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It is important for people to continually make steps towards growth, and this not only applies to the campers, but to the program staff as well

Campers: Whether this is a camper’s first year or fourth year at Debate Camp, they must each feel a sense of growth and improvement.


When someone has ownership of learning, he/she is motivated, engaged, and self-directed. Both Personal Growth and Ownership of Learning go hand-in-hand because in order to make those steps necessary for growth, we must hold ourselves accountable to learn and progress. 

Once students become proficient in goal setting, they begin to own their learning. Students can use this ownership to improve themselves and foster an intrinsic drive for growth. Specific strategies can assist students in setting goals and developing self-regulation. As with learning anything new, students can find scaffolds helpful.



It is important for students to feel like they are improving each day. Even if it is in the smallest ways. When a student has ownership of their own learning, they feel empowered to do well. They will be engaged, motivated, and self-directed. It is a sense of Independence, which is truly the essence of education. We instruct our campers, with the goal that one day they will utilize all that they were taught in a public speaking setting.


Best Practices: 

Be Flexible / Take time to reflect on the day / Assist campers with goal setting / Make learning interactive / Survey campers to identify a strength of their own / Ask them about what they think they might benefit from participating in the camp / At the end, ask them to identify something they improved at, or something they liked. / Student reflection / Give campers choices when it comes to activities:


  •  ONLINE & IN-PERSON: Glow & Grow Reflection Exercise

Campers will identify challenges met and identify their goals through a glow and grow activity. What am I glowing in? What do I need to grow in?


  •  ONLINE & IN-PERSON: Goal Setting

Campers will interact with each other as they share their personal, academic, and debate goals. (ZOOM: Can be done in Breakout rooms utilizing the JamBoard resource)


Remember that IF you set goals or generated a self-reflection activity of any kind at the beginning of the camp week; you can circle back to it mid-week or at the end of the week to check or celebrate progress and growth, individually or as a whole group.  


Claire's parents registered her for Debate Camp in hopes to combat her shyness. She does not participate and it is hard to determine her interests because she does not say much. You’ve observed that she loves to write. How can you use what you know about Claire to help her succeed?





Goal setting can be achieved by... 

How can you merge reflection and discussion?

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