Why You Should Sign Up For The 6th Annual Ornstein Summer Debate Institute Now!

What makes the Matthew H Ornstein Washington Summer Debate Institute better than other summer camps, and the place you should spend part of your summer?

Summary: Life Skills + Unmatched Fun and Community

In Their Own Words: ​

"​I’m so glad (my daughter) was able to experience debate camp this summer. She has learned so much and I have learned so much about the topic. Even more important, I learned why this program has so much meaning and why it’s so important. It’s not just academic. It’s social and emotional and has built a beautiful community."

--Inspired Teaching Parent

"Not coming from the debate world, I had no idea how transformative this experience would be. (My daughter) came home every day so energized and excited about what she learned, and then spent a couple of hours preparing for the next day. She loved the camaraderie and the friendships she made."

-- Oyster Adams Parent

"My students had a very rewarding experience connecting with other teams, learning the debate strategies and content, and developing personal confidence and self-esteem. The counselors were awesome in their capacities for patience towards the students and knowledge of their task."

--Adilah Wutoh-Baylor, Debate Coach, Dora Kennedy Middle School

The Details:

  • Unbeatable Instructors

  • We prioritize actual teaching experience during our nationwide search for the best staff, with 27 states have been represented so far. We often hire alumni and staff from other urban debate leagues, and more than half our staff have actually worked as a teacher as well as a debate coach.

  • They also have some serious debate chops. Previous faculty members have:

  • Won the Cross Examination Debate Association National Championship;

  • Qualified and broken to elimination rounds at the NDT;

  • Won, and coached winners of the Baker Cup;

  • Coached winners and elimination round participants of the Middle School UDL National Tournament;

  • Qualified and coached qualifiers and break-round participants to the Urban Debate National Championship;

  • Coached finalists and winners of the National Urban Debater of the Year.

  • Small Faculty-Student Ratios

  • No large lecture halls (or video-conferences) where you can't see, hear, or engage with the speaker. We keep the Faculty-Student ratio as low as possible. All labs have a faculty-student ratio of 5-1 or less, and all of our guest speakers come to your lab and answered your questions.

  • Hands-on Approach

  • This is debate camp, so we try to get you up and debating as much as possible. Speeches, re-dos, cross-examination practice, partial and full practice rounds, we do them all, every day of camp, at all levels, regardless of if we are in person or remote.

  • D.C. Advantage

  • No city in the world is more at the center of public policy and ideas than Washington D.C. With 9 large universities, all of the nation's think tanks, and the federal government, we have unique access to the folks that literally make policy on each year's topic. We are committed to bringing thought leaders and practitioners to speak to our students. In past years, this has included:

  • Fortune 100 company executives;

  • Practitioners from different government agencies, included: US Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Education, and Department of Justice;

  • Human Rights and Advocacy Organizations;

  • Investigative Journalists and Attorneys;

  • Congressional Staffers, Lobbyists, and Consultants;

  • Scholars from leading think-tanks, including AEI, the Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress (CAP), and the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), Stimson Center, Forum on the Arms Trade, Truman Center, the CATO Institute, and the Heritage Foundation;

  • ​​Unbeatable Fun and Community

  • Our students speak for themselves. They haven't been able to get enough of our summer program. Debate camp gives them a unique space where it is cool to be smart and to meet other driven students who share your passion for the world around us. The large waiting lists we've had for camp over the past three years is a strong testament to how much students have enjoyed themselves.

  • Competitive Advantage​

  • Attending the summer institute will give you a leg up against the competition. Students who go to the summer institute win more trophies and are much more likely to be ready to compete at travel tournaments. Looking to move up to the next division, qualify to nationals, or compete on the regional level? Camp will give you a head start, and make the transition easy.

  • WUDL Travel Team

  • Students interested in attending the first travel tournament of the season, Georgetown Day, are expected to attend the summer institute in one of the most advanced labs. ​​

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