BOSTON | July 9-23, 2017 | WAIT LIST ONLY

DES MOINES | July 28-August 6, 2017



2017 Public Forum Camp Topic

Resolved: Deployment of anti-missile systems is in South Korea’s best interest.

Congratulations to the 2017 Tournament of Champions in Public Forum champions and National Debate Forum alum: Jake Mengarelli & Matthew Salah from The Nueva School. 

Two Options. Same Success. Reach for the Summit.



The National Debate Forum (NDF) is the premier institute for Lincoln-Douglas DebatePublic Forum Debate and new this year for our Iowa location Policy Debate.  Founded in 1995, we have over two decades of experience in providing quality instruction to students motivated to excel in debate competitions locally, regionally, and nationally. NDF has a diverse staff to assist students of all backgrounds to be competitively successful, regardless of the region a debater is from, or the style of debate they employ. What’s more, the staff is balanced with recent graduates who were nationally successful and seasoned coaches who have a proven track record of competitive and educational excellence. Central to the NDF experience is individualized instruction, which is possible because of limited enrollment and a low faculty-to-student ratio.

“NDF is unrivaled! The instruction is great because you are getting advice and critiques from some of the top debaters in the country! The staff is always eager to help you improve and was relatable because as just a few years ago many of them were right where you are. NDF is also a great place familiarize yourself with the national circuit and pick up new debate strategies. I enjoyed connecting with many debaters around the country many of whom I continue to keep in touch with. Overall, NDF was easily one of the best things I could have done for improving my debating skills, and I attribute much of my success to what I learned at camp.”
(Aidan Anderson, Columbus (GA) — member of the 2016 Forum lab taught by Julia Bittencourt and Arjun Rao)


At NDF students will be exposed to a meticulously crafted and dynamic curriculum that meets the needs of students at all skill levels.  Students will be taught by dedicated educators and former competitors to ensure attendees maximize learning opportunities.  The curriculum, schedule, staff, and plans for maximizing the most out of each student is reevaluated each year, taking into account coach, faculty, and student feedback, and tweaked to guarantee that we provide the best experience possible.  Through a commitment to individualized student attention and differentiated instruction, NDF has delivered on its promise since 1995. Make your summer an NDF summer!

Instructors: NDF hires some of the best and brightest recent graduates to assist in providing support in lectures and lab so that students are aware of what the most recent trends are in competition. However, the curriculum is designed by senior faculty who have experiences in the field of education as teachers and administrators! The confluence of recent graduates, education professionals, and coaches of various experiences and backgrounds ensures that students get exposed to a range of instructors.

Office Hours: NDF creates opportunities for students to target the skills or concepts that they would like additional one-on-one support with from our faculty. In twenty to thirty minute office hours, students get to select the instructor to assist them with their needs. This creates a personalized environment where the students gets to dictate the learning outcomes. Students who need support determining what to work on can utilize their lab leaders for guidance.

Tiered Lecture: Unlike other camps where “one size fits all” is the mantra for their lecture series, at NDF we create a tiered approach to maximize learning. Students come to camp with different backgrounds and exposures. Lumping them all together for the same content delivery is not pedagogically sound. We focus on ensuring lectures build off of one another and are interactive. Lab leaders exchange information with lecturers so they are aware of areas to properly emphasize. This would not be possible in a setting where every attendee gets the same lecture.


NDF is proud of our track record of success. Alumni of NDF have gone on to win major national invitationals as well as state and district championships. Additionally, NDF alumni have won the Tournament of Champions, National Speech and Debate Association Nationals, and the Grand National Catholic Forensic League Championship. Every year we have students in late elimination rounds and/or finals at tournaments such as Yale, Bronx, Wake Forest, Valley, Glenbrooks, Tournament of Champions, NSDA Emory, Harvard and more!

NDF alumni have been the finalists/champions at Greenhill Round Robin, Greenhill Fall Classic, Bronx Round Robin, Bronx NYC Tournament, Tournament of Champions, NCFL & NSDA Nationals,  Yale, Wake Forest and Valley Mid-America Cup! We look forward to continued champions from NDF throughout the year.

2016 Alumni Results

“NDF did a really good job of focusing on the individual needs of students, promoting healthy competition, and using the expertise and personal experience of instructors to keep students engaged and having fun. NDF taught me a lot about the intricacies of debate, and I don’t think I’d ever be this successful if I never went to NDF” 
(Brian Zhu, Millburn (NJ) — member of the 2016 Forum lab taught by Alyssa Turk and Drew Young)


The NDF experience and the PF curriculum is coordinated by and overseen by Steven Schappaugh, Director of Community Engagement at the National Speech and Debate Association. The Lincoln Douglas Debate curriculum is coordinated by Tilman Huett.  Additionally we will have a new Novice/JV Policy camp at our Des Moines location at Simpson College, under the direction of Megan Johnson, Travis Henderson and Chase McCool. These individuals have more than 25 years of combined summer debate institute experience.

“NDF really helped us to develop better in-round strategic thinking skills through debating against extremely talented campers and learning from very experienced staffers.  I learned the value of being flexible during a debate round and creating an in round strategy that would be the easiest and clearest path to the ballot. NDF also allowed us to get personalized attention and help on the areas we felt we wanted to work the most on– weighing, issue selection, clarity and adapting to judges. For us personally. I left NDF with such a clear understanding of the flow and and how to best articulate how you are winning arguments because we were able to do practice activities, have office hours, go to lectures about judging psychology, and use lab time to practice and work on those skills. I’m very thankful to have gone to NDF and to have learned from some of the best debaters and staffers in the country!
(Elisa McCartin, Walt Whitman (MD) — member of the 2016 Apex lab taught by Jeffrey Miller & Alekh Kale)