NSD Minnesota is our premier, three-week flagship summer debate camp for middle and high school students focused on Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate.
July 9 - 29
LD Debate Focused
Click here to learn more about our response to Covid-19.
NSD Flagship's Lincoln-Douglas Debate faculty represents an elite group of championship coaches and former debaters from across the United States.
With curriculum tracks designed for students of all levels, NSD Flagship is where students who aspire to national championship-level success train.
NSD Flagship's LD camp is renowned for providing a training ground to both rising stars and top ranked LD debaters across the United States.
We pride ourselves on providing personalized attention and interactive education for each NSD camper and ensure a 4:1 student to teacher ratio.
NSD was hands-down the best debate experience I had during my high-school years! The Instructors were incredibly knowledgeable and were willing to spend that extra one-on-one time helping me with anything I wanted to learn.
David Herrera | NSD LD Minnesota
The educational experience not only helped me excel in debate, but also carried over to both school and everyday life. I consider my time at camp to be one of the most powerful educational opportunities I have taken advantage of and I highly recommend NSD to prospective families.
Nicholas Korom | NSD LD Minnesota Camp Alumni
NSD was responsible for a large part of my growth in competitive success in debate, with nightly redoes after lab, and conferences with coaches and instructors on innovating the arguments I wanted to make. Compared to other debate camps, NSD was very accepting of any and all arguments. To potential families looking to attend NSD, know that there exists faculty who care just as much about the well being of the kids attending as they do their educational growth.
Tajaih Robinson | NSD LD Minnesota Camp Alumni
1st Place, Harvard and Yale College (1st out of 400+ Competitors)
I attended NSD Flagship for a summer going into 11th grade. I was pleased with the amount of 1:1 interactions and individual attention I received from my lecturers and teachers. Whether it's drills, mentor time, or office hours, I improved tremendously because of the detailed feedback I received. I would recommend NSD to any debater looking to seriously develop their skills on the national circuit, or entering varsity debate for the first time!
Austin Li | NSD LD Minnesota Camp Alumni
Lexington High School
NSD Flagship was the most valuable extracurricular experience for my daughter during her high school years because it facilitated a rigorous learning environment that was still fun. She attended every summer of high school, and at the end of each summer, she would be excited about having developed an entirely new and different set of skills for the upcoming season. NSD provided an amazing opportunity for her to learn from incredibly vibrant, caring, and smart instructors.
Parent of 4x NSD Flagship Alumni
NSD Flagship fosters a close-knit, driven, and fun environment for students to learn, hosted at a nationally ranked research university.
The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis offers a communal atmosphere that helps foster a community and work environment. The campus is surrounded by a vibrant and safe community with many restaurants and attractions within walking distance.
Students have two free days throughout Flagship. Under camp supervision, campers can choose between exploring campus, attending supervised outings to the Mall of America, participating in camp organized games, or spending the day with family.
Each NSD camp is built on a core set of values. Our 3-week long Flagship LD curriculum provides our most comprehensive and in-depth camp curriculum to teach students foundational and advanced debate skills. The Flagship program is designed to enable students of all skill levels on their journey to competitive excellence in national circuit debate. Each student learns and rigorously prepares a camp topic, selected from the slate of upcoming topics for debate during the season, while refining debate skills and exploring academic fields relevant to our topic. Students learn our core curriculum, engage in structured practice activities, receive mentorship, and participate in practice rounds, all in small group, active learning environments.
Flagship LD Director
National Championship Coach
Swarthmore | U. Chicago
Flagship Senior Faculty
Reed | Yale
Students are grouped into labs based on experience level, which we assess by gathering information prior to camp, and these groups form the heart of the NSD experience. All NSD labs maintain a 1:4 instructors to student ratio, to enable an active, small group collaborative environment. NSD treats all students as equally important by assuring individualized attention to each and appointing veteran national circuit instructors to work in every lab. Each lab is led by both senior and junior faculty members. Labs focus on developing and leading students through a robust lifecycle of skill development that emphasizes repetition, implementation and skill mastery.
Rather than teach our core curriculum through large group lectures, we supplement daily lab meetings with additional instruction from specialist faculty who rotate in to teach in lab. Rotations consist of three 2-hour blocks of time (one a day for three days) during which labs receive instruction on specialized topics by two instructors who are experts in those topic areas. Rotations capture the benefits of large group lectures (introducing students to new staff, and allowing the staff to speak on their strongest topics), but retain the unique benefits of lab (hands on instruction, small size, and the ability to effectively and immediately reinforce topics with drills and homework).
Each student is assigned a mentor group, with one faculty mentor and a total of four students. Mentor groups meet almost daily for the duration of camp, so that mentors can track students’ progress and needs over the course of camp. This creates a terrific environment for students to receive a specific curriculum tailored to each individual student’s needs and interests. In mentor group, students receive customized drills, ask questions they have from other parts of their curricular day, and work on research projects and case construction.
All students attending NSD have practice debates on most days, judged by our expert instructors, who provide extensive round feedback on what students should do to improve. Some of these rounds will occur in the annual NSD Camp Tournament, which provides a competitive opportunity for students to showcase the skills they have learned over camp.
We end most days with office hours, modeled on the office hour system used by many colleges and universities. During office hours, all of our faculty are available to meet with students individually (or in small groups, if they prefer), and students are empowered to select the topics for each of their office hours meetings. This makes office hours an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about topics that interest them, develop new skills, receive assistance on homework, and do structured practice by redoing speeches from rounds they have debated or by having instructors create custom drills calibrated to their needs.
In elective seminars, students learn about niche topics–from debate strategy to philosophy to political theory–from specialist instructors. Students choose from a wide range of elective seminar options, so they can attend the seminars that most interest them.
Students have the opportunity to practice and showcase their new skills in a supportive, educational environment with our end of camp tournament. All students participate in preliminary rounds, and students who perform well also participate in elimination rounds, which also serve as showcase demonstration debates for all students to watch.
Students watch demonstration debates on the camp resolution from our younger faculty, many of whom were recently nationally top ranked debate competitors. Demonstration rounds are moderated by senior faculty, who break down the round with students in-between speeches, answer student questions, and provide a post-round analysis.
With any camp registration, students receive free access to NSD’s Skill Builder pre-camp curriculum. Skill Builder features stand-alone curriculum modules intended for independent study, built by top faculty. At camp, we want our students focused on the most valuable aspects of our sessions: intensive, interactive instruction that amplifies and deepens students’ existing skill sets and builds new ones, learning deep skills in specialty areas from top faculty, and participating in a supportive learning community with peers. Skill Builder helps students solidify background skills ahead of camp, so students can focus on what matters most while they are at camp.
NSD faculty combines the competitive insights from debating and coaching national championships with the classroom skill of lifetime school teachers. NSD offers students the unique opportunity to receive dedicated personalized feedback to build confidence with key concepts and skills.
10:00 - 11:30am
11:30am - 1:00pm
1:00 - 3:00pm
3:00 - 5:00pm
5:00 - 6:00pm
6:00 - 7:30pm
7:30 - 9:00pm
9:30 - 11:00pm
If you are unable to attend camp for the full duration due to conflict in schedule, please contact us about attending camp for a subset of time. We are committed to providing low-income students with access to our camp programs through need-based scholarships. If you are interested in applying for financial aid, please view our scholarships page.