Our flagship camp, the Berkeley High School Program, includes a vibrant and dedicated community, instructors selected from the ranks of the best debaters in parliamentary debate history, and a curriculum crafted to help every debater grow. Whether you come to us with zero experience or five years as a competitive debater, we have the resources to help you improve. 

Quick Facts

Staff/Student Ratio of 1:6 or better

11 days of debate learning

20+ practice rounds

Need-to-know

2019 Dates: July 28th - August 7th

2019 Residential Tuition: $2545

2019 Commuter Tuition: $1905

 
 
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Carefully developed Lab Groups

We divide students into groups on the basis of experience and goals, but our lab groups become so much more than just a learning location.

Each group, consisting of 8-12 students and 2 instructors, becomes a haven for debaters to develop particular skills and types of knowledge. Since students spend most of their day in their lab group, they become a close-knit team— made even closer by the careful work of instructors to build community and focus. 

Lab groups learn argumentative skills together, and do drills to implement them, debate with and against each other, and try their skills against their instructors in gauntlet rounds. Lab groups make your debate friendships strong. 

 
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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