Work & Volunteer

Star Island Corporation owns and operates Star Island in the Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire. The island is ten miles from mainland New Hampshire and is operated as a seasonal religious and educational conference facility. The Corporation generates and manages all its own utilities (water, waste, power) and operates its own first aid station. The island has 34 buildings including numerous historic hotel and guest housing buildings as well as utility buildings and meeting spaces. The Corporation also operates a transportation system for staff that comprises Corporation-owned and staffed boats as well as contracted ferry and boat resources. The Corporation employs 10 year-round staff people and between 100 and 120 seasonal staff people (“Pelicans”, largely college-aged) annually.

Star Island is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in regard to race, sexual orientation or gender identity.


Year Round

Island Minister/Beloved Community Project (BCP) Manager

Star Island, a $4.2 million non-profit organization, with corporate offices in Portsmouth, NH is looking to add a full-time Island Minister to their organization.

The Island Minister/Beloved Community Project (BCP) Manager, reporting to the Chief Executive Offer, works to further Star Island Corporation's Beloved Community Project - a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative that is a core strategic priority of the Star Island Corporation (SIC). The Island Minster/BCP Manager develops, refines, and executes BCP strategy and collaborates with employees and stakeholders to help shape Star Island as a place that welcomes all, in line with the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. The Island Minster/BCP Manager position is in direct support of SIC’s mission, vision, and values, including the Community Goal of our Strategic Resolution.

The Island Minster/BCP Manager works out of SIC's Portsmouth, NH office, and remotely (September-April) and works and resides on Star Island, Isles of Shoals, Rye, NH (May-September).

Major Duties & Responsibilities

Culture Change 

  • Work with the BCP Task Force, the management team, and others to examine SIC’s culture and official and unofficial policies and practices with an eye toward equity and opportunity.
  • Work with the task force and others to develop a BCP strategic plan and project list.
  • Offer training/programmatic conversations throughout the summer conference season and periodically throughout the year to increase awareness of programming and resources related to the BCP.
  • Work with volunteer conference leadership groups to build relationships. Work with employees, volunteer board, volunteer committees, and others on implementing changes from the Beloved Community guidebook and develop and track success metrics.
  • Review existing SIC and individual conference policies and practices with an eye toward equity; work with leadership to develop equitable policies and practices.
  • Collaborate with others throughout the SIC and across conferences to identify and address systematic policies and procedures that have become part of historic Star Island.
  • Work with key staff and volunteers to create and implement plans to diversify outreach to diverse and multicultural communities.
  • Assist SIC and individual conferences with diversity and equity focused marketing and outreach efforts.

Pastoral Care and Staff Support

  • Support/liaise and collaborate with conference ministers.
  • Design, develop, and facilitate and/or implement diversity and equity education, workshops, and training for leadership and employees, ensuring their voices and needs are heard and acted upon. Offer anti-racist training/workshops for employees and conferees.
  • Coordinate the employee community covenant process (community "rules" established at the start of each season, captured in a living document).
  • Meet regularly with the Pelicans (seasonal employees - predominantly young adults). Serve as a liaison between the Pels and SIC leadership, conferees, and others; listen to concerns; offer pastoral support with an awareness of the challenges of systemic racism.
  • Support and promote SIC's Safe Community Policy; act as a Grievance Officer.
  • Be available for pastoral care, rites of passage, and as a resource for all employees.
  • Engage, collaborate, and influence processes that support underrepresented groups' retention, engagement, and development. Examine hiring practices through an equity lens; make recommendations and facilitate implementation of changes.

Leadership Development

  • Promote leadership engagement by educating, coaching and providing feedback to leaders in a way that strengthens inclusion, equity and a sense of belonging.
  • Examine governance structures through an equity lens; make recommendations and facilitate implementation of changes.
  • Act as a strategic advisor to leadership and others in SIC and conference leadership groups.
  • Connect with like-minded organizations (congregations, camps, etc.) and keep informed of diversity, equity and inclusion best practices/industry trends and provide insights and recommendations to SIC leadership.

Development and Financial Support

  • Collaborate with finance staff and volunteers to establish BCP-related financial goals (e.g. financial grants program, diversity-based endowment structure, Pel funds).
  • Collaborate with development staff and volunteers to develop BCP fundraising goals and timelines.
  • Identify opportunities for building donor relationships, grant opportunities, and planned giving related to BCP.


  • Professional ministry credentials on par with UU and UCC ministry training, including M.Div. degree (or equivalent), Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), and the affirmation of a denominational screening process
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent years of experience
  • 5+ years of leadership experience preferably in Ministerial, Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion, and/or Organizational Development
  • Experience with bringing change to community
  • Ability to present programming, lead workshops, provide pastoral care and leadership
  • Ability to work collaboratively with various groups and individuals and to build relationships and community
  • Success with project planning and management, including effective communication
  • Ability to balance and prioritize multiple projects

About Star Island:

Star Island is one of the nine Isles of Shoals located seven miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. Our mission is to hold and administer a wide variety of themed conferences and personal retreats including educational, religious, and kindred purposes consistent with the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Star Island is a unique place.  SIC is a place of natural and rugged beauty and each employee is able to share in the experience of Star Island’s location and its environment. At work, SIC promotes a culture that stimulates openness, interpersonal communication, professionalism and a high appreciation for process.  Employees are recognized for their hard work and the skills they bring to the job.

If you’ve been looking for work that inspires and engages you and if you love to juggle many responsibilities, this position may be perfect for you.

Please visit to apply.  Please include resume, cover letter, and salary requirements.

At Star Island Corporation, we appreciate the value and richness of different perspectives and experiences. We constantly strive to be a more diverse and inclusive workplace. We work to make you feel welcomed and engaged as a valued member of the team. We provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, Star Island will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.



Thank you for your interest in applying to work on Star Island for 2022! My summers as a Pelican were some of the most enriching and enjoyable experiences of my life.  It is always rewarding to see the Pelicans bond with our guests, the island, and each other in ways that can last a lifetime.

2022 promises to be a year like no other. After not being able to open in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to reopen in 2021 – and we had a safe, fun, and rewarding season. We expect this will be the case again in 2022, and the health and safety of our Star Island family – especially our Pelicans – remains our top priority.

In 2021, one of the key reasons we had such a successful summer was our high COVID-19 vaccination rates amongst our employees and our overnight guests. Building on this success, effective January 1, 2021, only fully vaccinated individuals will be permitted to work for the Star Island Corporation.

We will be communicating regularly about what else we are expecting for 2022. When we send out employment offers in March, we will send out the most up-to-date information on our various health and safety protocols.

More broadly, we know a few tried and true things about what makes a successful Pelican. In addition to normal qualifications, like being reliable, responsible, and hard-working, we seek candidates (18 years or older) who will be especially safe, cooperative, and respectful, and who can thrive in the close working and living quarters of our remote setting.

Beyond these essential attributes, we will be strongly focused on candidates who will contribute to our mission of hospitality and participate in forming a healthy island-wide community.

We appreciate your consideration of what we are looking for in our Pelicans. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.



Joe Watts

Chief Executive Officer


Pelican Applications

Applicants who have not worked for Star before, click here to begin the online application process.

Returning Pelican applicants, click here to begin the online application process.


Reference Forms

If you have never worked on Star Island, you must submit two reference forms. These could be from an employer/supervisor, professor, advisor or school guidance counselor, principal, teacher, minister or religious education director, etc. References from family members will not be considered.  Additional peer or character references (beyond 2 required references) are encouraged.

Your application will be considered incomplete if both references are not received or postmarked by January 31st.

Please provide your references with the link to our online reference form:

Or download a hard copy of the reference form: Pelican Reference Form


General Information for Star Island Applicants

Click here to learn more about working on Star Island and for a description of each of the positions.


Selection Criteria

Click here to learn how we select our Pelican staff from amongst a large pool of applicants.

At Star Island we appreciate the value and richness of different perspectives and experiences. We constantly strive to be a more diverse and inclusive workplace. We work to make you feel welcomed and engaged as a valued member of the team. We provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. In addition, Star Island will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.


Hiring Process Timeline

Application Deadline-  January 24, 2022

Letter of interest regarding supervisory-level positions emailed to (in addition to your application)- January 24, 2022

Reference Form Deadline (for new applicants)- January 31, 2022

Hiring Decisions Emailed to Applicants- by mid-March 2022

Please note: email communications regarding your application will be sent by our Office Manager, Kate Brady (  Please be sure you add her email address to your safe senders list so you do not miss out on any messages regarding employment with Star Island.


As stewards of our beloved island, we are asking for your help in spreading the word about Pelican employment opportunities. Here’s what you can do to help:

  1. If you’re a Facebook user, share our post about Pel hiring so it has a broader reach.
  2. Print out the hiring poster and hang it up at church and other places in your community-
  3. Think about that person you know (age 18 or older) who could benefit from a magical summer working on Star Island and encourage them to apply.


Video: What it's like to be a pelican

Video: What it means to be a pelican

Being a Pelican is more than a summer job on Star Island– it is about joining a community of interesting, talented, and hard working individuals. We seek staff members who will 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 wastewater treatment facility). 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. We share a small island with people who come for rest and relaxation. Our job is to make a good week on Star possible for our guests.


Thanks to Anna Solo for the photos!


Hear from past Pelicans about their experiences on Star Island:

A Busy Summer
A Pelican Summer: Music Director
A Pelican Summer: Bellhop Supervisor
Pelicans Take Flight (pg 38)

Follow Hiring Activity on Twitter



The contribution of a strong corps of volunteers makes it possible for Star to bridge the gap between great needs and limited resources. Volunteerism accounts for as much as one fourth of our labor needs throughout the year, from island facilities projects to administrative office tasks and from committee participation to the donation of professional expertise. Together it is an impressive display of dedication from a caring and talented community.

On-Island Volunteering Opportunities

For those interested in contributing to the work that goes into running the island, there are opportunities for volunteering alongside our island staff. You provide the elbow grease, and we’ll provide the boat transportation, a bed, hearty and delicious meals, and the wonderful community of our friendly hard-working staff.

Spring Volunteering

Come help reawaken Star Island from its winter slumber and spend a beautiful spring weekend on the island! We have spring work weeks and weekends in May and early June. Volunteer opportunities include but are not limited to: kitchen staff, housekeeping, painting, gardening, and grounds/landscaping.

Learn more about our spring volunteering

Summer Season Island Volunteering

Summer Garden Volunteering

Our summer garden volunteer program is on hold for 2021. We'll see you in 2022!

Want to spend a Saturday or two on the island this summer working in the gardens? Our flower and vegetable gardens thrive on the love and hard work of our volunteers. Work includes weeding, watering and harvesting. No experience necessary, as we’ll try and match up people each Saturday with varied experience levels. The boat leaves Portsmouth at 6:45 on Saturday morning and returns back to town at 5:15pm. Lunch, training and tools are provided. Email Kristen Simard if interested.

Gift Shop And Bookstore Volunteering

The Isles of Shoals Association operates both the Gift Shop and Bookstore on Star Island. If you are interested in volunteering in either of these shops during the conference season please contact the Isles of Shoals Association by clicking here.

Office Volunteering

Office volunteers assist in large mailings, filing, data entry, and errands throughout the year. If you live locally and are interested in being one of our invaluable office volunteers, please email us at

Ambassador Program – Spreading The Word About Star

Star Island is always looking for volunteers willing to help spread the word about the myriad of conferences we offer in their local communities. If you would like to help on this front, please visit our Star Island Ambassadors page. For questions or comments about being an Ambassador, please contact

Other Volunteer Opportunities

We welcome offers of volunteer help outside of our island and office. If you are a professional or an expert in a certain field (fundraising, engineering or food service for example) and would like to lend your expertise to our committees or staff, please email our office at

Island Volunteer Ground Rules

  1. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Volunteering is essentially working for your room and board, so that means that volunteers need to be prepared to work, not just hang out. Unfortunately, if people don’t work when they’re supposed to be volunteering, they might not be allowed to come back, or they might have to pay for their stay.
  3. Likewise, Volunteers (like staff) are not allowed to attend conference events unless specifically invited by the conference. Volunteering is a way to contribute to the island, not a way to go to your conference for free.
  4. Having volunteers is always dependent on the island having enough housing for them. There are weeks during the summer when conferences use every guest room available. We can’t house volunteers during those times. These weeks are listed on the application.
  5. Volunteers work on many crews, such as Housekeeping, Gardening, Grounds, Dish Crew, etc. For more information about the positions that might be available please see the Volunteer Position Descriptions below.

What To Bring

We will supply you with bed linens and shower towels. You should bring personal medications, glasses (reading/sun), comfortable shoes, flashlight, sun block, battery operated alarm clock, hat and swim wear (optional). Be prepared for all weather conditions; it can be warm and muggy or cold and rainy. Layers work well. Clothes should be neat and comfortable. For jobs with which you have contact with guests, but please also bring some clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. You might want to bring snacks and a water bottle, but if not, they can be purchased on island.


Volunteers stay in rooms assigned by the on island Volunteer Coordinator and Island Registrar. While we would love to give everyone singles, space is limited so most of the time you will be sharing a room.

Island Volunteer Position Descriptions


Grounds work includes mowing the lawn, killing poison ivy and simple landscaping work. Assisting our groundskeeper may require use of power equipment for mowing and weed whacking.

Housekeeping and Laundry

Housekeeping is one of the largest areas of need on the island. Expect to be dusting, sweeping, mopping, and washing walls, windows, and furniture. Daily rounds include taking out trash, replacing linens, and making beds.


Help take care of the island’s many flower and vegetable gardens! Tasks are varied and may include weeding, selecting and cutting flowers for floral arrangements, starting seeds, transplanting, harvesting veggies for meals, and watering. The island is also home to a small poultry flock and, if interested, volunteers may be involved in everyday poultry care and management: feeding, watering, and cleaning the coop.

Brute Strength work: moving and hauling

If you choose this work, you might be helping the truck crew move the food from the dock to the kitchen, or the luggage from the rooms to the dock. There is always a lot of work requiring strength on the island.

Refinishing Furniture

Star Island has some beautiful antique furniture that needs care and repair.

In-Town, changeover assistance

This volunteering area is for anyone interested in catching some Star Island spirit on the mainland. On Saturdays our conferences change over which means one group departing and one arriving. You may be asked to greet people as they arrive, move baggage or direct parking all in conjunction with our Pelican changeover crew.



Love Star Island? Become an ambassador! (You probably already are one). Check out our ambassador page for ideas and materials to spread the word about Star Island.

Ambassador Webpage