Program Highlights from 2019
BITSS 2019 had smooth sailing start to finish! Read on to see what we got up to...
The New England Aquarium is the place for all lovers of sea life from the tiniest fishes and jellies, to penguins, fur seals, harbor seals and sharks! We'll see the four-story Giant Ocean Tank, three different species of penguines, and the Shark and Ray Touch Tank.
BITSS left Boston to journey into the past for a visit to Plimouth Plantation! We experienced an authentic recreation of a 17th-Century English Village, which brought colonial Phylouth to life, and a Wampanoag Homesite, where we learned about local Native American history and culture from a modern perspective. We also visited other local attractions in town, including the Plimoth Grist Mill and Plimouth Rock.
We saw two cool ships in the Charlestown Navy Yard, and soaked in (pun intended) the atmosphere. First, the USS Constitution, launched in 1787, and commissioned by George Washington himself. Then we fast forwarded to 1943 and visited the USS Cassin Young, a Destroyer that fought in seven Pacific battles in World War II and survived Kamikaze hits!
Program Highlights from 2018
We had an amazing time in 2018: revisiting old traditions, exploring new places, and making memories of a lifetime! And if you want to see more pictures from 2018, click here!
Our wishes came true! BITSS went to Disney's Aladdin at the Boston Opera House. Aladdin is a hit Broadway musical, adapted from the animated movie of the same name, full of fun, beauty, comedy, and magic from the producers of The Lion King. And just as spectacular is the venue—the Boston Opera House is an eye-poppingly stunning theater built in 1928.
Salem, Massachusetts was the site of the infamous Salem Witch Trials in 1692. In present day, it's a beacon for all things interesting and artsy. This year, we visited the Peabody Essex Museum and the House of Seven Gables. We're excited to see Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that was reassembled at PEM. Click here to watch a short video about Yin Yu Tang.
The House of the Seven Gables, built in 1668, is best known today as the setting of world-renowned American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel. It was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 2007.
BITSS 2018 ushered in a new concept: Summit Selects! There were three electives in each categories, and girls were able to select their preferences. In Things They Don't Teach You In School, participants learned about meditation, financial literacy, and how to stand up to bullies. For the Arts elective, we had a grand time in jazz pop, West and Central African dance moves and rhythms, and photograph. And yes, we had silly hats for photography! We're looking forward to having elective options again next year!
Program Highlights from 2017
In addition to repeating some of the most-loved activities from 2016 (Zumba with Ketty, karaoke, paint night, a trip to the theater...), we brought even more excitement to the program in 2017. And we continued some of our favorite traditions: Summit Speaks, mentor-led group discussions, and Summit Shout Outs, celebrating all of our participants.
As honorary Bostonians, BITSS was proud to join Red Sox Nation! Fenway Park is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium, opened in 1912, and home to the Boston Red Sox. Fenway Park is a historic, well-known staple of Boston life. BITSS went on a guided tour of Fenway and stayed to enjoy a knockout home game—dubbed the best game of the year—plus some ballpark treats.
The Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum takes you back to December 16, 1773. Through live reenactments and multimedia exhibits, we got a real feel for Colonial America. Our summiteers even got to dump tea in the harbor themselves!
Boston's Museum of Fine Arts houses one of the most well-rounded collections of art in the world. The MFA has works of art and history from across the globe. This year, our focus was on the Art of the Americas wing, opened in 2010. It is an award-winning addition that has hundreds of unique American works of art. Attendees from 2016 will remember visiting the Paul Revere House; the MFA has John Singleton Copley's famous portrait of Paul Revere surrounded by his works in silver. We also saw in person the portrait of George Washington that we all see a copy of every day on the dollar bill.
The Boston Public Garden is one of the most beautiful spots in the city. Established in 1837, it is also renowned for being the setting of Robert McCloskey's famous children's story Make Way for Ducklings. There are many interesting statues in the garden of historical and literary figures alike.
The Swan Boats, a genteel relic of the Victorian age, have been a major Boston attration since their first appearance in 1877. They have operated in the public garden for over 135 years.
Program Highlights From 2016
Our 2016 program was from July 31 through August 7. It was chock full of fun! Even though we had an amazing time exploring Boston, our activities were far surpassed by our wonderful participants and staff as they created a strong, vibrant, and caring community. You can get a glimpse of their camaraderie in this wonderful short film.
In addition to the highlights below, we went on a whale watch in Boston Harbor (and saw real live whales!), spent a day at the beach on Spectacle Island, and were blown away by the culinary acrobats in "Cuisine and Confessions" at the Cutler Majestic Theater.
This sampler gave attendees the opportunity to experience different kinds of exercise in a fun, supportive environment. The offerings included meditation, yoga, and Zumba.
Meditation has been proven to increase emotional well-being, and it’s a wonderful way to enhance personal control over stress. Yoga adds flexibility and balance to the mix. Zumba is a fun dance form, and our instructor throws a dance party like no other! Everyone cheered as soon as Ketty came in for their second Zumba workshop.
Dr. Lynne Levitsky, BITSS’s medical director, hosted a Q&A session with Beth Wheeler, BITSS's treasurer. Dr. Levitsky is co-director of the Turner Syndrome Wellness Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Beth has Turner syndrome, and she also has two kids. You can read more about Dr. Levitsky and Beth here.
The summiteers absolutely loved the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. One girl said, "I would literally sit through another seven-hour flight just to go back to the Gardner Museum. I loved it that much."
The Harvard Museum of Natural History is home to many incredible exhibits, including thousands of beautiful glass flowers and a fabulous display of gems and gorgeous mineral formations. But what they really loved was the taxidermy!