Work & Volunteer

Star Island Corporation owns and operates Star Island in the Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire. The island is ten miles from mainland New Hampshire and is operated as a seasonal religious and educational conference facility. The Corporation generates and manages all its own utilities (water, waste, power) and operates its own first aid station. The island has 34 buildings including numerous historic hotel and guest housing buildings as well as utility buildings and meeting spaces. The Corporation also operates a transportation system for staff that comprises Corporation-owned and staffed boats as well as contracted ferry and boat resources. The Corporation employs 10 year-round staff people and between 100 and 120 seasonal staff people (“Pelicans”, largely college-aged) annually.

Star Island is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in regard to race, sexual orientation or gender identity.



There are no year-round positions currently available.



Thank you for your interest in applying to be an End of Season Pelican for 2024! My Pelican summers were some of the most enriching and enjoyable experiences of my life.  It is always rewarding to see Pels bond with our guests, the island, and each other in ways that can last a lifetime.

So, what makes a successful Pelican? In addition to normal qualifications, like being reliable, responsible, hard-working and presentable, we seek candidates (18 years or older) who will be especially safe, cooperative, and respectful, who can thrive in the close working and living quarters of our remote setting.

Beyond these essential attributes, we will be strongly focused on candidates who would contribute to our mission of hospitality and participate in forming a healthy island-wide community.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Joe Watts

Chief Executive Officer

End of Season Pelican Applications

Work On A Star Too! $100 Bonus

Any Pelican who Saturday, August 17 through Sunday, August 25, will receive a $100 bonus!

We are looking for applicants (18+ years of age) who can work at least a full week (preferably longer) during the period of mid-August to mid-September.

Click here to begin filling out your application: End of Season Employment Application

Or download a hard copy of the application here.

We encourage all applicants to send in a supplementary cover letter and/or resume to accompany their application. That can be mailed to our office or emailed to:

First time applicants are required to have two references completed for their application to be considered complete. References from family members are not accepted. Additional reference forms are encouraged but not required.

Reference Forms

If you have never worked on Star Island, you must submit two reference forms. These could be from an employer/supervisor, professor, advisor or school guidance counselor, principal, teacher, minister or religious education director, etc. References from family members will not be considered.  Additional peer or character references (beyond 2 required references) are encouraged.

Your application will be considered incomplete until both references have been received.

Please provide your references the link to our online reference form: Star Island Employment Reference Form

Or download a hard copy of the reference form here.


General Information for Star Island Applicants

Click here to learn more about working on Star Island and for a description of each of the positions.

Hiring Process Timeline

Applications for End of Season are accepted on a rolling basis with preference given to those received by the end of July.  We will continue accepting applications for EOS until any vacant positions have been filled.

Please note: email communications regarding your application will be sent by our Office Manager, Kate Brady (  Please be sure you add her email address to your safe senders list so you do not miss out on any messages regarding employment with Star Island.

Video: What it's like to be a pelican

Video: What it means to be a pelican

Video: Q&A Session with Pelicans

Being a Pelican is more than a summer job on Star Island– it is about joining a community of interesting, talented, and hard working individuals. We seek staff members who will commit to doing a good job, whether that job involves providing direct services to conferees (such as making beds, cooking food, or working at the front desk) or serving on our support crews (such as repairing trucks, painting buildings, or running our wastewater treatment facility). The powerful Pelican community that arises each season is an outgrowth of common goals, hard work, and mutual support.

A Pelican on Star Island is both a worker and a member of the island community. We share a small island with people who come for rest and relaxation. Our job is to make a good week on Star possible for our guests.


Thanks to Anna Solo for the photos!


Hear from past Pelicans about their experiences on Star Island:

Why You Should Become a Pelican
A Pelican Summer: Music Director
A Pelican Summer: Bellhop Supervisor
Pelicans Take Flight (pg 38)

Share our hiring flyer with friends or post it in your community to spread the word about jobs on Star Island.


Year Round Positions

We are currently not hiring for any year round positions.


Seasonal Mainland Position


We are currently not hiring for any Seasonal Mainland positions.



The contribution of a strong corps of volunteers makes it possible for Star to bridge the gap between great needs and limited resources. Volunteerism accounts for as much as one fourth of our labor needs throughout the year, from island facilities projects to administrative office tasks and from committee participation to the donation of professional expertise. Together it is an impressive display of dedication from a caring and talented community.

On-Island Volunteering Opportunities

Spring Volunteering

Come help reawaken Star Island from its winter slumber and spend a beautiful spring weekend on the island! We have spring work weeks and weekends in May and early June. Volunteer opportunities include but are not limited to: kitchen staff, housekeeping, painting, gardening, and grounds/landscaping.

Learn more about our spring volunteering

Summer Season Island Volunteering

For those interested in contributing to the work that goes into running the island, there are opportunities for volunteering alongside our island staff. You provide the elbow grease, and we’ll provide the boat transportation, a bed, hearty and delicious meals, and the wonderful community of our friendly hard-working staff.

Application for Summer Volunteering


Island Volunteer Ground Rules

  1. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Volunteering is essentially working for your room and board, so that means that volunteers need to be prepared to work, not just hang out. Unfortunately, if people don’t work when they’re supposed to be volunteering, they might not be allowed to come back, or they might have to pay for their stay.
  3. Likewise, Volunteers (like staff) are not allowed to attend conference events unless specifically invited by the conference. Volunteering is a way to contribute to the island, not a way to go to your conference for free.
  4. Having volunteers is always dependent on the island having enough housing for them. There are weeks during the summer when conferences use every guest room available. We can’t house volunteers during those times. These weeks are listed on the application.
  5. We discourage volunteers from coming during a conference they have attended in the past. Volunteers cannot eat with the conferees nor can they attend conference events unless explicitly invited. If you are looking for a more affordable way to attend a conference, please consider our financial grant program.
  6. Volunteers work on many crews, such as Housekeeping, Gardening, Grounds, Dish Crew, etc. For more information about the positions that might be available please see the Volunteer Position Descriptions below.

What To Bring

We will supply you with bed linens and shower towels. You should bring personal medications, glasses (reading/sun), comfortable shoes, flashlight, sun block, battery operated alarm clock, hat and swim wear (optional). Be prepared for all weather conditions; it can be warm and muggy or cold and rainy. Layers work well. Clothes should be neat and comfortable. For jobs with which you have contact with guests, but please also bring some clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. You might want to bring snacks and a water bottle, but if not, they can be purchased on island.


Volunteers stay in rooms assigned by the on island Volunteer Coordinator and Island Registrar. While we would love to give everyone singles, space is limited so most of the time you will be sharing a room.

Island Volunteer Position Descriptions

Housekeeping and Laundry

Housekeeping is one of the largest areas of need on the island. Expect to be dusting, sweeping, mopping, and washing walls, windows, and furniture. Daily rounds include taking out trash, replacing linens, and making beds.

Landscaping and Gardening

Landscaping may include mowing the lawn, cleaning up walking paths, pruning trees/bushes, chipping brush, and helping with invasive plant maintenance. Tasks often require the use of power equipment including lawn mowers, string trimmers, hedge trimmers, and a brush chipper.
Star Island has several perennial flower gardens, window boxes/container plantings, and multiple vegetable and herb gardens. Gardening work may include planting and transplanting, watering, weeding, deadheading, pruning, mulching, and other garden chores. Familiarity with gardening is helpful but not required.
Both landscaping and gardening require the ability to be outside for a full day of physical work.

Brute Strength work: moving and hauling

If you choose this work, you might be helping the truck crew move the food from the dock to the kitchen, or the luggage from the rooms to the dock. There is always a lot of work requiring strength on the island.

Refinishing Furniture

Star Island has some beautiful antique furniture that needs care and repair.

In-Town, changeover assistance

This volunteering area is for anyone interested in catching some Star Island spirit on the mainland. On Sundays our conferences change over which means one group departing and one arriving. You may be asked to greet people as they arrive, move baggage or direct parking all in conjunction with our Pelican changeover crew.

Summer Garden Volunteering Day Trips

Want to spend a Sunday or two on the island this summer working in the gardens? Our flower and vegetable gardens thrive on the love and hard work of our volunteers. Work includes weeding, watering and harvesting. No experience necessary, as we’ll try and match up people each Sunday with varied experience levels. The boat leaves Portsmouth early on Sunday morning and returns back to town at in the late afternoon. Lunch, training and tools are provided. Email Janis Wolak if interested.

Gift Shop And Bookstore Volunteering

The Isles of Shoals Association operates both the Gift Shop and Bookstore on Star Island. If you are interested in volunteering in either of these shops during the conference season please contact the Isles of Shoals Association by clicking here.

Office Volunteering

Office volunteers assist in large mailings, filing, data entry, and errands throughout the year. If you live locally and are interested in being one of our invaluable office volunteers, please email us at

Ambassador Program – Spreading The Word About Star

Star Island is always looking for volunteers willing to help spread the word about the myriad of conferences we offer in their local communities. If you would like to help on this front, please visit our Star Island Ambassadors page. For questions or comments about being an Ambassador, please contact

Other Volunteer Opportunities

We welcome offers of volunteer help outside of our island and office. If you are a professional or an expert in a certain field (fundraising, engineering or food service for example) and would like to lend your expertise to our committees or staff, please email our office at



Love Star Island? Become an ambassador! (You probably already are one). Check out our ambassador page for ideas and materials to spread the word about Star Island.

Ambassador Webpage