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Communication & Journalism Department|Wyoming Forensics Institute


Welcome to the Wyoming Forensics Institute.

The Wyoming Forensics Institute is a summer debate camp open to all high school students throughout the country.  For Summer 2015, we are offering a one week session for Cross-examination/Policy debate, as well as a special short session for debate novices.  This is the institute's 14th year of offering affordable debate education to students from the Rocky Mountain region.  Our mission is to provide exceptional, national-caliber instruction to students at the cheapest possible price. Please read on to find out more about what sessions we offer and how to register.  Please direct any questions to the camp director, Travis Cram, at

Sessions offered and camp dates:

The WFI will offer two different sessions for students interested in competitive academic debate. Read on for session dates and details:


Novice Debate starter-session.  June 21-25.  This 4-day novice session is targeted towards students who have no prior debate experience but are interested in getting some experience ahead of joining their school’s team in the fall.  This session will not specialize in any one type of debate but will focus on hands-on skills development in flowing, research, speaking and refutation, the foundations of every debate platform.  We will also introduce them to the three most common debate formats at the high school level in order to give them a degree of familiarity with the types of debate their school may offer.


Policy Debate 1 week session. June 21-27. The 1 week session is our main offering for the 2015 summer.  It is intended for students interested in enhancing their skills and talents in CX/policy debate.  All students will gain in-depth knowledge about the year’s debate topic, including background issues of the controversy, likely affirmative and negative arguments, and strategic guidance on how to debate well throughout the year. Additionally, all students will participate in research and skill sessions aimed at building both topic knowledge and the capabilities necessary to be a successful debater.  Students will also receive and help prepare an evidence set for that year’s topic.  Debaters of all skill levels are welcome. Working groups will be divided based upon experience and skill-level appropriately.

Camp Tuition Costs and Possible Discounts:


Our rates are still some of the best in the nation.  The following rates cover three meals a day, a dorm room equipped with linens, pillows, and towels, and full access to the institute’s evidence set, lectures, and laboratory sessions.


Novice Starter session                         Full Tuition: $400                               Commuter: $150

CX 1 week session                              Full Tuition: $525                               Commuter: $225


Denver International Airport Shuttle: $50 round-trip, available to students flying into DIA.


There are two possible discounts that can help reduce the total cost of the camp:

Wyoming discount: Students who are current Wyoming residents will receive a discount from their final tuition cost to incentivize debate-learning in the state of Wyoming. Qualifying one-week students receive a $75 discount and novice session students receive a $30 discount.

Early-bird discount: Successful registration by April 19, 2015 qualifies for a $25 discount off total cost.

How to register for WFI


Registration is very easy, but be sure to register and send in your deposit by May 15th! We cannot guarantee admission to the camp after that date.

1. Register electronically here. Be sure to complete every field accurately and correctly (we recommend doing this with a parent nearby).

2. Download and print WFI enrollment forms here. We will collect these forms on the day of check-in and you MUST have them.

3. Pay a $150 non-refundable deposit either electronically here. The deposit counts towards your tuition.  If you wish to pay by check, make them out to ‘University of Wyoming Debate' and send to:

Travis Cram, Dept. 3904

University of Wyoming

1000 E University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071


Why you should attend the Wyoming Forensics Institute:

There are numerous advantages to choosing WFI over other camps in the country.

First, value.  The WFI offers one of the best faculty-to-student ratios and high quality staffs at one of the lowest tuition rates in the country. Students always receive one-on-one attention and instruction, something the big camps simply cannot offer.

Second, a diverse curriculum.  Our staff represents the entire spectrum of debate argumentation and most come from Wyoming or the Rocky Mountain region.  The WFI focuses on students of all debate backgrounds and abilities.  We emphasize how to succeed at the state, regional and national level.  Whatever your debate background or preferences, you can find a great fit at WFI. Please read all about our excellent staff here. 

Finally, our track record.  The WFI has a proven reputation for producing winning debaters at both the high school and college level.  Camp alumni have won multiple state championships, placed in the top 10 at the National Forensic League's National Championship tournament and qualified to the Tournament of Champions.  Camp alum have also excelled in college, reaching the deep elimination rounds of the CEDA and NDT championship tournaments.  But don't take our word for it.  Here is what a few past students have had to say:

"Attending WFI before my senior year was one of the best choices I made in my debate career. There really is no limit to how much better WFI can make you. Our lab leaders woke up early and stayed up late to help us whenever we needed their help. I became a much better speaker, researcher, and squad leader after just a few days. The skills I learned and the people I met at WFI were invaluable in helping me earn a college scholarship. I don't know of any other institute in the country that offers as many opportunities at as low a cost as WFI."

- Brian Rubaie, Shawnee Mission East High School and former debater for the University of Texas at Dallas.

"I highly recommend WFI to anyone working to become more successful and competitive debaters. The labs are a great opportunity to do research and where debaters can receive individual attention and instruction from their lab leaders. If you're looking to learn a more competitive style of debate at a very affordable price, you should definitely consider WFI."

- Jamie Tran, George Washington High School and former debater for the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Frequently Asked Questions

 Q. Does the camp offer financial aid?

A.  The Wyoming Forensics Institute is unfortunately unable to offer either scholarships or discounts.  Our low prices are only possible because the camp is priced nearly at cost; any remaining money is used to pay for camp expenses and advertising.  Compared to other institutes throughout the region, however, the WFI is extremely cheap, often costing less than camps which are able to provide financial aid and awards.

Q. What meals are provided by tuition?

A. Tuition covers THREE meals a day—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—in the Washakie Dining Hall on the University of Wyoming campus.  In addition to the cafeteria, many students choose to stock their dorm room with various snacks and non-perishable foods (refrigerators are not provided, but they are allowed if you would like to bring one).

 Q. Which camp session is right for me?

A. Refer to the session descriptions above.  It is very important that you enroll for the session appropriate to your skill level, experience and interest in order for you to get maximum value out of your time at WFI and to ensure that a good time is had by all.  If the information here still does not resolve your questions, please contact the camp director directly via email.

 Q. Are there restrictions on leaving the camp or dorms?

A. All students must be in the dormitories for the night beginning at 9:45; they will not be allowed to leave unless there is an emergency and they are accompanied by camp staff or a parent/guardian.  Students are not allowed off campus unless they have written note from their parents giving them express permission.

 Q. What transportation options do you offer if I fly in?

A.  There is a small regional airport in Laramie, but using it may substantially increase the cost of tickets.  You should plan on flying into Denver International Airport (DIA).  WFI can arrange for you to be picked up and dropped off at DIA for $50 round-trip.  Given the expense of running the shuttle, it is only available for those who are flying.  If you are planning on flying, please contact us before booking your tickets so that we can discuss ideal times to land and take-off.

 Q. What will happen in the event of sickness or injury?

A. If you become ill during the camp a WFI staff member will accompany you to the appropriate medical facility. After we have received your camp registration, you and your parents will be asked to fill out relevant medical forms that authorize you for treatment of illness and minor injuries.

Q. Am I allowed to leave the camp on the weekends?

A. Only with written permission from your parent or guardian and only if you are accompanied by an adult or designated relative. For safety reasons, phone authorization for departure from campus will not be accepted. Let us know in advance if you have plans to leave the campus.

 Q. What should I bring to the camp?

A. Each dorm room is furnished with two single beds, study desks, bookshelves, closets, and desk chairs. Sheets and pillows are provided but most students prefer to bring their own.  Students should also bring towels and toilet articles, etc., as needed. The weather in Laramie during July is usually in the mid-70s with a daily afternoon rain storm.  It can also be somewhat cool at night.  Students should pack normal summer clothing as well as at least one pair of pants/jeans and a coat/sweatshirt. Because all students will be involved in researching and participating in a number of practice debates, it is important to bring the material and equipment you will need. A laptop computer is STRONGLY advised.  Beyond that, you may wish to bring paper for flowing and note-taking, index cards, legal pads, pens and highlighters, etc. You may also wish to bring your file box, catalog case, tub or whatever you normally file debate materials in. You may bring mini-fridges, stereos, hair dryers, computers and similar devices for your rooms.

 Q. Are there any expenses that are not covered in tuition costs?

A.  Camp tuition includes all laboratory fees, two meals a day, a camp t-shirt and awards for the camp tournament.  Expenses which are not included would be laundry, snacks/drinks, or any souvenirs you may want to buy while in Laramie.  Thus, most students always have a little extra spending money, but it is not required.

 Q. Do I have to buy my evidence separately?

A. No.  All camp files, evidence and lectures will be given to you by the time you leave camp.  Q. Can I receive mail/packages while at camp?

A. Yes.  Mail may be sent directly to the dorms or to: Wyoming Forensics Institute, C/O Travis Cram, University of Wyoming Dept. 3904, 1000 E. University Ave, Laramie WY 82071.

 Q. How can I contact my child while they are at camp?

A. You can leave a message at the camp office by using the e-mail address above. This may result in a delay of a few hours. At registration, we will provide additional emergency contact information (generally a cell phone number for the camp director). If you child carries a cell phone, there are certainly benefits to having them bring it to camp. If you are leaving your home (the home address on your child's application) for any lengthy time during the camp, please make sure to give us additional information on how to contact you (or a relative, if need be) should the need arise.


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