Shoaler Voices

Frequent Traveler Returns Every Year

SEACOAST_DAY_by Betty Olivolo, Natural History Week

Why do I keep coming back to Star Island year after year? Why is it my favorite place on Earth? Great question, and I first have to say that I love to travel—I’ve been to all the continents except Antarctica! And if you had asked me a dozen or more years ago if I would pick a vacation spot and go back year after year, I’d say “Heck NO”—there are just too many places where I have not been, and so why would I want to go back to the same place?

That was until I landed on Star Island at the Natural History Conference. That was 1999. I was a bit awestruck as I learned about the crazy traditions, the silent walk to the evening chapel, the PELS, the trip to Celia Thaxter’s Garden, and the wonderful youth at the YRUU Conference (now YES conference). I met my now close friends: Russ & Sue Peterson and Carole & Ralph Baldwin, and so many other interesting and like-minded NHCers. I heard Barry Simon playing his dulcimer and watched him painting at the art barn. Jim Locke, our art director, encouraged me to spend time in the art room. And I was inspired to pick up my camera and start shooting—around every corner was an amazing view.

At the end of the week, when my new friends asked “Will you come back?” I said “Probably not”—it’s just not what I do! But as the next year rolled around, I wanted to see my friends again, see the amazing scenery, and get my “Star Island fix!” I’ve been coming back ever since!!

Join Betty and her friends at Natural History Week this summer by registering online today.