NDF did a really good job of focusing on the individual needs of students, promoting healthy competition, and using the expertise and personal experience of instructors to keep students engaged and having fun. NDF taught me a lot about the intricacies of debate, and I don’t think I’d ever be this successful if I never went to NDF.
For me, NDF defined the purpose of debate. I had gone with only one tournament to credit my experience, and I left with knowledge that I count have attained elsewhere. Critical techniques were taught straightforwardly by lab leaders who care about and respect debate more than anyone else. Having been in Symposium, the solid yet eased introduction to the circuit and tho the rigor of the circuit and to the rigor of Public forum provided me a strong foundation for me to build upon for years to come. I couldn’t thank NDF enough for all it has done for my debate career.
Aside from the amazing staff and the rigorous curriculum, for me what separates NDF from all other camps are the campers themselves. I’ve had the opportunity to compete against some of the best debaters in the country, and no matter what lab I’ve been placed in, I have always been challenged by my peers to improve.
NDF is unrivaled! The instruction is great because you are getting advice and critiques from some of the top debaters in the country! The staff is always eager to help you improve and was relatable because as just a few years ago many of them were right where you are. NDF is also a great place familiarize yourself with the national circuit and pick up new debate strategies. I enjoyed connecting with many debaters around the country many of whom I continue to keep in touch with. Overall, NDF was easily one of the best things I could have done for improving my debating skills, and I attribute much of my success to what I learned at camp.
NDF was such a fantastic experience, and it will be for every debater who attends. If you come looking to learn, NDF gives you solid two weeks of exactly that. If you come looking to have fun, and make friends and meet people on the circuit that you will make so many memories with and never forget—NDF gives you just that. Within my two weeks in Boston, my lab elevated my skills as a debater through its curriculum. Whether it be in the form of consistent practice rounds to work on in-round strategy, whether it be the extemp debates in lab to practice thinking and arguing on my feet, whether it be participating in demo round in front of people I didn’t know in order to practice further acquainting and adapting myself to an audience, whether it be the redos of speeches we did with experienced staffers, whether it be the one-on-one office hours we had with instructors, I can say for certainty that my two weeks away from home at NDF pushed me to becoming a better debater and student. Speaking for those that come from a school with a small debate team, I can guarantee that attending NDF elevates your capabilities and confidence by showing you the inclusive aspect of the debate community—everyone can grow at NDF, and everyone is capable of translating that growth into success on the circuit.
Going to NDF was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. All of the instructors were really dedicated to helping us improve in every session, drill, and round. Almost every aspect of our debating style improved, including speaking style, strategy, clarity, and efficiency. NDF helped me become a much more competitive debater, and it’s one of the most fun parts of the debate community as a whole. The only thing that I regret is that I didn’t go until my senior year.