All Star 2 - 2020

Virtual All Star 2 Schedule

Morning Coffee: Sunday - Friday: 6:30am-8:00am

Zoom Link

Zoom ID: 5079082139

Pwd: 101385

Hosted each morning by Sarah Russell

Evening Activities: Sunday - Friday: 6:00pm-8:00pm

Zoom Link

Zoom ID: 99814671213

Pwd: 656943

Sunday, 6pm - Chapel Service led by Rev. Anne Mason

Sunday, 7pm - Social Hour

Monday, 6pm - Talk on the Rocks with Joe Watts, SIC CEO and Erik Cordes, SIC Board

Monday, 7pm - Social Hour featuring Moth Hour with Sarah Russell & Maureen Kellman

Tuesday, 6pm - Children's Chapel with Anne Mueller

Tuesday, 7pm - Social Hour featuring "Experts Night: Humpback Whales" with Katy Weeks and Dave Kay

Wednesday, 7am - "All Virtual", Early Option, Polar Bear Dip. Click for details.

Wednesday, 8am - "Physical Distancing" Polar Bear Dip. Click for details.

Wednesday, 6pm - Art Project with Steff & Joni P. Click for project details and supplies.

Wednesday, 7pm - Social Hour featuring "A Conversation with Dan Fenn"

Thursday, 6pm - Experts Night - "How Sunday Services and GA Went Virtual" with Margy Levine Young

Thursday, 7pm - Social Hour

Friday, 6pm - Children's Chapel led by the Monllors

Friday, 7pm - Social Hour (Socially Distanced, In-Person option in Bedford, MA)

2020 Challenges

Check out the All Star 2 "Ice Bucket Challenge".

Check out the "Comet Neowise Viewing Challenge".

Don't forget the Star Island "Not So Bummer Summer Challenge"

Message from our Chairs

We are sad to announce that Star Island will not open for conferences this year. While we will miss our beautiful island and community, we think the island leadership have made the right decision. The island will be processing full refunds of registration fees. If you would like to donate a portion of your fees (Star Island will be in particular need this year), please email Mike Bray with the amount you would like to donate, and it will be subtracted from your refund. We will communicate further through email, including about plans to provide opportunities for our All Star 2 community to meet in alternative ways. We will come back!


Alison & Matt

All Star 2 Family Conference 2020 Saturday, July 11 - Saturday, July 18, 2020

Family-friendly, creative, and diverse, All Star II is a week that can be as active or relaxing as you’d like it to be. Opportunities abound for both adults and children to make or enjoy music and art; dive into a game of baseball, volleyball, or tennis; explore the harbor by rowboat; investigate the island’s history or marine and bird life; play games; join together in the candle-lit stone chapel; take a morning polar bear dip or a yoga break; bring your talents to the stage on stunt night or at the musicale; watch the sunset at a music-laden marshmallow roast; engage in the morning lecture series or afternoon talks on the rocks; partake in the many All Star II traditions; or just settle into a porch rocker to talk with friends new and old or read a good book. There are few demands but many temptations, and even more opportunities to create the kind of lasting friendships that continually delight new Shoalers and keep old Shoalers coming back for years.

Read more about Star Island in the March-April 2017 issue of Harvard Magazine or in this 2012 article from the Boston Globe!

All Star 2 registration

Link to the lottery registration page:

Are you ready? Ready for a week of All Star 2 fun in the sun? Believe it or not, it's almost time to register! If you have friends that you want to bring to All Star 2, start talking to them now so that they are ready to register in January!

In an effort to reduce the stress of trying to register for All Star 2 in a first come/first served scramble, we are moving to a lottery system. The All Star 2 2020 lottery will be open January 1st - January 22nd, and applicants will receive their acceptances (or waitlist notification) by February 2nd.

The benefits of this year’s system are:

      • You don’t have to stay up ‘til midnight to register! Just register any time between 12:01am Wednesday, January 1 and midnight Wednesday, January 22 to ensure that your registration will be in the lottery.

      • You find out about acceptance sooner! Your lottery results will be emailed to you by midnight February 2. Hopefully you are in! But should you be on the waitlist you have lots of time to arrange a vacation backup plan.

      • No payments due in January! No fees due when registering for the lottery.

This process of registering for the 2020 conference has the following steps:

      1. Register for the lottery January 1-22: Register your family during the lottery registration window. Those over 18 must register separately. No fees are due when you register for the lottery.

      2. Lottery: All family lottery registrations received during the Jan 1-22 window will be randomized. About two-thirds of the conference will be filled using the lottery. The remaining third of the conference will be filled in a way that satisfies goals and constraints that include creating a multi-generational conference, welcoming new shoalers, housing constraints, and other factors.

      3. Acceptance emails go out February 2: All acceptance and waitlist emails will be sent by February 2. All the details you need will be in the email you receive!

      4. Officially register and pay program fees: Accepted families will receive instructions on how to officially register and pay deposit fees (program fees of $105 per adult, $90 per minor, and room & board deposit of $200 per person over the age of 6) via the Star Island website. This step is necessary to fully register for the conference, and must be completed by February 15th. Financial aid is available.

A waitlist will be created from the remaining lottery registrations as well as registrations that are received after January 22nd.

      1. As space becomes available, the Chairs will notify waitlisted conferees that they have been accepted and can officially register and pay, and will send instructions on how to do that.

      2. Registrations received after January 22nd will not be included in the lottery, but will be placed on the waitlist.

We will send email reminders and links to guide you through the process! If you would like to add any email addresses to our list, please send them to

Key Dates:

      • January 1-22: Register for the All Star 2 Lottery

      • February 2nd: Receive notification via email that you are accepted or waitlisted

      • February 15th: Those notified of acceptance by February 2nd need to pay All Star 2 program fees ($105 per adult, $90 per minor) and complete their registration by this date. Financial aid is available.

We can answer questions about this process, and hope that you find it easy and straightforward. We hope you will join us at All Star 2 in July!

Alison and Matt

All Star 2

Your 2020 Conference Chairs: Alison Barrows Ronn and Matt Ronn

We have been enjoying All Star 2 for many years. (Matt will always be considered the new shoaler!). We are usually accompanied by our three sons, Parker, Mason, and Evan, and often by extended family, too. Alison is a technical writer and homeschooling parent. Matt is an IT Director at Harvard University and Deputy Fire Chief in Boylston, MA.

On the island we have done a variety of volunteer jobs over the years, from Ding-a-ling to Beer Coordinator to Children's Program Coordinator. We have organized Musicale and Stunt Night, sung in the choir, and played in the band.

All Star 2 provides us with wonderful vacations and good friends. We enjoy our week on the island, the music, the food, the views, social hour, and most importantly, a time of reflection and the conversations we have with our island community.

We hope you will join us at All Star 2 in July 2020!

See you on the dock! – Alison and Matt

Children's Program

Experienced and dedicated program staff guide children - from newborns to high-school students - through their week. Grouped by age, children gather with their leaders for an hour and a half every morning and most afternoons. Together, they’ll visit the art barn to delve into guided art projects, investigate island mysteries and lore, row to nearby Smuttynose, spend lots of time outdoors, and - among many other activities - explore the marine lab’s touch and temporary holding tanks that showcase the surrounding sea life.

Care is taken to help each group bond and each child prosper. Highlights include the Children’s Stunt Show, where kids take to the stage to perform skits and songs before an enthusiastic audience, and the Great People Hunt, an island-wide, highly spirited game of hide and seek that involves all ages.

Each group has its own meeting space and two leaders. Before you arrive on Star, your child’s leaders will send a welcome letter noting any special requests for the week. Recent high school graduates can opt to participate in the senior-teen group.

Theme of the Week

Education Policy: Why It Matters, And How It Creates The U.S. We Live In

U.S. students grow up to be U.S. citizens. Laura Fokkena will be speaking about education policy and the current political situation. Topics will include comparing how countries teach historical atrocities, the impact of religion in schools on religious minority students, and how we talk to kids about difficult topics.

About the Speaker: Laura Fokkena, PhD

Laura Fokkena, PhD, is a professor of Global Studies at Lesley University and the founder/director of Rise Out, a nonprofit that helps teens craft their own education. She has an Ed.M from Harvard University in International Education Policy, and a PhD from Lesley University in International and Comparative Education. Laura's background is in comparative education practices toward social justice, with a special focus on immigration in the U.S. and western Europe. Laura has a progressive and engaging approach to teaching social science. The classes she has taught to homeschooled teens include Understanding 9/11, Red State/Blue State, Climate Justice, and a class about the American justice system using the first season of the podcast “Serial” as its basis. She will speak about the intersection of education policy in the U.S. and the current political situation. Topics will include the German approach to teaching the Holocaust contrasted with American approaches to teaching slavery and other historical atrocities, the separation of church and state in schools and its impact on Muslim, Jewish, and other religious minority students, and how we talk to kids about difficult topics and if in softening topics for them we deny them information in ways that have long-term consequences.

Minister of the Week: Reverend Anne Mason, Senior Minister, First Parish UU in Lexington, MA

Anne brings a deep passion for ministry to her position as Senior Minister at First Parish. Her journey through life has taken her to unexpected places, but she has always maintained her spiritual connection as a foundational core of who she is. Becoming a Unitarian Universalist Minister has been a journey of joy and discovery, and she is excited to walk with this congregation on their path of religious quest. How we show up in the world is connected to the faith we discover along the way. Our purpose is to be true to our deepest selves while we work to make this world a better place. Anne finds deep meaning in the weekly affirmation of faith - that our covenant exists "to the end that all souls shall grow into harmony with the divine."

Music Director: Simon Andrews

Simon was born in England and educated at Christ Church, Oxford, the Royal Academy of Music and the University of California at Berkeley. Winner of the 1985 Benjamin Britten International Composition Prize, his music has been featured at the Aldeburgh and St. Alban’s Festivals, broadcast on BBC radio and widely performed in the London, Oxford and San Francisco areas, as well as New York, Boston and Baltimore, France, Australia, Africa and China. His arrangements and original music for church choirs is published by St. James’ Press. The documentaries for which he provided the music, The Amish and Us and Saving Pennsylvania, have accumulated more than one hundred airings nationally on PBS. His edition and completion of the Mozart Requiem has received performances and rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. He is also active as a pianist, harpsichordist and conductor, having worked with the Berkeley Opera, Berkeley Contemporary Opera, North Bay Opera, Capitol Opera of Sacramento, the Concert Opera of Philadelphia and Opera Lancaster, as Music Director of the Harrisburg Choral Society. He has held faculty positions at Franklin & Marshall College, and Millersville University. He was Head of Theory and Chair of the Choral department at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music, serving as its Dean from 2010 until its close in 2011, and Director of Music at Highland Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, PA from 2007 to 2016 where he directed Adult, Youth, Children’s and Bell Choirs and ran a concert series featuring the Chancel Choir and orchestra in works such as Haydn’s Creation, Verdi’s Requiem and the Britten War Requiem.

Registration, Fees, and Logistics

Link to the lottery registration page

Registrar contact information:

Brooke Cordes


All notifications (including acceptance letters, communications about wait lists and volunteer jobs, and the "boat letter" that will give you all the necessary information for the week) will be sent via email, so don't forget to include your email address on your registration form. If you do not have an email address, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your registration and we will snail mail the letters to you.

Financial aid:

For those in need, financial aid is available through grants from the Ginny Levine Fund. For information and an application click here or contact All inquiries and awards are kept confidential.

Star Island Corporation also has a financial grant program. The confidential program is available to individuals and families who are registered for a conference. Although you may apply for both a conference scholarship and financial grant from Star Island Corporation, you may not accept both, and will have to choose between them. Please use the link below for more information:

Boat schedule:

Depart Portsmouth, N.H. aboard the Thomas Laighton on Saturday, July 6, at 2:25 PM. Depart Star on Saturday, July 13, at 8:20 AM. (Times subject to change - the boat letter has all the details.)

Information for Shoalers (conference attendees)

Behind the Scenes