Policy Skills Intensive

Click here to pay your $250 nonrefundable deposit and register  by March 16th, 2018. After March 16th, a $50.00 late registration fee will be added to your total.

We offer two sessions of our Policy (or Cross-Examination) Debate Skills intensive programs – the only difference between Sessions 1 and 2 are the dates. A camper should attend either Session 1 or Session 2 of Skills, but not typically both.

Session 1 | June 24th – July 14th, 2018

$2,025 (includes dorm stay & all meals)

Commuter rate $1,645 (must live <35 mi. from UT)


Session 2 | July 18th – August 7th, 2018 

$2,025 (includes dorm stay & all meals)

Commuter rate $1,645 (must live <35 mi. from UT)


This division is open to any student with tournament debate experience at any skill level.  Labs will be assigned by experience and skill level as assessed in a diagnostic debate conducted by our teaching staff.  Students of similar ability will be grouped together regardless of school year cohort.  The curriculum is designed to be of benefit to the most experienced debaters as much as it is for the debate novice. The Skills Intensive guarantees students at least 16 full practice debates, conducted over the course of the workshop, critiqued by our teaching staff. This kind of in-round training can benefit students of any skill level by helping develop and refine their ability to strategize and to sharpen speaking and tactical skills.

Students hit the ground running by being given 3 complete Affirmatives on Day One. Each one of these Affirmatives has an accompanying, complete, Negative strategy, each of which focuses on teaching a distinct skill set. One negative strategy will be designed around a Counter Plan with net benefit, while the next strategy will teach students how to succeed at running Kritikal arguments. Each of these Affirmatives and Negative strategies are researched and constructed by our experienced college debaters and coaches.

Students will also receive introductory theory discussions to make sure everyone has a grasp of the basics. These theory discussions we call “Pods.” Each student will receive practicums on debating Topicality, Kritiks, Counter-plans 1 and Counter-plans 2.

Once students have rotated through these initial theory seminars they will then have the ability to sign up for electives where they choose topics which best fit their needs and interests. We feel that if students have the option of choosing electives while they are debating on a daily basis, they will choose subjects that are of immediate interest to improving their ability to debate. This gives students the chance to explore further how they might correct the mistakes of yesterday’s debate, or, to prepare themselves for arguments they’ll be debating later that evening.

After the first week of instruction, once all of the pre-prepared Affirmative and Negative strategies have been rotated through and learned, students will participate in the first FULL TOURNAMENT of the curriculum. Following this tournament, we break into negative research groups and the students are guided to be able to research and write their own disadvantages, counterplans and kritiks. Following the negative research section of the camp, students re-group with their Affirmative lab and begin to prepare for a SECOND FULL TOURNAMENT. All debaters will have the opportunity to work with instructors other than their primary assigned instructors when they choose their ELECTIVES.  Elective sessions of 2 hours a piece will be offered periodically throughout the camp.

If you want to learn debate by debating, this program is for you. The Skills Intensive curriculum has proven to be one the most popular offerings at the UTNIF. Because of the dedication and practice the curriculum requires, mediocre debaters become quite good, while good debaters can become excellent.

Students attending UTNIF camps must be at least 13 years of age to stay as residents in the dorm. Students who are not 13 may be able to attend as commuters, with prior permission from the camp director. Please contact Kate Richey at katerichey@utexas.edu or (717) 478-8643