Novice Policy ’17

July 18th-July 26th, 2017 | $1,250 (commuter rate $1,070)

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 2 programs (any program that begins in July) is Monday, June 26th. 

The typical grade range for students in the Novice workshop is middle school, with most students having completed the 7th, 8th, or 9th grade (yet any age of Novice debater is welcome). Designed for the beginning debater, this session will emphasize small learning environments, the foundations of contemporary debate theory, and sound principles of public speaking. Each debater will experience multiple practice rounds, hands-on assistance researching and writing blocks, a practice tournament, and interaction with all the UTNIF instructors.

Students will receive a complete affirmative, including extensions, on the first day of camp so that they can begin debating immediately. They will also receive many briefs produced by the camp, but the set will be smaller and more manageable than the set given to those enrolled in other UTNIF CX programs. The goal of the Novice workshop is to introduce students to the core concepts they’ll need to succeed throughout the year and to inspire students to take their training and efforts further.

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 or (717) 478-8643


What some typical days in the Novice program looks like:

Day 1
Introductions; Rules/Expectations; Debate Vocabulary Pre-Assessment; What is Debate?

Day 3
What is an Affirmative? Highlighting Evidence; Practice Reading an Affirmative; Mini-Debates

Day 5
What is a Negative? Filing and Organizing Evidence; Full Practice Debate

Day 7
Flowing Shorthand; Practice Flowing; Disadvantages; Topicality

Day 9

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 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.