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In addition to the Helmsmen staff that will mentor, coach and teach at our camp, we will have lectures by faculty of Concordia University. These professors, with PhD's in the field of the topic, are able to provide unique and well researched input that will assist students in making an excellent case for their argument in speech or debate. The Helmsmen Institute is the only Stoa camp to offer this level of highly educated, professional and experienced leaders in the Christian community. These Concordia Faculty members are hand-picked for their expertise and Christian worldview.


The Helmsmen Coaching Staff is handpicked to include the most elite and grounded individuals from Stoa. Our Staff is selected based on success, integrity, and continued involvement with speech and debate. Every Helmsmen representative is among those nationally recognized for speech and debate skills, knowledge, coaching and competition.

Mid Season

One of the many features we offer is our timing. Launching an enthusiastic and exciting camp mid-season will help students to continue their journey in the 2022-2023 season with strength. Instead of losing momentum, students are filled with new enthusiasm and excitement, and can approach the new year with a competitive edge. Having a tune up mid-season allows students to develop a stronger foundation of research and knowledge over the summer, and to be in a better position to balance their competitive speech and debate activities with school.

Listen to what our campers have to say: 

"If you are looking to grow in your relationship with Jesus, increase your speech and debate skills, and get ready for the Stoa tournament season, look no further, you have found the place!" -Student, Amy R.

"Helmsmen camp 2020 was amazing! This was my first time going here, and I was pleasantly surprised at how even though it was online, it was still interactive and really fun. Every day, we started with worship and an hour of devotional and mutual encouragement, which was really special and allowed us to connect on a personal level with different coaches and students. I didn't know that many people going in, but by the end of camp I made so many friends. Overall, as a senior, this is one of the best speech and debate camps I've ever attended, because the emphasis was not to create champions (although the lectures were REALLY helpful) but rather grew each camper in their relationship with Christ, and to teach them how to communicate with confidence!" -Student

"The Helmsman staff tops the excellence chart.  . . A 5+ starred camp. My expectations as a coach was that my students would be stretched to take their logical minds to the next level and be invigorated to dive into the resolution for the fall. Those expectations were met!" -Coach, Patsy B.

Principles That Guide Us

Affordable Camp

From its inception, the Helmsmen Institute has sought to provide high quality resources at affordable prices. Through careful planning and negotiation, the Helmsmen Institute is able to offer our camps at an exceptional rate.


Camp Lectures

Our Camp Staff is handpicked from Stoa Alumni who have continued to pursue Christ and seek to serve Stoa. We are excited to present 4 levels of instruction in order to best serve novice and intermediate speakers and debaters while continuing to challenge advanced speakers and debaters and assist parents in their goal to further the education of students.

Christ Centered 


The mission of the Helmsmen Institute is to guide students 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, and to guide students to a more solid foundation in Christ.

Educationally Oriented

Since its inception, the Helmsmen Institute has had the goal of being able to provide an affordable, high quality camp for Stoa competitors, helping to launch them into a season of growth and success. The Helmsmen Institute camp offers the best of Stoa alumni leadership, with an emphasis on building Critical Thinking Skills through high quality teaching, and Virtue through Christian mentorship.

In addition to daily lectures and Q&A sessions, students will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with coaches during study hall to develop and edit cases and speeches. 

 Socratic teaching focuses on giving students questions instead of focusing on answers. This refines the skill of inquiry and creates a foundation for critical thinking. This is necessary for all debaters, as they grapple with moral questions, and seek truth.

You will receive an updated handbook for the debate/speech events you mark as interests of your student(s). The handbook will include exercises for students to improve their skills, an introduction to the event, and recommendations for practice.

We have designed C.R.E.W. groups to facilitate conquering the students’ biggest challenges, researching effectively and ethically, encouraging each other in Christ, and worshiping as a group. Through C.R.E.W. groups, students will grow spiritually and make critical connections with one another and with the material from camp lectures.





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