Welcome back to another lovely day at Camp One Clap on One Clap Speech and Debate, where we have arrived at Day 24! I hope everyone is having a good time at camp and getting excited about a new Speech and Debate season. Camp Counselors Bailey Patterson and Marcus Viney return with the final episode of their four part series, Troop Leader Talk. Today’s final episode is all about the power of self-reflection, and it is titled: “Flashlight Focus.” 🏕️👏🌳🔦
Thanks to Camp Counselors Bailey Patterson, Marcus Viney, and Junebug for their fabulous series! It's been an excellent hike into coaching moves and philosophy that can impact coaches and programs right now!
Here is a transcript of Troop Leader Talk, episode 4:
Hello Troop Leaders and welcome back to another episode of Troop Leader Talks. Today, we're venturing into the serene forest of self-reflection, understanding its significance in our roles as coaches, and unveiling its transformative power in our students. Like flashlights, coaches will spend most of their time illuminating the path ahead, focused on taking the next step, overcoming obstacles, and leading the troops. Today, we turn the flashlight to our own faces, not to tell a ghost story, but to unleash the power of self-reflection.
Self-reflection is a tool we can use to look within, examine our actions, and understand the “why” behind our decisions. With it, we can gauge our reactions, evaluate our responses, explore our emotions, and make changes based on pre-established norms and goals. In the absence of reflection, we risk stagnation, unaware of the territories of our potential yet to be explored. We can use a series of three simple questions to guide us after we reach the end of an experience or milestone. These same questions can be used to prompt students to self-reflect too.
The first question is also the most fun: “What did I do well?” Pause. Savor that sense of accomplishment. Maybe it was how you nailed that new rebuttal or finally mastered that section of tricky bookwork in POI. Whatever the success may be it is crucial to understand why it was successful. Self-reflection need not be entirely self-critical. You deserve validation, enthusiasm, and praise for what you know you did well. A little tip for the eager troop leader, when a student knows why they did something well it puts them in a position to give thoughtful guidance to other troops.
Now for the second and admittedly less fun question: “What did I not do so well?” This will require some honesty. But this isn't about beating yourself up. Instead it’s about spotting areas for growth. Maybe you forgot to use citations in your extemp speech because you couldn’t remember names and dates. Maybe you tripped in that new section of duo blocking because you didn’t practice enough. Maybe you began performing your poetry piece and didn’t realize until three pages in that your book is upside down and now you better hope you’re memorized. Not that I’m speaking from personal experience. No matter the misstep, the first step in making things better is identifying the problem and knowing why it’s a problem.
Which leads perfectly into the third and final self-reflection question: "What will I do next time?" This is your action plan. It's about ensuring the next camp setup is seamless or your next round is even better. It's turning the flashlight on the path ahead again.
These three questions when taken together represent an unstoppable engine for growth, and the fuel is meta-cognition, or thinking about thinking. As Troop Leaders, we need to encourage not just cognition, but metacognition in our eager flashlight holders. If the light is only ever directed outward, students will never realize the full potential waiting within. It’s important to keep in mind that self-reflection is also not a one-and-done activity. It’s a regular skill we need to help our students and ourselves hone over time. But we can think about self-reflection in two different ways: formal and informal.
On one side, we have formal self-reflection, a structured and planned process like the methodical stacking of logs for a roaring fire. This could take the form of completing a post-tournament evaluation or maintaining a journal throughout the season, where students systematically review their performance and plot their progress. This deliberate approach can provide depth and long-term insights, creating a valuable resource for the student to understand their journey and growth.
On the other side, we have informal self-reflection, spontaneous and in-the-moment like those quick, warmth-filled chats around the flickering flames. It's when you catch a student just after their round and prompt them with a few simple questions: "How do you think you did? What could you have done differently? What will you do to improve next time?" This immediate reflection taps into fresh emotions and thoughts, providing real-time insights that are both powerful and poignant.
Both formal and informal self-reflection are important in their own ways. Each method provides a different angle of illumination, contributing to a well-rounded understanding of one's experiences, progress, and growth in speech and debate.
Well, Troop Leaders, the embers of the Troop Leader Talk series are slowly dying down, and it's time to pack up camp. But before we extinguish the flames and return to those fluorescent classroom lights, let's take a moment to reflect on our mission. Remember, our purpose extends far beyond teaching the art of speech and debate. We're in the business of nurturing acorns into mighty oaks, training agile archers to hit their target and climbers to reach their summit, all the while leading the way with our trusty flashlight, illuminating next steps and never fearful of turning that light inwards. Oh and don’t forget the Troop Leader pledge: I promise to be resourceful, resilient, and resistant to change, I mean ready for anything. Have a wonderful season and we will see you at next year’s camp! Over and out!
Troop Leader Talk: Camp Counselor Bios
Marcus Viney is the head coach of speech and debate at Cheyenne East High School where he has been coaching for nearly a decade. He has Master’s degrees in Philosophy and English from Colorado State University. He currently serves as the District Chair of the Hole-in-the-Wall District for the National Speech and Debate Association, as well as the President of the Wyoming Speech and Debate Association. Marcus has celebrated multiple state and national championships with the East High team. Most recently he was inducted into the Wyoming High School Speech and Debate Hall of Fame. However, he is perhaps best known for his local celebrity pug, Junebug.
Bailey Patterson is full time communication faculty at Laramie County Community College where she teaches public speaking. She has an MA in Communication from the University of Wyoming and will graduate with her MFA in Theatre Performance and Pedagogy from Texas Tech University this December. Recently, Bailey won the National Kennedy Center Irene Ryan Acting Award and the 2022 Jane Alexander Emerging Artist Award from the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. Back in her day, she was a Wyoming state champion in DI, Duo, and Poetry and was the first ever Wyoming automatic qualifier to the National Tournament in dramatic interpretation. However, she is perhaps best known for being best friends with local celebrity pug, Junebug.
Junebug is a widely beloved and celebrated pug in the Wyoming speech and debate community and beyond. She charms everyone she meets with her calming demeanor and cheerful snorts. Small but mighty, Junebug is one of the most talented and experienced coaches given her dedication to after school practices and in-town tournaments. While she’s known for disrupting duo blocking sessions, she’s unmatched for her empathy and ability to care for people facing obstacles or hard times. When she’s not leading the troops, she loves to percolate while sunbathing on the back deck. Her favorite food is ham and she’s a world-class napper. Discover your chance to connect with this total cutie @junebugpug on Instagram and Threads.
Thanks so much to Counselors Bailey Patterson, Marcus Viney, and Junebug for another awesome episode of Troop Leader Talk!
There is still plenty to look forward to at camp: tomorrow will bring the final episode of Croc Hiking with EZ Platform starring Ella “E” Goodman and Zcherina “Z” Villegas who will drop even more Oratory and Informative tips, tricks, and hacks. Professor Graham and Kevin will be back with yet another mind-melting ABCs of Debate video on youtube too!
In case you missed it, here is Professor Graham and Kevin's episode for today... the one you've been searching for (Research):
Camp One Clap Social Media Challenge for Day 24 of Camp:
At a tournament, what is your go-to Speech and Debate snack?
I'll be posting my answers on the One Clap Speech and Debate TikTok channel! Be sure to tag our social media accounts or use the hashtag #CampOneClap23 when you post. I’m shifting the reward structure a bit for challenges to include One Clap prizes for more people! If you interact with a monthly challenge 10 times you can receive a holographic Camp One Clap sticker. If you interact 25 times you can receive several stickers, a One Clap coaster, and a Camp One Clap magnet!
If you want to support the One Clap Speech and Debate Podcast, become a patron here: https://www.patreon.com/oneclapspeechanddebate
Get your cool One Clap Speech and Debate and Camp One Clap merchandise here: https://www.bonfire.com/store/one-clap-speech-and-debate/
Check out the 2023 August Wyoming Speech and Debate Newsletter from One Clap: