For campers who plan to have work, academic, and internship opportunities in the summer along with camp, NSD meshes perfectly with those summer plans. Camp falls on the last two weeks of July, with this scheduling designed to give students plenty of time to frontload internships and work opportunities. As a debater who attended camps every summer of his career, I can certainly say that NSD’s July dates make a world of difference when searching for other summer opportunities. Lots of research, internships, and summer programs start in late May and early June, giving you a great window to explore options that line up with debate camp. Especially in the era where student summer programs are shifting to a more online based format, finding opportunities that fit in with debate camp is becoming easier than ever.
Additionally, besides scheduling, debate camps supplement summer opportunities through skill building. In your future professional endeavors - whether it's a work-study program, research assistant, intern, or anything of the sorts - communication is key. These positions all have one thing in common: project-based environments. You will be tasked with other interns or student researchers to meet deadlines, produce deliverables, and present your findings. All of these require extensive communication and public speaking skills not only with your team members, but with other professionals in your work environment. The public speaking skills developed through camp labs and curriculum will give you an edge above other applicants in interviews and during the programs themselves. Regardless of the professional field, communication and collaboration is a box that must be checked.
Just like every serious time commitment, the most important tool you have at your disposal is planning ahead. Late fall is not only when camp registration opens up, but also when lots of internship and research application cycles open as well. Summer program spots are limited and have very small application windows, meaning that getting ahead of the curve will help you land a position and register for camp early. Acting quickly will not only ensure you secure your spot in the camp of your choosing, but also allow you to find programs that fit with the camp schedule.