Special Program for Advanced Debate Campers

registered campers only

Program Description

Westfield Academy is very excited to announce that the Coach of the award-winning Yale debate team, David Kimel, is returning this summer to the Westfield Summer Camp to teach a special program for Advanced Debate Students this summer.  David is about to get his PhD from Yale and has been the Head Coach of the Yale Debate Association from 2010-2015. Under his guidance, the team won First Place Club of the Year for all the years David has been coaching them. This summer at camp, David will teach an advanced program geared for experienced debaters who want to really focus on bringing their skills to the next level. This program will be appropriate for, although not limited to, juniors and seniors who are looking to make the transition to college debating. This is a rare and exciting opportunity!  Debaters who attended David’s classes last summer went on to win a number of debate tournaments this year including:  the International Public Policy Forum; the Loomis Debate Competition, Yale Osterweis and Northfield-Mount Hermon.

This program will be run the first week of camp.  We will be running a second week of Advanced Competitive Skills the second week - more information will follow.

This is a rare and exciting opportunity!

Format of the Program

Last year, this group met three afternoons of camp for two hours each day. It was incredibly well received by the students who clamored for more.  We listened! This year the group will meet with David five days of the week for four hours a day.  The program will focus on advanced topics in oratory and argumentation. Special emphasis will be placed on applying the theoretical tools learned in class to hypothetical rounds, bridging the gap between topics normally seen in high school debate and the more advanced fare of college-level competition. Students will apply the topics learned to a debate which will be critiqued by David.  Students will also have the opportunity to serve with David on a judging panel and compare their comments with David’s – a unique and powerful opportunity.   

Weekly topics will include some or all of the following

David’s goal is to teach what debaters need to know about each of these subjects.

Moral Philosophy (application of utilitarian and deontological reasoning to rounds; post-modern critiques and deconstructions; moral obligations; race and gender theory)

The Law (fundamentals of constitutional law; international law; rights and judicial standards; social justice and the law)

Economics (Liberalism versus socialism; insights from game theory and complexity theory; case studies in laissez faire economics; Northern European models)

Futurism (the singularity, artificial intelligence and unemployment, cyborg technology, simulism, the Doomsday Argument, the Turing Test)

To Apply for This Program - deadline: May 31th

Interested campers* must submit a statement explaining:

  1. Your interest in the class,  
  2. What topics you are especially eager to explore, and why.
  3. Outline your debate experience including competitions attended and awards won.  

*Note, returning students who attended David’s Advanced Competitive Skills Program at camp last summer need only submit a brief statement explaining why they would like to work with David again and update the competitions they attended this year and awards won.


Decisions on applications will be made by June 2nd.  Applications received after that date will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.The applicant will be notified by email upon acceptance and must pay the tuition fee at that time.


There will be an additional $210 tuition charge for participation in this program. This tuition is to be paid only upon acceptance to the program. *