All Star 2
Family Conference

All Star 2 Family Conference: Sunday, July 9 - Sunday, July 16, 2023

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!

Theme of the Week

From the Political to the Personal: Stories from the Conflict in Ukraine 

While the war in Ukraine only burst onto the American consciousness last year, the conflict has been simmering for a decade and has roots going back centuries. This year’s program leaders have lived in Ukraine before and during the current war. Using their professional backgrounds in political science and journalism,  Amy and Mike Forster Rothbart will share context and stories, and provide a framework for reflecting on our personal and collective responses. They will explore why this war began, how it has affected individuals in Russia and Ukraine, and what it means for the future.

Through a series of presentations, discussions, and activities, we’ll consider

About the Speakers

Amy and Mike Forster Rothbart

Amy Forster Rothbart is a political scientist whose research focuses on Ukraine and other former Soviet countries. Her husband Mike Forster Rothbart is a photojournalist who documents political and environmental issues in the same region. They have studied and worked in the former Soviet Union —  at times alone and at times together — since Amy first went to the Soviet Union as a student in 1989. They have resided in Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and spent time in 11 of the 15 countries of the Former Soviet Union.

The Forster Rothbarts live in Oneonta, NY, with their children, Jacob and Natalie. The last time the family lived in Ukraine, Mike spent six months working in the war zone in Donetsk while Amy and the kids lived for four months in Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine, where Amy interviewed rising local political and community leaders and studied the transformation of local government.

Amy grew up as a Unitarian Universalist in Augusta, Maine, and is active in the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, NY. Mike is a lifelong Quaker whose beliefs in non-violence and social witnessing have informed his documentary photography work.                                                                                                                                                              

Mike has worked as a journalist and documentary photographer since 1999. He received a Fulbright Fellowship and lived for a year near Chornobyl, photographing and interviewing. His 2013 book, Would You Stay? published by TED Books, (, his TEDx talk (, and traveling photo exhibit ( grew out of this project. He has also worked on projects in Central Asia, India, Japan, and the U.S. He is now the staff photographer and videographer at SUNY Cortland.                                                                                                                   

Amy is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Hartwick College. She has served as chair of the political science and sociology departments and is now coordinating the First-Year Experience program. She runs the college’s Model United Nations program and has led study abroad programs in Western and Eastern Europe as well as service learning programs in the Dominican Republic and Nepal. 


Minister of the Week

Reverend Eric M, Cherry

Reverend Eric M. Cherry was raised a Unitarian Universalist in Long Island, New York.  He and his wife, Linda, make their home in Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Eric currently serves as the Interim Minister for Westminster Unitarian Church in E. Greenwich, Rhode Island. He previously served as the Minister of First Universalist Society in Franklin, MA (2018-2021), as the Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s International Office (2007-2018).  And, from 1995-2007 he served UU congregations in Burlington, Iowa and N. Easton, Massachusetts.   His ordination was in 1997.  During a sabbatical year (1997-1998) Eric served as the English teacher for Unitarian seminarians in Kolozsvár, Transylvania.  Eric is a graduate of Earlham College (BA) and Meadville/Lombard Theological School (M.Div).

Eric and his family of origin were All Star II conferees during the 1980s, and he and his wife Linda have occasionally been back to Star in the years since.  They both look forward to being a part of this year’s conference very much.

About the Conference Chairs: 

Lisa and Eric Zuend-Misner

Eric grew up attending Star Island family conferences with his parents and sister.  He and his young family came back to Star Island when his own kids were little- baby Thian was almost 1 and big sister Karalie was just 4 years old!   Along the way,  Lisa and Eric fell in love and combined families.  Eric's kids introduced Lisa's kids to All Star II in 2010.  Lisa and her crew jumped right into All Star II 'life' and got involved with the Children's Program and Music events pretty quickly and here we are!

When we are not on Star, Lisa is a Head Start teacher and after school program director for the local school district and Eric works in the construction industry doing estimating and Computer Aided Drafting for Clark Companies.   In their free time, they enjoy hiking, kayaking, and camping as well as visiting with their now-adult children and 'grand-dogs'.

 Lisa and Eric Zuend-Misner                                                                                                                                                             

Behind the scenes

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 

Conference Fees: Adults- $125/ Children- $110  Conference fees are paid at the time of registration.  

Room and Board Rates-  The rates below are per person for the full length of the conference.

       Adults (18+):  Standard Shared: $1,169 | Standard Single: $1,590  | Motel Shared: $1,439 | Motel Single: $2,112 

      Youth  Under 6: Free | 6-11 years: $541 | 12-17 years: $774

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:

Kathy West