The #ISDDifference is made possible by our faculty and alumni. These are their stories.
"ISD is unlike any debate camp I’ve witnessed before. The debaters’ remarkable willingness to learn all they can from their camp coaches is unparalleled. For this reason, debaters who leave ISD progress exponentially in their debate skills by the end of camp. Not to mention the incredible staff ISD offers. The various perspectives that each staffer presents provide campers with diverse debating skills; showing them that there is no one way to debate. The ISD staff not only has TOC champions but also National champions, allowing the debaters to learn varying strategies that past debaters used that they can be confident will do well at tournaments. What I think sets ISD apart from all other camps, however, is its emphasis on teaching students how to debate rather than an emphasis on what to debate. The drills used by the staff at ISD equip their students with the skills to debate effectively in any situation: teaching them how to think analytically while also persuasively presenting their arguments to an audience. Unlike evidence or arguments that can be easily refuted, the speech skills that ISD campers within debate events like PF learn at this camp to me explains why you can always find these campers doing well at tournaments across the country."
"ISD was special to me because it was one of the most eye-opening camp experiences I have had. Prior to this year I had a very lackluster speech and debate career. Yet, through ISD I learned the true meaning of the ISD difference - it means giving every single camper the motivation and drive to love the event that they do and to try their hardest no matter what. I’ve been able to take those things that I learned at ISD and apply them in different situations in a way that benefited me the most, it’s truly what helped me come out of my own shell. Whether you want to be a funny speaker, an emotional speaker or an extremely analytical speaker, ISD has a place for you. Every single person there from friends to instructors will always find a way to make sure that not only you achieve your own goals but that those goals also translate into success."
"ISD was by far the best experience of my debate career. Before attending ISD, I was not confident in my debate and public speaking skills. The magnificent staff members create such an encouraging learning environment, that every student receives the tools they need to return to their circuit a better debater. ISD teaches a well-rounded curriculum, which enabled me to take the skills I learned in the Public Forum camp and find success in numerous events. Attending ISD means becoming apart of a community that will encourage you through and beyond your debate career."
“ISD was the first Speech and Debate camp I ever attended, and the experience transformed my view of public forum, debate, and the community. ISD taught me new strategies I could use to grow as a competitor and fostered connections to other members of the community with whom I still work and compete. The staff strengthened my existing abilities so that I could explore new arguments and advocate positions aligned with my beliefs and interests. The lessons I learned from camp outlived the summer and carried into the year, guiding my interactions with others within and beyond the activity. Without ISD, I would neither have the same outlook nor have achieved the same level of success in Public Forum. The experience was invaluable.”
“ISD was one of the single greatest experiences of my debate career. Among the amazing staff were excellent female role models that empowered me and the rest of the girls on my team. Each day we had the opportunity to work one-on-one with junior and senior staff to identify our weaknesses and turn them into strengths. There’s nothing better for improving your in round performance than getting coaches by the teams who have beaten you before! My partner and I went from doing the bare minimum to break to consistently going undefeated in prelims and further in elims than we ever had before. We also formed connections and friendships that benefited us throughout the rest of the year. Moreover, the unique opportunity to have a different junior staff member everyday exposed us to new strategies and ideas that we wouldn’t have otherwise experienced without ISD. If you truly want to improve your skills as a debater and have a great time this summer, you won’t regret looking into ISD.”