Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who owns the island?

The Star Island Corporation (SIC) owns Star Island, along with part of Appledore Island. Their web site is at and their offices are in Portsmouth. The Corporation has over 400 members, including people from every conference, staff members, and current and past Pelicans. It is affiliated with but independent from both the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, although many conferences are directed at UUs or UCCs. Their "About Us" page has links to lists of staff members and information on how to become a Corporation member.

Q. Who runs the island?

The Star Island Corporation operates Star Island, including running the hotel, arranging for boat transportation, providing meals, hiring Pelicans, open up, close up, and everything else that has to do with the conference center buildings and the island itself.

Q. What are "conferences"?

Conferences are meetings that run from two to seven days. As the Star Island conference web page says, "Each conference is self-administered, arranging for speakers, workshops, and childcare as well as registering participants." All Star II is one of the conferences – some say the best, though perhaps others might argue that point.

Q. Does Star Island Corporation run the conferences?

No, the conferences are self-organized. The Corporation relies on the various conference organizations to fill the island week after week all summer.

Q. Who organizes and runs the conferences?

Some conferences are run by groups of volunteers who exist only to put on the conference; All Star II is one of these. Others are run by organizations that have other activities and purposes, such as the Isles of Shoals Historical and Research Association (ISHRA) conference.

All Star II recently incorporated, since it's become hard for a non-incorporated group to have a bank account or buy insurance. The name of the corporation is the All Star II Family Conference Corporation. The members of the corporation are the past chairs of All Star II.

Q. Are there written by-laws?

The Star Island Corporation has written by-laws, which are online at .

The All Star II Corporation has written by-laws, too – they're required in order to incorporate. The most recent version, amended in 2023, is available as a PDF.

Q. When does the AS2 Corporation meet?

Twice a year – once during All Star II, and again sometime during the fall at an off-island location.

The on-island meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend, although portions will be conducted as an "executive session", meaning they are closed to non-members.

At the fall meeting, the current chairs let the corporation know how planning is going and whether any business has come up that can't wait until next July.

Q. Who or what are the "chairs"?

That's an abbreviation for the Conference Chairpeople, who take charge of the All Star II conference for one year. Or it might refer to the fancy necklaces (in the shape of a rocking chair, of course) that they wear while they're on-island.

Q. How are the chairs chosen?

This is one of the most important tasks that occurs during the executive (closed) session of the on-island AS2 Corporation meeting.

Nominations are based on a number of criteria, including how long they've attended All Star II, how much they do for the week, and whether they seem like the kind of people who would enjoy spending a year organizing the most important vacation of the year for 280 or so people. Sometimes we ask non-traditional groupings, like two friends or a couple and a friend. Nominees do sometimes turn us down (with no hard feelings!) for all sorts of reasons.

Q. What are the chairs' responsibilities?

The chairs choose the speakers, choose the children's staff, accept registrations, and assign volunteer jobs. They run all the activities that are part of the conference, although if they have delegated well enough, by the time the week actually starts, others are doing almost all the work.

Q. Who helps them?

Everyone – past chairs as well as every Shoaler on the island! Ideally, every adult has a volunteer job, so we are all part of the team.

Q. Who are the past chairs?

They are listed on the Past Conferences page.

Q. Do they have a secret handshake?

We used to, but no one can remember it! If you know of a good one, let us know.

Q. How are conferees selected? Who gets accepted, and who goes on the "wait list"? How do I get off the wait list?

We have a specific page just to answer these questions! See the Conference Registration and Acceptance FAQ.

Q. How are volunteer positions filled?

Each set of chairs uses their own judgment to assign volunteer jobs. Some like to keep happy volunteers in the same positions they had before; others like to shake things up. The volunteer questionnaire – part of the conference evaluation form – is a critical source of information for them.

Q. Must I volunteer for a job?

It's not required, although our idea of All Star II is that everyone contributes, and if everyone decided not to volunteer, the conference would cease to function. Some chairs have used past willingness to volunteer as one criterion when making acceptance decisions.

Q. Who can I talk to if I want to be a chair?

Talk to any past chair. Be sure to talk to us if you have a non-traditional grouping to suggest (that is, not a couple).

Q. Who can I talk to if I have other questions?

Again, talk to any past chair. We can answer your questions or figure out who else to ask.

Last Edit by Ben Cordes, November 2023