On the 25th of July, four students escorted by MAG headed to Slovenia to attend the World Schools Debating Academy in Kranjska Gora. The four of us flew to Venice and then had a three hour journey to our little Mecca of reasoned argument. Throughout the journey, we were speculating as to what lay ahead of us over the course of the next week. In the end though, the experience was beyond our expectations. The mesmerising landscape of Kranjska Gora is reason enough to visit it, leave alone the debating experience. Slovenia has a reputation of being one of the most scenic and picturesque countries in the world and Kranjska Gora certainly lives up to that. Nestled amidst beautiful hills and valleys, the place gifted us a lot of memories to pack our souls with before we left.
From lectures, debates and coaching sessions all day, to interacting with people from across the world, this was a life-altering experience. Over the course of the week, we went through rigorous training with lectures in the morning and electives in the evening. While the lectures taught us the fundamental things in debating such as argumentation and refutation, the electives covered more specific matters. The electives covered a myriad of topics, from how to speak better to learning about foreign policies. Every day we had a practice debate, where we could apply our learnings and also had a final competition in the end. However, the week also included recreational activities such as the visit to the beautiful lake Bled, one of the most famous places in Slovenia, as well as a trek into the mountains. However, my most cherished memory of the camp was not any session or lecture I attended, but rather a treasure hunt held there. One night, the hosts organized a treasure hunt for all of us which took us throughout Kranjska Gora looking for certain treaures. All of us had to team up with people of different nations and I was teamed up with two Slovenians. The instructions were simple, we had to simply go out and find these specific things that were located around the town and click pictures with them in the background as proof. Throughout the night we searched the town looking for these things, and in the end we did manage to track them all down.
Be it visiting castles or just learning about new cultures, or developing an understanding of how to put our points across, the camp gave us all this and more. In the end, this trip has given us all good experiences, trained us as better debaters and left us with fond memories.