CHARGE stands for:
Christian Homeschoolers Advancing Rhetoric for Greater Effectiveness.
CHARGE is the Chicago area speech and debate club for the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA). We learn the skills of public speaking in order to become effective communicators for the Lord. CHARGE participates in speech and debate tournaments throughout America. Some locations include: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama,
Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and California. CHARGE exists to assist Chicago area homeschool speakers and debaters become the best communicators they can be!
Chicago CHARGE also coordinates outreach efforts to develop homeschool forensics throughout the
region. We have helped to establish clubs in Indiana, Iowa, and Illinois and would be glad to help you develop your program.
Chicago CHARGE has its roots in a group of students who competed in
the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) debate organization
in the western suburbs beginning in 1998. In 2000, only 6
students were competing. The 2000-2001 season saw the students
who formed CHARGE send two debate teams to nationals. After that
nationals, a decision was made to officially form Chicago CHARGE.
The acronym was created, leaders were selected, and the club
officially began competing for the 2001-2002 season.
Rather than remaining small, Chicago CHARGE
grew rapidly that season with over 30 students joining the club.
CHARGE expanded to include speech and Lincoln-Douglas debate.
The first CHARGE Novice Tournament was held that season to provide
competitive experience for new debaters as well as judging experience
for the veterans. That season brought success competitively as
well including three national qualifying debate teams and three speech
event qualifications. CHARGE had a duo interpretation and a
debate team in the final round at nationals.
CHARGE did not remain satisfied with the
success of 2002. The club has continued to grow since its
founding. Chicago CHARGE has established a reputation as a very
strong club with excellence defining our students. This
excellence is seen in the many awards we have won, but it is also seen
in the team emphasis the students and families maintain. As the
club continues to mature, the competitive success is sustained, but
the team attitude and excellent work of our club is the
As a result of the many hours of work the
students, staff, and families of Chicago CHARGE have spent to make
CHARGE the best it can be, Chicago CHARGE is able to reach out and
assist other clubs and organizations. Chicago CHARGE students
have been able to share their talents with the Naperville Rotary Club
and other local organizations. Students have made presentations
in their churches, and have used their skills to speak to numerous
individuals in their daily interactions. CHARGE students and
coaches have assisted in establishing speech and debate clubs in other
areas of the Chicago-metro area.
see a sampling of our accomplishment, click on "Awards"
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalms 19:14
Our Debate Team Goal:
Our goal is taken from an excerpt of a quotation by Representative George Minot in the early years of our nation. Representative Minot was a representative from Massachusetts. He did not like James Madison very much, in fact they had many debates against each other. Nevertheless, Minot had this to say about Madison:
"He was admirable for a sound judgment, which perceives truth with great clearness and can trace it through mazes of debate without losing it; a studious man, devoted to public business, and a thorough master of almost every public question that can arise"
It is our goal to develop students who themselves will have these qualities.
CHARGE meets Tuesday evenings from 5-9 p.m. At the weekly
meetings, students participate in extemporaneous speaking, individual
events (speech), and policy debate. Our experienced coaching
staff includes national award-winning competitors as well as coaches
with many years of experience. In addition, CHARGE focuses on
the family as the central hub for learning the skills of
communication. As such, parents serve as additional resources
and the students gain from the insights of the various life
experiences they represent.