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Matthew's friend Harold Gutmann's remarks at the Closing Ceremony for Debate Camp

Hi everyone, it's amazing to be here today and see how incredible this camp is. I'm Harold Gutmann and I was best friends with Matthew growing up, and we actually went to summer camp together for seven weeks every summer, so it’s fitting that I’m speaking to you at a summer camp in his honor.

I knew he would be a debater because he loved to argue about things, and he didn't even care what side, he would see what side you were on and he would take the other side. And we would make bets on who was right (and this was before Google where you could just look something up), and it would start with betting one cent and then whoever won would go double or nothing, so it would go 2 cents, 4 cents, 8 cents, and one time I went on a winning streak and it got up to a few dollars and I asked Matthew to pay up, and he said he actually was just betting doll hairs, not dollars. So as you could see he would debate anything. One other thing you should know is that Matt was incredibly gifted at making friends. He was one of those people who everyone liked, he could talk to anyone, he could hang out with anyone. In a large group, he was the glue that brought everyone together. Even though I didn’t go to his high school, I still knew a lot of his debate friends because he invited us all over for poker nights in his basement. Well he found the perfect platform for his talents when he got into debates. Not just his ability to debate, but also the bonds you form with your partner, and the friendships you make with the team as you go to competitions. That's why I'm so inspired by seeing everyone here today, and when I was fortunate to go to the word museum on Saturday. I know you're growing your debate skills, which will help you in life, but you're also making friends here and experiences that you will remember forever, just like my time with Matthew at summer camp 30 years ago that I still remember today. So in honor of Matthew, I hope you go on and do great things in debate, but I also hope that you keep in touch with the friends you made here and you cherish those relationships like Matt would do.

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Newsweek Articles about Debate Camp

You can find the two articles that Newsweek's Lauren Giella wrote about Debate Camp here: Debate Camp attracts some of the 'smartest people in DC.'


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