This two-week session takes place from June 29th to July 12th at Swarthmore College. It 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. It is especially recommended for students looking for a smaller environment with more individualized attention. 

Swarthmore College

VBI Instructor Christian Quiroz teaches an elective at VBI Philadelphia

VBI Instructor Christian Quiroz teaches an elective at VBI Philadelphia

Just 10 miles from Philadelphia and about two hours from New York and Washington D.C., Swarthmore is the perfect site for VBI in the Northeast. Swarthmore is the #3 ranked liberal arts college in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. It has been named #1 in the country six times, and many call it one of the "Little Ivies." Swarthmore has a reputation for sending students to elite graduate programs in law, medicine, business, and academia, and its historic Peasley Debate Society is highly competitive.  


Students and staff will stay in Alice Paul, David Kemp, and Danawell Halls. Most 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 three meals per day for students in the Sharples Dining Hall.


Students arriving by plane should plan to land no later than 3 PM on June 29th and students arriving by car must be on campus by 4:00 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 July 12th. 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 Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to students arriving and departing within the designated travel window (7 AM - 3PM). Students will 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 Philadelphia can be found HERE.