I attended a personal retreat for the first time for three nights in September, 2015. I had never heard of the place before Labor Day.
I have been attending conferences at Star Island for almost fifty years. The conference center has changed little since the early 1900's and this is perhaps the greatest strength of the Island. No cars, no streetlights, no television...it is the land that time forgot. The accommodations are charming, and are often likened to "Club Med for the Amish". The island works at improving sustainability, and generates all of its own power, produces its own drinking water and treats its own sewage.
We started going to Star Island 33 years ago and found it our spirits home. It is a magical place about 10 miles off the coast of Rye and Portsmouth, NH. It is one of the Isles of Shoals part of which is in NH and part in ME. there used to be a fishing village here and some of the buildings remain including the chapel. A hotel with a large porch and lots of rocking chairs overlook the harbor and views back to the mainland. It is now a vibrant conference center with a variety of conferences every summer. We have attended one of two weeks that are set aside every summer for UCC family and youth conferences. There are many activities you can participate in every day or you can just relax on the porch or explore the Island. A wonderful staff sees to all of your needs and I am particularly impressed with the Islands efforts to go green.
We came to Star first in 1994 and have only missed one year since then. Our children at the time were 14 and 5. It is the one place I must go to at least once every summer. I go to intentionally develop my spirituality and deepen friendships with other conferees. It is one of two organizations to which we give most of our charitable gift money.
Star is a charming place with rustic living accommodations. If you looking for a stunning views, interesting discussions on a variety of subject matters and great programs for kids in a liberal environment, this is the place for you.
My wife and I were married in the lovely chapel on the island. We have been coming back ever since.
Our continuing support from generous donors gives me great optimism that the Star Island experience will continue for generations to come. An appreciative and significant giving community.
I am a third generation Shoaler and mother to a fourth generation Shoaler. I am also a former employee/citizen of this place. It is hard to put into words what draws people to Star Island because the pull is different for everyone....the environment, the people, the peace, the music, the fellowship, the rest and restoration... I believe that Star Island is on the cusp of a real renaissance with the leadership team that's in place....these folks, as well as all of us who hold Star dear, are real stewards and caretakers of this tiny place that is so huge to so many. Star Island is in my bones and my heart.
I first came to Star Island eleven years ago at the invitation of friends to attend the International Affairs Conference. As a new shoaler I was quite taken with the beauty of the island and very impressed with the friendly, intellegent, and compassionate persons that I met. I have returned to Star Island each summer to enjoy the beauty of the island, the simple living, the chance to disconnect from the modern pace of life and recharge my spirit, and the intelletual and creative stimulus of International Affairs.
I have volunteered in support of International Affairs, served on the International Affairs Committee, Chaired International Affairs one summer and served on Star Island's Facilities Committee and its Board. Throughout my years of working with shoalers and island staff I have met and worked with a great number of dedicated persons who strongly believe in the island mission and is positive role in our society. I would encourage you to check out Star Island and its shoalers to see why this is a truely unique community.
We first came to Star with a two year old and two teenagers. We were looking for a family vacation where our multi-age group family could be together yet spend some time enjoying things on their own. It's been twenty years now and we cannot imagine a summer without Star. It is a magical place, a place that meets us wherever we are each year, a place that all three of my children call their "spirit's home". I can not imagine a better gift to give your child than a trip to Star Island.
Star Island is one of those rare locations in the world that allow people to experience nature, themselves, society and friends without the distractions of traffic, cars, tv, constant retail, invented experience and constant judgement. Experience the freedom to choose a more simplified lifestyle.
Conversation, observation, meditation, introspection are all options as experiences you can find on Star Island. Challenge yourself to accept who you are,
make life long friends and uncover new passions that lead to personal satisfaction. A guaranteed unique experience that will be unforgettable and life changing. It's up to you, but experiencing a conference on Star Island is one of the decisions in my life that I would never change.
This island keeps me coming back for more. I have met the most amazing people in the world there, and many of them have become life-long friends. It is truly a unique vacation where you can go unplug from our hectic world and relax in the amazing scenery with some remarkable individuals.
Star Island is a truly magical place, a diamond in the rough in the ocean off Portsmouth New Hampshire. I first went to Star with my parents in 1959. It has remained a big part of both my family life and my spiritual life ever since. Once you have been there, you can never forget it. Star Island is my spirit's home.
Star Island is a unique, magical place. Star Island Corporation does a fantastic job keeping up the island and making sure the experience of visiting it will be available far into the future.
Anyone looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the modern world for a week of tranquility and community should be sure to visit Star Island!
My family and I have been going to conferences on Star Island since 1982; we all love it and go back every summer. We get our fill of fun, relaxing, renewal, friends, natural beauty, workshops, speakers, and a total change from our over-connected, over-scheduled lives. The community of people who work and play there is one we have come to treasure year round; we are already thinking about next summer. We all try to contribute in some way to ensure that Star Island is there for our children and grandchildren, financially and/or by volunteering our time and expertise on a committee, or on island reweaving a chair seat.
I have been both a staff member and a volunteer for the Star Island Corporation. My first trip to the island was in 1975; I then returned from 1976-1979 and 1997-2001 as a member of the staff. Since 2002 I have been a volunteer in a number of ways.
So, why do I volunteer? I can't write big checks for the island, but I can help control costs by being a volunteer. The island has given me many gifts by teaching me how to be an adult, a worker and a member of a community. The icing on the cake is that I have received this gift at the most amazing location in the world!