Come visit the cows
Why Nebraska Debate Institute?

NDI is a labor of love. Driven by a love of debate, education, and people, NDI Director Fred Robertson founded NDI in 2004. The camp started small, offering only LD in 2004. In 2005, NDI began to offer a Policy camp. 2006 marked the first year of the NDI Public Forum camp. From there, our camp has grown exponentially in enrollment and diversity of student body. NDI is a destination camp for debaters throughout the Midwest and frequently attracts students from all across the United States.

Welcome To Nebraska Debate Institute

Fred Robertson, Director

NDI is the single best debate camp bargain in the country. Boasting an incredible staff for an affordable price, NDI is bar none the best camp in its price range and one of the best camps in the entire country.

NDI has an incredible record of producing debaters with outstanding achievements:

  • Policy:
  • LD:
  • PF:

Policy: Former NDI students have consistently performed well at local, regional, and national level competitions because we teach all styles of policy debate and have the staff to do so. We focus on developing high level skills by having as many critiqued practice rounds as possible for our students and have had a number of competitors who, after attending NDI, have gone on to success at NSDA Nationals and at state and regional level tournaments throughout the nation.

LD: We have produced nearly every state champion and the vast majority of NFL qualifiers from Nebraska for the past 10 years. NDI is known as a camp that gives debaters who are moving from novice to varsity exactly the kind of experience they need to make that transition. We also will meet the needs of students who intend to debate on the national circuit, since the entire staff has experience competing or coaching at that level. Grant Brown is one student who attended NDI after his 9th grade year and went on to qualify for the TOC in both his sophomore and current junior year. At the recently completed 2016 Tournament of Champions, Grant was a quarterfinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate and is now auto qualified for a return trip in 2017.

PF:NDI has produced multiple top-20 teams at NFL Nationals, numerous Tournament of Champions qualifiers, and state champions in both Iowa and Nebraska. Public Forum debaters who have attended NDI in 2014 and 2015 and have earned qualification for the 2016 Tournament of Champions include Millard North students Joe Howard and Renee Wehrle (4 bids) and Jason Selvaraj and Josie Slovut. From Madison West in Wisconsin, Ben Brazelton and Anand Raman (2015 NDI alums) earned 4 TOC bids and broke to octafinals at this year's TOC.

Benefits of NDI

Millard South High School

This year's NDI will be hosted at Millard South High School-- one of the finest facilities in the region. We have always provided great food and quality snacks. Ask anyone who has been to NDI; the food is the best of any debate camp in the country, and all food, water, pop, snacks while you are at camp are provided at no extra cost. This year Lindsay Vecchio, the head coach at Elkhorn/Elkhorn South High School, will be in charge of food at NDI, aided by Fred Robertson, who is known to make world class taco salad.

Experienced or Professional Staff

Our staff is one of the most experienced and accomplished staffs in the country. Our staff members have led their own teams to great accomplishments, including but not limited to national champions, state champions, TOC qualifiers, NFL quarter-finalists, and NFL semi-finalists.

Practice for Growth

At NDI, you will get what you come for: an outstanding opportunity to grow and develop debate skills with in-depth lectures and labs led by some of the best and brightest in the region and the country. Coming to NDI means you will improve. Coming to NDI means you have made a great investment in your debate career, a great investment in your future.

One on One Instruction

We have always hired plenty of staff for all debate events and keep the overall student/staff ratio at under 4/1. Students get individualized instruction at NDI.

Registration

If you are going to register for NDI and need to be housed in Omaha while at camp, please register and pay as soon as possible. June 30 is the absolute deadline for registering for NDI if you are requesting housing.


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Students Speak about NDI

From Khalid Ishani, Edina High School, Minnesota, 2016 Public Forum Camp: "I would first of all like to thank you and all of the NDI staff for a phenomenal week at camp. Attending this camp undoubtedly made me a better debater in every respect. Starting the day with speaking drills really allowed me to get the most out of the drills later on in the day. Furthermore, I really liked how there was always an instructor available to answer any questions we had and work with us individually. I always felt that the instructors cared about us and really wanted us to do well. Finally, the practice debates we held were extremely helpful. The coaches were understanding and we never felt intimidated debating in front of them. At the end of every practice debate, the instructors would give us feedback on what we did well and what we should try to improve. 
In addition to the camp making me a better debater, it was a lot of fun. Throughout the week I formed a number of meaningful relationships and lifelong friendships. Our host family did several fun activities with us including: going to the pool, having a bonfire, and going to see a movie. 
In conclusion, going to NDI was one of the best decisions I’ve made and I would recommend it to anybody who wants to become a better debater and have fun while doing so.  "
From Matthew Matuszeski, Millard North High School, 2016 Lincoln-Douglas Camp: "My experience at NDI was excellent. My only regret is that this being my last year in high school debate I will be unable to attend next year. The NDI staff were both approachable and accessible; they helped me hone my skills and refine those I currently had. They gave me the tools to be competitive in local and national circuit debate. I cannot thank the staff enough for their devotion to the student base. In regards to the student base, everyone was great. I got to know people I otherwise wouldn't have had the chance to and I got to see good friends with whom I had previously competed. My peers at NDI pushed me more than any group I have had the chance to complete with so far. The best part about attending NDI for me was the community. I joined debate late I'm high school, about halfway through my junior year. Before this I was lost, for lack of a better word. I never really fit in anywhere. Debate gave me an opportunity to express myself in ways I couldn't before and has introduced me to some of the best people in my life today. The NDI experience exemplifies this aspect of the debate community better than anywhere I have been so far. I cannot recommend the experience enough for the community alone. Whatever it is you're looking for I'm a debate camp, I guarantee you NDI has it and more."
From Vanessa Obi, 2015 NDI Policy Alum: "With NDI I learned about new arguments and how important it is to adapt to my judges, and I also learned how to better budget my time for preparation within the debate round as well as outside of the round. Thank you so much for the amazing learning experience NDI gave me!”