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…

Day 7: Saturday August 4th

Day 7:  Saturday August 4th

Today was a great day here at ASA CAP Berkeley.  The students began with their usual morning SAT prep class.  After the class and a quick lunch at the Café they headed in to the wonderful city of San Francisco to take in the sights and get a break from all the hard work they have been putting in!  The first stop was in the Union Square District which was full of designer shops including the Nike Store, Apple, an enormous Macy’s, as well as a Sephora where our student Luke had a great time messing around!

After some much needed retail therapy most of the students ended up at Coldstone Creamery and for some it was their first experience with the one of a kind ice cream shop.

Once everyone had taken in the sights and shops they headed over to the Mission District.  The district is known for its art which is openly displayed through numerous graffiti alleys throughout the city!

After eating dinner in one of the many local Mexican taquerias it was time to wrap up the night with an outdoor movie at Dolores Park.  There was a free showing of Sixteen Candles as we spread out blankets to lie on and enjoyed some snacks during the film.  Overall it was a great day to be an ASA CAP student!

Day 4: Wednesday August 1st

Today the students began with breakfast and moved onto their SAT prep class for the morning where they continued to learn the strategies to help them maximize their scores for the all important test.  They then headed to lunch where our student Imani created possibly the most beautiful drink in the world, the Berkeley sunrise.

After lunch the students headed back to the ASA lounge for a group study hall to work on their resumes as well as the drafts of their college essays for their essay writing class right after.

After a quick dinner the students headed back to the lounge for a workshop on putting together an effective application where they went through the steps in filling out the 2012 Common Application accepted at most schools.  Once they were done it was time for the fun and games to begin with the first annual CAP Olympics!  Ryan and Liberty split the group up into teams and led them through events such as Chubby Bunny marshmallow contest, handless Oreo Eating, ping pong ball and straw balancing, and the final event of the Relay Race!

Everyone had a great time and we even had a medal ceremony at the end celebrating the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medal winning teams!  All in a day’s work here at ASA CAP Berkeley 2012!

Day 3: Tuesday July 31st

Today began with a trip to the cafeteria for breakfast to get ready for another full day of workshops and classes.  Their first class was Meet the SAT where the students worked on the various aspects of the test such as vocabulary and mathematics.  After class it was time for lunch where the nacho bar was a huge hit!  The afternoon was spent lounging in the grassy field in front of the Campanile Tower and the beautiful library.  Essay writing was next where they worked on rough drafts of their first college entrance essay.  Dinner in the café was followed by a workshop on evaluating a college for its pros and cons and learning about websites that could help such as  After another long day it was time to relax and treat themselves with a trip to Yogurtland for the best frozen yogurt that Berkeley has to offer as well as watching the Olympics and cheering on the Women’s Gymnastics and Michael Phelps.


Day 2: Monday July 30th

The students were up nice and early to head to the Café for breakfast to make sure they were awake and ready for our first SAT test.  Then the ‘fun’ began.  The RA’s and staff walked them to the Princeton Review building where they will be spending our most of their mornings for the program taking SAT prep classes.  After the anticipation was finally over, they dove right into the test and boy was that an experience!  After a long 4 hours of test taking, the students were finally done and it was time to head to lunch.  Most of them headed to the Café while some decided to head into Berkeley to test out some of the great restaurants and food options the college town has to offer.  When lunch was over they headed back to Putnam to meet up with Ryan and Liberty.  A few students had their first college counseling sessions with Jane and Heather while the rest went on a tour of Berkeley to get a lay of the land and learn the boundaries of the camp with the RAs.  They saw what the streets of this beautiful college town had to offer from finding the Walgreens for all of our necessities as well as a quick tour of the Berkeley campus and the beautiful buildings it has!  Then it was time to head to the first essay writing workshop where we will learn how to make the perfect college essay.


Day 1: Sunday July 29th


We are all finally in California!  After some very long and some delayed flights, we have arrived at San Francisco International Airport for the start of a great two weeks.  Our RA’s Liberty and Ryan greeted us at the airport with smiles and directed us to our shuttles to bring us back to Berkeley.  After dealing with some typical California traffic, we all had made it back to the beautiful University of California-Berkeley campus in time for dinner at the Crossroads Dining Hall.  What a dining hall it was!  From the pizza station, grill bar, sandwich line and the make your own salad bar we satisfied our traveling hunger pains that is for sure!  Then it was time to head back to Putnam Dormitory where we met in the ASA CAP lounge to start our orientation process.  We started with Speed Friending where we got to meet with each student and staff in the program through exciting questions to get the conversations and laughs going!  After that our two college counselors Jane and Heather gave us a quick overview of the program and expectations for the next 12 days.

Finally, it was time to unwind in our rooms (except for that pesky fire alarm that went off, al least now we know the drill!), do some unpacking and get a good night’s sleep for our first SAT Diagnostic test bright and early the next morning.  Wish us luck!

Guest Blogger: ASA CAP Columbia Student Abbey Robbins

“This experience has been so much more than I had expected. First off, the SAT finally makes sense, and I feel confident in my abilities in that test but also in my college application- thanks to the awesome college counselors. But secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I have found the international community to be really rewarding. It’s really a unique experience to find someone from halfway around the world, whose first language was not English, and have so much in common with them. I have a much deeper understanding of the international community because I’ve had the opportunity to communicate with them and learn about all their different cultures. With all our cultural differences, it’s really quite amazing how similar we all are; and that kind of perspective at my age is phenomenal.

The course load is heavy, and in the beginning I was afraid I would have no time for fun. But everyone sort of bonded over the studies, and we all got very close quickly because of it. And there is plenty of time for fun- exploring the city and having fun adventures that (at least I) would never get at my small town home.

Living on a college campus is part of what makes this so real- having to balance studies with fun and having to navigate across a new campus- it’s really unique for a high school student and revealing to what will come in the near future. Overall, it has been a very rewarding, exciting experience so far and it has helped me to understand a lot about the international community and also the type of school I will want to attend.”


*Photo Credit: Freddie Moross (Abbey is on the right, and chose this photo 😉

Fordham, Yale and Birthday Celebrations

A day in the life at CAP Columbia….

We got an early start to the day with our visit to Fordham University. We enjoyed the campus’s lush greenery and enormous library. The campus was so quiet it was hard to believe it was in the middle of the Bronx.

Immediately following our Fordham visit, we headed up to Yale University for a tour with our enthusiastic guide Claire. She was full of helpful information about everything from student life to school traditions to academic programs. Students even had time to rub the foot of the lucky statue of Theodore Dwight Woolsey for good luck (which will hopefully come in handy for college applications). In addition to the breathtaking campus, students enjoyed walking through the city of New Haven to see the many things it has to offer.

Although we had a long day, we ended it with a bang as students gathered for the ice cream social. We got to know each other even better as we played a game of human bingo. As the game ended, we brought in surprise birthday cupcakes for Minh and RA Amanda. We ended the night with some music, dancing, and lots of laughs.