Star Island, on the Isles of Shoals, is one of just four maritime islands in New Hampshire. It is owned and operated by the nonprofit Star Island Corporation. For years, Star has been a retreat and conference center and is also open to the public for day trips and overnight stays. Brad Greely is a minister who has a lifelong history with Star Island.
BG: Both my parents and my grandparents were people who came to Star Island. So I was brought at the ripe age of six months out to a conference. Then I went on to have a family and started bringing my own kids out here.
The goals and mission of the corporation has always been to provide a retreat for spiritual and intellectual purposes. A place where people can come for a period of relaxation. For most of our history we saw ourselves as a quiet respite from the world, and we’re pretty careful to maintain a pretty isolated presence. We’ve come to believe that it doesn’t serve our mission or the Seacoast at all well, so we have made extended efforts to open this island to the public.
This is a pretty small rock, it’s covered with grass and seagulls, and so part of what makes a day or a week here special is simply how close you are to the natural world. Although, you can sit here and look at the mainland, you are really quite removed from it, in terms of things like telephones, cars, computers and televisions.
Star Island is clearly an experience that if you have it and you like it you want it again. And so the conferences are made up of people who have come back year in and year out, generation after generation.