Though it's cloudy out now, we kept up sunny dispositions throughout the day at camp, from finishing up the Impact Tournament to learning about our resolution for the upcoming camp tournament.
The Impact Tournament featured a number of different impacts, one assigned to each debater. Debaters were tasked with proving that their impact outweighed their opponents' impacts. After an elimination-style tournament, students were able to watch instructors give demonstration debates in this impact-focused form. We will be having another demonstration debate on Friday with instructors, this one in the form of a full-length debate. After the Impact Tournament, we transitioned into Evidence Comparison: What Makes a Good, Reliable Source?. We discussed strong and weak elements of a piece of evidence; extensive author and publisher qualifications, and consensus in the field of study are essential for a winning evidence comparison in a debate round. Triangulation of sources, sufficient data, peer-review, and more are crucial differentials with which to make distinctions between one's evidence and that of their opponent's.
We were able to eat outside (the skies were still clear at noon), though many students elected to return inside to relax there before starting our next lesson. We had discussions about our identifications with Harry Potter Houses inside, while outside students were able to play frisbee, interact with a frog (who is all right), and just sit and talk.
When we started with the next lesson, we were excited to introduce The Resolution: Our Focus, which concerns United States non-military diplomacy with countries in the Middle East. After spending quite some time explaining the United States' complicated relationship with the region and giving context for major historical events, we flashed back to the present and discussed ways in which the United States could engage in diplomacy in the Middle East. More on that will come tomorrow! This was a dense discussion, so we took a break to play some energy-building games and refocus. Most labs were able to engage in mini-debates over
the resolution with time to do cursory research beforehand. We will have much more time to research over the coming two weeks, and are excited to see how much our students can learn by the end of camp!