Open Collective
Open Collective

MMSDL Summer Debate Institute

We are a community based summer debate program for middle school students in Illinois. Our goal is to foster love for debating through early education in debate and by making programming accessible for all.


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MMSDL Summer Debate Institute is all of us

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Thank you for supporting MMSDL Summer Debate Institute.

Camila Vicens

Hi all! I am the director of the Summer Debate ...


Read about the three pillars that define the work we do at the Summer Debate Institute: 

1. Community Building Model:
Our program operates under a community building model in which we connect elementary, middle, and high school students in District 65 to create connections and foster interest in debate from early on. Students coming out of elementary schools in D65 get a chance to meet their future opponents and teammates at the middle school level before the start of their 6th grade year. The current middle schoolers have the opportunity of introducing their younger new team members to debate and learn from the high school debate team in the district, Evanston Township High school. The staff are mostly composed of ETHS students, which is the high school that most D65 students enroll in, allowing current ETHS students to directly interact with their future debate team. The staff is also supplemented with collegiate level debaters that will help lead the upper level debate labs. 

2. Statement on Accessibility: Debate is often understood as an exclusionary activity by virtue of the costs associated with supplies, coaching, and summer instruction. To directly address the issues of access and equity surrounding debate programming, our camp operates under a low enrollment fee model. To ensure that an undue burden is not placed on our campers or their family, the IMSDL Summer Debate Camp provides all supplies necessary for debating. Campers will be able to take home a full set of core files and a debate box to use for the future. We also offer financial aid to those who request it to ensure that there is no monetary inhibitor to enrollment.

3. Fostering Passion for Debate: ​Early involvement in debate is crucial for students' development and that of the debate programs at their schools. By encouraging early engagement in debate, we hope to build a robust pipeline of debaters to service throughout the school year. Our goal is for students to not only critically think, research, and debate from a young age, but also continue their debate careers past the middle school level. As a result, we ensure our staff includes highly trained and motivated high school debaters, some of whom in future years will be ex-campers. ​

Our team

Camila Vicens

Hi all! I am the director of the Summer Debate ...