Based on student rankings & bids

#1 RATED DEBATE CAMP

Elite Residential, Commuter, and Online Summer Camps + Year-Round Tutoring

Register Today

First come first serve

NSD's Track Record

5000+
Alumni

500+
Championships

1000+
TOC BIDS

NSD Continues to Help Students Get into These Top Colleges

Harvard college logoPrinceton university logoUniversity of Pennsylvania logoYale University logoCornell College logo
Harvard college logoPrinceton university logoUniversity of Pennsylvania logoYale University logoCornell College logo

NSD CONTINUES TO HELP STUDENTS GET INTO THESE TOP COLLEGES

Dartmouth logo
Dartmouth logo

WHAT MAKES NSD THE #1 DEBATE CAMP

World-Class Faculty

NSD's faculty are the best in their field. From classroom teachers to successful private debate coaches to the top recently graduated debate competitors, our camps are taught by a diverse faculty representing the best of the best.

Rigorous Curriculum

Our curriculum is carefully designed to ensure every NSD camper receives personalized attention, an active learning environment, and level appropriate lessons--all in a fun, accessible learning environment that celebrates collaboration.

Elite Results

NSD alumni have championed over 500 nationally competitive debate tournaments in the United States and received over 1000 qualifying bids to the Tournament of Champions.

World-Class Faculty

NSD's faculty are the best in their field. From classroom teachers to successful private debate coaches to the top recently graduated debate competitors, our camps are taught by a diverse faculty representing the best of the best.

Rigorous Curriculum

Our curriculum is carefully designed to ensure every NSD camper receives personalized attention, an active learning environment, and level appropriate lessons--all in a fun, accessible learning environment that celebrates collaboration.

Elite Results

NSD alumni have championed over 500 nationally competitive debate tournaments in the United States and received over 1000 qualifying bids to the Tournament of Champions.

NOT JUST A DEBATE CAMP

Your child will not only learn how to become the best debater they can be, they will also gain valuable life skills that will propel them forward in all areas of life. From confidence to persuasive speaking to being a thought leader your child will become the best version of themself.

87%

increase in analytical skills, according to NSDA

18%

higher reading test scores compared to honors students, on average.

3.75 GPA

is the average of students on a debate team.

22%

is the average of students on a debate team.

25%

of debaters are either top ranking corporate executives or work in the executive and legislative branches of government.

90%

of debaters complete at least one graduate degree, according to NSDA

Learn More

Over 5,000 happy Alumni love sharing their love for NSD

"If I could choose any camp to go to in order to feel prepared for a new year of debate it would be NSD - it provided the perfect balance of education and friendliness, both ideals any camp should strive for, yet not many achieve."

Lilly BroussardNSD Philadelphia LD Alum

"I met friends who I still stay in contact with today. Compared to other debate camps, I would say NSD has a more rigorous curriculum - it was very challenging yet rewarding. NSD prepared me well for the two most important seasons of my debate career."

Evan Li | NSD LD Minnesota Camp Alumni2020 LD Debate National Champion (1st Place out of 5000+ Competitors)

"NSD stood out with its camp tournament, flexibility in debate styles, and the opportunity to compete and learn with the top debaters in the US. I became more confident in my skill level and knowledge in debate and left better prepared to debate with or against any style of debate."

Zion Dixon | NSD LD Minnesota Camp Alumni2022 LD Debate National Champion (1st Place out of 5000+ Competitors)

I attended NSD for four years and it played a transformative role in my debate career. NSD's faculty are unparalleled and boast a diverse skillset in argument style and content. More importantly, I made friends at NSD that I still spend time with today, even in college.

Animesh Joshi | 3x NSD LD Minnesota Alumni2020 LD Debate National Championship Runner Up (2nd Place out of 5000+ Competitors)

Summer 2024 Camp Options

Click on a camp below to learn more

A PARENT'S PERSPECTIVE

By Dave McGinnis

I am a debate coach, a debate camp instructor, and a parent of a successful debater. For the past three summers,

I’ve chosen to send my son to NSD, and we will be sending him again this summer.Like most parents, my first concern is always my son’s safety and well-being. NSD employs a residential life staff — adult professionals who monitor students’ experience, check them in and out so that someone always knows where each student is at, takes care of them when they are ill, enforces the rules, and helps them when they have any of a variety of problems. NSD employs several people solely for this function — these are not camp instructors pulling double-duty.

Read more

As a coach, my primary concern is always the quality of my students’ educational experiences, and as a proud dad, that concern is magnified! The two best aspects of NSD are the quality of its instructors and, vitally, the quality of the student body. My son, Conal, first attended NSD after 7th grade. He was very new to debate. Yet his lab instructors were all top-flight debaters and coaches; all three of them had attended the TOC and two of them had attended multiple times and “cleared” to TOC elims. This was a “low” lab, meaning a lab for relatively inexperienced debaters; but at NSD, every lab is coached by champion-level instructors. In addition, outside of lab time, Conal had the opportunity to interact with every instructor at the camp through lectures and individual mentoring sessions. He could choose to work with anyone from a recent TOC champion to a PhD candidate in philosophy.Possibly even more important is the fact that NSD attracts many of the top debaters in the country. The caliber of my students’ colleagues at camp drives my students to learn more. NSD hosts students from all levels of debate — from novices to national champions. The fact that the top level of debaters at NSD are among the best in the nation is a huge benefit to the entire camp, because it raises the bar for everyone involved.This year, after Conal’s third NSD experience, I asked him if he might want to try an alternative camp, for a change of pace. He flatly refused, telling me that hs summers at NSD were among the main reasons that he qualified to the TOC as a freshman and, as a sophomore, has accumulated four TOC bids.Many of these advantages apply to other camps you might find around the country. But over the course of a 21-year coaching career, I’ve had experience with all of them. Only NSD combines all of these characteristics.

-David McGinnisHead
Coach at West Des Moines Valley High School

Read less

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the Value of Debate Camp?

Debate Camp is an incredibly enriching time that provides students an immersive experience into the world of high school debate. There's nothing else quite like it for a students interested in debate; surrounded by students who too notes of the same passion, and instructors who committed their high school careers to debate and now have expanses of experience in teaching it. For most of the staff, they spend nearly every weekend of the season at debate tournaments across the country, and they bring their knowledge to a condensed 2-3 week camp experience. Within this bubble, students exponentially grow throughout the summer.

Why Debate?
What is my child getting at the National Symposium for Debate?
My child debates more traditionally or just locally. Is NSD still a good fit for my child?
What is the safety and supervision like at NSD?
My child may need to miss some days of camp at the beginning or end of camp. Should my student still apply to NSD?
What can I do to help my child throughout the season?

YOUR JOURNEY TO ELITE BEGINS TODAY

Elite Residential, Commuter, and Online Summer Camps + Year-Round Tutoring

Register Today

First come first serve

2024 Summer Debate Camps

Residential, Commuter, and Online Camps

2024 Summer Debate Camps

Residential, Commuter, and Online Camps

NSD's Track Record

5000+
Alumni

500+
Championships

1000+
TOC BIDS

NSD students doing activities at camp!

World-Class Faculty

NSD's faculty are the best in their field. From classroom teachers to successful private debate coaches to the top recently graduated debate competitors, our camps are taught by a diverse faculty representing the best of the best.

Rigorous Curriculum

Our curriculum is carefully designed to ensure every NSD camper receives personalized attention, an active learning environment, and level appropriate lessons--all in a fun, accessible learning environment that celebrates collaboration.

Elite Results

NSD alumni have championed over 500 nationally competitive debate tournaments in the United States and received over 1000 qualifying bids to the Tournament of Champions.

World-Class Faculty

NSD's faculty are the best in their field. From classroom teachers to successful private debate coaches to the top recently graduated debate competitors, our camps are taught by a diverse faculty representing the best of the best.

Rigorous Curriculum

Our curriculum is carefully designed to ensure every NSD camper receives personalized attention, an active learning environment, and level appropriate lessons--all in a fun, accessible learning environment that celebrates collaboration.

Elite Results

NSD alumni have championed over 500 nationally competitive debate tournaments in the United States and received over 1000 qualifying bids to the Tournament of Champions.

A headshot of debater Zion Dixon

"NSD stood out with its camp tournament, flexibility in debate styles, and the opportunity to compete and learn with the top debaters in the US. I became more confident in my skill level and knowledge in debate and left better prepared to debate with or against any style of debate."

Zion Dixon | NSD LD Minnesota Camp Alumni
2022 LD Debate National Champion (1st Place out of 5000+ Competitors)

Lilly's headshot

"If I could choose any camp to go to in order to feel prepared for a new year of debate it would be NSD - it provided the perfect balance of education and friendliness, both ideals any camp should strive for, yet not many achieve."

Lilly Broussard
NSD Philadelphia LD Alum

Evan's headshot

"I met friends who I still stay in contact with today. Compared to other debate camps, I would say NSD has a more rigorous curriculum - it was very challenging yet rewarding. NSD prepared me well for the two most important seasons of my debate career."

Evan Li | NSD LD Minnesota Camp Alumni
2020 LD Debate National Champion (1st Place out of 5000+ Competitors)

Animesh Joshi's headshot

I attended NSD for four years and it played a transformative role in my debate career. NSD's faculty are unparalleled and boast a diverse skillset in argument style and content. More importantly, I made friends at NSD that I still spend time with today, even in college.

Animesh Joshi | 3x NSD LD Minnesota Alumni
2020 LD Debate National Championship Runner Up (2nd Place out of 5000+ Competitors)

Kati Hanna's headshot

"Our experience with DebateDrills was amazing. As my son, Jackson, began applying for colleges, the DebateDrills team proved to be an invaluable resource from providing guidance and insights to assisting with college recommendations for debate scholarships."

Kati Hanna
DebateDrills Parent (2019-2020)

A headshot of debater Zion Dixon

"NSD stood out with its camp tournament, flexibility in debate styles, and the opportunity to compete and learn with the top debaters in the US. I became more confident in my skill level and knowledge in debate and left better prepared to debate with or against any style of debate."

A headshot of debater Zion Dixon

"NSD stood out with its camp tournament, flexibility in debate styles, and the opportunity to compete and learn with the top debaters in the US. I became more confident in my skill level and knowledge in debate and left better prepared to debate with or against any style of debate."

Lilly's headshot

"If I could choose any camp to go to in order to feel prepared for a new year of debate it would be NSD - it provided the perfect balance of education and friendliness, both ideals any camp should strive for, yet not many achieve."

Evan's headshot

"I met friends who I still stay in contact with today. Compared to other debate camps, I would say NSD has a more rigorous curriculum - it was very challenging yet rewarding. NSD prepared me well for the two most important seasons of my debate career."

Animesh Joshi's headshot

I attended NSD for four years and it played a transformative role in my debate career. NSD's faculty are unparalleled and boast a diverse skillset in argument style and content. More importantly, I made friends at NSD that I still spend time with today, even in college.

Summer 2024 Camp Options

Summer 2024 Camp Options

Philadelphia, PA

Public Forum
Sess 1: June 30 - July 13
Register

Philadelphia, PA

Public Forum
Sess 2: July 14 - July 27
Register

Minneapolis, MN

Lincoln-Douglas
July 14 - Aug 3
Register

Online programs

PF and LD Options
Camps, Tutoring,
Concierge Coaching
Register

Philadelphia, PA

Lincoln-Douglas
June 30 - July 13
Register

Houston, TX

Lincoln-Douglas
June 30 - July 13
Register

Houston, TX

Public Forum
June 30- July 13
Register