Our primary Middle School Program focuses on new debaters' needs, with an emphasis on building confidence and skill with persuasive argumentation. We know that many middle school debaters haven't been to camp before, so it's our goal by the end of camp to make every student comfortable, invigorated, and excited to continue (or begin!) their debate career.

Quick Facts

Staff/Student Ratio of 1:6 or better

7 full days of debate learning

14+ practice rounds

Need-to-know

2019 Dates: June 15th - June 21st

2019 Residential Tuition: $1575

2019 Commuter Tuition: $1025

 
 
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A curriculum built for first-timers

Our Middle School Program is designed for debaters who are brand-new to debate, as well as debaters with some brief experience looking to learn specific parliamentary details. 

With a small group setting and lectures that don't take previous knowledge for granted, we'll make sure your debaters get the information they need to succeed: how to structure arguments, how to persuade anyone of anything, and how to speak eloquently about something you care about. 

Even beyond competitive debate, the topic lectures our middle schoolers get on global politics, domestic issues, and important theories will prepare them for school, life, and political engagement. 

 
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Instructors who care

At POI, our instructors help you grow as debaters and as people.

With expertise ranging from high school parliamentary debate to Lincoln-Douglas, public forum, policy, individual events, NPDA, APDA, NFA-LD, and British Parliamentary debate, our program staff know pretty much everything there is to know about the art of parliamentary persuasion, and are ready to help you reach the top of your game. 

On our end-of-camp survey, we ask students what their instructors could do to improve their teaching. The most common response? "Nothing." 

 
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Learn and Laugh

Our camp days aren't just about rigorous education— they're also about building a sense of community, and developing a social learning environment. 

That's why, at POI, we arrange social events regularly: movie night, karaoke night, instructor-led games, birthday parties, outings into Berkeley, and afternoon cafe breaks, to name a few. 

But the best social events are the ones unplanned, which appear every summer, like spontaneous talent shows, dance parties, card games in the suites: those are what make POI a family. 


 
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Sample schedule

8:30 - 9AM — Breakfast in the Dining Hall

9AM - 9:40AM — Morning Lab

9:40 - 10:40AM — Morning Lectures

10:40 - 11:55AM — Morning Practice Round

12 - 1PM — Lunch in the Dining Hall

1 - 2PM — Topic Lecture 1

2 - 3:20PM — Afternoon Practice Round

3:20 - 3:40PM — Afternoon Break

3:40 - 5:40PM — Afternoon Lectures

 5:40 - 6:20PM — Topic Lecture 2

6:20 - 7:20PM — Dinner in the Dining Hall

7:20 - 8PM — Evening Lecture

8 - 8:40PM — Evening Lab

 
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What do students say?


4 words: It Was A Blast. I had so much fun in debate and I think it was the first place where I actually had fun and was excited about learning. I honestly learned more here than in all of my tournaments combined and yet I had more fun here than from anything else. . . This camp claims to be the #1 nationally and I completely believe this to be true.
— Amaryllis, Design Tech High School
POI gives you access to so many different resources that can all become instrumental in your future. . . It teaches you to take advantage of your environment, make the most of your resources, and to take the opportunity to make drastic improvements.
— Alina, Crystal Springs Uplands School
POI let me learn how to debate in a space that I felt was suited toward me and I am very glad I’ve had this experience. Because of POI, I’ve fallen in love with the art of parliamentary debating.
— Meher, Bayside STEM Academy
This camp was great because of all the new things I learned about debate: it made me discover this subject and love it at the same time. I discovered a great and welcoming community that made me want to continue being part of it.
— Colin, Lycée Condorcet
Although the focus of the camp was bettering the skills we use in round, I would attest that the out of round knowledge we gained was equally, if not more, valuable. Building small groups and communities, as well as discussing larger issues in the inclusivity forum gave me perspective on what really matters in debate, not winning rounds, but the experience.
— Nicholas, CP Peninsula