Announcing NSD 2016!

The National Symposium for Debate is pleased to announce an exciting new slate of camp offerings for the summer of 2016. This summer, our flagship institute at the University of Minnesota will feature a new three week curriculum. In addition to our flagship institute, NSD will also offer two regionally focused satellite institutes: NSD Texas at the University of Houston and NSD Northeast at Bryn Mawr College. We are also pleased to welcome Public Forum debate to the NSD family with the debut of NSD’s Public Forum institute (held at the University of Minnesota). See below for dates and initial details on each of our institutes. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for further details and the opening of registration. As always, you can get in touch with us about any questions at

Students interested in attending both the flagship institute and one of the satellites should contact us. In this case, NSD will design a personalized 5-week curriculum for you that will maximize your intellectual and competitive development over the summer.

NSD Flagship Institute (LD)

Institute Directors: Tom Evnen (Executive Director) and Terrence Lonam (Associate Director)


Location: University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)

uni-of-m UofMaerial

Dates: July 17 – August 6 (Optional 4th week: August 6 – 13)

NSD’s traditional main session will remain our flagship institute: our premier camp focused on national circuit debate where the country’s best circuit debaters gather each summer to master their craft. The flagship institute now features a three week curriculum. Our shift to a three week session was motivated by a number of considerations:

  • For the past several years, we have seen a consistent increase in requests from students at every experience level for coverage in the curriculum of a wider variety of debate issues and skills at an increasing level of depth. A three week curriculum gives us the time needed to fully address these requests.
  • It is undeniable that national circuit LD has become a dramatically more complex activity over the last few seasons. The activity now demands that students wishing to compete at a high level master an unprecedented range of substantive content, debate strategies, and technical skills. Enabling our students to attain mastery in this new debate environment requires a more robust, longer running curriculum.
  • While we feel the need to expand our core curriculum, we do not want this to trade off with either the opportunities for students to work with faculty one-on-one, or the opportunities for students to focus on their areas of interest in additional, specialized lectures and workshops (both of which are opportunities that we know students—rightly—value highly). Our new three week structure allows us to expand the core curriculum while also adding in more time for students at every level to work with faculty one-on-one and in small group workshops.
  • A three week institute makes room for a rigorous camp curriculum with wider and deeper coverage of the issues most important for today’s debate students, but it also gives students something they badly need at debate camp: time. With more time in our schedule, students have the chance to digest what they are learning, as well as to bond with their peers and make the connections with each other that are such a valuable, enriching, and competitively critical for students at camp. This means a three week camp can simultaneously be more rigorous and more fun.


NSD Northeast (LD)

Institute Director: Ben Koh


Location: Bryn Mawr College (outside of Philadelphia, PA)

bryn mwar campus

Dates: July 3 – 16

The mission of the NSD Northeast institute is to serve students primarily focused on success in debate on the northeast circuit. Staffed by the best northeast coaches, this institute will teach students to achieve excellence on their circuit.

Here is a note from the institute director, Ben Koh:

“At NSD Northeast, we provide debate instruction created specifically for the educational needs of students competing in one of the largest and most substantively diverse circuits in the country, a circuit that involves as much traditional debate as national circuit debate, kritik debate as theory debate, and so on. We will provide a staff that offers some of the best coaches in the area, along with a few to provide a contrasting view from outside the region. In addition to teaching varsity competitors, we also intend to provide a curriculum for first time and younger debaters. So, whether you are a northeast debater interested in starting out in Lincoln Douglas Debate, want to attend a camp not too far from home, or learn want to hone your debate skills on the Northeast circuit, NSD NE is the camp for you. I’m at the majority of the NE bid tournaments, so if you ever want to talk about the camp or your options, feel free!”


NSD Texas (LD)

Institute Directors: Kris Wright, Jenn Melin, and Chris Castillo


Location: University of Houston (Houston, TX)

uh campus M.D._Anderson_Library






Dates: July 3 – 16

The mission of the NSD Texas institute is to serve students primarily focused on success in Texas circuit debate. Staffed by the best coaches in Texas, this institute will teach students to achieve excellence on their circuit.

Here’s an note from from one of our Institute Directors, Kris Wright:

“NSD Texas is designed to provide a rigorous and supportive environment for LD debaters at all levels of experience and success, and across diverse styles of debate. As one of the most competitive states for high school LD, Texas hosts a number of local circuits, each one competitive and unique. NSD Texas is primarily aimed at helping students from Texas develop the skills and knowledge needed to excel at all levels of competition, including the UIL, TFA, and TOC circuits. For students from other states wanting to do well at the TOC tournaments in the lone star state, NSD Texas will offer the opportunity to develop the keys to success with some of Texas’ most successful coaches and recent competitors.

No matter your level of experience, NSD Texas will off you an invaluable opportunity to work with our most experienced and successful instructors in lab, lectures and during nightly office hours.”
NSD Public Forum (PF)

Institute Director: Bryan Hindin

Location: University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)

Dates: July 31 – August 13 

With the debut of our Public Forum institute, NSD brings a fresh take and excellent faculty to public forum instruction. Bryan Hindin, Matt Feng, and Sam and Will Arnesen have designed a new curriculum intended to give public forum debaters the cutting edge skills they need for the highest level of public forum success. With NSD PF, we offer public forum debaters the rigor and excellence in debate instruction that NSD is known for in LD.

Terrence Lonam