Wendy and I have been extremely busy lately, hardly blogging at all, running what has turned out to be the largest Christian homeschool speech and debate tournament in history. I kid you not! Allow me to explain what is going on, and explain why we believe this is the most exciting family movement available to you. Don’t pass this post up; this is exciting stuff!
I am the Superintendent of the National Invitational Tournament of Champions in Colorado Springs June 4-9, 2012. Stoa is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization of homeschool families who appointed me to run their national tournament. The appointment was over a year ago, and I’ve been working my way through the details ever since. This took finding a venue, setting a date, appointing a director team, setting up the website, communicating everything to the Stoa membership and Board of directors…the exhausting list goes on.
There are so many exciting things going on with this year’s tournament! We’re having the tournament at Focus on the Family, a favorite vacation spot for homeschool families. Whit’s End, I’m sure, will be a favorite place for kids. We also have several VIP judges and a whole list of vendors interested in connecting with this community of academic speakers and debaters. We’ve invited the media, too, and have radio and television opportunities springing up. So much going on. And I didn’t even mention the 1300+ speeches and debates that will take place all week long!
It has been a lot of work, but when your work pays off, it is extremely exciting. When the league sent out the invitations a month ago, Wendy and I were concerned that people wouldn’t come. You see, half the league lives in California, the home of the national tournament of the last two years. The league, likewise, only grew in numbers by 2%. We were expecting perhaps 450 competitors. You know what we were blessed with? Six hundred! Well, 599 to be exact, from 26 states. This is a 24% increase from last year, and that was the largest invitational ever. Speech and debate is an expanding movement, and this year’s NITOC is an incredible accomplishment.
Whoa, this is awesome. God has opened up a wonderful opportunity to those of us (and I hope this includes you) who desire to train up a generation of young people with wholesome and godly skills and values. Little will be more impressive than seeing 599 students – suited up to deliver inspiring speeches and spar with award-winning debaters – for the sole purpose to glorify God and train for his good works.
You do realize that speech and debate is an integral way to instill Love in the House, don’t you? A theme of love is creativity, what we like to call “an image-of-God trait.” Raising children in love nowadays – especially for large families – takes creativity. We have found that speech and debate is the best academic activity a family can be involved in. We honestly believe that, and thousands of families are catching on that this is it.
I wanted to give you a head’s up why we haven’t been blogging lately, but more importantly, I want to give you an opportunity to get involved. We honestly believe every homeschool family should be involved in speech and debate, but most of you probably don’t think it is possible for your family. Tomorrow I’ll post three ways you can be involved, and nearly giving away some books to encourage you. Check back tomorrow!
For now, visit the National Invitational Tournament of Champions website. Wow, we have a lot of good work to do, and an exciting week ahead.