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Hey all,

 

Here's the situation: For next year, my school has four varsity debaters (2 post novs+2 varsity). We're pretty underfunded, though both of our post novs are respectively attending a 2-week and 4-week camp at SDI and umich. I'll be attending 3-week UTNIF. Basically ALL of our state opponents are going to 6/7 week camps, and needless to say I'm SCARED. Even with the 3 week camp, I want to do all that I can to prepare our team and marginally get ahead. For any of you who have attended 7 week camps/will be attending one this summer, what aspects of the camp do you feel like are the most valuable and get you the most ahead in the season? What do you recommend I do to try to match the preparation that camps encourage?

 

Thanks

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Speaking from having gone to 3 weeks of JDI and 6 weeks of UTNIF, longer camps don't have a lot of different content, just more research, more practice, and more chances to be exposed to different ideas. Thus, research, hold practice debates, and watch lecture videos online. Have discussions about debate ideas with your team.

 

Speaking as someone who has been part of the only partnership at my school, preparing against bigger programs can be really easy and fun. Make friendships with people that can get you evidence and help you prepare. I had a school spend days in class prepping me out just for me to break a new 1AC when I hit them. What takes few resources for me can drain a lot of resources for them. Weird angles, creative arguments, and unpredictability are all assets. Just stay one step ahead of them and you'll be fine.

 

Hit me up if you need last-minute help with anything and best of luck.

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Hi Sarah,

 

Who's going to the Umich camp? 

 

Also you should join the policy debate discord.

Edited by ZidaoWang

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Hi Sarah,

 

Who's going to the Umich camp? 

 

Also you should join the policy debate discord.

 

Our novice, you can figure it out yourself if you're going to Umich. Also I didn't know there was one.

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Our novice, you can figure it out yourself if you're going to Umich. Also I didn't know there was one.

I think the invite is debate.carro.cat 

We do practice debates and stuff all the time

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To be completely honest, camps are only a marginal difference maker in the broad scheme of competitive success. Even if you go to a shorter camp, but you practice diligently on your tech like doing speech redoes among others and you immerse yourself in the topic literature, you'll be much better off. Camp is mostly a place that incentivizes debaters into doing practice whereas they would spend most of their time at home during the summer playing video games. Camp doesn't determine success on its own, its what you put in. If you do the research and drills outside of camp, you'll do just as well if not better as the teams who go to longer camps.

 

My partner and I didn't go to camp outside of our Novice year (and that was at a Two-Week one at UNT) and we compete in the Dallas circuit against well-funded and well-coached teams like Greenhill and Jesuit almost every tournament. In comparison to them, we didn't really have a coach and had only my partner and I as the only varsity members. We ended up breaking at the TFA state tournament while beating numerous well-coached private teams along the way. We did this by knowing our cards better than anyone else and making sure we knew the arguments and strategy that we would use before every tournament. Instead of going to camp, we spent the entire summer working on our speech technique and reading up on the nuances of k lit and education policy. Jonathan Lee from Camas didn't go to camp outside of his novice year and he made it to Semis of Berkeley (beating North Broward MR along the way) and qualified to the ToC among many other accomplishments (he's also on this website so I'd send him a message with any questions). He did this by putting in the work comparable if not more than other teams.

 

Tl;dr: Camp isn't as important as the effort you put outside of it.

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