Stanford Invitational Tournament
Thanks for joining us this summer!  Please return to our website later this fall to see the dates of our 2020 programs.  We expect to have dates posted and camp enrollment for summer 2020 open by approximately mid-October.

1-Week Introduction to Argumention & Debate

Speech & debate is a very powerful activity which teaches students many skills which are in high demand in the contemporary world: public speaking, research skills, writing and logical thinking!  Students in this session will learn the bedrock theories and methods necessary to enter the world of competitive speech & debate.  There will also be a brief introduction to the major standardized formats of competitive debate which are offered at high schools around the nation. The goal of this session is to cover some of the foundational basics which normally require a sizeable portion of time for beginning students during one of our 2-Week Core sessions.  While these are critical skills to learn, the time that's necessary to learn these skills restricts the amount of progress that beginning students can make in our other programs.  After completing this session a student will be prepared to enter any of our subsequent debate sessions at a level beyond novice/beginner and will be prepared to make a more informed choice about which type of debate would be the best fit for their academic and competitive interests.   This program represents a great opportunity for students to try debate and to learn the necessary skills without committing to a particular type or format for multiple weeks.  Students in the 1-Week Introduction to Argument & Debate are prepared to continue onto the 2-Week Core Public Forum Program, the 2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program, or the 2-Week Core Congressional Debate Program immediately after the conclusion of the session. For students interested in competitive speech events rather than debate events, please see the information on our 1-Week Introduction to Competitive Speech program. We also offer several longer Beginners’/Intro Flex Packages which allow students to continue into the specific debate format of their choice immediately after completing the survey component of the 1-Week Introduction to Argumentation & Debate session: The 2-Week Beginners' Flex Package combines the 1-Week Introduction to Argumentation & Debate session with the student's choice of our 1-Week Public Forum Workout, 1-Week Lincoln-Douglas Workout, or 1-Week Congressional Debate Workout programs.  Students enrolled in the 2-Week Beginners' Flex Package will learn the basics of debate and will be able to choose which type of debate they would like to work on after the survey component of the first week. The 2-Week Beginners' Parliamentary Program combines the 1-Week Introduction to Argumentation & Debate session with the 1-Week Parliamentary Debate Program.  Students enrolled in the 2-Week Beginners' Flex Package will learn the basics of debate in first week, and then will be able to join the 1-Week Parliamentary program one level up from the "beginner" group a starting student would otherwise be placed in. The 3-Week Beginners' Core Flex Package combines the 1-Week Introduction to Argumentation & Debate session with the student's choice of our 2-Week Core Public Forum, 2-Week Core Lincoln-Douglas, or 2-Week Core Congressional Debate programs.  Students enrolled in the 3-Week Beginners' Core Flex Package will learn the basics of debate and will be able to choose which type of debate they would like to work on after the survey component of the first week. The  4-Week Beginners' Flex Package Experience combines the 1-Week Introduction to Argumentation & Debate session with the student's choice of our 3-Week Public Forum Experience or 3-Week Lincoln-Douglas Experience programs.  Students enrolled in the 4-Week Beginners' Flex Package Experience will learn the basics of debate and will be able to choose which type of debate they would like to work on after the survey component in the first week.   For students interested in competitive speech events rather than debate events, please see the information on our 1-Week Introduction to Competitive Speech program.

2020 1-Week Introduction to Argumention & Debate Staff Members Include:

Check back closer to the start of camp for details on our 2020 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.


2019 1-Week Introduction to Argumention & Debate Staff Members Included:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Brian Manuel (Debate Programs Coordinator)

Brian Manuel, Debate Programs Coordinator

Brian is the Director of Debate at Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School in New York and Director of Policy Debate at Stanford University, in addition to serving as a consultant for the National Speech & Debate Association. Widely recognized for his unrivaled talent in revitalizing traditional programs, Brian was named the 2008 Michael Bacon Coach of the Year and 2016 Val A. Browning Director of the Year. He has been coaching for nearly 20 years and was recently elected to the Executive Board of the National Debate Coaches Association. Under his leadership, Edgemont’s debate program has flourished, winning five state championships and countless speaker awards, as well as presenting to the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill. His students championed the 2015 Georgetown Day School Invitational and 2018 Mamaroneck Round Robin in Policy Debate; 2018 Harrison Round Robin and 2019 Newark Round Robin in Lincoln-Douglas Debate; and 2016 Lakeland Round Robin, 2016 Westchester Classic, 2018 University of Michigan High-School Tournament, and 2019 Lakeland Round Robin in Public Forum Debate. After past outround appearances in Policy and Lincoln-Douglas, Edgemont will be represented in all principal debate events at this year’s Tournament of Champions. Brian has enjoyed equal success at Stanford, where he coached its first team in two decades—and fourth team ever—to qualify for the National Debate Tournament, finishing in the top 30 in both 2013 and 2015. Over the course of his professional career, Brian has coached for Harvard University, College Preparatory School, Cathedral Preparatory School, Chattahoochee High School, Lakeland High School, and Scranton High School. His students have advanced to elimination rounds at every major national tournament, including NSDA, NDCA, NCFL, and CEDA Nationals. He also coached the champions of the 2003 Big Bronx Invitational, 2008 Barkley Forum, and 2012 Golden Desert Tournament in Policy Debate, along with the 2007 NCFL finalists, 2012 NSDA finalists, and 2013 Phyllis Flory Barton top speaker. During the summer, Brian serves as the Academic Director at the Stanford National Forensic Institute. He previously taught workshops at the University of Kentucky, University of Michigan, Georgetown University, and Millennial Speech & Debate. Brian is looking forward to his eleventh summer at SNFI!

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Caspar Arbeeny (Instructor)

Caspar Arbeeny, Instructor

Caspar Arbeeny is a rising senior at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. He competed in public forum debate at Poly Prep in NY for all four years of high school, and hascoached public forum for Edgemont Jr/Sr. High Schools for the last three years. Over the course of his competitive career, Caspar amassed 12 bids to the tournament of champions, reached the quarterfinal round at the 2016 Tournament of Champions, reached the semifinal round at the 2015 Yale Invitational, and championed the 2016 Lexington Winter Invitational. As a coach, he has helped three different teams qualify to the Gold Tournament of Champions, as well as outrounds at numerous national tournamnets. Caspar is incredibly excited to be working at SNFI this summer.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Hanh Do (Instructor)

Hanh Do, Instructor

Hanh Do has been involved in competitive debate for the past 24 years on the collegiate and the high school level as a coach, consultant, and adjudicator.  Her students have cleared and placed at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Isidore Newman, Harvard-Westlake, The Glenbrooks, Holy Cross, Grapevine, Hockaday, and the UT Longhorn Classic.  In addition to teaching PF since its inception, she has instructed in LD, policy, parli, BP, and Worlds Schools Debate.  She has had the immense privilege of traveling internationally to adjudicate and her team in 2016 cleared and placed in the Pan American Debating Championships.  Currently she is the Assistant Director of Forensics at John Paul II in Plano, Texas and has served as the Big Questions Chair for the past two years at the National Speech and Debate Association's National Tournament.  

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Natalie Polanco (Instructor)

Natalie Polanco, Instructor

Natalie is the Director of Forensics at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York. With a wide range of experience in the activity, she has overseen the growth of Packer’s first-ever Speech & Debate Team to include 14 active competitors in only its second year of existence. Her students were co-champions in Varsity Public Forum, finalists and quarterfinalists in Junior Varsity Public Forum, and octafinalists in Novice Public Forum at the 2019 Westchester Classic, earning a total of five speaker awards. In addition to qualifying for this year’s Tournament of Champions and NCFL Grand Nationals, her students advanced to elimination rounds at Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, and Bronx Science. Natalie represented student interests as a member of the NSDA’s Public Forum Ad Hoc Committee, which was tasked with evaluating a number of proposed changes to the event, and currently serves on the Public Forum Wording Committee. She looks forward to spending another summer at SNFI!



Upcoming Sessions
* Tentative and Subject to Change

No Sessions Currently Scheduled For This Camp