By Chelsea Rankin
Patrick Henry College
Mock trial tournament during camps. Photo credit: Art Cox
Seventeen-year-old Adrianna Arnold had no knowledge of mock trial before attending camp two weeks ago. By the last week of camp, her team made it to the final round of the mock trial competition and won the tournament.
“Mock trial camp stretches you a lot and teaches you a lot of things,” Arnold said. “The first week they teach you everything, the second week they fine tune your skills and challenge us to move to the next level. They let you set your own pace, but challenge you to rise to the next level.”
Mock trial camp wrapped up its two-week program last week with a two-day mock trial tournament. Over the last two weeks, campers took field trips to the Loudoun County Courthouse to watch a mock trial competition, the US Supreme Court to watch the delivery of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) decision, the Capitol, and some of the Smithsonian Museums.
PHC senior and camp counselor Iain Armstrong was impressed by the campers’ work ethics.
“Some campers were better at mock trial than competitors I’ve gone against in college,” Armstrong said. “I’ve been blown away by how hard they’ve worked. I’ve seen them working together and getting each other’s backs.”
PHC senior and camp counselor Emmery Grotberg has loved watching the campers grow in teamwork as they’ve studied mock trial.
“Dr. Guliuzza [PHC’s professor of government and mock trial coach] worked individually with teams to help them come up with arguments,” she said. “Campers played witnesses and learned how to argue.”
Grotberg enjoyed taking the campers to the Supreme Court the day the DOMA decision was released. The counselors explained what DOMA was to the campers and loved watching groups of kids get together and discuss the case. They were able to watch the Supreme Court deliver their decision to the media via interns.