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What is a Club?


While Stoa is a nation-wide organization, its heart is found in the hundreds of individual clubs established locally. When families join Stoa, they have the option of joining an existing club in their area, or starting their own group. Each local group has the flexibility to determine their own time, day, length, and place of meeting. Each club has its own unique personality and dynamic, as diverse as the families who join and participate. Coaches and parents use club time to guide students as they learn and practice the skills needed for competition at Stoa tournaments. Far more than just being a classroom, clubs provide opportunities for teamwork, fellowship, and friendships that last a lifetime. Stoa clubs are small communities, where coaches, parents, and alumni alike work together to train students toward the goal of Speaking Boldly and Changing the World for Christ.

How often do clubs meet?


Many clubs meet one day or evening a week, with meetings lasting from two to four hours. Some clubs meet only once every two weeks, and a few meet once a month. Some of the clubs that meet for longer hours have a ‘cafeteria plan’, where families pick the classes in which they want to participate. Some clubs only coach speech, some coach only debate, and many coach both.

When is the speech and debate season?


Unlike some sports which have an on and off season, the speech and debate season occurs during the entire school year. Most clubs begin meetings in August and wrap up the year in May. Many students use their summer months to build a foundational understanding of the new debate resolutions or read literature and research concepts for speech topics. There are a number of camps offered each summer around the country coaching both new and returning students in preparation for the upcoming season. The tournament season begins in October and generally finishes in April. NITOC (the National Championship) is usually held in May. Families may choose the extent and level of their own participation.

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