Why NSD?

Since 2004, the National Symposium for Debate (NSD) has hosted summer camps and workshops for elementary, middle and high school students, led by a renowned group of speech and debate teachers and coaches. We have spent years refining our programs to teach the fundamentals of debate excellence: critical thinking, academic research and writing, public speaking, advocacy and strategic vision.

Our track record speaks for itself. Each summer, NSD prepares hundreds of students for excellence, and our alumni have championed over 500 tournaments, including  Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, UC Berkeley, Stanford, the Tournament of Champions, and the National Speech and Debate Association Nationals.

Our mission is to provide exceptional summer camp experiences for all of our students, built on educational excellence, personalized, hands-on education with debate’s best educators, and a driven, fun, and supportive community of learners.

Group picture from NSD Minnesota 2019.

Students and coaches take a lab photo to commemorate a fun and productive summer of debate education.


Students having fun while debating at NSD Minnesota 2019.

NSD students are caught in action practice speaking drills during camp.

Personalized education

We believe that every student can benefit from debate education, and NSD has a place for each student. From students who are just starting in debate, to students who are well-versed in high level competitive debate, we have a personalized approach, curriculum track, and specialized teachers to fit their needs.

Active learning

We believe that students learn best when they have ownership over their education. NSD focuses on small group learning, so that students are engaged and honing their debate skills in collaborative activities with close guidance and feedback from instructors.

Life-changing skills

We believe in teaching students life-changing skills. The core skills of debate–advocacy, argument analysis, collaboration, synthesizing research, and public speaking–help our students succeed in their academic work, college admissions, and ultimately in their lifetime career pursuits.

Fun, safe camp experiences

We believe that camp should be an active, fun, supportive and safe community for every student. We seek to enable every student to thrive and make lifelong connections in the learning communities formed at our camps.

Parental Support

We prioritize providing information and support to parents as they plan their student’s journey in debate. It can be overwhelming to navigate the world of debate training, and we are here to be partners with NSD parents in helping our students succeed.

NSD Students prepping for a debate round at NSD Minnesota.

NSD students take notes during an interactive seminar.

Have questions? Contact us