Dear AFI Parent/Guardian,

My name is Ben Pyle, and I will serve as the Camp Director for AFI 2021. The camp staff and I are excited for the 2021 Alabama Forensic Institute and cannot wait for a week of focused learning and tons of fun!

The Alabama Forensic Council is the University of Alabama’s competitive speech team. Each member of our team understands the impact the activity of forensics has on students’ lives. Our intention with the Alabama Forensic Institute is for your students to walk away with a better understanding of how to construct, revise, develop, and practice speeches and performances of the highest caliber. Not only will our camp benefit forensics students in their upcoming competitive seasons, but it will also seek to improve a host of skills they will use for the rest of their lives.

As a parent/guardian, we know that you are also concerned about the safety and well-being of your child. If you are left with any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via e-mail at bspyle@ua.edu or via phone at (205) 348-8077.

Roll Tide!

Ben Pyle

AFI 2021 Camp Director


Burke Residence Hall:

922 6th Ave. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

*The easiest way to get to the dorm is by searching Burke Dining Hall on Google Maps.

What to Bring

  • 7 days of summer casual clothing
    • No need to bring a formal suit!
  • Outdoor appropriate shoes
  • 1 outfit that can get “messy”
  • Sleepwear
  • Toiletries
  • Bath Towels
  • Shower shoes
  • Shower caddy (optional)
  • Pillow
  • Bed linens/sleeping bag for a Twin XL-sized dorm bed
    • Linens are not provided.
  • Blanket
    • The dorms can get cold at night!
  • Jacket for air-conditioned buildings
  • Sunscreen (We will walk between buildings and have a few activities outside)
  • Headphones
  • School supplies
    • Backpack
    • Notebook
    • Writing Utensils
    • Any books for potential cuttings. Literature will be provided and students will have the opportunity to look for materials, but if they already have something in mind, bring it.
    • Students will have access to computers, but they should feel free to bring their own laptops if they would like. Additionally, if using our computers, they may want to bring a flash drive or have access to a Google Drive or Dropbox account to save their work.
    • Cash—for the occasional stop at the University Supply Store (Supe Store) and Starbucks!

Medical Concerns

While we hope that your child stays happy and healthy throughout their stay with us, we need to be prepared to handle medical emergencies that might arise.

Medication Management

If your child has any regular medication, AFI Staff follows the University of Alabama’s procedures for handling it. Participants who will need to take medications (prescription or over-the-counter) during their stay must check them in with program personnel upon arrival. That is, we will provide a ziploc bag for the medication at registration. On it, you should print the child’s name and date of birth. You will also fill out an instruction card for the medication to be placed in the bag. The AFI Camp Coordinator will keep it safe throughout the week and hand the sealed bag to your child at the times you indicate on the instruction card. The child will be responsible for then administering the medication themselves, as AFI Staff is not allowed to do so. If the participant is not sure of the correct dosage or timing, they will be directed to contact their parent/guardian.  It is the participant’s responsibility to contact staff for their medications, but staff will be aware of when participants need their medications and remind them as needed. AFI Staff will never open your child’s ziploc bag.

*Note: Emergency rescue medications (ex. Inhalers, EpiPen) may be kept with the participant with the parent’s written consent. The AFI Camp Director will ensure they have it every time we leave the Residence Hall.

Important Contact Information

Ben Pyle, Director of the Alabama Forensic Council, AFI Camp Director

(205) 348-8077

Cory Paul Harrison, Alabama Forensic Council Assistant Director

(334) 379-9080

Participant Code of Conduct

The following section outlines the conduct expectations of all participants of this program.

Participants will:

  • Show respect to all other participants, program staff, and program director.
  • Take direction from program staff and program director.
  • Use appropriate language at all times.
  • Refrain from causing bodily harm to self, other participants, and staff.
  • Treat equipment, supplies, and facilities with respect.
  • Respect others’ physical boundaries.
  • Take all medications as directed, if applicable.
  • Follow program schedule.
  • Use cell phones only during free time and not during scheduled activities unless otherwise asked to do so.
  • Not smoke, vape, drink alcohol, or use illegal substances of any kind.

Participants housed overnight will:

  • Keep noise to a minimal level as a courtesy to other residents.
  • Observe quiet hours from 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.
  • Lock the door at night and when they are away from the room.
  • Leave the room clean upon check-out, removing all personal belongings and trash.


Leaving the residence hall after curfew is prohibited and may be grounds for being dismissed from the program.

Internet Access

Unfiltered internet access may be available to your child while they are on-campus.  Participants are expected to refrain from using this access to view inappropriate materials.

Child Abuse Reporting

The University of Alabama has taken steps to ensure that all youth program staff are aware of their responsibility to report known or suspected child abuse, but it is also important for participants and their parents/guardians to report suspicious behavior.  If we all work together, we can create the safest possible environment for your child.

If you see something, say something!

If you or your child become aware of known or suspected child abuse on our campus or involving program staff or participants, please report it immediately to the University’s Police Department by calling 348-5454.

Thank you!

Thank you again for choosing Alabama Forensic Institute for your child. We are looking forward to one of the best weeks of the summer! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out either through email or to the camp director. Roll Tide!