Camp Evidence and further decline

MWilliams mgremillion
Mon Sep 29 10:31:45 CDT 1997

Went to MTSU this weekend--it was a great tournament.
One major thing that I noticed was the addiction to "camp evidence."
I believe that while "camps" offer some benefits, they are also a dangerous addiction. Almost every round I heard in the Novice and JV division--even some
open teams--were camp debates. In fact, on of the more common responses was
"they have ground, this is a camp case." Most of the disads I heard this weekendstill had July brinks--right out of camp. Little or no effort is made to update
these arguments. People are simply reading their camp files, making their
camp responses and then hoping the ballot falls their way.
        In addition to the demise of original research, the "camp evidence"
situation also fosters a further split between the haves and have-nots. Now
I know we can all point to the small schools that spent a grand or two to
send their students to camp,
or the student who saved for an entire year to go to camp. However, some
schools can't afford camps. Some students can't afford camps. Or, in order to
send a student to camp, they must sacrifice valuable resources that could have otherwise been spent traveling to tournamnets. I wonder how many programs
cannot go to their sixth or seventh tournament this year becuase they had to
send somebody to camp.
Maybe it is time we rethink the purpose of summer debate institutes.

Scott Elliott
P.S. Before you go off on a rant, I was not refering to any specific camp,
but the concept. Chill, Tuna.

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