Policy Skills Intensive ’17

AT CAPACITY Session 1 June 22nd-July 12th, 2017 | $1,975 per session (commuter rate $1,555)

Session 2 July 15th-August 4th, 2017 | $1,975 per session (commuter rate $1,555)

A $250 non-refundable registration/deposit fee guarantees your spot and is applied to the tuition sticker price – it is not an additive fee. While there is no deadline to register, our programs do fill-up, so the earlier you register, the better. For more information, scroll all the way down.

The deadline to pay tuition in full for all Session 1 programs (any program that begins in June) is Friday, June 2nd. 

The deadline to pay tuition in full for all Session 2 programs (any program that begins in July) is Monday, June 26th. 

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

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.

Register and reserve your spot at the UTNIF

The $250 registration/deposit fee reserves a student’s place in camp. It is non-refundable at any time, for any reason.* This fee is a deposit and is applied to the cost of the program your camper attends, it is not an additive cost.

UTNIF accepts payment through major credit/debit cards. We no longer accept personal checks. School districts, not for profit institutions, and charitable organizations can still make arrangements to pay by check. Please contact Kate Richey at katerichey@utexas.edu or (717) 478-8643 for more information regarding payment via check.


Why is the UTNIF registration/deposit fee non refundable?

We do not want families to shoulder an unnecessary cost burden should something happen that’s beyond their control; but we’re also a not for profit camp. We have to reserve residence hall space and hire enough summer staff in advance to supervise students. Cancelled registrations leave us over-extended, as we commit to hiring staff & reserving dorm space on the basis of early enrollment numbers. We apologize but hope you understand, the fee is needed to recoup losses associated with over extension, and is non-refundable at any time, for any reason.*

*If your household is very low income, and your camper is denied financial aid, we will consider refunds of the registration/deposit fee on a case-by-case basis.