Testimonials

2019 GDS Testimonials

 

Izaak van Til

"I believe that this has single-handedly made me care about what I am debating for and to choose advocacies that I truly believe in."

 

Tahj Johnson

"There is a difference between a camp and a workshop, and GDS is a workshop that is just as fun as a camp."

 

Gianna Tribuzio

"The most amazing opportunities to improve as a debater are offered at GDS. I was expecting some bitter old people who peaked in high school and had no passion, but the staff is incredibly talented, esteemed, and passionate about debate and sharing their knowledge. I wish I came here earlier."

 

Quentin Trull

"GDS was essential in turning me into a debater who could win some tournaments. GDS hangs its hat on their staff and it's easy to see why. With national champions from every national tournament you could think of, it's super easy to learn any concept you want. From the basics of cross examination, to the finer points of afro-pessimism, someone here is willing and happy to teach you how to be a better debater. Anyone can benefit from GDS. If you wanna become a threat in your district, GDS can help you. If you wanna learn how to teach your novice better, GDS can help you. If you wanna be a national champion, GDS can help you. There is truly no place like GDS and I would GREATLY recommend it."

 

David Morehouse

"GDS is my debate home away from home, and I make lifelong friends here while learning a ton about debate, we have fun as roommates, floor mates, and lab mates. It's an amazing workshop and I'll be coming back as long as I can."

 

Giovanni Cutri

"GDS allows everyone of all different levels to improve on their skills and gives everyone the tools needed to expand their knowledge"

 

Ben Erdmann

"GDS K Lab is great for anyone who wants to learn how to read Ks and answer them. It is great for expanding your horizons in terms of argument knowledge as well as learning new strategies for the season."

 

Ryan Xie

"I walked into this camp not knowing anything about debate. After a short two weeks, I made lasting memories with my instructors and classmates. Please know that this is a workshop, not a camp, so this camp will be difficult. But when I walked out of GDS, I learned not only indispensable debate skills, but life skills in general."

 

Teja Mettu

"By the end of GDS no-one is ever the same debater they came in as... whether it be your skillset, your ideas, or even the person you are today."

 

Baxter Meyer

"GDS was an amazing experience that didn’t just tell you what various arguments and strategies are but making sure that you actually understand what they mean, how to use them, and how to have them impact you as a person too."

 

2019 GDS Anonymous Feedback

 

"GDS was the best summer workshop experience I've had. I come from a small school and I learned more in a couple of days here than I learned all year in school."

 

"GDS is a debate camp, but it was so much more for me. It was an environment of learning and constant growth that I wouldn't have traded for anything, and the deep insights and ideals that I took away will stay with me, I hope, for a long time."

 

"GDS is not defined by the workload- Sure, don't get me wrong, it is a bootcamp designed to improve your skills and make you a better debater and person. However, what defines GDS is the people here- They care about you, they want to see you winning a tournament, they want to make you a better person, and most of all, they want you to be happy. They help to create a learning environment like no other- Labs that exponentially increase your debate proficiency, electives that open your eyes to new perspectives, and lectures that inspire you to do better things in this world."

 

"GDS is not defined by the workload- Sure, don't get me wrong, it is a bootcamp designed to improve your skills and make you a better debater and person. However, what defines GDS is the people here.  They care about you, they want to see you winning a tournament, they want to make you a better person, and most of all, they want you to be happy. They help to create a learning environment like no other- Labs that exponentially increase your debate proficiency, electives that open your eyes to new perspectives, and lectures that inspire you to do better things in this world."

 

"If you want to cram the basics of debate into a 2-week session so that you can jump right into debate, this is the place. The staff are experts, your peers are competitive, and the lessons are intense."

 

"GDS is the best debate camp- it has helped me reached goals I didn’t know I had!"

 

"GDS was an amazing opportunity to interact with debaters and coaches that you wouldn't normally be with and created an environment that was supportive and educational." 

 

"This camp did more than just teach, it developed everyone as a debater, but more importantly as a person. Yes, debating in round and learning from labs and lectures was infinitely precious, I valued the discussions about controversial topics even more. Thanks GDS!"

 

"GDS is AMAZING!!!! Lab was super FUN because my lab leaders were epic and my fellow lab students were also epic and the food was really good AND MOST IMPORTANTLY SNOW CONES AND POPSICLES WERE FREE SO YOU COULD HAVE AS MANY AS YOU WANT!!!!!"

 

"GDS was my first debate camp and I learned more about debate here in two weeks than I did during my entire debate class at school and it's not even close. In fact, I would say that GDS is the literal stage of truth while all other debate learning experiences are hyper realities. The staff members are super knowledgeable they are always happy to answer your questions and lab leaders do a good job making sure that no one is confused. Maybe even more valuable than what I learned about debate are the connections that I made with a lot of really good debaters and I'm sure this will impact me positively for the rest of my debate career."

 

2018 GDS Testimonials

 

Joshua Porter

"I really liked the environment with all the diversity (especially the staff). They were very accepting, and I had a lot of fun with them."

 

Janeth Quirke

"I grew as a debater at GDS. It's a great camp and I would recommend it to all debaters even if you're just starting debate there are a bunch of resources here at camp that can help you throughout your debate career."

 

Emmaline Harmon

"I loved my experience with GDS. GDS has helped me recognize what strategies I need to improve on and the tools to do it."

 

Avinash Srinivasan

"I felt that the Coaches were excellent and that it really helped me understand the higher levels of debate needed."

 

Gabriel Stern

"(GDS) is the perfect mix of fun and work."

 

Valerie Xu

"Gds is the home of the most knowledgeable and kind faculties, best debate resources, and smartest students in the country."

 

Nikitha Thoduguli

"GDS is a debate camp unlike any other. The staff, campus, and people are all above par which makes for the most comprehensive learning experience you could wish for."

 

Eli Lapkin

"GDS taught me to be a better debater, but more importantly, it taught me to be a better person. I learned more about who I am as a person, and I improved my debate skills and knowledge. The environment, the staff, and the students made me feel much better prepared for the upcoming debate season than would have been possible anywhere else."

 

Quinn Hughes

"GDS is a unique and excellent experience that offers unique and fresh learning experiences."

 

Ethan Voskoff

"GSD is the most rigorous and beneficial workshop in the entire country. The staff are fully devoted to helping each individual student master debate skills all across the spectrum, and they always provide beneficial insight. I am very happy to have attended GDS this year!"

 

Henry Eberhart

"GDS taught me so much about the arguments and the history behind them. I had only learned how to run the arguments in debate, but never the full-fledged out history of them. That was something that will be immensely helpful to me."

 

Joshua Herrera

"GDS helped me view debate through a different lens. It provided an enjoyable, skill-enhancing experience."

 

Aaron Barcio

"GDS is a great place to get a debate education and an occasional game of ultimate frisbee."

 

Callahan Stroud

"GDS helped expand my horizons beyond traditional LD, and opened the door to the national circuit for me"

 

Jack Quisenberry

"GDS was an awesome experience. I learned more in the past 2 weeks than I did the whole season!"

  

Nathan Russell

"GDS helped me improve a lot in terms of the diversity of arguments I feel comfortable answering and reading. I feel much more confident competing varsity next year."

 

Anais Zhang

"GDS allowed me to form new friendships and relationships with amazing coaches and debaters. It is a rigorous environment that pushes you to work hard and exposes you to new perspectives all while learning about a wide assortment of arguments and argument styles. I'm thankful for this amazing experience."

 

Mark Hughes

"Since this was going to be last year at debate camp I had some clear goals set in mind when attending GDS. I had a wonderful experience and maximized my time attending the workshop. I was surrounded by the best debate instructors/staff in the country, and I'm glad I was able to spend my summer here at GDS."

 

Allen Jeffrey Wu

"The Global Debate Symposium is an all access debate camp. Whether you are a novice just entering debate, or a TOC qualifier, the Global Debate Symposium can teach you almost anything due to their diverse staff. In my time at camp I learned about Asian Americanism. Thanks to Mina Lee and Chris Randall I found out that I wasn't alone in my struggle for identity, and they gave me tools to further that exploration."

 

Blake Ziegler

"GDS offers an amazing opportunity for debaters across all styles and experience levels. The staff are dedicated to your improvement, and the atmosphere is one that constantly promotes your development."

 

Matthew Paul

"I had a great experience at the global debate symposium. They have the best staff, facilities, and drills in the nation and compared to any other debate camp. I couldn't ask for a better summer of learning, debating, and improving. I am excited to come back next year."

 

2018 GDS Anonymous Feedback

 

"I had gone to debate camps in the past, but none came close to GDS. The dedication of my lab leaders and the other staff surpassed my expectations showed me that they genuinely cared. This is the type of experience that high school debaters should have at a debate camp.
Global Debate Symposium was an absolutely incredible experience. Being able to work with such a talented staff helped me improve my skills exponentially in just a few weeks. I also got to meet lifelong friends and learn in one of the most beautiful college campuses I've ever been on. (The food was amazing too!)"

"GDS is a place where you can learn, have fun, and overall have a great experience. I love how personalized the lab leaders can get to you as far as office hours go; the option to talk to some of the smartest and best debaters (in addition to being able to talk to some of the most experienced coaches) and get their perspective on debate/college/anything truly is unique to GDS. I don't think you can get this at any other camp. The staff here is unparalleled, the view here is amazing, and the food tops it off. I'm glad I went to GDS to help develop my debate career."

"GDS has completely changed my outlook on debate. I came here two years ago as someone with little to no experience, and through GDS, not only did I learn the fundamentals of debate and the format, but I also learned skills I could apply to other formats. Because of my experience in Worlds, I was able to learn argumentation and style techniques that meant I could qualify to TOC in Congress. Coming from a program with no coaching and a state with little to none debate exposure, GDS taught me what it meant to be a debater. I learned how to form arguments, better my style, but more importantly, I learned how to be a good sport and a team player."

"Coming back this year as a more experienced debater, I still learned just as much because the GDS staff ensures that the education you receive is tailored to your skill level and learning style."

"As a novice, GDS was a great learning experience and I would highly recommend it to everybody."

"This camp is the best camp I've ever been too. The diversity in teaching methods and the knowledge you accumulate here will help you immensely in your debate career. High recommendations."

"GDS easily has the best well-rounded staff I've ever seen. They give you all the tools and resources you need to be the debater you want to be."

"GDS allows debaters to not just learn about arguments, but understand the history behind arguments. With more critical arguments being used at various tournaments, GDS prepares debaters to engage in any form of debate they want."


"GDS was really fun and though I was new to debate and one of the youngest people here my lab, teachers, and fellow students were very nice and helped a lot."

"GDS encompasses a diverse staff that places the utmost effort in making the students happy, but also getting them to be better debaters. I honestly never thought that GDS would be this helpful compared to the other camps I have been to."

"GDS allowed me to have a personalized debate experience where instructors gave me specialized attention on subjects that I didn't understand."

"Gds has been an amazing experience for it being my last year I really feel like I have learned a lot more in these few weeks here then anywhere else and i plan to try to bring what I learn to my everyday life."

"You won't come to GDS and leave without learning the essentials of debating at a high level and knowing the arguments that you want to learn inside and out."

"Your growth is linear with your effort. There are plenty of instructors here are who extremely knowledgeable and more than helpful enough to make you a force in your circuit."

"After 2 years at GDS, I can say with full confidence that the both the structure and staff of the Worlds Division are unrivaled. Besides the variety of opportunities to interact with and learn from the members and coaches of USA Debate, I've had some of the best conversations through this camp session of my life about the issues that are shaping our society, both in and out of the debate sphere. The content lectures, drills, and round experience in this week alone have taught me as much as I could have hoped to learn in a full competitive season."

"It's not a camp, its a workshop."

"Having attended GDS for each of the past three years, I can attest that no matter when in your debate career you choose to attend, you will improve substantially as a debater. From attending as a rising freshman with no experience in World Schools debate and improving significantly enough to allow me to compete on the Development Team the following year to entering as an experienced rising Junior and still making substantial strides in my speech structuring and argumentation, GDS has consistently managed to improve my debating skills and shown that no matter how often you attend, you will get better each time."


"GDS offers an experience to get even the newest debater to their utmost potential. With the instructors, as well as the overall community that they provide, the build a safe learning environment that allows all debaters to strive for their goals. Whether it be learning the strategies to win you rounds, or building a community of friends through your colleagues and instructors GDS provides a program like no other."

 

2017 GDS Testimonials

 

Robert Yang

“GDS was my first debate camp experience, and I have to say I learned more in one week than the entire school year”.

 

Marly Grace Rogers

“GDS taught me to be confident in everything I do. The faculty that GDS employs is impeccable and cares about the students they teach. I do not think I would have been able to take in and be effective with getting better at LD if my lab leaders were not engaged in doing all they can. GDS is amazing”!

 

Osmane Sanogo

“I came here thinking some other camp like XXX would be better and that Top Lab would be useless. I was wrong. I was able to MASSIVELY improve on my technical skills to the point where it can help my big picture style of debating. I hope I can come again, since I'm a rising junior".

 

Rohith Mandavilli

"GDS infused creativity and work, encouraging debaters to try new forms of argumentation while engaging with unpredictable positions. Additionally, the intensity of the camp forced debaters to work hard constantly to improve themselves”.

 

Blake Ziegler

“Global Debate Symposium is a wonderful experience that has dramatically increased my skills across all aspects of debate. Furthermore, it is located in an amazing atmosphere that adds to the amazing experience. I would recommend GDS to anyone, regardless of skill level”.

 

Niki Vasan

I think I learned more in the first 3 days of this camp than I did my entire debate season last year. The staff is amazing and while the workload is rigorous, it helped me improve so much and I'm really thankful.


Alyssa Pacaccio

“GDS provided an all-inclusive learning environment. I valued the time and experience of all those whom I've learned from, and am grateful I was able to have a safe space to have impactful discussions with many different people. The speakers were very insightful, and the experiences, thoughts, and stories they shared were beyond compare. This eye opening experience is definitely unparalleled”.


Mihir Rai

“Coming to GDS this year, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to improve on. GDS provided me with the resources (staff, speakers, classes) that allowed me to become better at everything I hoped to become better at. I am excited to see how the skills I learned at camp transfer over to the upcoming year”.

 

Brian Zhou

“GDS doesn't lie about the amazing instructors and the diversity in argument and thought. I have learned an incredible amount from staff members experienced in a range of topics: disadvantages, counterplans, kritiks, theory, framework, strategy, the list goes on. I can be confident in myself, my argumentation, in sound ethical practices”.

 

Stephen Ha

“GDS was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Being able to be make life long friendships with other debaters across the nation and at the same time be surrounded by the amount of talent was indescribable. I learned so much and made connections I'm sure will last me for the rest of my life. Thank you GDS”.

 

Caroline G

“Best experience ever!! Staff amazing, and so talented. And great facilities”!


Alana Yang

“I learned so much from GDS! I had debated for one year before I came here and GDS opened my eyes to so many different things. All the staff are incredibly nice and talented and I enjoyed my time with them”.


Rex Evans

“I had a great time and learned so much. The lab leaders were fantastic and gave helpful and constructive feedback”.

 

Grayson Constantine

GDS had some of the best staff in the entire country. There is so much diversity in students and staff, so you can learn from the experts on virtually any subject. My experience at GDS has been great, and it has been me a much better debater. I definitely plan on coming back next year.

 

Abby Grifino

GDS helped me become a more well-rounded debater and helped me master skills I didn't realize I could. I feel more prepared for next season than I have ever before.

 

Victoria Ivey

“Having only one summer left to go to camp I was faced with a lot of options and going to GDS was probably the best decision I could've made to get better at debate. My lab leaders were all really engaged and enjoyed what they were teaching and made the experience enjoyable and I was surprised how many friends I made within my lab and the bonding experiences we had. I felt this camp really pushed me to be an advocate for whatever position I felt inclined towards and turned out to be a really empowering place to be. Food is also a big deal to me and their food held to my very high standards”.

 

2017 GDS Anonymous Feedback

 

“GDS gave me an experience that I will never forget. From the basics of framework to psychoanalysis kritiks, I learned a range of new argument and old skills to remember how to properly debate successfully and efficiently”.

“GDS taught me to be confident in everything I do. The faculty that GDS employs in impeccable and cares about the students they teach. I do not think I would have been able to take in and be effective with getting better at LD if my lab leaders were not engaged in doing all they can. GDS is amazing”!

 

“GDS taught me so much this summer- I feel like I learned the equivalent of an entire debate season”.

 

"I learned more about debate in these two weeks then I ever could have imagined. I know that I am ready to carry on these skills and take them to my local circuit”!

 

“I learned so much from GDS! I had debated for one year before I came here and GDS opened my eyes to so many different things. All the staff are incredibly nice and talented and I enjoyed my time with them”.

 

“GDS had some of the best staff in the entire country. There is so much diversity in students and staff, so you can learn from the experts on virtually any subject. My experience at GDS has been great, and it has been me a much better debater. I definitely plan on coming back next year”.

 

“GDS is likely the best way to rapidly improve a student’s skills in almost every facet of Lincoln Douglas debate. The lectures are presented in a pedagogically sound method, and GDS effectively implements those practices into every drill/round critique”.

 

“I've been to camp 4 times now, and GDS has been the most helpful by far”.

 

“GDS had some of the best staff in the entire country. There is so much diversity in students and staff, so you can learn from the experts on virtually any subject. My experience at GDS has been great, and it has been me a much better debater. I definitely plan on coming back next year”.

 

2016 GDS Testimonials

 

Danny Frank-Siegel

"GDS helped me improve both my technical skills and understanding monumentally, I came in with rough skills and basic understanding of arguments, but the staff's quality instruction and drilling helped me improve everything."

 

Luke Sperber

"I came with no debate experience whatsoever, and I had no idea what to expect, and I left not only knowing what to do, but also feeling very confident for my first season!"

 

Tosin Agboola

"GDS was a very challenging and rigorous camp. It allowed me to improve an array of my debate skills among some of the most talented leaders and peers."

 

Dan Huynh

"GDS is honestly life-changing, depending on what how you approach it of course, but if you truly want to reach a higher level of thinking and debate, then GDS is a bomb option."

 

Andy Do

"This camp was such a wonderful experience. It was super organized in how they dealt with everything. The living space was also super comfortable and the food was surprisingly amazing. The main thing about this camp which made it so good was the staff. I think there was a great selection of staffs who had a lot of experience and achievements."

 

Rishabh Shah

"Other institutes might advertise their young and successful staff, but GDS has a group of very well-experienced and well-rounded lab leaders who know how to teach material and are successful at doing so."

 

Dhruva Mambapoor

"GDS is the optimal debate camp. With ample learning environment, amazing staff, and a rigorous schedule that forces you to be better at debate, GDS has massively increased my skills in debate."

 

 Spencer Paul

"GDS was the most beneficial camp that I have been to. The instructors are so knowledgeable and amazing which has lead to me learning so much. I feel like I progressed so much as a debater at GDS and I cant wait to use the skills that I have learned here on the circuit next year."

 

Evan Engel

"During my time at GDS I was in the K lab. While there were certainly a ton of cards that had to be cut, I learned how to handle doing a lot of prep efficiently. I also learned a ton about kritik literature and articulation in round."

 

Michael Kurian

"The Global Debate Symposium is an amazing place to learn how to get better at the activity. There is someone here who can help you with anything, and the skills of the teachers are so diverse. The environment is great to learn in, and you wake up every morning feeling excited for what the day might bring."

 

 Julia Cosgrove

"I absolutely loved GDS. I got to work with the most amazing lab leaders and I was so lucky to be surrounded by some of the best debaters in the nation."

 

Jai Sehgal

"GDS is a one-of-a-kind camp; it's a place that combines a great staff with great pedagogy that let's you experience debate in a very unique way."

 

Eirik Skildheim

"This camp was an amazing experience overall. The instructors were not just accomplished debaters, they were amazing coaches, too. This was my first high level experience with Lincoln Douglas debate, and I have to say I am not only thoroughly impressed, but passionate about debate after leaving this camp."

 

Brian Zhou

"The staff at GDS is an unparalleled and diverse group; I have learned an incredible amount in both interesting electives and one-on-one time in office hours. From experienced, senior coaches to relatable, recent graduates, I have really enjoyed spending time amongst staff members who genuinely care about their students."

 

Nick Wuthrich

"GDS is a rigorous debate camp with great facilities and a beautiful setting. The instructors at GDS are all immensely qualified and intelligent. Ultimately, going to GDS significantly improved my rhetorical and speaking skills and as such I would highly recommend it."

 

Emily Grantham

"Attending Global Debate Symposium has challenged me to become a more strategic and powerful speaker. Through lectures and detailed feedback from instructors who have not only been extremely successful in debate, but who are also inspiring people, my argumentation style and confidence as a whole has greatly developed beyond what I formerly thought possible."

 

Mihir Rai

"GDS is a camp that pushes students to their limits and allows them to learn a lot that they wouldn't have learned at any other camp."

   

Jordan Hershman 

"Global Debate Symposium was a wonderful experience that greatly improved my skills as a debater. When I first came to the camp, I had no experience competing in the World Schools style of debate. After a week of debating, researching, and getting taught and judged by coaches, alumni, and members of the USA Debate Team, I had enough experience to comfortably compete on a regional, national, and, potentially, international level. I would recommend GDS to anyone who is serious about debate as a way to hone their skills and get the experience they need to succeed in World Schools debate."

 

Emily Grantham

"Global Debate Symposium truly transformed the way that I debate. I chose to attend this camp specifically because of the opportunity to be able to be advised and taught by former debaters and coaches who have won National Championship titles, and have also received recognition on the international circuit. I participated in the World Schools division, and throughout the week, I had direct access to some of the most experienced debaters and coaches in the nation. The opportunity to have lectures and individualized feedback from such a diverse and experienced amount of people allowed for me to grow immensely as a debater and as a speaker.  Through this challenging experience, I was able to practice my new skills in a very constructive and helpful learning environment, with the constant guidance and advice of inspiring individuals who taught me how to better my individual speaking style, as well as how to apply these skills to every form of debate."

 

Nick Wuthrich

"The World Schools camp at GDS was a fulfilling experience where I was able to expand my debate skill set in a supportive and rigorous environment with some of the top talent in the US. This is the only camp where you as a debater can interact with members of Team USA debate, and this opportunity to learn from the best is what makes GDS so unique. I would certainly recommend GDS to any debater interested in expanding their World Schools know how in one of the best camps in America."

 

Leila Saklou

"During my time at GDS I gained so much exposure on the most effective and efficient ways to debate in the World Schools format. The curriculum and practice rounds were rigorous and challenged me to be my very best. I very much look forward to returning next year and hope to gain even more skills."

 

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