People are drawn to Star Island for what it offers: a kind community, the beauty of nature, and the opportunity to connect with what matters to them. This is a vacation with a purpose.

“Conferences” — an historic term we call our traditional summer island gatherings, run from mid-June through mid-September. Each program is all-inclusive and focuses on a particular theme or topic, such as art, history, spirituality, or yoga. Chapel services, softball games, and other island traditions regularly bring everyone together.

From mid-June through August, individuals and families enjoy the island, as summer conferences are usually a multi-generational experience. Theme talks and workshops for adults take place while youth groups take part in activities around the island by age group. Events for all ages can happen throughout the day and are often the moments with the most laughter and smiles.

In September, as the weather gets a bit cooler, conferences focus on lifelong learning in a more relaxed and reflective atmosphere. For over 100 years, the non-profit Star Island Corporation has hosted conferences put on by dedicated groups of volunteers. We hope you find time to visit Star Island and become part of this community.


Check out our full conference list for more information about each conference!


A Typical Day At A Star Island Conference

On Star Island, your morning begins with the smell of fresh sea air and the sound of the gulls, or if you’re a sound sleeper, with the sweet “music” of the wake-up singers. If you’re a swimmer, you might want to join the Polar Bears for a morning dip at 7:00 a.m. It’s so refreshing; participants are awarded a special certificate at the end of the week! Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are served on the porch at the Oceanic Hotel long before 8:00 a.m. breakfast. The rocking chairs are an early beckon to quietly watch the day begin. A walk around the island might be your preference, or yoga — whatever feels right.

You might attend morning chapel services lead by the minister of the week and there also may be a separate service for youth. Usually by 9:00 programming for children and youth get underway so that parents have time to get them settled before the theme speaker begins for adults in Elliott, the large meeting room just off the porch or in one of the stone cottages. A stimulating hour with the theme speaker leads to morning workshops. Locations for the various offerings are posted in the hotel lobby so that you can figure out where to go.

The big bell on Oceanic’s porch rings at 12:30 bringing everyone to the dining room. The mid-day meal, besides giving us energy for the afternoon, is a chance to re-connect with family and friends and plan your afternoon. The afternoon activities may include more workshops or activities like softball games, tennis, basketball, art barn, swimming, island wandering, porch chats, or a good long nap.

Social time is at 5:00 and weather-permitting, is held outside so you can watch the sun continue its summer stretch across the ocean. Look west to the mainland, or east to the horizon — it’s all stunning in its simplicity and charm.

Dinner at 6:30 is often followed by optional activities like singing and bonfire, Sock-Hop, Musicale, Talent Show, and Pel Show. (“Pel” is short for “Pelican.” They’re the amazing folks who keep the island running, and help take care of our needs while we’re on island.) Maybe, though, you’re just as happy with a lime-rickey or ice cream cone from the snack bar and a rocker on the porch.

The day comes to a close with evening chapel services. Walking in silence up the path to the chapel carrying your lantern is really one of the most special, spiritual moments on Star. If you still have energy at 11 p.m. and beyond, there are late-night social gatherings for grown-ups and raucous games for the young at heart.

A conference week on Star Island has something for everyone, family time, time to be alone, time to build your artistic skills, time to reflect and recharge, and time to relax and have fun. Most of all, it is a chance to be a part of an extraordinary, warm and nurturing community.

Adapted from the Star Island Lifespan Religious Education Conference website: