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Best Kritikal Focus Camp?

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I'm going into my JV year this year and feel like I've grown tremendously as a debater from a crappy novice, and won every neg round I debated in this year on Cap before losing in the state finals on a 3-2 judges decision (going aff).

Nonetheless, I've found a love for kritikal debate and I'm going to be digging into neo-liberal, socialist, and anti-/imperialist theory over the summer where these are going to be some core arguments next year.

I'm looking for a good kritikal focused debate camp in the south (Arkansas area), with a moderate pricing range.

So far I've looked into JDI, and UTNIF Skills.

Anything else?

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I'm going into my JV year this year and feel like I've grown tremendously as a debater from a crappy novice, and won every neg round I debated in this year on Cap before losing in the state finals on a 3-2 judges decision (going aff).

Nonetheless, I've found a love for kritikal debate and I'm going to be digging into neo-liberal, socialist, and anti-/imperialist theory over the summer where these are going to be some core arguments next year.

I'm looking for a good kritikal focused debate camp in the south (Arkansas area), with a moderate pricing range.

So far I've looked into JDI, and UTNIF Skills.

Anything else?

 

This may sound odd at first, but the Georgetown Debate Seminar is a very good critical camp. This summer there will be a lab run by jon sharp and Edmund Zagorin, who are two of the greatest minds in critical debate. I have to agree with Miro, that Xylum Debate Institute is the most K focused camp in the nation, as it will also have j sharp and Edmund working as instructions, along with so many other amazing instructors. If you cannot afford either of those, you should check out the Digital Debate Camp, which also offers very high level critical, as well as policy instruction for a very low price. 

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This may sound odd at first, but the Georgetown Debate Seminar is a very good critical camp. This summer there will be a lab run by jon sharp and Edmund Zagorin, who are two of the greatest minds in critical debate. I have to agree with Miro, that Xylum Debate Institute is the most K focused camp in the nation, as it will also have j sharp and Edmund working as instructions, along with so many other amazing instructors. If you cannot afford either of those, you should check out the Digital Debate Camp, which also offers very high level critical, as well as policy instruction for a very low price. 

I think that they're calling the lab the "Xylum lab" or something lol.. I saw info about it in the Xylum facebook. I'm probably going to be doing the Zagorin + Sharp lab at GDS (I requested it at least) and I'm going to Xylum. 

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This may sound odd at first, but the Georgetown Debate Seminar is a very good critical camp. This summer there will be a lab run by jon sharp and Edmund Zagorin, who are two of the greatest minds in critical debate. I have to agree with Miro, that Xylum Debate Institute is the most K focused camp in the nation, as it will also have j sharp and Edmund working as instructions, along with so many other amazing instructors. If you cannot afford either of those, you should check out the Digital Debate Camp, which also offers very high level critical, as well as policy instruction for a very low price. 

Yeah it looked awesome, and then it's about 2 grand out of my range.

 

 

Xylum

This camp on the other hand looks appealing. 

 

What do you guys think about going to a kritikal focused camp before my JV year (varsity in state)? Should I go to a more skills oriented camp in KU and then go to something like Xylum after my junior year? 

I was looking at possibly doing both, but Xylum starts the day JDI 2 week ends.

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Nebraska Debate Institute. I went there for two years, entering as a novice with no experience with kritikal literature or debate and now, well, that's not the case. I defend with every inch in my bone that this is the best debate camp for kritikal debaters. For the last two years, Ryan Wash, Christopher Spurlock, and Dana Christensen, among many others such as Jeff Roberts and Brian Gonzaba, have been instructors. It's also the cheapest camp - I want to say around 500, but I can for sure find out for sure.

tl;dr - Nebraska Debate Institute is cheap, taught me how to be good at debate, and has some of the smartest dudes on Earth, I'm convinced.

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Nebraska Debate Institute. I went there for two years, entering as a novice with no experience with kritikal literature or debate and now, well, that's not the case. I defend with every inch in my bone that this is the best debate camp for kritikal debaters. For the last two years, Ryan Wash, Christopher Spurlock, and Dana Christensen, among many others such as Jeff Roberts and Brian Gonzaba, have been instructors. It's also the cheapest camp - I want to say around 500, but I can for sure find out for sure.

 

tl;dr - Nebraska Debate Institute is cheap, taught me how to be good at debate, and has some of the smartest dudes on Earth, I'm convinced.

Oh that's really interesting, I hadn't heard about this...

I'll definitely keep it in mind when thinking about debate camps for next year.

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Yeah it looked awesome, and then it's about 2 grand out of my range.

 

 

This camp on the other hand looks appealing. 

 

What do you guys think about going to a kritikal focused camp before my JV year (varsity in state)? Should I go to a more skills oriented camp in KU and then go to something like Xylum after my junior year? 

I was looking at possibly doing both, but Xylum starts the day JDI 2 week ends.

As stated on the form: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dEszbEQzSV85bmdCMDdZczZMWWNnRXc6MQ You can change your start/end date, so you could give yourself a 1 day delay to get to Towson

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I can speak on behalf of JDI- I have been for the past 2 years, and it is a fantastic camp, especially for the price. That being said, it is not going to be entirely K focused. There is no "K lab" and you cannot request a certain lab, everyone is mixed together. You will be able to learn things about the kritik, especially given some of the faculty (I've personally had Chris Leonardi, James JT Taylor, and Alex McVey; other notable faculty include Nick and Weston Watts, Devon Cooper, Dayvon Love, Sean Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy, and Ryan Wash). Its just that your experience will be more on 1. Skills, and 2. becoming well rounded debaters able to explore multiple strategic options. If you are only interested in critical debate, I don't know if JDI is for you, but if you want to debate all styles (and just have a special interest in K's), I would strongly suggest JDI- lab leaders are wiling to devote a lot of individual attention if you show both interest and effort. 

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Thw nebraska debate institute casas was referring to had ryan wash for the last four years... incase any of yall haven't been paying attention or forgot he won both CEDA and the NDT... 

 

historically NDI has had some of the best critical debate minds in it, jeff roberts coach for UTSA, Chris Spurlock a great NDT/CEDA debater, Scott Koslow another really good critical mind and scholar, Dana Christensen coach for Westside and formerly the TOC attending Millard South, Matt Casas former emporia debater and partner of the CEDA and NDT winning Ryan Wash, NDT/CEDA debater Ignacio Evans and Hallie Tripe former debater for baylor and current coach at churchill. 

 

this summer anyone could be potentially added to this list. 

 

NDI has been one of the most successful smaller sleeper camps with ten days of intensive practice rounds and conditioning for the upcoming seasons. NDI has gotten a lot of small schools into the TOC. 

 

the NDI has also produced some of the smartest and most talented critical thinkers in debate. 

 

you can get through it for cheaper than 700 dollars.

 

 

also - the digital debate camp has a pretty good focus on critical debating as well.

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The NDI also isn't the kind of camp that pretend like in order to be good at k debate you have to be good at strait up debate too.. we would never force you to run an argument you don't agree with or pretend like you have to have a policy option disad in your negative strategies to debate. 

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the NDI has a really good student/staff ratio too... something like four to one 

Edited by Brian D. Gonzaba

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Yes he is... He did it last year too right before he came to give instruction at the NDI

Edited by Brian D. Gonzaba

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The other camps mentioned are really good.

 

It's also worth mentioning the Dartmouth Debate Institute. 

 

If you want a primarily critical focus, I think you'll get it.  Two lab groups might be particularly amenable to your interests:

 

Kennedy and Quigley are teaching together.  Their lab is very highly requested in the 100+ applications we've received thus far.  They were a critical team, to whatever extent that's a meanignful category marker.

 

Not to be super-self-congratulatory, but Michael Antonucci did coach the first team to win the final round on the National Debate Tournament on a critique argument.

 

Also, the elective system means that you can take a ton of extra K classes.  For example, Edmund Zagorin will be guest teaching and lecturing, so that's tight.

 

Good options abound, so I just wanted to throw the DDI in the mix.

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  For example, Edmund Zagorin will be guest teaching and lecturing, so that's tight.

Xylum has Zagorin as well.

 

 

GDI

Explain

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I attended Xylum last year during its initiation year and as amazing as a camp it is I don't think it is necessarily the best choice for you. I'm beginning to see a lot of novices talking about signing up for Xylum who I think are getting a little in over there heads. It is by far the greatest K camp I have ever attended but it is certainly not for everyone. I can't say for certainty how it will operate this year because it is gonna be a little bit more structured but you will get waaaaay more out of Xylum if you a) have a precursory understanding of the theory B) are comfortable in K debate, not just interested and c) you are looking more for radical, post-modern, or dense Ks versus things like Cap, Security, etc.. It's not a typical debate camp, we only wrote untopical affs, did untraditional drills, and had all sorts of unusual happenings. Xylum will make you grow more as a thinker instead of as a debater per se. While this is immensely useful to some, to a rising JV debater who enjoys cap, I really think you would better from a more reading/research and practice debate oriented camp. Even though the faculty is all there to help, it still had a lot of emphasis on individual work that I think is overwhelming for someone just getting into K debate. Just because this camp is only Ks doesn't mean it is universally the best kritikal focused camp or that it is the best option for you.

 

JDI and UTNIF are great and possibly better options, especially if you don't intend to go all K. UTNIF especially has a great K lab from what I hear and put out some the best K evidence this year. GDI is a good option that Edmund and J sharp will also be teaching at if you want a pseudo-xylum experience. I can't say anything about NDI from any experience but that faculty is damn impressive and definitely seriously worth your consideration

 

Based off what I have seen in terms of the faculties, I would go to UTNIF if you feel like neo-lib or cap is the way to go, NDI. My suggestion is going to a skills oriented camp and then to a creative focused camp is the best option considering you're a rising JV. You should be more comfortable But hey that's just me, that's not objectively the best route and maybe you want to take a different path. Xylum immensely helped me, but don't go to it because it's strictly a K camp.

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I attended Xylum last year during its initiation year and as amazing as a camp it is I don't think it is necessarily the best choice for you. I'm beginning to see a lot of novices talking about signing up for Xylum who I think are getting a little in over there heads. It is by far the greatest K camp I have ever attended but it is certainly not for everyone. I can't say for certainty how it will operate this year because it is gonna be a little bit more structured but you will get waaaaay more out of Xylum if you a) have a precursory understanding of the theory B) are comfortable in K debate, not just interested and c) you are looking more for radical, post-modern, or dense Ks versus things like Cap, Security, etc.. It's not a typical debate camp, we only wrote untopical affs, did untraditional drills, and had all sorts of unusual happenings. Xylum will make you grow more as a thinker instead of as a debater per se. While this is immensely useful to some, to a rising JV debater who enjoys cap, I really think you would better from a more reading/research and practice debate oriented camp. Even though the faculty is all there to help, it still had a lot of emphasis on individual work that I think is overwhelming for someone just getting into K debate. Just because this camp is only Ks doesn't mean it is universally the best kritikal focused camp or that it is the best option for you.

 

JDI and UTNIF are great and possibly better options, especially if you don't intend to go all K. UTNIF especially has a great K lab from what I hear and put out some the best K evidence this year. GDI is a good option that Edmund and J sharp will also be teaching at if you want a pseudo-xylum experience. I can't say anything about NDI from any experience but that faculty is damn impressive and definitely seriously worth your consideration

 

Based off what I have seen in terms of the faculties, I would go to UTNIF if you feel like neo-lib or cap is the way to go, NDI. My suggestion is going to a skills oriented camp and then to a creative focused camp is the best option considering you're a rising JV. You should be more comfortable But hey that's just me, that's not objectively the best route and maybe you want to take a different path. Xylum immensely helped me, but don't go to it because it's strictly a K camp.

 

I was worried about just what you're saying, I don't want to get in over my head.

What about going to GDS for the three weeks before hand? That could fulfill the skills focused camp I'll need as well.

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Xylum has Zagorin as well.

 

That's definitely true.  Xylum is an excellent camp.  Edmund will be teaching more at Xylum than at the DDI, because he is a guest lecturer at the DDI.  I've heard he is teaching at the GDI as well?

 

My point is less than DDI has the "most Edmund."  It's more than there are a lot of different critical minds at every quality camp, including the Debate Institute at Dartmouth.

 

For example, the Kennedy/Quigley teaching duo is a DDI exclusive, and they're pretty great.  Signing up for that lab and wreck of DDI's critical electives would, I think, get you a great critically oriented four weeks of awesome. 

 

All the options outlined here are strong!

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Hey thanks everyone. This thread actually really helped my decision, and after getting a good amount of scholarships, a job, and help from family/ friends I'll be able to go to both GDS and XDI this summer which I'm THRILLED about! So, if any of y'all are going to either I'll see you there I guess!

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