Mean Green Comet Debate Institute

Lincoln Douglas

Online Expectations

At Mean Green Comet we believe that the strength of Lincoln Douglas debate is its unique focus on shaping the ethical beliefs of students. Our goal is to develop thinkers that are capable of tackling the challenges of the future through advocacy. This is a strength of the format, and a guiding principle for our curriculum. These skills are particularly timely and important as the world struggles with the lasting impact of a global pandemic. We recognize that this will be a defining moment for today’s high school students and will shape their views and goals for years to come. We are excited to continue those conversations with students during our second year of online institute. Debate education is more important now than ever.

We are invested in you, and that is how it should be. Our online format will continue to tailor our curriculum to individual students’ goals and needs. MGC’s LD faculty have always seen ourselves as partners in our students’ success, and we will continue to hone the specific tangible skills that have demonstrated success in competition regardless of circuit and skill level. Most of our faculty have been involved in online debate education for up to ten years. We’ve learned a lot of lessons from last year’s camp and a year of online competition and are eager to share this knowledge to make Mean Green Comet 2021 the best yet. We will continue to use proven techniques to continuously assess and adjust curriculum based on individual student needs.

Your days will be filled to the brim with opportunities to better yourself. Students will be assigned lab groups based on skill level which will serve as their home base throughout camp. We will host interactive lectures and small group break out sessions. Students will also have the opportunity to choose their own adventure through elective paths. Our goal is to offer a diversity of electives so that every student feels there are engaging ways for them to participate in every time slot. Often times students find it difficult to choose their electives, and an exciting opportunity in our online platform is that students will have the opportunity to watch the video from electives that were their second or third choice and followup with instructors via office hours. Students will also have exposure to instructors and lectures across divisions. As a camp committed to all formats of debate, we have some of the nation’s top instructors in all of our divisions, and this gives us exciting opportunities to collaborate as we recognize all formats of debate are increasingly connected.

Our online schedule is designed with the screen fatigue that many students are experiencing over the past year in mind. We seek to offer a variety of engaging opportunities while also giving students breaks away from their screen. To this end, there will be a combination of required and optional activities every day.

A lot of your most valuable experiences come through actually debating. We will offer frequent practice rounds via Microsoft Teams so that students can practice their craft in an environment that most closely mirrors what they will experience throughout their competitive year. Our instructors will be able to provide specific tips and suggestions in the moment, and students will have the opportunity to immediately implement that feedback through redos and drills. In this way, the entire curriculum builds throughout the program so you leave as a much more well rounded and practiced debater than you were day one.

Mean Green Comet takes a big tent approach to argumentation. We don’t believe there is a dogmatic right or wrong stance on what Lincoln-Douglas debate must look like. We will embrace a variety of argumentative approaches including philosophical and framework debate, policy arguments, and kritiks. We will also provide students the opportunity to approach specific instructors with questions, drill requests, and additional help through office hours.

No matter what your competitive goals are, we know how to get you there. We’ve done it all—UIL, TFA, UDL, NSDA, and TOC. We believe that all of these circuits provide students valuable opportunities, and we have assembled a staff that understands how to help you succeed at whichever tournaments you frequent.

2021 Daily Schedule

Time Sample Daily Schedule
10:00am Practice Round
12:00pm Lunch
1:30pm Lab
4:30pm Electives
5:30pm End of Daily Activities

Director's Statement

Debate is the single most transformative activity I engaged in in high school. I can remember being a shy girl who was smart but deeply unsure of herself. After an injury sidelined me from athletic competition, I found debate as a competitive outlet. It ended up being so much more. Debate helped me find my voice, taught me how to deploy it in an impactful manner, and broadened my understanding of the world. It fundamentally changed me as a person, and I am proud of the woman I’ve grown into because of it.

I come back to debate because I have seen similar journeys in the students I’ve worked with over the years. I am consistently amazed by the people I’ve met through debate, and I feel honored to be part of crafting experiences that challenge students in the same way I was challenged years ago. They challenge me too. It is the most difficult and rewarding work of my life.

At Mean Green Comet we strive to develop the whole student. We will strive tirelessly to help each other achieve our goals. We will foster an environment where students feel safe to express themselves and encouraged to experiment with new ideas and literature. We will hone individual skills and celebrate those victories.

We will also create a community that students can return to throughout camp, next season, and for years to come. Increasing accessibility and diversity in debate is an obligation shared by all its stakeholders, and we will do our best to let these principles guide us at Mean Green Comet. Our goal is always to create alumni who leave their debate communities more enriched than they found them so that those communities can continue to enrich new students year after year.

Divisions, Date and Pricing

Session Dates Price
2 week June 27 – July 10 $800
Lincoln Douglas & Worlds School June 27 – July 17 $1200

Division Director

Jenn Melin

Jenn Melin

Jenn Melin is excited for her second year Directing Mean Green Comet. Jenn has previously Directed the National Symposium for Debate’s Texas Campus and directed curriculum for the University of Texas National Institute for Forensics and Victory Briefs Lincoln Douglas debate camps dating back to 2010.

As an LD coach, Jenn has been active in the national and Texas debate communities for over fifteen years. Her students have advanced to elimination rounds of virtually every major national tournament. This season her students have championed the following Tournament of Champion bid tournaments: The Minneapple, The Glenbrooks, Harvard, Princeton, Holy Cross, Isidore Newman, and Newark. They were runners up at Blue Key, Stanford, Columbia, and University of Pennsylvania. They amassed a total of twenty-six bids to the Tournament of Champions and were Octafinalists at the TOC and two of the Quarterfinalists at NDCA. Previously, she has coached champions of the Grapevine, University of Texas, Blue Key, Blue Key Round Robin, Strake Jesuit, Strake Jesuit Round Robin, Colleyville, and Voices Round Robin. In addition to coaching semi-finalists at St. Marks and Greenhill. Jenn has specialized in working with students from small Texas programs and has qualified a significant number of those students to the TOC and NSDA Nationals over the years. The 2019-2020 LD TOC Bid Leader was one such student. She has qualified almost every student she’s ever coached to TFA State; culminating in a record setting fourteen LD qualifications in a single year. Jenn is the coach of the 2020 TFA State Champion in Lincoln Douglas. Her students have participated in out rounds of both TOC and TFA. Jenn has also coached a UIL 5A State Champion and last year’s UIL 6A runner-up.

Jenn is also one of the most active members of the Texas World Schools community. She has coached the Lone Star District World Schools team since the inception of the event at the National Tournament. Her students have reached elimination rounds of that tournament the past three years, including clearing a record three teams at the 2019 National Tournament. Her team, Lone Star Green, championed the 2020 NSDA Nationals in World Schools.

Jenn directs the Grapevine Colleyville ISD Middle School Debate Club and assists the Greenhill Middle School Debate club; both of which place a large emphasis on teaching the World Schools format to younger students.

Division Staff

Blake Andrews

Blake Andrews

Blake competed in LD Debate at Parish Episcopal in Dallas, Texas both on the local and national circuit. Blake was an out rounds competitor in LD at Stanford, Colleyville, TFA State, Alta, and Churchill. Blake has since graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor's in Government and minor in Philosophy. Blake has coached debaters from Plano West, Prosper, and Southlake. Blake's students have been in out rounds of Isidore Newman, Grapevine, the University of Texas at Austin, TFAState, St. Marks, and NSDA Nationals. Blake is passionate about exposing students to debate, helping students research arguments they are interested in, and postmodern philosophy. Blake judges regularly in the Dallas area and has made lifelong friends from his involvement in speech and debate. He is very excited to be working at Mean Green Comet Debate Camp for the first time this summer!

Christopher Vincent

Christopher Vincent, ABD

Director of Speech & Debate, Isidore Newman School

Christopher Vincent is the Director of Speech & Debate at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, LA. He has been involved in competitive speech & debate since 2004. Formerly, he was a competitor for the University of Louisville where he reached elimination rounds at several tournaments including both CEDA and the National Debate Tournament. He has also served as the Director of Forensics for Louisiana State University. As a high school coach, he has directed several programs and has coached students to elimination rounds at many regional and national tournament including Greenhill, Emory, Harvard, Berkeley, TFA, the Tournament of Champions, NSDA, and others. Chris is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Communication Studies Department at Louisiana State University, as well as a graduate minor in Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, with a primary concentration in rhetoric and culture where he studies rhetorics of space from a queer and feminist perspective. As both a classroom teacher and communication professional, he emphasizes the importance of critically engaging with scholarship, being innovative in argument development, and properly learning the fundamentals. He uses his background in order to ensure students leave the workshop with the tools they need to be successful throughout their careers.

Rafael Sanchez

Rafael Sanchez

Assistant Debate Coach, Coppell High School

Debated for 4 years at the Law Magnet and 3 years at University of Texas-Dallas. Currently an assistant debate coach for Coppell High School. While at Coppell, we have had teams in late elimination rounds of numerous national tournaments, such as, Glenbrooks, UT, Greenhill, Grapevine, Colleyville and won the TFA State tournament. I am a math major and taking classes to get a teachers certification under the UTeach program, which is program designed to give undergraduates on the job experience through student teaching.

Gavvy Lott

Gavvy Lott

Hello! I have debated for 7 years throughout middle-school, and high-school at Athens HS, and have most recently debated for my 8th year at the University of North Texas. While consulting for various high-schools, I’ve helped coach two TFA State qualifiers, and two UIL Region qualifiers, and a few NSDA Nationals qualifiers. I personally held 7 state titles in high-school, and recently placed in the top 36 in LD Debate at the 2021 NFA National Tournament. I’m a Communication Studies and Political Science major at UNT with emphasis in gendered implications in rhetoric and communication and decolonial pedagogy. Other than that, I am incredibly excited to work with you all this Summer.

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MGCDI enrollment is open! Follow the link above to reserve your spot in our 2021 summer program. The final deadline for all registration is June 22, 2021.