Lift off!

Dear CAP Berkeley Summerfuel Family and Friends,

I’m happy to say that our campers have arrived safely and they have already begun to embark on what is bound to be a memorable two weeks of learning, personal growth, friendship, and fun! Classes and major activities kick off Monday.  Despite jet lag and fatigue, our campers have been in top form.  You can stay updated on all of our camp happenings on the Summerfuel snapchat and right here on the CAP Berkeley blog. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to email or give us a call at 646.465.2940 between 9am and 9pm PST.

Warm Regards,

Amani, Director


Our beautiful home for the next two weeks


Our first arrivals! So excited to have Jackie, Isis, and Ryan with us.



Maia, Matteo and Susanna hang in the airport while we wait for more Summerfuelers



In route to UC Berkeley from SFO

After orientation, we played some ice breakers to get to know everyone. Jake was our winner for Human Bingo!

After orientation, we played some ice breakers to get to know everyone. Jake was our winner for Human Bingo!

Goodnight Berkeley...

Goodnight Berkeley…

Last Week Roundup

As the final day approaches and we start to feel sentimental, we thought we’d take a look at some of the activities of the last week.

After an exciting programme of classes and activities, students chilled out on Friday night. Pyjamas, face-masks, nail painting and a movie were the order of the evening. By the end of the night we were all fresh-faced and ready for the final week.

Monday saw the highly-anticipated Staff-Student Soccer Championship. It was a close call, but not as close as the staff would’ve liked! Despite the sweltering heat, the student team put in a great performance and emerged victorious.

The sun continued to shine on Wednesday for the annual rocket launch. Summerfuel’s best and brightest assembled to build and launch their own rockets. Despite some challenging engineering, every one went off without a hitch.

Meanwhile, high inside the towers of Toynbee, students raced against the clock to solve the puzzles of the Escape Room. Of ten teams who tried it, four beat the 45 minute time limit, with the fastest team taking just over 15 minutes to reach the goal!

Now, on to the excitement of the final dinner and a showcase of the best talent Summerfuel has on offer. Stay tuned!

Final Summerfuel Dance

We’ve had so much going on in the last few days, and it’s all culminated with the final Summerfuel dance! The RAs set up a summer festival in our very own gardens, and the students danced to a playlist of songs they chose throughout the program. Many selfies were taken, many snaps were chatted, and everyone had a great time. We look forward to the bittersweet final dinner tomorrow!

Shakespeare in the Park

The city of Oxford is filled with vibrant opportunities to ponder the works of Shakespeare for his 400th anniversary.  A group of students decided to enjoy today’s particularly sunny weather and celebrate Shakespeare’s legacy by watching Hamlet in the park!  The play was performed right next door to Lady Margaret Hall in the 74 acres of the University Parks.  The play was a modern interpretation by Creation Theatre.  The overall aesthetic was rooted in Steampunk culture, a type of science fantasy inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.  The feel was similar to a punk circus, complete with a grave digger clown.

Although the look of the play was clearly contemporary, the actors stayed true to the old English script.  Some of the students were familiar with Hamlet, others were not, but all were able to engage with this approachable interpretation.  A particular student favorite was the use of current music: the final scene closed with Muse.

A Taste of Marketing & Advertising

In honor of World Chocolate Day, one of our faculty members has written a guest blog post to give you a taste (pun absolutely intended) of her class:

On #worldchocolateday Summerfuel Oxford Marketing & Advertising students participated in a tasting experiment to determine how whether there is real differentiation between food products and to what extent consumers can identify qualities such as organic, artisan and Fairtrade?

They first tasted 4 different bottled mineral waters ranging in price from 45p for 2 litres to £2.29 for 1 litre but no one could identify a sample by brand name, identify a brand with added electrolytes or correctly pick out the highest priced sample. Students learnt that brand equity may not translate to actual product differentiation in this category.

However, most students preferred a branded popcorn over the supermarket own brand and even asked where they could buy more supplies in Oxford, proving that sampling can lead to brand preference.

Again there was consensus about 4 different brands of milk chocolate; the UK market leader was the least popular and the students favoured the ethical brand Divine, the only Fairtrade chocolate company which is 44% owned by cocoa farmers, Divine’s commitment to social responsibility gives us even more reason to enjoy eating chocolate!

Popular brands charge up to 25% more for their products to fund their marketing campaigns, which in turn make us loyal to products. Back in the classroom we reviewed the marketing campaign from 2 of the leading water brands and the European market leader Evian “Live Young” campaign generated most approval.

Kay Alty,

July 7th 2016

Here are some photos Kay shared of her class, as well as a few from today’s activities: Museum Day and the Oxford Ghost Tour!

Afternoon Tea and Art

Ever since the sun came out, we can’t seem to get enough! The teachers and RAs keep the kids busy with field trips, activities, and (of course) homework. The architecture class took a field trip the Divinity School, which is famous for its Perpendicular Gothic Pendant Vault – built in the 15th century. The class all made a brave attempt to draw its complex pattern of stone arches and ribs. Many were excited to learn that this was also a location for filming Harry Potter – including the scene in the Infirmary at Hogwarts.

In the afternoon, our first group of girls experienced the British tradition of afternoon tea, served looseleaf with cream and lumps of sugar, in a grand Victorian mansion. Some others baked their own scones, which proved to be just as tasty! Art Night was a huge success, where the students showcased their different creative talents. Have a look:

Weekend Trips in England

We’ve had a busy weekend with trips to London and Blenheim Palace, as well as a ton of activities!

First London Trip! 
Yesterday we finally got our first truly sunny day just in time for our first trip to London.  Students had the chance to see and hear about many London landmarks from our tour guides, had the opportunity to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and explored the Covent Garden market area for lunch and souvenirs.  With the warmer weather, many Summerfuel students were spotted with gelato in hand as they watched street performers!
Last night we celebrated Oxford’s Annual Alice Day (of Alice in Wonderland fame) with garden games outside and a tea party inside.

Blenheim Palace

After getting to sleep in and work on their assignments, we took a short bus trip to Woodstock to visit the birthplace and boyhood home of Winston Churchill — Blenheim Palace. Besides having historical significance, it’s also a beautiful building with a splendid pleasure garden where students can get lost in a hedge maze or enjoy an ice cream cone. And there really wasn’t a better day to visit; the wind was cool and the sun was bright!

When we got back, we threw a party dedicated to notable alumni of Oxford. Quotes covered the walls and students wore the official colors of Lady Margaret Hall while dancing with their friends and singing along to some of their favorite songs. Here are some highlights:

A Fun End to Week 1

Summerfuel Oxford has been busy today! Besides their classes, students dispelled the myth that there is no good British food on our British Food Tour. They got pies, sandwiches, fish & chips from the Covered Market, and then followed it up with candy from Hardy’s Old-Fashioned Sweets Shop and Oxford local favorite G&D’s.

In the evening, it was time to burn off all that sugar with a rigorous game of Capture the Flag.

Here are some photos, including Oxford Art and Architecture’s walking tour: