Tufts

Making the Most of Summer

It’s mid-July and we’re not in Barcelona or Oxford.  We’re not on campus at Berkeley or Stanford or Tufts.  We’re mostly staying home and we’re wearing masks and avoiding crowds or crowded places.  It’s a very different summer than the one we imagined even six months ago but we’re happy to report that in spite of all of the changes and new restrictions, we are connecting students from around the world and continuing to foster learning and growth throughout the summer.

When we first talked about virtual classes we were doubtful.  How would it work?  Sure, we have fantastic faculty but would anyone listen when they couldn’t go to a new, exciting location?  Well, as it turns out, we have quite a few students who decided that they wanted to keep learning even if they had to stay home.  And we are SO excited!  Our classes have been really well received.  Our students have been so focused and engaged and attentive.  The discussions and debates and sharing of ideas has been absolutely rejuvenating for our Summerfuel team.  SF Virtual has given us the motivation and energy to continue planning for an in-person 2021.  And it has helped US to remember to think outside the box and look beyond the immediate barriers.  Thank you to all of the students who took a leap of faith and joined us for Sessions 1 and 2.  We have two more sessions on offer this summer so if you’re looking for something to fill your day, take a look.  Session 3 begins July 20th and Session 4 starts August 3rd.  We’d love to have you!

We miss you Boston!

A Message from Director George

Summerfuel Tufts 2019 opened up to students on June 30th.   The halls of Carmichael and Wren were quickly covered with decorations and we welcomed over 155 students from around the world to a very unique summer experience in New England. 

In line with our summer arcade theme, we were honored to have guest appearances by Yoshi, Mario, Luigi, and Pac Man as we made new friends, connected with faculty and opened up our minds to acquire new knowledge and perspectives.  Together we got involved with campus activities, and were treated to a taste of what college life might be like. 

As the weeks progressed, we welcomed more and more students to the Summerfuel family until by Week 4 we had over 400 Summerfuelers exploring the Tufts campus, Boston and Davis Square. 

The residential quad became our home we we creatively chalked the sidewalk, held friendly competitions towards the Greek Cup, enjoyed an outdoor movie, challenged friends to a kickball game, took a walk on the slack line, or just enjoyed a casual nap in the afternoon. 

We will always cherish the moments that Tufts has provided us and hope they will continue to inspire us to be better community leaders and responsible citizens in our ever-changing world.  Although the seasons change and the summer must come to a close now, the connections that we’ve created and the skills that we’ve gained will be of enormous support as we move forward. 

Keep those ‘gold coin’ treasures in your pocket and level up for your next life adventure! 

Best wishes and safe travels!  Okay?  Got it?  Good.

– GK aka Director George

*Left to Right: Head of House Ryan Maher, Student Hieu & Director George Kinzel

Goodbyes or See-you-laters?

Our “Summer Arcade” is slowly coming to an end and we’ve slowly wished new friends farewell over these last weeks.  As the days have gone by, we reflect on all of the memories shared and friendships created here at Summerfuel.

Yesterday we had our last staff meeting. We shared memories of our last six weeks / two months (depending on the staff member), played some “Minute-to-Win-It!” games and tested our knowledge about the staff team that was with us throughout this season.

 

*Resident Advisors Alex and Cameron won these Summerfuel caps during our last staff meeting

*Staff team the final week

Glow Night! – Just Glowing with the Flow

 

Not only do our students glow in the dark, but they glow at our excursions as well!

This past Friday, some students joined us at SKY ZONE, an indoor trampoline park that where you can JUMP JUMP JUMP to your heart’s content!  Everyone had the opportunity to jump freely, put their coordination to the test in a series of obstacles and challenges, attempt to climb a wall, challenge their peers in a gladiator jousting battle at the SKYJOUST, and give it their all in ULTIMATE DODGEBALL at the trampoline dodgeball court. 

Along with some excited students, several RAs, the Assistant Director of Activities – Glen, and the Director of Summerfuel Tufts – George Kinzel (GK) were all in attendance. We had a great time together and to quote some of our students – the whole experience was “LIT!!!” 

…And indeed it was spectacular to see their shirts, as well as their smiles to really light up the room and make it LIT! 

Life as a Resident Assistant (RA)

This weekend, Summerfuel at Tufts said goodbye to many students and staff. Resident Assistant (RA) Nodir spoke to RA Alayna, as she reflected on her Summerfuel experience.

RA Nodir: Hi there, can you tell me a little about who you are and where you are from?

Sure – so I’m Alayna and I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis.  I graduated in 2017 and I’ve been doing a variety of different things but my goal is to work in higher ed… which led me to apply for a position with Summerfuel.

N: What did you most enjoy about Summerfuel? What is your favorite memory?

I really enjoyed getting to know my residents and the RA staff. Favorite memory? Oh gosh…

I enjoyed just kind of laughing about random things, going back and forth with staff, talking to new students, hearing about their day and their program, what they’re learning. I don’t know, the students are just so amazing that being around them has been my favorite part of the experience.  I know that they’re going to make big changes in the world.

N: Was there an excursion you really liked?

I really liked the Kennedy Institute. I went with my International Relations students. It was nice hearing what they got out of it, the decisions politicians make when they’re passing bills…

N: Is there anything that you feel your students taught you?

One thing that sticks out to me in particular, is how one of my students said she didn’t have a goal in mind for what she was becoming in international relations. She was going in to see how far she can go, just to experience, and I thought it was interesting.

N: We had staff from many different backgrounds. Is there anything you would say you learned from them?

I enjoyed just being able to get to know people and where they’re going.  I was really surprised by the amount of  international experience people had before coming here. One of my favorite conversations was learning more about what people were studying, and their favorite memories while working with students or discussions about studying abroad and learning more about what they did and love. 

N: Is there anything else you would like to share?

I definitely would say, if I could have the same people and the same experience it is definitely something that I would do again.

Summerfuel Students Watch the Democratic Debates

Summerfuel Students are not just focused on fun, but also strive to be politically informed as some of the future leaders of our country. On Tuesday and Wednesday students gathered together to watch the Democratic debates. During the viewing party there was rousing discussion and commentary all fueled by some delicious puppy chow made by RA Felicia and our Activities Director Glen. We love seeing our students engaging with current events and the world around them!

Weekend fun!

This past weekend students were able to explore our Boston community through excursions to the Kennedy Institute, the Cambridgeside Galleria, and to Boston. In Addition, Summerfuel offered a variety of fun activities for students in the evening. Students who attended the Boston Trip On Saturday were able to take advantage of all that Boston has to offer– from the glamorous Newbury St Summerfuel Tufts students joined up with Summerfuel MIT students to have a joint Breakfast Club Open Mic event. Students showed off their amazing singing voices and thought- provoking poetry while enjoying a late breakfast of waffles and bacon.

Sunday evening, students gathered together to cook and bake for the Global Cuisine Potluck. From baked ziti to a ramen bar, students worked hard to bring many delicious dishes to the table. Afterwards, students attended a mock Model UN conference to deal with a World War III simulation. Students, as leaders of different countries, navigated economic collapse, civil war, resource depletion, and changing alliances to come up with resolutions to solve their countries’ problems. 

 

Jeopardy! at Summerfuel Tufts

Yesterday, the students at Summerfuel Tufts students participated in a game of Jeopardy!

All of the students had a chance to show off their trivia knowledge in categories like Geography, US History, Sports and Pop Culture, Summerfuel Trivia, Video Games, and Colleges/Universities. They were split into five teams: Potato Head, Watermelon, Puffin, Crab and Reindeer.