Up, Up, and Away: TreeTop Adventures

“You’re the RA, you go first.”

The students stared at me, waiting for a response.

“You want to see an RA die today?” I joked nervously, looking up at the trees. Not wanting to hold up the line, I slowly clipped on my harness, following the directions the TreeTop instructors had shown us a few minutes earlier.

|=Lock on with the tweezle. Clip on. Climb up.

I thought the worst was over as I huffed and puffed to the top of the tree. When I turned around, a single metal cable greeted me. This meant one thing; I had to zip-line across to get to the next tree. I was ten feet up and the next tree was twenty feet across.

I am afraid of heights.

I was already up there, I couldn’t go back now. After a moment of contemplating, I finally clipped onto my zipline. I looked across to the next tree; I closed my eyes and pushed.

WOOOOOOOOSH, just like that, a rush of wind and adrenaline carried me over to the other side.

I sighed in relief.

This is kind of fun…

        Last Saturday, was the Treetop Adventures excursion. For most of the students, it was their very first time in a high ropes obstacles course. While many were very excited, some had their doubts. Slowly, the fears of the students disappeared as they geared up, learned the safety procedures, and went onto the courses. The courses were divided up by difficulty, some close to the ground with lots of wooden platforms while others were high up in the sky, with only cable strings to walk on. Several of the students challenged themselves, moving onto the harder courses as they finished an obstacle. Groups of friends would travel together and cheered each other on whenever one got stuck. Although it was challenging, overall Treetop Adventures was a new and exciting experience for the Summerfuel students.

written by: Amy Lee


Bats and Clubs

One of the best things about having Oxford professors teach with us year after year is the way they can collaborate. Today, two afternoon workshops worked together to show students how different subjects can interrelate. The subject was the British sport of cricket.

Sports and Fitness is the obvious venue for learning the rules of cricket. However, their team competed against the Voyages in Afternoon Tea class! Not surprising, really, when you think about how iconic tea and cricket are to the British mindset.

Maybe the match was team against team, but maybe it was more British professor vs. British professor. Either way, the Afternoon Tea team was victorious!

Everyone else got the chance to get sweaty at Summerfuel Club Night. The Bridge Club welcomes us every year to an under-18 party, along with several other programs. It’s hot, it’s crowded, but it’s a lot of fun!

Two professional DJs mixed familiar tunes for everyone to dance to.

After all that, everyone’s pretty tired, but at least there are only morning classes tomorrow!

Learning at Berkeley!

The International Law and International Human Rights classes have been presenting topics to their peers on: Bullying, Rwandan Genocide, Middle East Conflict, Feminism, Prohibition of use of Force in International Law and the Human Right to Education.

In robotics, students were coding today and testing their robots to travel straight for 12 inches!

In international relations students are talking about pop culture and politics in their countries as well as trying to understand why political parties/leaders would or would not do a said ‘thing’. The classroom is set up like a morning business meeting with croissants and fruit to spark the discussions.

In Psychology and Social Behaviors students are taking online tests to find subconscious bias that they may have and then studying to learn how to reverse them or make them conscious! The brain is so intriguing!!

Introduction to architecture is finishing up their final sketches to begin building their models!

The medical science students traveled down to the bio-sciences library to do more research on their final project topics.

Learning in London

Summerfuel Oxford teachers took a well-deserved day off and let museums do the educating! We drove up to Exhibition Road and split students’ time between two galleries based on their morning seminars and afternoon workshops.

The Victoria and Albert Museum is so vast that it defies categorization, but most people put it under “arts and design”. Exhibits inside range from West End theatre costumes to South Asian carvings, and stock everything in between.

The Science Museum, although just as fascinating, couldn’t be more different. Its exhibits focus on the history, application, and even the future of science. Spoiler alert: the next big source of energy will be “poo”.

And museums aren’t the only place to gain authentic experience. Harrod’s department store was a great spot for the Marketing class to analyze strategies and plans. Not to mention, a good place for souvenirs and makeup!

If today wasn’t full enough, we still had a round of evening activities to complement the trip to London. Some students attended an open-air production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (look forward to a separate post soon). Others attended Bill Spectre’s famous Ghost Tour of Oxford, complete with thrills and chills!

Week 3

We have kicked off week three with a running start! Afternoon activities offered in between classes were a trip to UC Berkeley’s fossils and dinosaur exhibit and a board game tournament. The evening’s activity was “Urban Campout”. All the essential camping activities and aesthetics were created indoors. We had an artificial fireplace paired with music, smore’s dip, and large group games including cornhole, giant jenga, and cards. The activities were a hit with the students and ended the night with a game of werewolf.

First Day of Class!

Monday marked the first day of classes for Pre-College Tufts Session 2. From Introduction to Medical Science to Journalism & Social Media, there is no shortage of interesting subjects to be explored. After AM Classes, Group Photos, and PM Classes, students ventured out to Davis Square with their RAs. Later on, students joined forces with other Summerfuel programs at Tufts for Game Show Mash-Up.


Students have been working together in groups to create a solution about climate change on Berkeley campus and how to achieve zero waste in a better way. They have went out into the community to observe and interview those around campus. Then students created a plan within their team members to present to a successful entrepreneur from the community.

The entrepreneurship students today after their presentations with guest speaker, Hap Klopp who is an author, an investor, and a serial entrepreneur who ran the North Face for 20 years as a president. We posed with him: serious, fun, and creative!

Weekend Fun

Well we sure did stay busy over the weekend! On Saturday, students went into San Francisco and explored more parts of the beautiful city: Chinatown, Twin Peaks, The Museum of Modern Art, and Union Square among other places nearby that students ventured off to. We ended our evening back on campus singing karaoke.

On Sunday students chose to either head over to the AT&T stadium to watch the San Francisco Giants take on a local Rival the Oakland A’s, (it was a beautiful day for Baseball and the weather did not disappoint), or to spend the day shopping away at the Gilroy Outlet Mall. Once students got back to campus each RA chose a favorite restaurant for students to accompany them to try!

We can not believe that we are half way through our program already – as they say ‘time flies when you’re having fun!’