This three-week session takes place from July 14th to August 2nd at Loyola Marymount University. Our most popular and successful institute, LA Session I is open to Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas debaters entering grades 6 through 12 in Fall 2019 and is suitable for debaters of all experience levels, circuits, and competitive ambitions.

Debate becomes increasingly complex each year. The highest levels of success require knowledge of moral and political philosophy, debate theory, politics, law, critical theory—the list goes on—in addition to communication and argumentation skills that require hundreds of hours of practice. Given this complexity, a growing number of students are looking for a way to delve into greater depth than is realistic during typical two-week camps. The only existing options for those students are optional extension weeks or signing up for a second camp altogether, both of which require starting from scratch with new instructors, new labmates, and a new curriculum. Unlike other three-week debate programs, the third week at VBI LA Session I is not simply an add-on; it is part of a comprehensive and continuous curriculum designed for students who want to take their debate careers to the next level. 

VBI Instructor Carlos Astacio works with students during free time

VBI Instructor Carlos Astacio works with students during free time

Loyola Marymount university

After a few years away, we are excited to return to Loyola Marymount University. LMU is located in the Marina Del Ray neighborhood of Los Angeles, and is just minutes from the beach and LAX. At LMU VBI students will be treated to the unparalleled weather and scenery of the Southern California coast on one of the most unique and beautiful campuses in the world. In fact, LMU’s is rated as one of the 20 most beautiful colleges in America by the Princeton Review, Newsweek, and Condé Nast Traveler. 

LMU is known for graduating leaders in the field of business, law, and entertainment. LMU was named one of America’s top producers of Fulbright Scholars by the Chronicle of Higher Education, and has as many faculty rated as among “America’s Best” as any college in the country.


Students and staff will stay in Rains Hall. Nearly all students will share a room with another camper. Roommate request forms will be sent out in the spring after students have registered. 

VBI tuition covers lunch and dinner for students in LMU's Lair Marketplace dining hall, which is located on the first floor of Malone Hall. A complimentary continental-style breakfast will be available to students each morning at the VBI concessions stand. 

There are a number of other dining options on campus, including Starbucks and Iggy's Dinner, which are open for VBI students. 


Students arriving by plane should plan to land no later than 3 PM on July 14th, and students arriving by car must be on campus by 4 PM. Students may arrive beginning at 7 AM. We recommend trying to arrive as early as possible. All students must be off campus by 12 PM on August 2nd. If you are unable to make this times work, please contact us as early as possible so that arrangements can be made. 

VBI will provide transportation by hired shuttle to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to students arriving and departing within the designated travel window (7 AM - 3PM). Students will greeted be greeted at baggage claim by staff wearing VBI t-shirts and holding signs. The airport transportation fee is $100. Students arriving outside of the travel window are responsible for providing their own travel. 

Frequently asked questions

Answers to frequent questions about VBI LA Session I can be found HERE.