Who can attend the BFI?


The camp is designed for students entering the 9th grade or higher. However, we do regularly include students who are participating in forensics in the 7th and 8th grades. If you have a younger student (grades 7 or 8) and you have questions about the camp, contact Robyn Moreno.

Who can stay in the dorms at the BFI?

Only registered students and designated staff may enter the dorms during camp, and only residential students may be in the dorm areas after 9:00PM (unless supervised by a staff member). Students younger than those entering the 9th grade in Fall 2017 MAY NOT enroll in the residential option. Students of this age should enroll as commuter students.

Arrival Information

Students planning to attend the BFI can find information about on-site check-in/registration, directions to campus, and other details about attending camp under the “Info for Students” link in the sidebar, or by clicking here.

Spending Money

The amount of additional spending money you should bring depends on your own spending/eating habits.  If you register for a meal plan, you will receive 3 meals per day. Many students choose to purchase snacks during the camp.  Students will also have access to campus recreational facilities that have numerous courts and equipment for use/rent at a small fee.  In addition, there are group outings planned throughout camp where some additional spending money might be advised. There are several ATMs available on campus.

Residence Hall Amenities

Dorms_FAQStudents at the BFI will be housed in two-person suites. Bathroom facilities are shared between two suites.  All room and bathroom assignments are segregated by sex and mutual roommate requests will be accepted. The residence halls will provide you with two flat sheets, a light blanket and towel. There are laundry facilities on site and  laundry cards can be purchased by students for a small fee. Ethernet and wireless internet are available in all the residence hall rooms, however, wireless internet is not guaranteed. Ethernet cables can be purchased for a small fee. The residence halls also have a selection of board games, lawn games, and sports equipment available for check out at no cost. For students attending camp, more details can be found under the “Info for Students” link, or by clicking here.


Students with a meal plan will be provided 3 meals per day at either the Heritage Center Dining Room (near the residence halls) or the Union Food Court. These dining centers boast an expansive variety of options and feature a two-week service rotation (providing students a unique dining option during most days of the camp). Both facilities have many meal options each day that will satisfy any taste or special diet (e.g., vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.). In addition, the residence halls and student union provide snacks and other items for purchase on an individual basis throughout the day.

Opportunities for For Fun


There is a lot to do in the residence halls, on campus, and in Salt Lake. For example, the residence halls include game rooms, free sports and lawn game equipment, and other recreational items. The University of Utah campus features an aquatic center, a frisbee golf course, and bowling alley.  Additionally, Salt Lake features the Salt Lake Bees AAA baseball team, Real Salt Lake MLS soccer, numerous parks, and other opportunities for recreation. There will be time for fun worked into the schedule to enjoy the campus amenities, as well as some scheduled field trips. While many of these options are free, some require a nominal fee. Please plan accordingly based on your tastes and interests.


Freeday is Sunday, July 16, 2017. On freeday, the BFI will organize 2-3 supervised outings, e.g., a hike, a trip to the movies, shopping, etc. Costs for free day activities range from $15-$25. In addition, students are invited to enjoy the campus and local area. Students are also provided with information about various religious observances nearby campus. Alternatively, parents can make arrangements to spend freeday with their student. This requires notifying the BFI in advance and that the student checks out and in with a counselor.


Students wishing to park their vehicle on campus will be required to purchase a parking permit from the University of Utah, utilizing their online parking permit system available by clicking here. Parking on campus is not managed by the BFI and the BFI can assume no responsibility for tickets or damages incurred while parking on campus.

Do I need a computer?

Bringing you own laptop or tablet computer is HIGHLY recommended.  However, computer labs are available for use by students attending the BFI in the event you don’t have a computer or your computer stops working during camp. Likewise, printers are abundantly available, but bringing your own will provide a large measure of convenience during camp.

Student:Staff Ratio

IMG_1272The BFI strives to offer an individualized learning experience for every student who attends. Vital to achieving this goal is maintaining a student:staff ratio that enables students and staff to work closely with one another.  At the BFI, we work to ensure that we meet a student:staff ratio of 8:1 or less.  This enables our faculty to identify the individual needs of each participant and to offer instructional support to maximize each student’s learning and success.

What should I pack?

Here is a list of items that you should bring with you: laptop, notebook, pens, water bottle, personal care/toiletry items, sweatshirt or light jacket, sunscreen, laundry detergent, athletic shoes – the campus is big, there will be ample walking. For more information, check back before departing under the “Info for Students” link, or by clicking here.

Items you should NOT Pack

Here is a list of items that you should NOT bring with you to camp: dressy/debate clothes (there will not be an occasion to dress up); illegal substances of any kind; candles, incense, or other items requiring an open flame; lighters, matches, and other incendiary devices; pets, animals, or other living creatures besides yourself; a big library of books. For more information, check back before departing under the “Info for Students” link, or by clicking here.

Departure Information

Students planning to attend the BFI can find information about camp check-out/departure under the “Info for Students” link, or by clicking here.

Typical Day

IMG_1472A typical day at the BFI is organized around four emphases: elective courses, discussion groups (based on skill level), event labs, and practice rounds. Students will spend 1 1/2 hours each morning participating in an elective curriculum guided by their interests and individual needs. These classes include political philosophy, argumentation theory, economics, topics in foreign affairs, topics in domestic policy, rhetoric and persuasion, advanced speaking skills, kritik labs, performance theory and debate, and others. Following these electives, students will spend an hour in discussion groups that help them apply elective content to their event and skill level. Discussion groups are followed by lunch. In the afternoon, students will spend 3 hours participating in event labs focused on research, case-writing, speech construction, cross-examination, delivery, and other skills. After labs and before dinner, there will be a 2 hour office hour/colloquium period where students can seek out one-on-one coaching from staff, participate in additional lectures, or work on their own cases and homework. After dinner,  students will participate in 1-2 practice rounds each evening, featuring constructive feedback from BFI faculty, staff, and guest judges with expertise in argumentation & debate.