The First Blue Book


Every year we publish a catalog providing a description of the upcoming summer programs on Star Island. With the 2015 program catalog currently at the printers, getting ready for a mid-February arrival in your mailbox, we decided to take a look back in our archives at earlier program catalogs, once called the “Blue Book” for its rather blue-hued cover.

We can’t say for certain that the 1966 catalog is the first “Blue Book” printed, but it is the earliest one we currently have in our possession. Looking through this catalog, we are delighted to read through such charming descriptions of what Star Island was and, for the most part, still is. For example, the conferences on Star Island remain “tremendously exciting and stimulating to Shoalers” with the ability for guests to take part in as much or as little of each conference as they choose.

Activities popular in 1966 that continue to provide enjoyment for guests include “tennis, baseball, volleyball, horseshoes and exploring the island.” Okay, we focus on softball now instead of baseball. The 1966 brochure advertises that “swimming is probably the most universally enjoyed activity on island” which might still be true, especially on a hot day.

The catalog’s main purpose, providing conference descriptions, shares information in 1966 about a handful of conferences, many that remain to this day. The All Star Family Conferences, “designed especially for Unitarian Universalists, their families and their friends” had two weeks in July — which they still do (All Star 1 & All Star 2). Religious Education was “aimed at providing practical help to a wide variety of people in their specific roles of communicating the message of Liberal Religion” and still does (along with the families of religious educators” at the Lifespan Religious Education conference. The Congregational Conferences started off August of 1966 and continue to start off August of 2015, but now with a new name: Star Gathering UCC 1 & Star Gathering UCC 2. Rhese conferences were just as exciting and invigorating then as they are today.

We encourage you to look through this old catalog by clicking here or on the cover image to the left. Next week we’ll share the 2015 program catalog (now featuring a cover printed in more than just blue ink). You might also note that the opening words of the 1966 catalog talk about the 50th anniversary of Star Island’s dedication. Over the next few weeks we’ll also be sharing more information about our 100th Anniversary, and how we’ll start celebrating this centennial beginning in the summer of 2015 and concluding with a rededication of Star Island in 2016.

Interested in registering for a 1966 conference? Sadly that boat (the M/V Sightseer no longer exists) has sailed its last voyage. B you’re more than welcome to explore the 2015 conference listing by clicking here.