Public Forum Debate Summer Camps: South

This is the third installment of the Beyond Resolved Public Forum Summer Camp Guide. This post I will cover camps in the South. The first post on 3/28/2014 explains my rubric for selecting a summer camp; this post will cover the specific camps. Be on the lookout for a guide to the East next week.

One important note is that I have not heard any reviews of these camps first hand. This is solely based on the materials available on the websites. I highly encourage you to contact the camp you are interested and ask any specific questions.

Georgia Debate Institutes, at The University of Georgia

While attending the institute, students will receive intensive topic instruction, lectures and exercises devoted to skill development, research training, and close attention from some of the nation’s best teaching faculty.”

Dates: June 28-July 5, 2014

Deadline to Apply: June 12, 2014

Price: $800, Apply and make your deposit by May 1st and save $100. 

Practice Rounds: Skills work from day one. Every participant at the GDI will give practice speeches each day, and participate in a minimum of 10 practice debates each. We believe that there is no substitute for actual speaking practice and the opportunity it provides for personalized feedback from leading instructors.”

Topics Covered: “Top notch faculty, eager to help you achieve your goals. The GDI is staffed by successful coaches and debaters with a track record of enthusiasm for teaching debate. Students also work with various faculty and graduate students from the #1 ranked UGA rhetoric program.  We guarantee a low student-to-staff ratio in order to maximize individual attention and quality of instruction.”

Thoughts: GDI features two strong PF faculty members and a great program structure. This looks like a great Southern region option for new and somewhat experienced debaters alike. Topics covered are not listed on the website, so if you are a more advanced debater I would contact GDI and ask what the camp would offer you at your experience level.



FFI Florida Forensics Institute, Ft. Lauderdale

We believe that Public Forum debate camps should teach analysis of the resolution, backed by evidence.  Debaters need to learn to reason about the resolutions, and write logical, well thought-out cases, with excellent, persuasive rhetoric.  In-round strategies such as issue selection, brief/block writing, evidence analysis and skills specific to each speech in the round are all addressed.   Research skills, strategic skills, cross-examination and delivery are all emphasized and practice rounds are thoroughly critiqued.  We recognize that Public Forum is an event in flux: accommodating to regional differences and judge adaptation are vital for every competitor to be able to succeed and at FFI we ensure that students learn to do this.  Regardless of age and ability, each debater will receive individual attention and emerge a strong competitor!”

Dates: July 18– August 1, 2014 (two weeks)

Deadline to Apply: n/a, no refund after May 30, 2014

Price: With accommodations: $2,250; Commuter price: $1,395

Practice Rounds/Topics Covered:

“Consider some of the top reasons to attend FFI:

  • Small labs with top instructors from across the country;
  • Specialized curriculum for all levels of expertise;
  • Individual attention;
  • Supervised hotel accommodations;
  • Excellent research and instructional facilities;
  • Affordable tuition for a CHAMPIONSHIP EXPERIENCE; and
  • Optional session extension gives students a chance to delve further or switch gears.

Thoughts: Overall camp philosophy and focus on individual attention seems promising. Probably a more intensive experience than GDI by virtue of being two weeks long. 

Contact: email web formRegistration/Administrative Inquiries to Howard S. Miller at


Hurricane Debate Institute, University of Miami

“The Public Forum program will prepare students to participate and be successful in competitive debate through a combination of instruction and practice debates. Students will learn how to construct briefs, deliver the most persuasive speeches, and research effectively. Students will debate a variety of topics throughout the institute. More important than instruction, students will have the ability to debate and receive feedback from a number of experienced debate coaches. This will help students as they can work on the skills necessary to become successful debaters. This program is appropriate for students of all ages, but especially rising 9th-12th graders.”


Week 1- June 16- June 20
Week 2- June 23- June 27
Week 3- June 30- July 3

Deadline to Apply: tuition increases after May 16, 2014


Early Bird Tuition – Before May 16
One Week- $350
Two Weeks- $650
Three Weeks- $950

Tuition – After May 16 
One Week- $400
Two Weeks- $750
Three Weeks- $1050


Practice Rounds: the camp philosophy prioritizes live debate experience, but not exact number is listed

Topics Covered: We believe that no other educational activity is as rewarding as participation in debate. Debate and competitive speaking are fun and exciting. Debaters learn best by debating. Speakers learn best by speaking. We work to create a comfortable environment where students can learn by doing, with the guidance of caring and experienced instructors. Our focus at the Hurricane Debate Institute is to engage personal development of logic, research abilities and independence that will create an effective debater and public speaker that can effectively communicate in any given situation.”

Thoughts: This camp does not provide housing, so it is limited to commuters in the area. This is a long-running camp with solid Policy faculty but I am not sure about the Public Forum staff. The camp philosophy is sound, but I would look into what specific skills and topics will be targeted for the Public Forum program. I would also ask what each week will offer so you can make an educated choice about how many weeks to attend. There may be a variation in what skill level is targeted each week.

Contact: Call 305-281-2705 or email HURRICANEDEBATE@GMAIL.COM


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