All Star 2
Family Conference

All Star 2 Family Conference: Sunday, July 10 - Sunday, July 17, 2022

All Star II is a family-friendly, creative, and diverse 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 softball, volleyball, or tennis; explore the harbor by rowboat; investigate the island’s history or marine and bird life; play games; join together in chapel services; take a morning polar bear dip or a yoga break; watch the sunset at a 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!

Your 2022 Conference Chairs:

The whole West family has been coming to All Star II for the past 10 years. Some of us remember being a new shoaler, and some of us can’t remember a time before Star was a permanent fixture in our summer plans. The girls are regulars in the Children’s program and Kathy and Phill have managed the conferee address list and website, volunteered on the island in the off-season, coordinated the children’s program and served on the morning coffee and social hour beer crew. We have loved every volunteer job we have had, and this season we’ve taken on the big job of being the chairs of the week.

In our mainland lives, Phill does “computer stuff” for Disney, and Kathy is a middle school science teacher. Andra is an 8th grader at our local public school and Thea is a Junior at Westover School.

We love our Star Island community, and we are so glad we will be able to get together again this summer in person. We look forward to the Great People Hunt, music and conversation on the porch, quiet moments at sunset, social hour, board games, softball and bringing back contra-dancing this year!

We hope you will join us, as new shoalers, or as old friends. We want to be able to say “You Did Come Back” to many of you!

Kathy, Phill, Thea and Andra West

See you on the dock! – Kathy and Phill West

The 2022 Boat Letter

2022 All Star 2 Boat Letter

Theme of the Week

Turning points on life

We all make many transitions in our lives, big and small, and we hope to open a discussion about each person’s vision for what might be around the next bend in the road for each of us. This year several different speakers will join us to speak on the theme of life’s turning points; how we navigate them, the insights we gain from them and how we build our lives and enrich our communities after working through the initial struggle. Deirdre Fischer will facilitate conversations among all of us about the turning points in our own lives, and speak about her experiences with gender transition from a parent perspective. Steve Emt will speak about recovery from physical injury and building a different athletic career than he expected. Skip Kosciusko has recently celebrated 31 years clean and sober. He will speak about his own recovery journey and his work mentoring young adults in recovery.

About the Speakers: (more info to come on Deirdre - please check back next week)

Deirdre Fischer

“Sometimes life will take you by the throat, and sometimes it’ll hand you unrequested gifts. Other times you find it has placed you on a conveyor belt which does not appear to be of your own choosing. Acceptance of it all, all of life’s vagaries and disruptions, joys and opportunities, has led me to see my losses and the trials of transition as a vital part of my successes in this journey.” - Deirdre Fischer

Professionally, Deirdre is an educator, workshop leader and goal-development coach. She works with students to understand the role that habits play in cognitive and emotional processing and how they are a vital backdrop for our activities, discussions and choices. Her passion is coaching students on how to manage the “vagaries of living” and to choose new work and life practices. Deirdre strives to both live her own life, and help others to see how “life itself is our best and primary teacher.” Personally, she is a poet, mother, philosopher, writer, artist, care-giver, dancer and friend to many. She has lived through many transitions and is currently in the process of practicing “radical acceptance” and making mindful choices about several current turning points in her own life, including changing relationships, recovery from substance abuse, caring for her aging mother, and learning to walk with others, rather than alone.

Steve Emt

At the age of 25, I had a life-changing accident that resulted in me being confined to a wheelchair. Sport has always been an integral part of my life, so I began my search for the one sport that would fill the void. At the age of 42, I was introduced to the sport of curling, and today, I am a proud Paralympian.

Currently, I am training with the US Paralympic Team that will compete in the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China. At the same time, I travel the world and share my story with people of all ages and inspire them to make decisions in their life that will result in success moving forward. With the right mindset, and the right plan in place...anything can be overcome and all your life goals can be achieved.

Further information on his recent work can be found at his website here: Steve Emt

Skip Kosciusko

Skip Kosciusko recently celebrated 31 years clean and sober. In the 1990’s he was a nurse in the emergency room at a rural hospital. He had an infant daughter and his wife was pregnant with their second child. That’s when he went to jail for bringing a gun to work and holding up the hospital for drugs. He got into recovery, and became a wonderful father to his 4 children, a volunteer EMT and firefighter, and a mentor to many young adults in recovery. He runs a successful tree care company and regularly employs others in recovery, making AA meetings a part of their work-day every day.

Minister of the Week: Reverend Megan Kelly Gorman

Reverend Megan Kelly Gorman has been an enthusiastic All Star II Shoaler since 1982 and is delighted to be on staff again as Minister of the week. Megan grew up as an active member of Central Unitarian Church in Paramus, New Jersey and was ordained there in April of 2006. Megan was a Religious Studies Major at Connecticut College with a Minor in Gender and Women's Studies. She graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 2003 and became a Board Certified hospital chaplain specializing in end of life care, trauma and pediatrics. Megan transitioned into working in hospital administration in 2010 but she continues to serve by volunteering as a minister in her local UU congregation and at large. She relishes serving as a minister on Star because it is this community that inspired her to become a religious leader and very much looks forward to connecting with new and old Shoalers alike.

2022 Acceptance Letters: Acceptance letters for All Star 2 2022 will be sent as near to Feb 15 as we can.

Financial aid: Financial aid assistance is available to individuals with need through the The Ginny Levine Shoalership Fund.

All inquiries and awards are kept confidential.

Information for shoalers (conference attendees)

Notifications: All letters, (acceptance, wait list, volunteer job, boat letter, etc), will be sent via email, so don't forget to include your email address in your registration information.

Registrar contact information:

Brooke Cordes

Behind the scenes

2021 Venue Pictures -- Pictures of picnic tables, adirondack chairs, Marshman stage, Brookfield, etc.

The Ginny Levine Shoalership Fund -- financial aid for conference attendees

Past Conferences -- list of chairs and speakers from previous years

Directions to Portsmouth Dock

Job descriptions -- Editable descriptions of all conference volunteer jobs

Children's Program -- An experience your kids will never forget

Links of interest