If you’re already involved with competitive debate & speech, attending our program should be an easy decision. Thousands of students attend debate camp to improve their skills (or to keep from regressing). Like learning an instrument, a language or sport, long breaks from practice will quickly lead to attrition.

Public Speaking and Argumentation skills are universally applicable. In a recent Pew Research Survey, respondents were asked which skill was most important for future success – 90% listed effective communication.  More and more schools are cutting public speaking from their curriculum. And even where there are classes offered, many students don’t have time to fit it in their schedule. 

This page will address four important issues:

  1. I don’t know if I want to continue competing in debate 
  2. I don’t know if my Upper School/High School has debate, or what type of debate/speech they offer
  3. I never plan on competing in debate or speech
  4. We’ll take a look at how students hoping to be involved with debate through high school may use debate camp as their primary training.

Competitive debate is not necessarily for everyone. However, summer is the best time for you to decide if debate is something you wish to pursue during the school year. 

Taking the summer off of debate will make joining the team even more difficult in the fall. It can also be time-consuming and stressful to learn how to do a new activity while starting a school year and even pursuing other interests. 

Many teams rely on summer camp to teach students the skills they do not have time to work on during the school year.  As specific tournament preparation becomes more pressing, those who have learned more discreet skills in debate and argumentation will accel – both in preparing efficiently, but also in executing strategies.

The first thing you should do is find out. You can also email Mike Bietz, the program director for debateLA and the head coach at Harvard-Westlake. 

Even if the program is small or non-existent, there are many opportunities debaters have to participate without having a traditional team. Many debaters, with the permission of their school, will attend tournaments with parents. In Lincoln-Douglas debate, a few of the nation’s most successful debaters compete without a traditional team. 

In addition to normal debate tournaments, there are many other debate-related activities that do not require regular team participation: trying-out for Team USA, competing in the International Public Policy Forum, competing in the Ronald Reagan Library Foundation Great Communicator Debate Series, to name a few.

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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