TCFL Website

Lincoln Douglas Debate Workshop
July 18-22, 2011
"Resolved: Targeted killing is a morally permissible foreign policy tool."
Update information at the bottom


I am excited to announce that the inaugural Tri-Country Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas Debate Institute will occur this summer (hereinafter referred to as “LDI”). The purpose of this 5-day camp is to equip students with the skills necessary to become successful Lincoln-Douglas debaters. LDI is committed to individualized and cooperative advancement, a goal that will be realized through, among other things, lectures and practice debate rounds. Students will have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with former debaters who have achieved notable successes throughout their careers, and each lecturer will be available via cell phone and email between sessions.

The logistical details of this institute are as follows: LDI will occur from Monday, July 18th through Friday, July 22nd, a five-day period. The camp will operate from 9:00am until 1:00pm each day, and will be held at Sunny Brae Elementary School, located at 20640 Arminta Ave. Winnetka, CA 91306. As of today, plans have NOT been made to provide food or transportation, and students interested in participating are therefore encouraged to bring snacks with them and to organize travel schedules prior to the camp’s commencement. The total per-student cost is $50, a fee that must be paid IN CASH to me on the first day of camp. The designated Adult Supervisor is Doug Lasken, who will attend each debate-camp session in its entirety to oversee its operations. Mr. Lasken can be reached for questions at

Students are encouraged to bring either a notebook or a computer with which to take notes during lectures and practice rounds. Homework will be given daily to supplement the concepts expounded upon during camp sessions, though every assignment will be manageable.

A key facet of LDI is the camp resolution: several weeks prior to the camp’s commencement, a Lincoln-Douglas debate resolution will be chosen by LDI instructors as the topic that will be debated at the institute. This will be a topic written by the National Forensic League that we expect to be used at future debate tournaments. All students participating in LDI will be made aware of this resolution immediately after it is chosen, but are not required in any way to analyze the topic and write cases about it; that work will be done during and between debate-camp sessions.  The resolution is located at the top of this letter.

Ultimately, my goal is to provide students with an enjoyable and worthwhile experience that will allow them to meet similarly motivated debaters, collaborate with seasoned competitors and coaches and improve their skills in preparation for next year’s debate season.

I encourage coaches to inform their students about this opportunity. If coaches or former debaters are interested in LDI, whether joining our staff as an instructor or sending students to our camp, please email me at with the expected number of participants from your school. Please remember that the per-student cost is $50 and must be paid to me either by cash, cashier check, money order, or school check on Monday, July 18th before LDI begins. No personal checks will be accepted.  I look forward to leading this debate institute, and hope to continue this discussion with you in the near future.

7/18/11: 8:20am - 12:45pm
7/19/11 - 7/22/11: 8:30am - 12:45pm
(Free lunch provided by school from 12:45pm - 1pm although you may bring your own lunch)

Attention LDI members,
We are moving closer to starting the inaugural Lincoln-Douglas Debate Institute! Here are several important reminders:
-The camp runs from Monday, July 18th through Friday, July 22nd.
-The camp will be held at Sunny Brae Elementary School, located in Winnetka. The address is 20640 Arminta Ave. Winnetka, CA 91306. You can find directions to the school from your starting location at
-On Monday, July 18th, the camp begins at 8:20am, but from Tuesday, July 19th through Friday, July 22nd, the camp begins at 8:30am. The camp ends each day at 12:45pm.
-The per-student cost for attending the camp is $50, which MUST be paid on the first day of camp, that is, on Monday, July 18th. Cash payment is preferred, but you may pay via cashier check, money order, or school check. No personal checks will be accepted.
-Sunny Brae Elementary School’s school year ended in June, so finding parking spots should be easy. You may drop off, park, and pick up students in most areas around and near the school, including residential neighborhoods. If you have any difficulty finding a parking spot, please contact the LDI Adult Supervisor or any of the three camp lecturers.
-Free lunch will be offered to the students from 12:45pm until 1:00pm at the school cafeteria. This is part of a summer program that offers free lunches to all students aged 7 to 18. We have revised LDI’s end time to 12:45pm instead of 1:00pm to allow students to take advantage of this opportunity.
-The camp resolution, around which many of the lectures, drills, homework assignments, and practice rounds will be based is “Resolved: Targeted killing is a morally permissible foreign policy tool.” There is absolutely no pre-camp homework assignments, such as reading and writing cases about the topic. However, familiarizing oneself with the basics of the topic—for instance, reading a Wikipedia entry on “targeted killing”—is encouraged.  
-Students are HIGHLY encouraged to bring (a) a fully-charged computer, (b) blank sheets of paper with 2-3 pens of varying colors, and (c) a filled water bottle with them to each camp session. Sunny Brae plans to provide us with wireless Internet access, and some of the lectures and drills will be easier to orchestrate if students bring the above materials with them.
-Students should NOT wear dress clothes to debate camp, even during practice rounds. Wearing attire that is allowed under your high school’s dress code is encouraged.
-Homework will be assigned at the end of each camp session, except, of course, Friday’s session. The homework load will be substantial but not unbearable, and the camp lecturers are always available via cell phone or email to answer students’ questions. A handout containing the relevant contact information of three lecturers and the Adult Supervisor will be distributed to the students on Monday, July 18th.
-The Adult Supervisor is Mr. Doug Lasken, former Speech and Debate Coach at Taft High School and current Speech and Debate Coach at New Community Jewish High School. His wife, Mrs. Susan Lasken, is the Principal of Sunny Brae Elementary School. The three camp lecturers, each highly experienced in Lincoln-Douglas debate and each recently graduated from high school, are Fasih Ahsan, Kenny Cunanan, and Danny Hirsch.
-If you have any pre-camp questions or concerns, please contact Danny Hirsch or Mr. Lasken via email ( and, respectively). Also, LDI has a public Facebook page, on which you are welcome to ask questions. The Facebook page can be found at!/event.php?eid=238018909545477
I, as well as my fellow lecturers and Adult Supervisor, look forward to working with you and equipping you with the skills necessary to become successful Lincoln-Douglas debaters. See you soon!

Danny Hirsch
Former Lincoln-Douglas Debater for New Community Jewish High School
Lead Instructor of the Tri-County Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas Debate Institute

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