Pelicans

Every job on the island—including docking boats and handling freight; cooking and serving food; maintaining the grounds, buildings, power plant, and wastewater treatment facility; and providing all hospitality services—is staffed by a “Pelican,” an affectionate term for the nearly 100 people who work on Star, often returning year after year to what Yankee Magazine called “one of the top ten summer jobs in New England.”

In 1924 two members of the island kitchen staff brought a small awkward sailboat out to the island named “The Pelican”. The staff members who were allowed to use the boat were referred to as “The Pelican Club”. From that day forward the Star Island staff was known as “The Pelicans”.

Working on Star Island can be extremely rewarding. Indeed, many lives have been positively influenced, and careers determined, by spending a season working on Star Island. But being a Pelican is more than just getting a job on Star Island—it is about joining a community of interesting, talented, and hard working individuals. Our staff members commit to doing a good job, whether that job involves providing direct services to conferees (such as making beds, cooking food, or working at the front desk) or serving on our support crews (such as repairing trucks, painting buildings, or running our generators). The powerful Pelican community that arises each season is an outgrowth of common goals, hard work, and mutual support. A Pelican on Star Island is both a worker and a member of the island community.

Former Pelicans also maintain the Pelicans are Pelicans website, where you can find loads of information including details on the annual Pelican Reunion.

Photo courtesy Sean D. Elliot.


Star Island is one of the rocky, wind-swept Isles of Shoals, located off the coast of Rye, New Hampshire. For over 100 years, summers here have provided individuals and families with a welcome respite from their busy mainland lives.

Star Island Corporation is a nonprofit organization which maintains the island and its facilities and provides hospitality services for visitors.

Contact Star Island

Phone: (603) 430-6272
Fax: (603) 430-6270
Island Phone: (603) 601-0832
Staff Email Address List

Star Island Corporation
Morton-Benedict House
30 Middle Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Get directions to the office

Content © 1999–2014 Star Island Corporation. Clouds photo © Axel Rouvin.
Other photos © their respective owners.