All Star II is a family-friendly, creative, and diverse week that can be as active or relaxing as you’d like it to be. Opportunities abound for both adults and children to make or enjoy music and art; dive into a game of softball, volleyball, or tennis; explore the harbor by rowboat; investigate the island’s history or marine and bird life; play games; join together in chapel services; take a morning polar bear dip or a yoga break; watch the sunset at a marshmallow roast; engage in the morning lecture series or afternoon talks on the rocks; partake in the many All Star II traditions; or just settle into a porch rocker to talk with friends new and old or read a good book. There are few demands but many temptations, and even more opportunities to create the kind of lasting friendships that continually delight new Shoalers and keep old Shoalers coming back for years.

From the Political to the Personal: Stories from the Conflict in Ukraine

While the war in Ukraine only burst onto the American consciousness last year, the conflict has been simmering for a decade and has roots going back centuries. This year’s program leaders have lived in Ukraine before and during the current war. Using their professional backgrounds in political science and journalism, Amy and Mike Forster Rothbart will share context and stories, and provide a framework for reflecting on our personal and collective responses. They will explore why this war began, how it has affected individuals in Russia and Ukraine, and what it means for the future.

What leads two peoples with a shared history to fight? How has the conflict exposed and exploited divisions within both countries? How can Russia and Ukraine ever return to living as peaceful neighbors? Why has the Ukrainian cause resonated so strongly with Americans? Is there more we can or should be doing than putting flags in our windows

Through a series of presentations, discussions, and activities, we’ll consider these questions and more over the course of the week.

Theme Speakers

Amy Forster Rothbart is a political scientist whose research focuses on Ukraine and other former Soviet countries. Her husband Mike Forster Rothbart is a photojournalist who documents political and environmental issues in the same region. They have studied and worked in the former Soviet Union — at times alone and at times together — since Amy first went to the Soviet Union as a student in 1989. They have resided in Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and spent time in 11 of the 15 countries of the Former Soviet Union.

The Forster Rothbarts live in Oneonta, NY, with their children, Jacob and Natalie. The last time the family lived in Ukraine, Mike spent six months working in the war zone in Donetsk while Amy and the kids lived for four months in Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine, where Amy interviewed rising local political and community leaders and studied the transformation of local government.

Mike has worked as a journalist and documentary photographer since 1999. He received a Fulbright Fellowship and lived for a year near Chornobyl, photographing and interviewing. His 2013 book, Would You Stay? published by TED Books, his TEDx talk, and traveling photo exhibit grew out of this project. He has also worked on projects in Central Asia, India, Japan, and the U.S. He is now the staff photographer and videographer at SUNY Cortland.

Amy is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Hartwick College. She has served as chair of the political science and sociology departments and is now coordinating the First-Year Experience program. She runs the college’s Model United Nations program and has led study abroad programs in Western and Eastern Europe as well as service learning programs in the Dominican Republic and Nepal.

Amy grew up as a Unitarian Universalist in Augusta, Maine, and is active in the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, NY. Mike is a lifelong Quaker whose beliefs in non-violence and social witnessing have informed his documentary photography work.

Minister of the Week

Reverend Eric M. Cherry was raised a Unitarian Universalist in Long Island, New York.  He and his wife, Linda, make their home in Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Eric currently serves as the Interim Minister for Westminster Unitarian Church in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. He previously served as the Minister of First Universalist Society in Franklin, MA (2018-2021), as the Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s International Office (2007-2018).  And, from 1995-2007 he served UU congregations in Burlington, Iowa and N. Easton, Massachusetts.   His ordination was in 1997.  During a sabbatical year (1997-1998) Eric served as the English teacher for Unitarian seminarians in Kolozsvár, Transylvania.  Eric is a graduate of Earlham College (BA) and Meadville/Lombard Theological School (M.Div).

Eric and his family of origin were All Star II conferees during the 1980s, and he and his wife Linda have occasionally been back to Star in the years since.  They both look forward to being a part of this year’s conference very much.

Youth Programming

Our dynamic Children’s Program is the cornerstone of our week long family conference. Designed and developed over many years to meet the needs of all our young Shoalers, from infants to high school graduates, it is led by experienced and dedicated staff who will guide your children through the week during two daily sessions. Children will meet with their age groups for an hour and a half every morning, and for an hour and a half on most afternoons.

Program Fee

$125 per adult (18+)

$110 per youth (17 and under)

Room & Board

The rates below are per person for the full length of the conference.

Adults (18+) 

Standard Shared: $1,169 | Standard Single: $1,590

Motel Shared: $1,439 | Motel Single: $2,112 


Under 6: Free | 6-11 years: $541 | 12-17 years: $774 

Financial Aid

Find out more information from the All Star 2 “Shoalership” page

Boat Schedule

July 9: Depart Portsmouth at 2:20 PM, arrive to Star Island at 3:30 PM

July 16: Depart Star Island at 8:50 AM, arrive in Portsmouth at 10:15 AM


Email the registrar, Kathy West, at