For the most part we do not administer conferences but rather establish guidelines and policies to be followed by conferences. Some of these policies are intended to foster and promote the religious and educational aspects of Star Island, some safeguard the well being of the conferees and staff, and some protect the island property and environment. Each conference’s leadership takes responsibility for conducting its programs in conformity with all relevant policies.

People who do not comply with the following regulations may be required to leave the island on the next boat, be prevented from returning to Star Island for an indefinite period of time, and/or necessitate island staff calling upon law enforcement agents.

Star Island Safe Community Policy

Please review the document linked below which regards Star Island’s Safe Community and policies and procedures for addressing child abuse, sexual harassment, and discrimination.

Safe Community Policy (pdf)

Permission to Use Star Island

Star Island is private property, owned and operated by the Star Island Corporation, dedicated to religious and educational activities. Guests to the island, whether attending a conference or as day visitors, come to the island with permission from the Star Island Corporation. This permission may be revoked at any time if, in the sole discretion of those in charge of island operations, such action is deemed to be in the best interests of Star Island Corporation, its employees or guests. Guests to the island are expected at all times to conduct themselves appropriately and in accordance with Star Island’s Corporations published rules and regulations.

Alcohol, Drugs & Controlled Substances

The Island Manager has the duty to intervene and exercise his/her final authority if, in his/her judgment, corporation regulations and/or federal or state laws are not being followed; the safety of persons or the physical property is endangered; other guests or our Isles of Shoals neighbors are being disturbed; and/or activities are deemed not to be in the best interest of Star Island Corporation or the community.

Alcoholic Beverage Policy

On Star Island, we proudly promote a culture of responsible and legal alcohol use consistent with our mission and values. Alcohol use is restricted on Star Island in a number of ways, not only because it is an important safety consideration given our remote location, but also because we care deeply about our community and how we interact with one another.

Excessive consumption of alcohol on Star Island is not tolerated. Any person providing alcohol to someone under the age of 21 will result in the person being required to leave the island on the next available boat. Any person under the age of 21 who consumes alcohol on Star Island may be required to leave the island on the next available boat, and at the very minimum would receive a written warning with a second offence leading to the person being required to leave and/or not return in the ensuing season. Additionally, all related expenses for the above two cases are the responsibility of the person being required to leave (or parents, in the case of a minor) – examples include: full room & board is still due and the cost associated with running an unscheduled boat trip.

The policy of Star Island Corporation is to adhere to the laws of the State of New Hampshire and to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages on the island. Additionally, alcohol on Star Island must be used and responsibly. Conferences which choose to have events at which alcohol is present are responsible for compliance with all regulations outlined by the corporation and federal and state laws, and must support a culture of safe, responsible and legal alcohol use. Conferences and their Fellowship/Social Hour Coordinators should carefully review and follow the Rules & Guidelines for Fellowship/Social Hour and should feel free to reach out to the Corporation’s Island Manager or Chief Executive Officer with any questions or concerns.

The corporation’s general liability insurance policy does not apply to bodily injury or property damage for which any insured may be held liable by reason of: causing or contributing to the intoxication of any person; the furnishing of alcoholic beverages to a person under the legal drinking age or under the influence of alcohol; or failure to comply with any statute, ordinance or regulation relating to the sale, gift, distribution or use of alcoholic beverages.

Alcohol use on Star Island is restricted to a few locations – the majority of Star Island is dry/alcohol free, including the dining hall and on the grounds (including the waterfront). Alcoholic beverages may be consumed legally (21+) and responsibly in the following spaces during conference functions and privately in the evenings: Newton Centre, Lindquist Deck, Stone Village lawn, Pink Parlor, Brookfield, and the Summer House. Additional spaces for conference functions will be considered on a case by case basis.

Name Tags

Name tags must be provided for all conferees to wear throughout the conference to promote fellowship among participants. If any conferees are under the age of 21, it must somehow be indicated on their nametags (different color, different lanyard, sticker etc.) so that those designated to serve alcoholic beverages during events can distinguish between those of legal drinking age and those who are under age.

We recommend that conferences include a space on name tags for conferees to indicate their preferred pronouns (i.e. “she/her/hers”, “they, them, theirs” etc.).

Drugs/Controlled Substances

Illegal drugs are not allowed on Star Island. Star Island Corporation requires compliance with all applicable drug and/or controlled substance laws. Conference leaders have the responsibility to enforce these laws for all conferences.

Beyond the obvious safety issues caused by the use of illegal drugs, most people are not aware of the significant penalties associated with transporting illegal drugs in US waters – conferees should be aware that their luggage is subject to baggage screening as per all applicable laws. People attempting to bring illegal drugs to Star Island risk significant penalties including heavy fines and long-term incarceration, and they jeopardize Star Island Corporation staff (loss of captain’s license) and property (vessel confiscation) in the process.

General Safety

Firearms And Fireworks

Firearms and fireworks of any kind are prohibited. Violators will be required to leave on the next boat.

Smoking/Open Flame Policy

Fire is our chief concern, and thus smoking is only allowed while in the presence of a red butt can. Butt cans are located in designated areas, and cannot be moved. Smoking and the lighting of matches, candles, incense, or any open flame are prohibited in all buildings. Due to the danger of brush fires, smoking is not permitted on the grounds on any part of the island, including the rocks, with the exception of bonfires.

Violators of this policy will be required to leave the island on the next available boat. Any conferee leaving under these circumstances will be charged for the full conference period.

Pre-arranged, supervised and the use of sanctioned fireplaces are the only open fires allowed on Star Island. If your conference wishes to have a bonfire, or if one or more of your conferees wishes to use a fireplace, a conference representative must coordinate through conference services. Candlelit chapel services are approved exceptions to our open-flame policy.

Any use of fire or combustible material in workshops must have prior and specific approval from island management—please inquire in advance of your time on Star Island.

Fire Alarm

When the fire alarm sounds, always react as if it is a real emergency. At some time during most conferences the fire alarm will sound. Follow the instructions of the island emergency management staff; it may be a real fire or it may be a drill. The island staff never knows if an alarm is a real fire or a fire drill and will react as if it is real.

There are two fire alarms:

  • The blaring of sirens
  • The rapid and continuous ringing of the porch bell and/or Chapel bell

Upon hearing either or both of these alarms, conferees must evacuate to the muster point on the front lawn and await further instructions. Conferees who fail to evacuate will be required to leave on the next boat, and any conferee leaving under these circumstances will be charged for the full conference period. Conferees who are unable to evacuate should inform the front desk.


All emergencies should be reported to the Front Desk, which serves as the central point of communications during emergency events. Emergency management personnel operate with the full authority of the Star Island Corporation. For the safety of all, it is essential that all guests pay close attention to Star Island’s emergency management personnel, and follow directions precisely, during an emergency. Options that the Island Manager may exercise include asking people who do not comply to leave the island, preventing offenders from returning for an indefinite period of time, and/or calling upon law enforcement agents.

Damages to Island Property

Charges for damages, which in the opinion of management exceed reasonable wear and tear and are caused by conferees or their guests, are determined by the Island Manager and, at his/her discretion, added to the conference or room and board bill of the party or parties responsible. Graffiti anywhere on Star Island or the neighboring islands is not acceptable; the leadership of each conference is responsible not only for preventing the defacing of island property in such a manner, but also for bearing the costs associated with removing graffiti left by the offending party or parties. Individuals or conferences face the possibility of not having access to spaces in future years where graffiti is found. Conference leaders are encouraged to talk to their conference staff, including youth staff, before arrival on island to discuss proactive avenues for harnessing proper care for Star Island property and grounds. In the past, conferences have organized stewardship contracts, or supplied objects specifically for graffiti art.