Program Volunteers And Others
Getting your conferees involved is an important part of making a successful conference. Delegate as much as possible, both to make your job easier, but also to develop a sense of ownership among your attendees. Giving jobs to new Shoalers is a great way to engage the newcomers and make them feel that they are a part of the community.
Activity Point People
Many conferences choose to appoint a specific member of the conference to be the point person for each conference event or activity. Conference contact people can check in with the conference services staff in advance of each event to ensure that things are going according to plan. In addition, the conference may choose to have certain members of the conference who volunteer to help with events requiring more complex set up—a willingness to lug things around and clean up is always welcomed.
Each conference is designated a chalkboard or half of a chalkboard to utilize for their stay on island. Most programs have a volunteer who writes the daily schedule on the chalkboard and updates throughout the day.
It is highly recommended that a volunteer is appointed to keep track of the conference photo and to help distribute it through the front desk. Photos are sometimes taken by conferees or by the island so it is helpful for there to be a point person to help make the photo sharing process a smooth one. Conference photos may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with a conference label for posting on the Star Island website https://starisland.org/conferencephotos/
Front Porch Bell
Many conferences assign volunteers to ring the porch bell one time to announce an activity or event; island staff does not ring the bell for any activities other than the bell to signal the start of each meal. Some conferences choose to have a wake up bell at 7:30 a.m. Please ensure that all bell ringers are reminded that this bell is our alternate fire alarm; the porch bell should only be rung once per event.
Minister of the Week
Each conference staff must include a “minister of the week”, an educational leader or spiritual advisor, in concert with the nature of the conference. In order to promote the spiritual mission of the corporation and your conference, the minister of the week will provide regularly scheduled services during the conference period and other professional services as needed or requested. The minister will be available to all people while on island including conference attendees and Star Island staff. Mindful of the traditions of the Unitarian-Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, which guide the operation of Star Island, each conference is responsible for selecting a fully qualified minister with professional credentials appropriate to the organization which he or she represents. A minister in fellowship with the UUA, authorized for ministry by the UCC, or credentialed in an equivalent way by another religious, educational, or kindred organization is deemed to be qualified (as is consistent with our mission statement). If you have questions about whether an individual is an appropriate selection to serve as minister of the week for your conference, please contact the Conference Center Director.
We provide room and board, which includes ferry transportation if traveling aboard the designated conference ferry for the minister of the week and one other family member. All other charges (parking, lobster, etc.) must be paid by the conference or individual. The minister and family should be given priority for Parsonage accommodations, unless a conference requests otherwise, or the minister of the week wishes or needs different accommodations. When multiple conferences are sharing the island, conference registrars should work together to ensure the best housing plan for multiple ministers of the week – it is expected that the Parsonage will be shared, as it has three bedrooms and a common space.