Debate Institute

George Mason Debate Institute 
Summer 2018 Dates:

High School Debate Camp

1 Week Commuter - July 9th - July 14th

2 Week Commuter - July 9th - July 21st

1 Week Resident - July 8th - July 15th

2 Week Resident - July 8th - July 22nd

Elementary and Middle School Day Camp

Commuter Only - June 25th - June 30th

High School Camp

Policy Varsity

Policy Junior Varsity

Policy Introduction

Lincoln Douglas Varsity

Lincoln Douglas Introduction


Public Forum Varsity

Public Forum Junior Varsity

​Public Forum Novice

Elementary/Middle School Camp

This camp is a new addition for this summer!

We will be hosting a week long day camp

focusing on introductory debate and argumentation skills.

We will have three separate classes in which students can enroll:

3rd & 4th Grade

5th & 6th Grade

7th & 8th Grade**

**Students in 7th and 8th grade who participate in the Middle School session

can also register for the introduction sessions of the High School Camp.

Why the George Mason Debate Institute?

The George Mason Debate Institute strives to offer the most individual attention of any debate camp.  Low student-to-faculty ratios and an extremely active faculty allow us to meet the individual needs of every debater.  We are proud of our ability to tailor our instruction to the needs to individual participants once assessments are done; tailored instruction is indeed a unique institute approach.  The camp has a focus on debate as an educational & communicative  activity which offers a one of a kind learning experience.  As part of our unique educational approach participants will get to hear from topic experts on important public policy issues, our guest speaker series is certainly the most unique feature of our camp.

What does the George Mason Debate Institute have for me?

The George Mason Debate Institute offers opportunities for beginning through experienced debaters.  We offer  Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, Congress and Public Forum styles of debate.  There is also a Middle School and Elementary session for younger students who are new to debate and a coaches clinic for coaches hoping to spend the summer fine tuning their skills.  Our tailored instruction allows us to design an experience that targets the needs of all participants.  The George Mason Debate Institute is open to high school as well as middle school students.  

Can coaches attend the institute?

Yes!  We love having coaches join us over the summer.  Our coaches clinic is a specifically designed program based upon each coach and their needs.  Coaches can commuter or reside in the dorms and choose from the one week and two week option.  During the camp, coaches can choose what lectures they'd like to attend, sit in on research, work and skills sessions, judge debates or shadow our judges.  Special coaches only sessions are also held on any topic of interest.  Coaches also have the option to attend the camp as a continuing education class.  Please contact camp director, Jackie Poapst at for more information and pricing.

Guest Lecture Series

In our efforts to make our camp unique in it's educational approach, we attempt to bring in experts on various topics that are important to debate and public policy.  We will have the complete schedule on a new tab when speakers are finalized in May! 

Camp Options:
We offer one week and two week options for residents and commuters.

Our residential option includes tuition, room in double occupancy air-conditioned dormitories, lunch and dinners (breakfast is not included in the meal plan), the opportunity to engage in extra practice, including our special one-on-one evening sessions, and social gatherings.  

The commuter cost for the high school camp includes tuition, lunch each day, and time applicable social activities. 

The Elementary and Middle School Day Camp does not cover lunch.

Participants choose the option that is best for them:

High School Camp Tuition:

One week resident -- $975
One week commuter -- $650

Two week resident -- $1750
Two week commuter -- $1200

Elementary and Middle School:

Day Camp (9am-3pm) - $450

Day Camp Extended (9am-5pm) - $600

**Students should apply and pay a $200 non-refundable deposit by June 21st

(the $200 deposit is taken off the costs of your fees)**

**Students must be paid in full two weeks prior to arrival**

Returned checks - we charge $50 for returned checks (the amount our accounting office charges us for returned checks).

Students residing in the dorms are asked to provide a check for $50.00 upon check-in the first day of camp.  We hold onto these checks for the duration of the camp, upon check-out at the end of the camp, if students return their original key and have not damaged the building in some way they will receive their check back.  Please note, if a student causes serious damage to any Mason facility they may be held responsible for additional costs.

Students signing up to reside in the dorms during the camp can only make changes in their housing options up to 3 weeks before the camp, after that time we cannot accept adjustments to housing plans and participants are obligated to those dorm fees even if they reduce their length of stay.  All students residing in the dorms must pay their fees 3 weeks before camp begins.

The camp staff is not responsible for travel arrangements, individual campers should make their own arrangements.  Those coming from out of the country should have the necessary documentation for travel to the U.S..  

We do provide a one time shuttle service on the Sundays of arrivals and departures  from the Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia and the Vienna Metro Station for students residing in the dorms, from out of state.  Contact Director, Jackie Poapst at if you are in need of shuttle service.  Our shuttles occur in separate shifts throughout the day depending on travel schedules on each of the Sundays, students may have to wait for staff arrival or flight/bus/train departure times so that we can accommodate all traveling debaters.  Anyone requesting a shuttle is asked to pay $10 for rides to/from campus.

Beginning this year, we will not pick students up from Reagan, because of recent University policy against shuttling over the state line. Students arriving from Reagan should take the Orange line metro from Reagan to Vienna, where we can arrange shuttle pick up.

For students commuting to the camp each day, your enrollment packet will outline where you should arrive and depart from each day.

Discount Options:
Early bird (Students registered and paid in full by May 1st): $50.00 discount.
Multiple persons from the same family: The camp offers a $25.00 discount for each student for multiple persons from the same family.

​Returning Campers: $100 off tuition.

​Group Rate (For groups of 4+ from the same school): 10% off

Referral (if you refer someone else): $50 discount​**

**Cannot be combined with group rate**

Scholarship opportunities are available. Please email Jackie Poapst for a scholarship application. Scholarship application deadline is May 1.

Additional Information:
We hope to see you this summer!  In order to apply or for more information please email

To Apply:
We ask all interested students to fill out the application & send a $200 non-refundable deposit (which comes off your total fees).


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