Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend?

We take students from any school who will be entering grade 3 all the way up to rising freshmen for the IPSA, ICSD and ACSD programs. Within each curriculum option, students will be further split up based on age and experience level.

How do I know which level to sign up for?

Don’t worry! Beyond picking a camp session, you don’t need to do anything else! Just tell us your grade and what kind of speech and debate experience you have, and we’ll assign you to a group. If, after the first day, it seems like a different group might be a better fit for you, we’ll move you.

How do I enroll?

We are using the ActivityHero platform to process registrations. You WILL need to make an ActivityHero account to complete your signup. You can view our openings and add sessions to your card here.

What if I am not able to pay online?

Please contact us so that we can help you!

Who will be teaching the camp?

IPSA, ICSD, and ACSD programs will be taught by our outstanding high school competitors. They will run Learning Labs, which are smaller subsections of each age and skill group, with an expected student-to-teacher ratio of 6:1 or less. The will be supported by recently graduated students who will oversee operations. MVLASD’s own adult coaches will be on site to keep things running smoothly.

How much does it cost?

Costs vary by chosen curriculum and when you register, but a week of camp starts at $225 at the beginning of the registration period. We also offer discounts for bundling the two Competitive Speech and Debate programs together.

Where does my money go?

MVLASD is a registered nonprofit with the state of California. All funds that do not go directly toward covering the cost of the camp go toward defraying coaching and competition costs. MVLA Speech and Debate supports approximately 160 high school students and 50 middle school students in the Mountain View-Los Altos District and its feeder schools. On average, it costs around $600 in personnel costs and tournament registration fees to support a speech and debate student annually. This “average student” dedicates an amount of work roughly equivalent to a high school course. For a highly competitive student, who might compete three out of the four weekends of each month, costs quickly compound into thousands of dollars each year.

My family cannot afford the cost of entry. How do we qualify for scholarships, and how much is available?

If you believe you have a piece of documentation that demonstrates need, please contact the Head Coach or go through the ActivityHero need determination process. We can offer cost reductions of up to 95% depending on circumstances.

What does a typical day at camp look like?

Campers receive instruction in their age and skill groups on topics such as writing original speeches, interpreting the work of others as a performance, delivery skills, logic of argumentation, and more. We focus on skills associated with persuasive, original and interpretive speeches in the morning, and skills associated with argumentation and debate in the afternoon. Advanced campers work within the boundaries of competitive speech and debate events available to students attending secondary school in California. Activities with younger students are focused more on skill-building games, while students in advanced groups learn drills used by active competitors.

IPSA, ICSD, and ACSD programs run from 9 am to 4 pm. We have a snack and group game break in the morning and the afternoon, as well as a one-hour lunch. These breaks help our campers bond with their lab-mates, as well as give them time to burn off energy. We also offer aftercare until 5 pm (in-person camp only).

Our last camp day is a little different–we set aside the whole day to let students experience what tournament is like by running multiple rounds of competition for both speech and debate events. For this day, it is important that students not have to leave campus for a period, and that they arrive on time!

Will you provide food for the campers during in-person camp?

We provide morning and afternoon snacks. You may opt-in to lunch service for an additional $50 per week.

I have been placed on the waitlist. What does that mean?

This means we have reached our current capacity for enrollment, based on space availability and instructors. We will notify you if we are able to secure additional space and/or instructors, or if other enrolled students drop out. You will be prompted to complete your registration when spaces open up.

We signed up but can no longer attend. How do refunds work?

We offer 80% refunds through June 1 via the ActivityHero platform. After that time, tuition is locked.

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