Oh, We’re Halfway There!

This week and a half has already flown by, we can’t believe we’re already halfway through our Summerfuel camp!  We’ve been busy sightseeing Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, and Union Square in San Francisco.  On Sunday, the group went to Great America in Santa Clara to get their fill of roller coasters and funnel cake!

Some of the other fun activities they’ve been doing after class are glow in the dark bowling, sand volleyball (which was a surprisingly BIG hit!), writing postcards, going to the Stanford driving range, trying out the campus’ olympic sized swimming pool.  The kids even put on their very own karaoke night!


Our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AsaSummerfuelStanford


4th of July Fun

Although the students still had class today on the 4th of July holiday, the staff wanted to do something fun and interactive with the group.  The students took a quiz that gave them some insight as to what kind of leader they are.  Can you guess what your student scored?  Were they a Gold (organized and dependable), Blue (compassionate and caring), Orange (spontaneous and active), or Green (objective and rational).

Afterwards, we did some team building with the students where they mastered the “floating hula hoop” and also figured out a way to reach their goal outside of a circle they were confined to.  Check out these pictures of the campers working together!  We also have videos posted to the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AsaSummerfuelStanford



Discovering Stanford

The campers are off discovering Stanford’s campus!  The RA’s were really excited to design a scavenger hunt for the students to help them learn the campus.

They just left a few minutes ago and will be finding Hoover Tower, Lake Lagunita, some of the campus’ water fountains, and more!   Here are pictures of our Stanford Scavenger Teams!

Summerfuel Activities

Take a look at what the students will be doing outside of the classroom!  We have a ton of activities planned.  The group will be going on excursions on the weekends to learn about the San Francisco area!

Stanford Students Have Arrived!

They are here!  Many students had long days of travel yesterday (some were traveling to Palo Alto for 24 hours!) and were very tired upon their arrival, but excited to be here and meet all of the other students.

They had their first class this morning and are currently at the campus bike shop where they can rent a bike to get around campus.  Following their afternoon class, we will be working on getting internet set up this afternoon.

Day 1 is well on it’s way!  Be sure to like us on Facebook to get other up-to-date news and photos (https://www.facebook.com/AsaSummerfuelStanford)

Pictures will follow soon!  We will also be having the RA staff and students write their own blog post occasionally, so check back often to see what they’re up to.

125 days to Summerfuel 2012!

We’re eagerly crossing each day off of our calendars as we countdown to summer 2012.  Check back soon for more detailed updates!

Cactus Patch Photo Tour!

This week I had the pleasure of guiding two young and earnest photographers to a cactus patch. Now I have the pleasure of sharing that once-in-a-lifetime statement.

The Stanford family commissioned the cactus patch as a garden for a new home that was never finally built. The cactus patch itself is lucky to be alive. 80% of the site’s unique specimens died in a Dark Age of neglectful maintenance from WWII until recently. Now Stanford has the pretty and anomalous Arizona Cactus Garden restored to picturesque glory.

Our photography excursion started beyond Stanford, in Palo Alto, to get some frozen yogurt. I OK’ed that on the argument that consuming sugar helps you make art. Sure enough, they took excellent pictures right afterward for approximately an hour: crouching for good angles; focusing and refocusing; sharing lenses.

I am not a photographer. I don’t even own a camera. But watching people snap away always makes me happy for them and life in general: there’s always something worth seeing and sight worth remembering. I was very happy just to pace around the cacti and watch the drooping sunlight alter their auras. Being from the East Coast, seeing so many cacti up close is a rare treat.

So much of our time at Stanford is spent gazing around this beautiful campus. Not often enough, however, do we get pause our gaze and securely fasten these surroundings to memory. I hope that in addition to leadership skills all of our students will Stanford with a heightened sense of beauty.

Leadership Development

Today, I had the opportunity to teach an ASA class on public speaking.  I  was blown away by the enthusiasm, ability, and determination of the 16 students with whom I worked.  Students debated issues about what should be taught in school, how athletes should spend their money, and the benefits of (and problems with) Facebook.  They also gave a “paper bag speech” and wrote and gave a persuasive argument on the best flavor of ice-cream.  Peach had a surprising following.

Last week, the classes learned about and practiced business and charitable-giving strategies by selling glow-sticks to the people of Stanford.  One class earned over $160.  In that class, one team of two earned $66.  The students chose which charity received the profits.

The students, teachers, and RAs have kept me up to speed on the students’ progress with their leadership projects.  They are developing business proposals structured around a social issue they wish to change.  Students are excited about explaining their own projects as well as their peers’ projects.  Teachers and RAs have told me about certain students’ impressive work.  I have heard ideas about how to help the homeless populations of San Francisco and ideas about how to clean the streets of Napoli.  These leadership projects represent a great opportunity for all ASA members to learn about students’ passions and issues around the world.

The Stanford ASA program is called “Leadership Development” and the students are taking ownership of this title.  From their public speaking work to developing their social projects, these students are turning into impressive leaders.

-Laura, Dean of Students