech and debate for over thirty years! During those years her students have won, or had top finishes, at state and national tournaments in Lincoln Douglas, Policy, Public Forum and Congressional Debate, as well as Extemporaneous Speaking and all Interpretation events.

Her coaching has taken her around the nation and around the world where she helped develop debate curriculum for schools in Amsterdam, South Korea, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Additionally, she has taught speech/debate institutes and workshops in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Florida, Italy, Bahrain, and China.


Space is Limited!
Apply Now!

Application Requirements:

  • Student must have a minimum of 6 months (semester or yearlong debate or speech class) or at least 8 rounds of competitive experience in the event you are applying in
  • Labs are open to students going into 7th or 8th  grade
  • Applicants will need to submit an additional teacher/guidance counselor recommendation OR a coach’s recommendation and verification of competitive record/experience
  • Applicants need to include a personal essay max 500 words about why you think speech and debate are important


Sample MS Daily Schedule

7:30am-9:00am - Breakfast in Dining Commons
9:00am-11:30am - Event Meetings/Lectures
11:30am-12:30pm - Lunch in Dining Commons
12:30pm-4:00pm - Lab Meetings/Work & Coaching Sessions
4:00pm-6:00pm - Coaching Sessions/Debate Rounds
6:00pm-7:00pm - Dinner in Dining Commons
7:00pm-10:00pm - Middle School Focused Activities

Each Session will feature a free day.  In Boston, students will have guided tours at various locations.  In Iowa, students will have a guided day at an Amusement Park in Iowa. 

Residential Life/Housing

Middle School Participants will be housed on a separate floor of an air-conditioned secured residential life building and separated into a male and female wing with dedicated supervision by our adult residential life staff and our Middle School faculty. 

In Boston students will be housed in double occupancy bedrooms in a three-bedroom suite with a shared suite bathroom.  There is a private toilet and private shower room with a common large sink/vanity in the bathroom area of each suite.  There is also a common living room area in each suite.  Middle School students will be permitted to have supervised visiting hours in a common lounge area on their floor, but will not be able to have guests in their room/suite area.

In Iowa student will be housed in double occupancy dorm rooms and will share a common bathroom with private showers and toilets and large vanity sink areas.  Common/shared bathrooms will be located next to their dorm rooms in their wing of the dorm. 

In both locations students will receive three meals each day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in the dining commons located next to the residential life building where they reside. 

In both locations students will attend classes/rounds/coaching sessions and events in classrooms located either in their residential buildings or in a classroom building on the same block as their residential life building. 

Middle School students will need to turn in prescription medications at registration, so that they can be administered during med calls (which occur several times each day, but usually at in the morning, noon, dinner and bedtime) and we will have over the counter medications available through our residential life and administrative offices located in the residential hall. 

There will be 24-hour supervision and security in both locations with a dedicated residential life staff for the duration of camp.