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Department of Communication Studies

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Program Information

Who:For high school competitors in debate who want to hone their skills and get a taste of what college-level competition looks like.
When:Sunday, July 25 – Saturday, July 31
Where:The camp will be hosted virtually to allow more accessibility for those attending.
Costs:Early registration through May 15, 2021 - $200.  Regular registration beginning May 15, 2021, $250.


Who is this debate camp for?

This debate camp is primarily geared towards beginning and intermediate debate students interested in getting better at debate fundamentals. This camp is designed to be useful for both students who compete in local high school circuits in places like Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, as well as students with national circuit debate aspirations. This camp is built on a belief that training in core argumentation and debate fundamentals, skills such as flowing, refutation, warrant analysis, evidence comparison, impact calculus, and judge adaptation, are useful for students regardless of whether they will be debating in front of lay judges or in front of college debaters and national circuit coaches. While beginning and intermediate debaters are the target audience of the camp, advanced students who are interested in an end-of-summer polishing experience would also be well served by this camp. This is a skills-intensive camp rather than a research-intensive camp. Students will receive a starter core of evidence cut by K-State Coaches and Debaters. Students will spend time refining their cases, engaging in practice speeches and speaking drills, learning more from topic experts, and getting hands-on, one-on-one feedback from K-State College Professors and Debate Coaches.

What does the lab structure look like?

The online environment provides us with a unique opportunity to tailor students’ educational experiences to match their needs. We will be following a basic structure of morning lectures and afternoon lab times.   In the mornings, students will have the option of a novice/beginners lecture or an intermediate/advanced lecture. These lectures will all be live, synchronous lectures. However, we will also post recorded lectures to our classroom management system, so that students have the opportunity to watch both lectures for the day if they choose. In the afternoon, the camp will come together as a unified lab for hands-on skill work. This unified lab will be led by K-State’s Director of Debate, Alex McVey, and K-State’s Assistant Director of Debate, William James Taylor. This structure will allow students to receive tailored instruction, while also breaking down educational silos between beginner and intermediate students that often exist in traditional camp lab structures.

While this is our initial plan for the lab structure, we will adjust our plans according to enrollment numbers. While we are currently planning to have the K-State DOD and ADOD as our lab leaders, we will announce additional hires if numbers dictate.

Why should students chose the K-State Debate Camp?

The K-State Debate camp will focus on providing students with high quality debate instruction from experienced debate educators. Our lab leaders are not only debate coaches; they are trained classroom teachers with years of experience in the classroom setting. Both of our lab leaders have advanced degrees in communication studies and are active teaching faculty at Kansas State. Our lab leaders have over 35 years of combined experience teaching debate to students of all ages and experience levels. We will focus on bringing our unique pedagogical experience into the debate classroom. We will provide engaged, experiential learning environments where students learn by doing.

Additionally, our instructors understand the unique situation that students face in local, Midwestern debate circuits. We both began our careers as high school debaters in Kansas and Missouri, debating in front of both lay judges, high school coaches, and college debaters. We understand both debaters’ desires to learn about advanced debate techniques like line-by-line and Kritik debate, as well as debaters’ need to adapt those skills to different audiences throughout the season. This is the perfect camp for students who envision themselves as qualifying for tournaments with mixed debate audiences, such as the NSDA national tournament or the CFL national tournament. We understand the unique needs that Midwestern local debate students have, and are ready to provide them with a camp experience that matches those needs.

Finally, the online environment has allowed us to offer this camp at affordable rates. Our low cost of attendance makes this camp an accessible experience for debate students who may not otherwise be able to afford a multi-week debate camp experience. Additionally, this would be a great camp for students who are looking for a top-off experience after attending other camps.

What technology do I need?

Students will need a laptop computer with Microsoft Word, a reliable internet connection, and a basic (Free) account on Zoom.

K-State Debate Camp Coaches' Clinic

K-State Debate is happy to announce the K-State Debate Camp Coaches’ Clinic. This clinic will be held virtually on Sunday August 1 from 1pm-5pm, CST via Zoom. The cost is $25.00 per coach.  For more information please click here

Guest Lectures

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Dr. Beth Mendenhall



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Dr. Matthew Sanderson

Camp Staff

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Dr. Alex McVey


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William Taylor


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Members of K-State Debate (2012 National Champion), including Director Alex McVey and Assistant Director William (JT) Taylor, will work closely with campers to build cases, explore evidence, and develop their argumentation and analysis skills. Campers will get to practice their skills and get feedback from coaches and college debaters that will help them get ready for the upcoming season and get a feel for collegiate debate.

You can learn more about the team at www.k-state.edu/debate and by visiting its Facebook page at K-State Debate. 


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Coaches' Clinic Info

For More Information

Dr. Alex McVey, Ph.D.
c/o Communication Studies Dept
234 Nichols Hall
702 Mid Campus Drive South
Manhattan, KS 66506
Email:  jalexandermcvey@ksu.edu
Dept Phone:  785-532-6875