Stanford Invitational Tournament

Thanks for joining us this summer!  Please return to our website later this fall to see the dates of our 2021 programs.

2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program

The Stanford National Forensic Institute offers national caliber summer debate programs for students of any level of experience. The Two Week Lincoln-Douglas program is open to all students and is a comprehensive preparation for the upcoming year of competitive debate. Each lab is carefully constructed to maximize student’s ability to accelerate their skills in a highly educational environment. A strong student to staff ratio (8:1) and a minimum of 10 expertly critiqued practice rounds are a core feature of the two-week camp. The Three Week program adds an additional week to the standard Two Week program. The Third Week focuses on technique and practice rounds, and gives students the chance to fully integrate the skills they have learned during the first two weeks of camp.

Quality Instructors

SNFI knows that generally speaking, the best instructors are not the youngest instructors. We focus on hiring the most experienced instructors, and the most successful coaches of competitors. Our faculty has coached competitors to outrounds and championships at the most prestigious tournaments around the country including NCFLs, NFLs, and TOC. Our instructors know how to create champions at every level of competition.

Carefully Crafted Curriculum

SNFI’s curriculum carefully balances lab time, practice rounds, mandatory lectures, and electives. All labs are led by our expert faculty with a special eye to balancing the skills of the instructors with the needs of each student. Each student will participate in a minimum of 10 critiqued practice rounds; most participate in more. Our lecture series focuses on providing students with solid foundations in both debate and philosophy. Labs then focus on implementation of those concepts so that students can see how to utilize each lecture. Our elective series allows students the freedom to choose an in-depth investigation of a skill or philosophy of their choosing.

Director's Note

What I love most about LD debate is that it is constantly in flux. Norms always shift. Practices constantly evolve. Argument angles are always new. In that way, debate is a living (and vibrant) activity. This is easily evidenced by watching the various styles that succeed across the country and reading the various defenses of styles and practices in places ranging from online message boards to published Rostrum articles.

That means that as much as SNFI is a great opportunity for students to learn from some of the best debate minds in the country, the styles that they prefer is equally a tremendous opportunity to help further the exchange of ideas. Students from Pennsylvania bring with them ideas that differ from those students from Alabama or Washington or Texas or California. All find a home at SNFI each summer. The result is, in my experience, unique. Where many camps seek to stylistically homogenize students, SNFI works to form labs in a way that not only pairs them with lab leaders that will meet their needs, but also in a way that maximizes each student's exposure to differing views on debate.

In this way SNFI is a tremendous place for students with ambitions that range from winning top level national competitions (which our alumni have done) to a desire to simply be able to better train the novices on their teams or even to start programs. The joy I get from running SNFI is not bragging about the tournaments our alumni have won or the accolades of the coaches that staff the camp. The real reward is the student from Any High School who sends an email after their first tournament to explain the joy they feel from their improved record, confidence, mastery of debate, or ability to improve their teammates.

SNFI is not like other debate camps. That's why I keep coming back! I hope you'll join us this summer in Palo Alto!


2021 2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program Staff Members Include:

Check back closer to the start of camp for details on our 2021 staff

We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed and as we have complete biographic information available. Staff listing may not be fully up to date or reflect all hires to date.


2020 2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program Staff Members Included:



Upcoming Sessions
* Tentative and Subject to Change

No Sessions Currently Scheduled For This Camp