Debate Boot Camp

For interested high school classes, the Coolidge Foundation hosts a day of debate instruction and competition at Plymouth Notch in Vermont. We call this our Debate Boot Camp program.

Students begin with a tour of the historic Coolidge homestead and museum, learning about President Coolidge’s upbringing, education, and accomplishments. Then, the day of debate begins. The students begin by observing a brief mock debate given by Coolidge staff members on a topic for which they have received a brief in advance. The mock debate is followed by a topic seminar and Q&A, some preparation time, and a lunch break.

Throughout the afternoon, students practice debating each other in multiple rounds. Time permitting, the day ends with a “championship” round in front of the full group. All students come away with some knowledge about President Coolidge, an appreciation for debate, and some new skills regarding critical thinking and public speaking.

If your school group would like to experience a day of debate at the Notch, contact Debate Director Jared Rhoads (


Students from the Salisbury School (Salisbury, CT) partake in a “Debate Day” at the Notch, April 2018


Students from Excel Academy (Boston, MA) partake in a “Debate Day” at the Notch, June 2018