Information about Star Island's 2021 season Scroll down to learn more...

Dear Shoalers,

This has been a difficult time for many, and we all are thinking about Star more than ever. For many months, Star Island Corporation has been planning how we might be able to open in some capacity for our 2021 season. We received nearly 2,500 responses to a survey we sent out this winter, and we are using the survey results to help inform our planning, along with input from various healthcare professionals and state and national guidelines. The health and safety of everyone who comes to Star Island is our top priority.

We recognize that people have different perspectives about the evolving pandemic and its impact on our summer season. While we haven’t made a final decision about our season at this time, we want to fill you in on what we think Star Island may look like if we are able to open. Our goal in sharing this now is to provide you with the latest information as you consider whether or not to come to Star Island this summer, including registering for a conference. This information could change as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

See below for more information

What to Expect

In order for Star Island to implement necessary health and safety restrictions, we will need to restructure many activities. Our proposed protocols are designed to reduce risk while still enabling us to connect with one another and the island in a meaningful way.

• Conference leaders are re-envisioning workshops, lectures, youth programs, performances, and other activities so that they can happen outdoors, or in some cases indoors with appropriate spacing and other precautions.

Dining will be modified to provide outdoor seating whenever possible, and indoor dining with appropriate spacing and other precautions.

• There will be fewer conferees and employees on the island to accommodate these changes.

• We also anticipate some services we normally offer, such as our massage program and hall monitoring services, will not be offered in 2021.

Caring for One Another

Every person who comes to Star Island will play an important role in keeping our community safe. Looking out for one other is what we do, and there has never been a time where this is more important than now.

All conferees and employees coming to Star Island will be expected to:

Wear masks at all times indoors and on porches, and outside whenever social distancing isn’t possible

Maintain 6+ feet social distancing

• Furnish a recent, negative COVID-19 PCR test result immediately prior to arrival on the island (those who have received the vaccine are still required to present a negative test result).

• Follow all relevant health guidelines and regulations, including travel/quarantine requirements

At this time, we strongly recommend that all conferees and employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to coming to the island. We recognize that this might not be possible for everyone. We are continuing to look at this issue carefully, and we expect to make a final policy decision by May 1.

Day visitors will be required to follow relevant health and safety protocols. In order to keep day visitors separated from conferees and employees, we expect to designate specific areas for their use. Day visitors will not be permitted in most buildings or on porches.

Other Health & Safety Protocols

• The number of conferees will be limited, and we will have fewer employees.

Only members of the same household may be in the same guest room.

• Most conferences taking place prior to August 28 will be one night shorter in duration creating a “gap night” with no overnight guests between conferences to allow adequate time for ventilation and disinfection.

Bathrooms and showers will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis throughout the day and evening.

• We will limit the number of shower times available and schedule shower times for members of the same household.

• Any person exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms on island will be given a rapid test and required to isolate in their guest room or a designated on-island isolation area, or to leave the island, depending on the situation.

• For the safety of our employees, a number of additional protocols will be in place, such as frequent testing throughout the season.

Conference Registration

For conferences with a start date prior to August 28: Registration will open on March 10. Due to capacity limitations, conferences will not confirm registrations for acceptance until after May 1.

For conferences with a start date of August 28 or later: Registration will open in early May. We anticipate knowing more information about the state of the pandemic by this date, which will help shape the September schedule and might alter some of our health and safety protocols for these conferences.

Due to anticipated limited overnight capacity, we are asking that people only register for a conference if they feel it is likely they will attend. Please help out your fellow Shoalers by not registering if you are unlikely to attend (as you might box out somebody else).

Cancellation Policy: We recognize that this is an evolving situation and that some people may want to cancel after they’ve registered. We have a forgiving, low stress cancellation policy this year. You may cancel up to the day before the conference starts and will receive a full refund.

Financial Grants: We understand that the circumstances of this past year may make a stay on Star a financial strain for some people. To help support our Star Island family, we have increased funding for Financial Grants and encourage people who may need aid to apply. This is a confidential process. Please apply here after you register for your conference. For conferences with a start date before August 28, please apply by May 1. For conferences starting on or after August 28, please apply by July 1.

Discounts: We will not be offering a discount program in 2021 (though we anticipate doing so again in 2022). For people who would have qualified to receive a discount in 2020 under a multi-year discount (such as the Former Pelican and You Will Come Back! discount programs), you may apply for this discount by emailing Mike Bray, Island Registrar, at mbray@starisland.org.

Visit for the Day: People are invited to come to Star Island as a day visitor this summer. More information will be available by June 1.


Our plans will evolve as the situation changes, and we will continue to keep you updated. We anticipate you will have questions, and we want to hear from you. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page. You can also reach out to Mike Bray at mbray@starisland.org.

Thank you for your trust, patience, and care for our Spirit’s Home!