Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Giving back to the High School Debate Community

Being a member of the UT Tyler debate team means that I don’t have a lot of weekends to do things, and I very rarely have time to leave Tyler just because we are usually working at the debate office.  However, the past couple of weeks I have had the great opportunity to help give back to the community that made me who I am.

Every summer, hundreds of high school debaters pay to attend debate camps across the state of Texas. I had the fortune of working at one a couple of weeks ago.  I was on staff at the Texas Speech and Debate Camp, hosted by East Texas Baptist University. 

Together, with 4 other staff members, we helped almost 30 debaters from the east Texas high school debate community work on their policy debate skills.  This was my second year working at the camp, but my experience was even better than last year!

The camp was a week long, and featured a variety of lectures from each of the staff members as well as plenty of practice rounds for each of the debaters to participate in, followed by a tournament at the end of the camp to allow the debaters to utilize some of the skills that they had developed while at the camp.  For those that follow the blog and read my last post about the camp that I attended as a student, it was a very similar schedule and format for the camp. 

I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to work with.  I had such a great time working and helping students develop their skills as debaters.  It was such a joy to work and give back to the community that I was a part of for four years of high school.  My goal has always been to graduate from college and teach high school while coaching debate.  With this camp, I have had the opportunity to get a taste of that life, and I can’t wait. 

I also had the chance to go back to my former high school and help their debate team for a week as they get ready for the upcoming season that starts in less than a month.  It was a week of fun as I helped them prepare their different argumentative positions and helped teach new debaters the basics of policy debate.

Both of these camps were such a blast to work at, and I can’t wait until next summer to do it all again.  I have had such a blast working and helping out this community and I hope that I can continue to do this for many years. I would encourage each student that attends college to not forget about your roots.  If you ever have the opportunity to go and give back to any events you participated in during high school, take advantage of it.  It is always nice to make your community or event a better place.

This is the Student Center, where the campers had time to prepare themselves for the camp tournament while at the Texas Speech and Debate Camp.

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