Kim teaches debate camp for third year

Jason Kim, Staff Writer

The summer of 2020 was when former Westview high school speech and debate captain Patrick Kim (2021) first led a debate camp for students ranging from grade 5 to grade 8. 

“It was a very good learning experience for myself, particularly because it was like the first experience I had of officially being a teacher and in the setting,” Kim said.

This year, Kim reprised his role as a teacher. Speech and Debate once again hosted a week-long camp, which offered participants a variety of speaking drills and training activities. Some of these drills consisted of tongue twisters and speaking with a pen in their mouths to help them prepare for what comes at the end [debate].

“I really enjoyed seeing the kids use all the experiences and all the teaching they learned,” Kim said.

Previous debate camp attendee Ethan Rhee [attended this year] (9) said that prior to attending, he was a bit apprehensive about it. “When I first came in, I had never done a debate so I was a bit nervous,” he said. “But I was also excited to learn about debate because I looked really forward to it.”

Rhee said he learned a lot from Kim, who taught him many things with exercises that have led him to becoming a successful debater.

One of Rhee’s most memorable experiences was on the last day of the camp where he and a partner had to compete against another team of two in a debate. He ended up winning both rounds of his debates.

His brother, Jonathan Rhee (9) also said Kim prepared each and every student for the final debate at the end, after a week in which he had fun while learning.

“It was very different for sure,” Rhee said. “It was fun in its own way but that was more of the research progress. But at the end of the camp when we had that debate, it was really fun to debate about a topic that we had been researching about. As the week went by, as we did the exercises, we had a lot of laughs, and a lot of fun throughout the camp with Patrick.”

After three years of camps, Kim said he’s grown to really love them each time he goes to teach the speech and debate camp.

“I just liked it,” he said. “I enjoy teaching a lot. I understood that it is probably my responsibility as their captain and the person who was there for them for their debate  experience up that point that I should probably take the lead and try to show some sort of example of what it is like because otherwise I would be throwing them into a situation where basically don’t have any teachings” Kim says.