New Shoaler Hospitality
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Many New Shoalers lament that they were truly overwhelmed the first few days of the conference. Such feelings are inevitable to some degree. After all, it's natural to be confused over new terminology, new procedures and an overly full schedule of events at unknown locations. Special effort to orient New Shoalers helps to prevent some of this disorientation. The job has several parts.
Three weeks before the conference, get the list of accepted conferees from the Chairs. Note those who will be new to the island (exception: speaker and his/her family who have their own greeter).
Match these New Shoalers to Old Shoalers who have volunteered to help or whom you think are especially friendly. Try to pair families whose children are of similar ages. Write, phone or email the Old Shoaler greeters you have selected. Ask them to contact the New Shoalers offering a friendly welcome and helpful information. A phone call is preferred as it permits the New Shoaler a chance to ask questions prior to arrival on the island. Suggest that they locate and greet their New Shoalers on the dock or boat and again on the Island during the first few days.
Try to meet all New Shoalers on the dock/boat in Portsmouth, or have someone there if you can’t be there the whole day. Check with your volunteers soon after arriving to be sure they have connected with their New Shoalers.
Plan and hold a New Shoalers' meeting following Sunday Morning Chapel at 11:30. Make sure to announce it at dinner on Saturday and at breakfast on Sunday. This gathering is usually held on the west end of the Oceanic porch where it is quiet enough for questions and concerns to be addressed.
In 2012, a new shoaler requested an orientation be held Saturday afternoon. They felt left out because they didn't know about the chants, that they needed to look at the Starboard, where the stone village was, etc etc (all the weird verbiage that Star Islanders use). It would be nice if a short 'what to expect in the first 24 hours of life at Star' were emailed to all new shoalers before they got to the island.
Last edited by Kathy West - June 2018