Testimonials

"I spent my last two summers attending the 7 week Michigan debate camp and plan on attending next year. The advanced coaching staff coupled with the rigorous yet rewarding curriculum ensured marked improvement in my debate skills. Students partake in various lectures given by the best debate coaches in the country to bring them up to speed on current events regarding the topic, as well as meta-level strategies to guarantee success in the upcoming season. My experience with lab leaders has been phenomenal, offering excellent feedback to improve as a debater from various angles, giving advice not only on how to prepare, but how to enhance my chances of victory during my debate rounds. Independently, the Michigan institute serves as a foundation for my preparedness going into the new debate season. My time within the Michigan Debate community has been nothing but fun, challenging, and rewarding for me and fellow teammates as well."

- Ahsan Tahirkheli, St. Mark's School of Texas (TX), 10/18/22, ()

“As this was my first time attending the Michigan Debate camp in-person, I had no idea what to expect. However, looking back on it, getting to spend 7 weeks at the UM debate camp was an experience that I am extremely grateful for. I was able to work with and debate against some of the best debaters in the country, and I received valuable feedback whether it was geared towards the speeches I gave, the research I did, or truly anything else. The challenging debates I got to experience and overall rigor of the UM debate camp was instrumental to my growth as I pushed myself to work harder than I ever have and tried new things that were outside of my comfort zone. Aside from the debate aspect, I am so lucky to have found a supportive community through the UM debate camp. I developed close bonds with so many people in my lab, and I know that I will stay in touch with them for years to come. I would highly recommend attending the UM debate camp in order to grow as a debater and build friendships.”

- Mahi Shah, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (IL), 10/18/22 , ()

"I cannot overstate the impact of UM debate camp on my career in high-school debate. After three summers of both virtual and in-person Michigan camps, I realize that the world-class excellence of the debaters, lab leaders, and guest lecturers is reason enough for any debater to attend. But the truth is that all three of those groups together work a special magic not found anywhere else. Michigan makes debate more complex, more challenging, and so much more fun. I’ve learned loads of information in lab and in practice debates. I’ve met people from all over the world and made great friendships that I hope last my whole lifetime. And yes, I am a better and more successful debater on the national circuit. But for me, the most incredible thing about UM camp is the far-reaching debate community it creates. I am so thankful to be part of a community that is brilliant, curious, and invested in researching and debating the pressing issues affecting all of us."

- Lizzie Place, Blue Valley North High School (KS), 10/19/22, ()

"The Michigan 7-Week program has only exceeded my expectations in every area, whether that be life at the dorms or the extremely valuable sessions in lab. I progressed so much from the first day of lab to the camp tournament and will be forever grateful for the fantastic coaching staff who devoted so much time and effort to see the success of all of the debaters. The program provided me the opportunity to practice against top debaters from around the country, and there was not a day I did not learn something new. The camp's lectures gave me expert insight into the year's topic, and I constantly find myself using facts I learned in those lectures inside debate rounds. Aside from the purely educational benefits, the relationships I formed at the 7-Week program were most certainly worth the seven weeks. The strong community feeling of my lab fostered a perfect learning environment, where both fun and work could occur. I truly cannot put into words how strongly I recommend this program to any potential attendees."

- Raleigh Maxwell, Montgomery Bell Academy (TN), 10/19/22, ()

"The UMich K Lab was both my first time doing kritik-centered research and attending a camp in real life. After taking part in the lab, I can attest that it was a transformative experience. Nowhere else did I feel as surrounded by people who think in similar terms about arguments which helped lift the massive burden that was COVID burnout. From lab leaders who would help us out past hours to lab-bonding activities, I never felt isolated, which was originally a huge worry for me. Everyone from both my lab and others were some of the nicest, most collaborative and helpful people I've ever met, and it cultivated a lot of my friendships this year. The program's dedication to lectures and practice debates allowed me to consistently improve both my argumentation and speaking ability. I would absolutely recommend the K Lab, if not the Michigan camp in its entirety for any debater looking to not only significantly improve in their debating, but finding a community within the activity."

- Eshkar Kaidar-Heafetz, Chattahoochee High School (GA), 10/18/22, ()

"As a senior in my final season of high school debate, I can confidently say to any debater looking to apply that there is no lab like the Kritik lab. Attending both the online and in-person programs, I learned that the staff at the K lab are some of the best at what they do. Regardless of if you're a one trick or completely new to critical argumentation; you will leave camp with a deeper understanding of kritiks and how to deploy them strategically. The students at the K lab are also deeply invested in one another's success, and this community of bright young scholars remains with you long after you leave the camp. In short, there is no better way to prepare for the upcoming season than with the resources provided to you at the Michigan Kritik Lab."

- Sheima Ben-Abdallah, Leon M. Goldstein High School (NY), 10/17/22, ()

"The past 3 summers at Michigan 7 Week have been crucial for my debate career. The lectures, research, and practice debates are challenging, helpful, and rewarding. The lab leaders at Michigan are incredibly dedicated and knowledgeable. They do an excellent job teaching debaters about the topic and helping debaters to improve their overall skills. All of the lab leaders give detailed feedback on practice debates, practice speeches, and research, and they are some of the smartest people I have ever worked with. The curriculum was a great balance of lectures, research, and practice debates. They also incorporate student feedback about lecture topics and research interests, which allows debaters to learn about things that interest them. Learning from some of the brightest debate minds has been instrumental in my growth as a debater. Additionally, I really benefited from the competitive atmosphere that enables hard workers to succeed. Debaters are always challenged and pushed to improve. However, there is still sufficient leisure time to avoid debaters getting burned out. The campus is also beautiful, with tons of cool places to go and check out. Ann Arbor is a gorgeous place to spend seven weeks of the summer."

- Eleanor Barrett, Liberal Arts & Science Academy (TX), 10/17/22, ()

"Attending the K Lab at UMich over the 2022 summer has been one of the most intense debate experiences I've ever had, while also being some of the best ones. My time at camp forced me to constantly engage in debate, whether it be in lab, talking to people in my dorm, or even getting food, I was always surrounded by debate no matter where I was. This brought me to be a better debater than I could have imagined. Working with the lab leaders such as Q or Josh brought new perspectives and knowledge that I would have never experienced if it weren't for this camp. Creating, discussing, and debating critiques for a month allowed for the greatest intellectual prosperity any student could hope for. I strongly recommend the UMich Debate Camp, especially the K Lab, to any aspiring debaters who want to reach the next level in their debate career."

- Anirv Ayyala, James Logan High School (CA), 10/18/22, ()

"Attending the University of Michigan 7 Week Program for the last two years was instrumental in my skill development as a debater. Daily lectures from a variety of experts, as well as contextual explanations of how arguments would play out over the course of a season by lab leaders, were instrumental in exposure to the topic. The program’s well-rounded curriculum focused on research, practice debates, drills, and lectures in a variety of argumentative styles which balanced breadth and depth of education, ensuring comprehensive introduction to numerous important debate arguments. The lab leaders were all extremely engaging and helpful, offering thorough feedback in practice debates or drills and fostering an open, welcoming environment that encouraged asking questions to further our understanding. Additionally, the hours spent doing research enabled me to become more effective at producing files and delving into topic literature to innovate arguments, which continues to be helpful throughout the season. Spending 7 weeks in Ann Arbor surrounded by highly-motivated peers made the experience invaluable and I made some of my best friends through the program. Ultimately, the 7 Week Program was transformative and I highly recommend it to any Junior or Senior that wants to advance their career to the next level."

- Nihar Abhyankar, Northwood High School (CA), 10/24/22, ()

"The 7 Week Juniors Program was one of the most formative experiences of my debate career. The quality of the lab leaders and the benefits of the skills you acquire are immeasurable. The feedback after every debate is insightful and lab leaders were always open to questions. The daily lectures are integral to preparing you for the year and the topic knowledge you gain gives you an advantage coming into the season. The extended period of time you spend at Michigan is challenging but absolutely worth every second. It teaches you a massive amount about debate and even more about life. Learning what a college campus is like and what independence is like even on a small scale is an invaluable skill this camp gives you. The people you meet and the connections you make don’t end after 7 weeks. I met my best friend through Michigan and became friends with many talented debaters during my time there. I highly recommend the UMich camp to anyone wanting to get better at debate or to anyone just looking to have a fantastic experience."

- Maggie Howerton, Blue Valley Southwest High School (KS), 10/27/22, ()

"The UMich 7 Week Program was probably the best way that I could have spent my summer. In addition to meeting some of my best friends, I also drastically improved my debate skills in a very short span of time. At Michigan, I received feedback from incredibly qualified coaches, and was able to debate with and benefit from the advice of some of the best debaters in the country. I learned how to research more effectively, participated in countless practice debates, discovered opportunities to debate in college, and learned how to play ultimate frisbee during mandatory fun time. Though the 7 Week Program was a lot of hard work, I hope to go back next year!"

- Daniella Roos, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart (FL), 10/30/22, ()

"My time at the Michigan 7 Week Program was one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences I’ve had. I left camp as a completely different debater. I would not be performing at the level I am now without having attended this program. The opportunity to work with very experienced coaches who were able to consistently identify areas for improvement and give constructive feedback greatly accelerated my growth as a debater. Being able to ask in depth questions about the lectures and participate in the constant practice debates and redos was hard work but an extremely helpful and engaging learning process. The skills taught in lab were developed through many practice debates, speaking drills, and research sessions that helped me transform into a better debater. The high quality feedback I received gave me not only in depth topic knowledge but also a deeper understanding of foundational debate strategies. Being surrounded with experienced coaching and motivated peers helped me feel more confident and improve both technical aspects of my speaking and non-technical aspects like my ethos. Not only did my lab teach us how to become better debaters but I was also introduced into a close community of people who also loved debate and wanted to foster an engaging learning environment. I believe that UM’s 7 Week Program offers the best of the debate community and the best opportunities to improve."

- Lucy Loehr, Liberal Arts & Science Academy (TX), 11/7/2022, ()

"I found my passion for policy debate through the Michigan Debate summer camp. The seven week program challenged me and required hard work, but the experience was, without a doubt, worth it. Through every practice debate, every speech redo, and every lecture, I was able to develop and refine my skills as a debater. We were constantly mentored by experienced and knowledgeable lab leaders who offered valuable feedback and advice that has only helped me in the competitive debate season; The feedback was paired with lectures from real world experts immersed in the topic. The seven week program fully immersed me into the topic, allowing me to vastly improve my performance at tournaments. Not only has it allowed me to advance my skills, but the friendships I formed through the seven weeks at Michigan have been priceless and have led me to be surrounded year round by peers who share my passion for debate. Overall, there is no other program that I can recommend enough than the University of Michigan's 7 Week Program for debaters looking to have an unforgettable and extremely valuable experience."

- Sarah Kwon, Glenbrook South High School (IL), 11/23/2022, ()

“In my time as a debater, no experience has been as valuable and transformative as the time I spent in Ann Arbor last summer. This summer, I hope to experience lab friendships and learn from the incredible lab leaders. The comprehensive framework lecture was the best I've had, and it is something I draw from whenever I enter a debate against the Kritik. From my time with teammate Coralynn Yang, I realized the unique position that debaters with competitive success have as part of a broader community.”

- Devin Lai, Palo Verdes Peninsula High School (CA), 11/8/2022, ()

"Having attended the University of Michigan Debate Camp for two years already, I know that it's the best. I know that Michigan is the best just because of the breadth of resources available to me as a debater there. In past years, I have had amazing experiences with my lab leaders, and running into them at tournaments throughout the season has been awesome. I want to continue those positive experiences for another year, and I know that I can only do that at Michigan. Debate is a part of my life now and is a space for community building. I think that debate is a great space for forming long-lasting relationships, and that is something that I want to be a part of for another year. There are just so many people at the Michigan Debate Institutes, from all parts of the country (and other countries). I want to be a part of that community again, because of the relationships I've formed in the last couple years."

- Avinash Shah, New Trier High School (IL), 11/27/2022, ()

"The Michigan 7 Week Lab this past summer was one of the foundational experiences of my life. Camp productively challenged me and encouraged me to relentlessly search for the most effective ways to construct strategies and execute them. In the months preceding camp, I thought my development was leveling off and grinding to a halt. Camp reversed this and taught me a holistic array of valuable lessons that filled in the gaps in my understanding of debate: counterplan competition, evidence comparison, perfecting blocks, and being adaptive. Camp also set me up for the long season ahead -- I worked closely with all of my lab leaders, forming personal connections. They taught me important lessons about remaining strong throughout the season, creating routines, and how to take care of myself outside the individual debate rounds I compete in. Finally, camp helped me build some of the most intimately bonded friendships I have ever had. Debate can be about a variety of things for different people, but friendship is certainly at the core for all."

- Aayan Ali, Glenbrook South High School, 11/29/2022, ()

"Attending the 2022 University of Michigan Seven Week Debate Camp was one of the most valuable and educational experiences of my entire life. I was able to receive amazing instruction from some of the most qualified debate coaches in the country, learning and improving more than I ever thought possible before camp, all while getting a taste of the college experience and exploring the amazing town of Ann Arbor. The numerous practice debates and speaking activities were perfectly balanced with research and lectures ranging from this year's topic to how to generate ethos in debates. The experience of having so many debaters from all around the world in the same place was truly remarkable. I gained a myriad of valuable connections with debaters across the world throughout the debate community, allowing me to put faces to the team codes on Tabroom.com I had seen for the past two years. I've made lifelong friends with similar interests with me that I will truly never forget. Being surrounded by such a large network of hard-working, goal-driven people also motivated me to work as hard as possible to further improve my skills this season."

- Ana Arzoumanidis, Glenbrook South High School (IL), 11/29/22, ()

"Thank you for the opportunity to attend the Debate Institute for a second year. Last year was extremely beneficial in broadening my debate skills, and was quite enjoyable as well. I met several fellow students there and we have kept in touch, and will be attending together this year."

- Winthrop Neubarth, Lowell High School (CA), 11/15/22, ()