DEBATE TRAINING FOR VICTORY

The Helmsmen Institute is dedicated to building and equipping ethical leaders in the debate community to have a future characterized by honor and excellence. We prioritize individual training that provides advanced education to prepare the next generation to be cultivated citizens who can discern the true, good and beautiful. Our Institution, founded on alumni leadership, provides portable skills and techniques derived from the success of champion debaters. Our goal is to emulate Proverbs 18:15 by sharing knowledge and actively seeking the love and wisdom of God.

OUR STORY

The Helmsmen Institute was born at a small table in the Concordia University Irvine dining hall, where Denise Sprimont, Meghan Gleeson, David Vasquez and Josiah Popp made a commitment to serve the Stoa community. 


In speaking to competitors and parents, it has become apparent that there is a need for an affordable speech and debate camp, and for affordable speech and debate resources that will prepare students of all levels for competition. As such, we are actively seeking to provide high-quality alumni run speech and debate camps, and exceptional materials that meet the needs of the Stoa community. We seek to become positive and impactful leaders through our dedication to the lifelong benefits of education. 


The members of our staff are all successful Stoa Alumni who are committed to giving back to the community that has supported, encouraged and taught them so much in the past decade. We feel privileged to utilize our skills and knowledge to contribute to the future through the Helmsmen Institute. As we answer the call to take the Helm, we firmly believe the Stoa community and students will benefit educationally and spiritually.

ABOUT US

What do we offer?

The Helmsmen Institute provides Speech and Debate Resources and Speech and Debate Camps for Stoa competitors. Our resources are tailored for Stoa competitors and include handbooks for each event, strategy sheets, briefs, and cases. By the end of the competition season, each event will have a total of 54 documents of strategic and teaching material. In total, we will produce 648 educational documents for our customers! Each educational document will be written by experienced alumni in their area of expertise. The Helmsmen educational philosophy will be the framework for all of our material, ensuring that students will receive the highest quality speech and debate resources.

ABOUT US

Who are we?

The Helmsmen Institute was born at a small table in the Concordia University Irvine cafeteria, where Denise Sprimont, Meghan Gleeson, David Vasquez and Josiah Popp made a commitment to serve the Stoa community. The Helmsmen Institute is an educational organization founded by alumni and guided by business professionals, educational specialists, and communication professors. We wish to bless Stoa competitors the same way we were blessed by Stoa. We are not a club, rather we are a resource hub for students to take and fit into meeting their personal needs. Our staff focuses on finding common weakness among students and creating materials, routines, and so much more to turn shortcomings into true strength.

Through this curriculum, we strive to enhance skills that students already have and to encourage them in Christ. Always remembering our original goals and desires, we serve others to support families seeking success in speech and debate. In speaking to competitors and parents, it has become apparent that there is a need for an affordable debate camp, and for affordable debate resources that will prepare students of all levels for competition. We seek to become positive and impactful leaders in the debate community through our dedication to the lifelong benefits of education. The members of our staff are all successful Stoa Alumni who are committed to giving back to the community that has supported, encouraged and taught them so much in the past decade. We firmly believe that if alumni are the Helmsmen of the debate community, students will benefit educationally and spiritually. We are ready to guide students participating speech and debate to victory.

ABOUT US

Our Mission

At The Helmsmen Institute, Our mission is to guide students throughout their time in Stoa, providing students with alumni leadership and mentoring to not only to grow and excel in speech and debate, but to grow and excel in their spiritual walk with God. We seek to provide each student the resources they require for success, but also seek to lead students in their walk in the Lord. We seek to continue a strong alumni presence in the speech and debate community, discipling and mentoring students throughout the year, to prepare them for a future life speaking and espousing the Lords word eloquently, and righteously.

OUR CORE VALUES

critical thinking

Here at Helmsmen, we encourage the curious flame of students by feeding their brains the tools of research, organization, and brainstorming that can start the journey of a critical thinker.

christian mentorship

The Helmsmen Institute values the opportunities Christian mentoring provides to support and guide young people. Through mentoring, a wise and trusted individual helps students navigate their way to their full potential.

high quality debate resources

Every student who participates in speech and debate must work for what they want to achieve; however, they can not do everything on their own. They need an army, and the Helmsmen Institute—and all of the resources that it has—is ready to have their back and fight alongside them.

socratic approach

Do you generally prefer to expound in a long uninterrupted speech of your own whatever you wish to explain to anyone, or do you prefer the method of questions?

—Plato Sophist 217c

We like you, too! In fact, let's stay in touch!

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Frequently asked questions

Whom does the Helmsmen Institute serve?


We serve the Stoa speech and debate community. Our debate resources and camps are specifically geared towards the resolutions and speech events in Stoa, and are prepared for Stoa.




Who can attend the Helmsmen Institute camps?


For our Helmsmen Institute Stoa Camps, any child who is eligable to compete in Stoa in the following competition year is welcome.




What makes the Helmsmen Staff qualified to teach speech and debate?


The Founders of the Helmsmen Institute were all champions in Stoa, with outstanding achievements in high school, and they went on to attend a University with a Forensic Program in the top 10 Speech and Debate Universities in the Nation. The Founders of the Helmsmen Institute cumulatively have over 35 years of experience in competition or coaching Speech and Debate and are experienced in assisting competitors to become the best speakers and debaters they can be. The Helmsmen Institute Board of Directors consists of devoted Stoa supporters (several of whom have experience in college or high school forensic coaching) with over 85 years of experience altogether, and are present to guide staff and students alike through teaching and coaching. The Coaching Staff is handpicked to include the most elite and grounded individuals in Stoa, and are selected based on success, integrity, and their continued involvement with speech and debate. Every Helmsmen representative is among those nationally recognized for speech and debate skills, knowledge, coaching and competition.




Did your staff do well in STOA?


Each of our alumni instructors have placed and ranked nationally within the top 10 in their category during their time in Stoa, winning many tournaments in their events. Several of our instructors have been coaching as alumni for their home clubs. Check out our Staff page for more details!




Can my child share Helmsmen Resources with teammates or friends?


While your student may want to share resources with teammates and friends, each Helmsmen resource subscription is sold and distributed to students on an individual basis. We ask that those who have purchased our resources do not share them in any way (whether by printing additional copies or emailing copies to fellow teammates or students), as it will classify as copyright infringement on Helmsmen intellectual property. One of the 10 Commandments is "You shall not steal." As Christians, we understand the importance of God's commandments, and are trusting that our customers have the same values. We hope that our customers enjoy our resources to the fullest, but ask that our customers recognize that illegally sharing our materials is stealing, and will be treated as such. If you have any questions about what is and is not copyright infringement, please contact us.




What makes your resources beneficial?


Our resources are not something a student merely prints out, memorizes, and reads at tournaments. Helmsmen resources serve to guide students so that they are growing and learning throughout the competitive season. We seek to sharpen their critical thinking skills and their speaking skills in ways that will serve them inside and outside of Stoa. Each resource not only educates the student, it challenges them. These resources teach students to think outside of the box, and teach lifelong tactics and skills all from a Christ-centered perspective. All of our resources are guided by curriculum that is centered on education, and our educational specialist has helped us develop curriculum outlines that will accompany weekly resources. These not only explain the goals of our resources, but also help the students manage and achieve their personal goals.




How do you choose cases and briefs?


Helmsmen Staff Members began their analysis of current events and their in-depth research as soon as the new Stoa topics were released. We have carefully studied various debate cases and briefs before deciding which would meet our criteria and which show the greatest promise for the competitive season. We continue to do analysis, research and writing throughout the competitive year, ensuring the most relevant and impactful resources.




I just looked at your resource page and noticed that your Apologetics resources aren't Apologetics cards. Why is that?


At the Helmsmen Institute, we are passionate about Apologetics, not only because we believe in the value of students being able to defend the Christian faith and why it matters, but also because we know that when we examine the tenets of Christianity, we are strengthened in our own faith, as well. This journey of examining one's faith is not only an important step in a Christian's growth, it is also a deeply personal journey. The Helmsmen Institute aims to provide instruction, insight, resources and direction, and through these provisions, we believe students will be best equipped to write their best Apologetics cards and give their best Apologetics speeches. In addition, our league, Stoa, has specific rules about how Apologetics competitors should prepare for competition. One of these rules states, " Competitors prepare for Apologetics through Bible study, research, analysis, and organization." Our interpretation of this rule prohibits us from providing pre-written cards for Apologetics. Finally, at the Helmsmen Institute, we have a very specific educational approach: the Socratic Method. This means that instead of giving students completed material to read, we give them the tools they need to build their own speech. In preparing for Apologetics, simply feeding students completed material does not help them to prepare an answer to those asking about Christ (1 Peter 3:15), rather it prepares students to parrot information. As Christians, we seek to give those we know a genuine faith backed by truth. Our Apologetics resources (check out a sample on the resource page!) provide students with the building blocks they need to create a speech that is personalized and provokes deep thought. We provide recommendations for further reading, and pepper our resource with tools that assist in your student's growth. You can think about it this way: giving students a completed Apologetics card to read is like handing them the answer key to their math lesson, and having them copy the answers down from the answer key to their own paper. Math is true, but the only way for students to see that geometric proofs are true, and the only way for students to see how they relate to the rest of geometry is for them to work on the problem with the guidance of a teacher. At the Helmsmen Institute, we give students the guidance they need as they explore the incredible truth of Christianity. Questions about why we do things the way we do? Email our educational specialist at helmsmen.institute@gmail.com!




I just looked at your resource page and noticed that your Extemporaneous resources aren't Extemporaneous cards. Why is that?


There are several reasons for this. One reason is that our league, Stoa, has specific goals and rules about why and how Extemporaneous competitors should prepare for competition. One of these rules states, "In Extemporaneous speaking the competitor, alone or as part of a club, prepares by researching national and international current events and may create reference files of newsworthy information which may be stored and organized on hard copies in file boxes or electronically." Our interpretation of this rule prohibits us from providing pre-written cards for Extemporaneous speakers. In addition, we agree with the league's goal for Extemporaneous speech, which states, in part, that the goal of the event is as follows: "To develop a well-informed student who can critically evaluate current issues by expressing his/her position on a given question." At the Helmsmen Institute, we have a very specific educational approach: the Socratic Method. This means that instead of giving students completed material to read, we give them the tools they need to build their own speech. With a politically oriented event like Extemporaneous, feeding students completed material does not help them to think critically about how God has called us to interact with the world, rather it prepares students to parrot information. As Christians, we seek to give those we know a genuine education that will produce opinions backed by truth. Our Extemporaneous resources (check out a sample on the resource page!) provide students with the building blocks they need to create a speech that is personalized and provokes deep thought. We provide recommendations for further reading, and pepper our resource with tools that assist in your student's growth. All of our Extemporaneous materials have been created by Stoa alumni so that your students are not viewing inappropriate or false content (which is difficult to guarantee when students are left to their own devices on the internet). You can think about it this way: giving students a completed Extemporaneous card is like handing them the answer key to their math lesson, and having them copy the answers down from the answer key to their own paper. Math is true, but the only way for students to see that geometric proofs are true, and the only way for students to see how they relate to the rest of geometry is for them to work on the problem with the guidance of a teacher. At the Helmsmen Institute, we give students the guidance they need to critically evaluate current issues and speak truth. Questions about why we do things the way we do? Email our educational specialist at helmsmen.institute@gmail.com!




How will I recieve my resources?


You will have access to all your resources right here on our website! Once you purchase a resource, you will recieve an email with a link to dowload a document that includes the password to the page for the resources you purchased. You can find these pages under the "resource" tab on our menu! Throughout the year, the resources for that event will be uploaded to that page, which you will be able to access 24/7/365. From there, you can download and print any of our resources. Remember, sharing your password or any of our materials is strictly prohibited by law. The first resource release is on September 1st. Until then, check out our resource page for free resources!




Other resources provide over 400 documents for $100. How are you competitive?


Our resources are not only high quality, but we give you more bang for your buck. While you may receive 400 documents for $100, some of those documents are for other leagues. 100% of our resources are relevant to the Stoa community, and you will find that our pricing beats any other competitor on the market (Questions about discounts? Check our facebook page, or message us!). At the end of the season, we will have produced over 980 documents, beating every competitor on the market in quantity. Questions about quality? See for yourself by checking our one of our free resources on our Resource page!




When are your resources released?


Our first "wave" of resources will be released on September 1st, 2018. After that, the resources will be released weekly on Saturday mornings.





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