Contact Us

Star Gathering I Family and Youth Conferences Contact Information - Dawn Grobe, Conference Registrar - Shanon Lestan, April Kelley, and Brian Lee, Conference Co-Chairs


Star Gathering II Family Conference Contact Information - Sara Garthwait, Conference Registrar - Cary Cuiccio and Christie Burns, Conference Co-Chair


Star Gathering Weekend UCC Family Conference Contact Information - Lee McTighe, Conference Registrar - Liz Greenburg and Ryder Worthen, Conference Co-Chairs


How do I get to Star Island?

You take a one hour long ferry ride from Portsmouth. All you have to do is come to the boat dock in Portsmouth. The address is 315 Market Street. You will be directed to an area to leave luggage and to another area on the dock for parking. Make your plans so that you arrive at the dock about an hour and a half before your boat is scheduled to depart. Because the dock is located in downtown Portsmouth, you will be able to explore the town and grab lunch at a local eatery after check-in, so long as you return to the dock by 2:00 to begin boarding. 

Boat fares (roundtrip) are $44 for adults, $28 for children 2-12, and free for children under two, and are added to conferee room and board bills.

What are the lodgings like?

Star Island offers the historic Oceanic Hotel, built in the grand hotel era of the 1800’s. In addition to the hotel’s guest rooms, a number of cottages and stone buildings provide accommodations and conference meeting rooms. Life is comfortable but not modern in part due to our commitment to conservation of resources. Living quarters in the main hotel and cottages have shared bathroom facilities for each floor, while the double rooms of the “motel” units have private toilets and sinks. Rates vary depending on single, double and triple occupancy. For specific rate information, please go to and click on the “Conferences” tab.

What dining options are available?

Meals are hearty and served family-style in the hotel’s dining room, which has changed very little since the hotel was built (Vegetarian and Gluten-free meals are available). There is also a snack bar inside the hotel providing lobster rolls, ice cream and many other delights.

What sports are available on the island?

Each year there are the annual softball games and tennis tournaments. There are also volleyball and basketball courts. Other games are available, including horseshoes, lawn bowling, frisbee football and numerous other sporting activities.

What are some activities offered on the island?

The leaders of each Star Gathering retreat have put together a week filled with activities and entertainment. There is something for everyone. Daytime activities include several musical, athletic, spiritual and artistic options. Some examples are yoga, swimming, basket weaving, tennis, African drumming and contemplative prayer. Nightly entertainment typically includes a Talent Show, art auction, bonfire, music and dancing and the annual tradition of the Pelican Variety Show.

Is there a chapel service available?

The stone chapel is one of Star Island’s most prominent features. This simple meetinghouse was built in 1800 on the highest point of land. Chapel services are a cherished tradition and are held at the beginning and close of each day. Guests of the evening chapel gather at the foot of the hill to form a procession, carrying candle lanterns as the villagers of long ago carried their whale-oil lamps up the same winding path. Inside the chapel, the lanterns, hung on brackets, provide the only source of light. In addition, every year the leaders of Star Gathering select a speaker of the week who runs the adult program which will follow a weeklong spiritual theme.

Is there childcare available?

Yes! For ages 0 – junior high, there is morning programs provided from 9am – 12pm. There is also babysitting services provided in the evening from 8 – 11pm.

What kinds of animals are on the island?

Many species of birds have been sighted including bald eagles, snowy owls, and nesting colonies of cormorants, snowy egrets and black guillemots. Whales and dolphins can be seen in the Shoals area, and harbor seals have been sighted swimming in Gosport Harbor and sunbathing on Star’s rocky shoreline. A checklist of the marine flora and fauna of the Isles of Shoals includes 256 species of invertebrates, 139 species of algae, 49 species of fish and 145 species of birds. The Rutledge Marine Laboratory on island has salt water “touch-tanks” that provide near-natural habitats for a variety of aquatic creatures collected from the harbor and surrounding waters. Terrariums allow visitors to observe and identify island flora and fauna.

Are there stores on the island?

There are four stores on the island. The lobby shop offers sundries in case you forget to pack something. The gift shop sells hand crafted jewelry, crafts, clothing and many other gifts. The book store offers a large selection of reading materials. The snack bar sells food and soft drinks, as well as the famous Star Island Lime Ricky!

 Is there art on the island? 

Star Island’s natural beauty has been the inspiration for many pieces of great artwork over the years. Please feel free to dabble in the arts for yourself! We offer an art barn which provides the tools you need to get started. There are also many arts and crafts activities throughout the week.

What is a typical day like on Star Island?

7:00 AM Polar Bear Dip 
7:30 AM Wake Up 
8:00 AM Breakfast 
9:00 AM Children’s Program 
9:15 AM Chapel Service 
10:30 AM Adult Program 
12:30 PM Lunch 
1:30 PM Naptime for Tots 
2:00 PM Crafts, Art, Tennis, Reading, Rocking 
3:30 PM Bell Choir, Softball, Tea
5:30 PM Adult Fellowship Hour 
6:30 PM Dinner 
7:30 PM Sunset 
8:00 PM Talent Show, Pel Show, Auction 
9:15 PM Adult Candlelight Chapel 
10:00 PM Youth Chapel 
11:00 PM Quiet Time