Students will run policy debate camp at Canyon Crest Academy Aug. 5-9

Elaine Guo and Sonia Yan will host a policy debate camp this summer. The successful debate partners were introduced to speech and debate at a similar student-led camp.

Two rising Canyon Crest Academy seniors Sonia Yan and Elaine Guo will host a policy debate summer camp on Aug. 5-9.

Debate partners and policy co-captains of the CCA speech and debate team, Sonia and Elaine are among top eight policy debate teams in California. Their one-week camp will provide an introduction to policy debate, which is a two-on-two debate event that focuses on a hypothetical government action. Emphasizing research, analytical, and various speaking skills, policy debate provides skills that can prepare students for any speech and debate event, as well as schoolwork, standardized tests and beyond, Sonia said.

Elaine and Sonia were both introduced to speech and debate at a local summer camp run by high schoolers and since then have been actively involved in policy debate. As a team they qualified for the California High School Speech Association State Championships in policy in 2018 and 2019, reaching quarterfinals in 2019. They also qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament this year as the champions of the Southern California District qualifiers.

This upcoming school year will be their second year as the policy captains of the CCA speech and debate team. As captains, both Elaine and Sonia have experience teaching policy debate to novice and varsity members.

“Policy debate has taught us so much about the world, from politics and international relations to critical theory and philosophy. Through debate, I’ve also overcome my fear of public speaking and have learned to evaluate global issues more critically,” said Sonia. “Since we owe our competitive success and personal growth to high school mentors, we’d like to return the favor to the community by holding our own camp.”

The camp is open to incoming sixth through ninth graders. Tuition is $200 and all proceeds go toward the CCA Foundation, which helps support the CCA speech and debate team. To register, visit