Designed to help students build confidence in their public speaking skills, our Public Speaking Institute trains students in public speaking, logic, and rhetoric through an interactive and dynamic curriculum that encourages incremental progress through ongoing practice and exercise. Over the course of the 5-day program, students will participate in two main courses: Public Speaking and Debate.

Each week, students will choose a major focus area: Debate or Public Speaking. Students may repeat the course up to two times doing each major once. 


Learn the art of verbal combat! Students will learn how to construct persuasive positions, defend against and attack each other’s arguments, and cross-examine effectively. Students will debate a variety of age-and experience-appropriate topics, form teams, and pit themselves against their co-campers. Past debate topics have included “Should schools mandate uniforms?” and "Should junk food be allowed in school vending machines?"  Students will learn how to argue both sides of each resolution, craft arguments, participate in cross-examinations, and deliver powerful rebuttals to their opponent's arguments. 

Public Speaking: Delivery / Persuasive Speaking 

Students develop their own authentic voice as they learn to craft and deliver convincing speeches. We begin the week with exercises to practice delivery skills such as voice, gestures, timing, and intonation. When students display comfort with delivery, they will begin to construct speeches based on a topic of their choosing. Students learn to refine atopic, establish captivating introductions, organize speech content, and deliver compelling conclusions! The focus is on speaking in a natural voice, with few or no notes, rather than writing an essay and merely reading it out loud, the form of "public speaking" taught by most teachers. All students end the week by presenting a speech to their fellow campers.