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Come and Play

Star Gathering 1 UCC Youth Conference

Saturday, July 30 to Saturday, August 6, 2016

Click Here to Register Starting January 11

Why is it that children play in order to learn about the world around them, but as we get older somehow play becomes separated from, or irrelevant to, “real life”? The Star Gathering 1 Youth will spend their week together learning about how to connect with each other, themselves, and their faith through play. Games, toys, pretend… when are those NOT good for us? And for the communities we seek and build?

Youth Minister

Jenn Murray

Star Gathering Community Building Program

We want the Star Gathering UCC to continue to grow, so we’re asking you Shoalers to bring someone with you to Star this year.
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Louise’s Barn, Built in 2000

October 20th, 2015

LouisesBarn

What is the newest building on Star Island? That would be Louise’s Barn, a well-known spot to island kids since 2000.

Built in memory of Louise Fulton Bush, the barn is one of a number of buildings that are specfically meant to strengthen the youth experience on Star. At the dedication of the building on August 26, 2000, Island Registrar Ed Rutledge said, “with the completion of Louise’s Barn, a section of the island campus adequate to support our commitment to children and youth has truly become a reality.”

News of the dedication was shared with the Star Island community in the Fall 2000 newsletter. In the article about the ceremony written by Deb Weiner Soule, Louise is remebered as “popular with children and others for her ‘scientific walks’ to the ‘Marine Gardens.’ Sometimes when she arrived on Island, an announcement had to be made requesting that children refrain from swarming around her so that she could go to the dining room and enjoy her lunch. Louise Bush was instrumental in beginning the marine biology program that eventually became the Rutledge Marine Lab on Star. In the early 1970’s, she was a founding member and the first female on the staff of the Shoals Marine Lab on Appledore. After her retirement from teaching, Louise moved to Falmouth, MA where she supervised the Gray Museum at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole and continued her research and publishing on marine flatworms.”

Louise is the mother of John Bush, who currently serves as Treasurer of the Star Island Corporation. John’s wife Irene chairs the Island Heritage & Artifacts Committee. Both John and Irene regularly attend the Life on a Star conferences and recently led the Chamber Music Weekend with Jill Brody. Louise’s grandson Drew Bush has most recently worked as a naturalist in the Rutledge Marine Lab on Star.

To view the entire Fall 2000 newsletter, including the article on the dedication of Louise’s Barn, click here.


In the most recent Star Island newsletter, a timeline covering Star Island’s first century incorrectly listed the newest building on the Island. Louise’s Barn is that newest permanent building.

Youth Programs on Star Island Focus on Personal Growth and Spirituality

February 27th, 2015

The youth programs on Star Island are not your typical summer camp experience, and that’s just fine with us. Three distinct programs provide youth an opportunity to engage with others of a similar age going through an important, and hopefully memorable stage of life. Star Island offers a safe place to learn about leadership, spirituality, social justice and the power of community. These youth programs provide outlets for creative endeavors, personal growth, and spiritual practice.

Any youth is welcome to these valuable programs which find their basis in one of two religions: the United Church of Christ or Unitarian Universalism. The Star Gathering 1 and 2 Youth Conferences are built upon UCC traditions. The Youth Empowerment and Spirituality Conference is formed around the principles of the UUA. Learn more about these opportunities below:

Youth Empowerment & Spirituality

YES Conference Icon

Saturday, June 27 to Saturday, July 4

for ages 15 – 22

Every summer, this entirely youth-led conference occurs on beautiful Star Island. Escape from everyday life and build an open, spiritual community. YES is a transformative week of adventure, thought-provoking workshops, and self-empowerment. Daily workshops bring youth closer to understanding social justice issues, learning the nuances of softball on Star, and the opportunity to create art. This open, collaborative conference allows any attendee to lead their own workshop.
click here to learn more
click here to check out the YES blog


Star Gathering 1 Youth

Star Gathering 2 Youth Icon

Saturday, August 1 to Saturday, August 8

for youth entering grades 9 to 13 (high school graduates)

What is Holy to you? What is the Sacred? Is it your family? The Earth? God or Spirit of Life? Do you wonder what role you play in our universe? Or with the universe within yourself? These are important and exciting questions, ones that courageous and adventurous people have asked since our minds understood the wonders of our existence. Join SG 1 Youth for a week of enriching community experiences providing a chance to learn and grow.

click here to learn more


Star Gathering 2 Youth

Star Gathering 2 Youth Conference Icon1

Saturday, August 8 to Saturday, August 15

for youth entering grades 9 to 13 (high school graduates)

Spend this week exploring and learning about the major steps Star Island is taking to become a sustainable environment, and you will also see how those steps can apply to your own life as you move from teenagers to adults. Spend the week hiking, swimming, talking, taking once-in-a-lifetime excursions and building new things on the earth to learn more about how to not just survive adult life in our 21st Century world, but how to thrive in it.

click here to learn more


Looking for something else? We have programs focused on a myriad of topics like history, religion, and the arts. Click here to explore our complete 2015 program list.

What is holy to you?

Star Gathering 1 UCC Youth

Saturday, August 1 to Saturday, August 8

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Star Gathering 1 Youth Conference Profile

What is Holy to you? What is the Sacred? Is it your family? The Earth? God or Spirit of Life? Do you wonder what role you play in our universe? Or with the universe within yourself? These are important and exciting questions, ones that courageous and adventurous people have asked since our minds understood the wonders of our existence. Just as Jesus went into the wilderness and the Buddha sought the shade of the Bodhi Tree, we invite you to take a step away from the noise to join us on Star Island to reflect more fully on these questions. We will covenant to live together in a respectful community as we plumb the depths of our understanding of ourselves and the Divine, however it makes itself known to us. We will seek to understand how to show love to our neighbors, to strangers, and ourselves. We will not only think outside the box on these questions, but throw it away and build our own, if only for one week. This week is for those seeking to understand themselves and their world in a richer and deeper way. It is for people who know their lives are more than busy schedules, grades, and peer pressures. It’s for people who know there is Mystery in the world, and it fills them with excitement. We’re all in this together, and we invite you to join us on an incredible journey.

Youth Leader

David Clark, Andover Newton Theological School

David Clark is excited for his first conference on Star Island! Growing up in Maine, David is now living in Newton, MA, pursuing his MDiv education at Andover Newton Theological School. He has many years of experiences organizing and leading youth retreats in the beautiful Maine woods and is thrilled to bring that experience to Star. David has always been a summer camp kid and is glad a life in ministry doesn’t mean he’ll have to give that up.

Room and Board

Star Island 2015 Star Gathering Youth Rate Chart

Program Fee

$115/person

Questions?

Email David Clark at email hidden; JavaScript is required

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Changing Tides

Youth Empowerment and Spirituality

Saturday, June 27 to Saturday, July 4

Click Here to Register


YES Conference Profile

The YES Conference is an open, welcoming community for youth ages 15-22. We provide a safe space for spiritual growth and self-empowerment. It is a transformative week of adventure, thought-provoking workshops, and impromptu dance parties under the stars. Shoalers can participate in a number of different workshops; some of our common workshops include Social Justice Discussions, Softball, and Arts & Photography. We have nightly worships, as well as all conference activities such as an Improv Night and our ‘Coffee House’ talent show.

Minister of the Week

Rev. Dave Scheuneman, Studio Zero, Las Vegas, NV
Star Island 2015 YES Rate Chart

Program Fee

$85 per person

Scholarships

Please contact our registrar Taylor Travers at email hidden; JavaScript is required for more information.

Questions

Please contact our registrar Taylor Travers at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Click Here to Register

Adulthood in the 21st Century: Stars or Islands?

Star Gathering 2 UCC Youth

Saturday, August 8 to Saturday, August 15


Click Here to Register


Star Gathering 2 Youth Conference Profile

Fact: The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. This means that the stars are literally moving away from one another faster, and faster, taking their solar systems and space matter with them. Fact: The world we inherit as adults will be more strange and different than the world any of our ancestors have known. Do these facts scare you? Do they excite you? Are you indifferent? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should come spend a week with us on Star Island. Star Island is committed to being a leader in environmental practice, and we are committed to assisting our youth in becoming transformational leaders of today and tomorrow through the healthy practice of vitality, sustainability, and accountability in every aspect of their lives. We’re going to spend a week exploring and learning about the major steps Star Island is taking to become a sustainable environment, and we’re going to see how those steps can apply to our lives as we move from teenagers to adults. We’ll spend a week hiking, swimming, talking, taking once-in-a-lifetime excursions and building new things on the earth to learn more about how to not just survive adult life in our 21st Century world, but how to THRIVE in it. By the end of this week you will make new friends, reconnect with old ones, and possess the ability to re-engage your normal, ordinary life in extraordinary and life changing ways. Are we destined to be disconnected stars in an isolated universe, or can we learn to be islands of creative justice and sustainable peace in the world? Come join us and discover the full potential your future has to offer. Practice for a week, experience for a lifetime!

Program Leader

Rev. Brian Gruhn, 2nd Church in Newton UCC, Newton, MA

Rev. Brian Gruhn is an ordained minister in the UCC, currently serving in West Newton as Associate Pastor of Family Ministries. Brian is returning to Star for his second year as Youth Conference Minister, and has lead spiritual retreats for people of all ages in Arizona, New Mexico, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. His passion is finding creative ways of helping people of faith connect their beliefs to their every day lives through story and practice. Anyone who can get him tickets to the next Avett Brothers concert in Boston will win his love and appreciation forever.

Room and Board Rates

Star Island 2015 Star Gathering Youth Rate Chart

Program Fee

$115/person

Scholarships

Please contact Brian at email hidden; JavaScript is required for scholarship information!

Questions?

Contact Rev. Brian Gruhn at email hidden; JavaScript is required


Click Here to Register

Expressing Our Faith

Star Gathering 2 UCC Youth

Saturday, August 2 to Saturday, August 9

Star Gathering 2 Youth Profile

Click Here to Register Online
When we express ourselves through creativity, compassionate words, and acts of kindness, we express our faith. The Youth Conference for SG2 will give participants an opportunity to think about how they express themselves through words, art, and actions. In expressing themselves, they will get to know each other better and will grow closer to the God who created them and loves them just as they are. Youth who come to Star Island form a special connection with the island and with the community of friends they meet. Whether or not their parents participate in the concurrent Star Gathering 2 conference, youth form a sense of Island family that does nothing short of transforming their lives.
Minister of the Week: Rev. Brian Gruhn
Program Fee: $115/person

Click Here to Register Online


Star Island 2014 7 Night Youth Rate Chart

The above per person room and board rates cover the entire 7-night stay and include ferry transporation to and from Star Island on designated days.

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Our Mission

Our mission since 1915 is to hold and maintain Star Island and such other property as the Corporation may hold or acquire, as a center for religious, education, and kindred purposes consistent with the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.

Our Vision

Our vision is to create on Star Island an environment that frees all who come to renew spiritually, explore matters of consequence, and gain knowledge about the world as it might ideally be.

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 © 1999–2016 Star Island Corporation. Clouds photo © Axel Rouvin.
Other photos © their respective owners.