This is just a small sample of the nice things students have has to say about the experience at the OGDI over the years.

Nat Reynolds

Nat attended OGDI in 2011 & chose to attend again in 2012, as ODI already felt like tradition that he wanted to honor. “The lectures at ODI…I want more,” Nat said. “They are really interesting & help me get a taste of the college experience.” Nat was particularly surprised by the civil wars topic lecture. “Though it wasn’t teaching me about the theories of debate, it was really valuable. I never realized how complex civil wars are.”

Nat wants to get his undergraduate degree in philosophy and debate in college.” When studying philosophy one needs to be able to annunciate ideas & communicate one’s own beliefs,” Nat explained. “Debate really helps with that.”


Clare Hamblin

Clare Hamblin views debate “as a means to an end.”  Even though her main academic interests lie in the sciences, she sees debate as a way of “improving her ability to relate important scientific concepts.”

Ms. Hamblin is the daughter of Eugene’s Korrel Hamblin.  Clare is evidence of a life well lived, even at a young age.  Her mother has a great deal of which to be proud.4

Besides preparing for a busy senior year at Eugene’s Sheldon High School, Clare is the leader and founder of Sheldon’s forensics program.  She has recruited the present members of the program and administers the program on her own. The OGDI is proud to assist captains of struggling teams with year long assistance to ensure participation for as many students as possible.




Sam Schwartz-Horney

Sam chose to do policy debate at his high school for the simple reason that nobody else at his school was doing it. “We didn’t have a policy team,” Sam explained. “So I created one. I’ve had four partners in the last year but that doesn’t change my devotion. I want to be one of the really weird debate kids.”5

At the Clark Invitational Tournament this year, Sam won a scholarship to OGDI, making choosing a debate camp a very easy decision. “Besides the fact that I won the scholarship, lots of Cleveland kids have come to OGDI and really enjoyed it and clearly learned a lot.” Sam hasn’t been disappointed. “I love the community at ODI; 99 percent of the people here are intelligent and enjoy what they are doing… my lab leaders Mitch and Tom both know a lot and are really good lecturers and teachers.”

After high school, Sam would like to major in economics and hopes to go on to be an investment banker. Explaining the practicality of the activity Sam said, “forensics looks great on transcripts. No doubt it will help me get where I want to go.”

 Alice Reynor

Alice wins the prize of traveling the farthest to attend OGDI. “My schedule was really packed this summer and OGDI fit in really well,” Alice explained. “That, and I’ve always wanted to come to Oregon.”

At her high school, policy debate is a very new program. “Last year I had no idea what I was doing. We would 61learn basically by losing really badly and then asking the judge why and just taking that information and working on that stuff. I clearly needed to come to camp,” Alice said, chuckling. So far at OGDI, Alice has learned a ton about the mechanics and strategy of policy debate. She was most surprised to learn that you can win a round with such ridiculous arguments. “That’s why I really liked the nuclear war lecture. We talk about it so much [in debate] but it’s really a stupid argument. In reality, [nuclear war] actually applies to the real world. I like that.”

Alice says she still has a lot to work on but looks forward to growing as a debater. “debate helps so much with the way you think… it helps me organize my thoughts and think faster.” In her remaining time at OGDI, Alice wants to learn more about counter plans and how to structure arguments in a more effective way. “Basically,” Alice said, “I want to learn more about everything.”