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What are YOU looking for in an online debate camp?

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Hey All,


Steven Murray here, Director of Debate at the Digital Debate Camp.  We are about to enter our SEVENTH(!) year of camp, and while we believe our program is top notch, we are curious what you as a community are looking for in a camp.  We currently offer limitless one-on-one interaction with lab leaders to discuss any subject on your mind.  In addition we provide file production advice, we block out times for practice speeches/ redoes, and of course we host a large series of lectures each summer.  I for one think our camp is quite good, and I wish it was around when I was in high school and couldn't afford a big 1.5K+ summer institute.  


That being said, what would a camp like ours need to have for you to sign up?  What are you looking for in a camp like ours?  If you have thought about joining the Digital Debate Camp but chose not to, why?  And if you joined the camp but didn't like it very much, what did you dislike?  Finally, if you joined the camp and liked it, what about it did you like and how could we improve upon that in the future?


Our camp would not exist without this site and all of the wonderful feedback we have received from it.  I greatly look forward to hearing your constructive advice regarding the Digital Debate Camp.


Mods: this is an expressly commercial thread, but should not be pruned for 2 reasons.  First, I have a standing agreement with cross-x.com which allows me to "advertise" on the site, which includes any means of mentioning or talking about the camp.  Second, for every student who pays for camp we have one who doesn't, and getting feedback in threads like this is essential to make sure students who cannot otherwise afford camp are still given the best experience possible.  Please PM me before deleting this thread in the event of a problem. 

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I think I'll give it a go


I went to DDC this year, and was new to policy. I did PF freshman year, and decided to switch events. Overall Digital Debate Camp was really good (especially for its money). Even though it wasn't a camp that focused on newcomers, I was able to pick up a lot about policy and I believe it made the transition smoother than I expected it to be. It also payed off - in regards to the local circuit I've been able to final at all the tournaments gone to, and this camp played a substantial role in that. So here's what I thought:



1) The Seminars. It's a really unique way to learn, and they were fantastic. I came in not really knowing much about K debate, but Steven explained it very well. While I wasn't able to be there for the seminars on Deleuze, the wilderson lectures were great. We were given reading assignments, and from there would discuss what was assigned. I started off very confused, but the assignment structure along with the seminars made reading philosophy an easier process. Also, in the seminars, the small interaction meant that getting questions answered wasn't a problem.

2) One-on-one meetings: I only signed up for one of these, but like the seminars, Steven was very responsive to my questions. Also, it was always possible to just send an email with questions, which I did quite a lot.

3) Google groups - using Google groups allowed possibility for a lot of discussion. There were threads to give feedback on assignments, questions, and more.

4) Fantasitc guest speakers - lectures from Kanan Boor, Alex Pappas, and Jesse Robbins to name some. They were really insightful, and each talked on different topics.




Really, most of the problems in DDC boiled down to organization. It is a layed back camp, but it can be a bit too layed back. There weren't many practice debates, and no camp tournament or round robins hosted. This made the ability to do speech redoes practically non existent. While there were great lectures (and fantastic guest speakers) there weren't that many of them (primarily just seminars). There weren't any "labs" or "lab leaders", but that may just be how the camp is suppose to be structured. I think it would have been better to have stricter enforcement on assignments, so that way we could have had more camp evidence to debate with alongside more student involvement. Maybe a sheet that people can say what parts of summer that they can put time into DDC, and do it as such. If not that, maybe have the camp operate in intervals, in which people sign up for their specific time slots. I was let down by the lack of people that signed up for practice debates - I did mine with one person. While a lot of this had to do with people having conflicting schedules and all, I think more structure is needed for the camp to reach its full potential. Considering there weren't many staff members particularly this year, it is understandable, but having more organization would easily make the camp better.


Overall, I was pretty pleased with this camp. Despite organizational problems holding it back, there was a lot I gained from signing up for it.

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