Bringing the Whole Gang?
Excellent! Here's some helpful information.
Below are answers to some of the key questions people often have as families coming to our conference. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Young People’s Dean, Lily Rappaport at lilrapp @ gmail.com.
I’m a religious educator or part of my churches’ faith formation team, but my partner is not. Is there anything for them to do besides take part in workshops for educators?
How will I meet other parents?
All families with children under the age of eight are placed in the Oceanic Hotel, usually on the second floor. Not only does this make for great opportunties to meet families, it simplifies things for the Pelicans (Island staff) in the evenings – see below.
Is the island safe for children?
Although we are largely outdoors, bringing about many of the normal outdoor hazards about – potential sunburns, bug bites, etc, – the island is remarkably safe for children. Largely because it is so small, children can be given as much or as little free range as their parents feel comfortable with. The conference is a very friendly environment, and while parents are ultimately responsible for their kids, most people in the conference keep an eye out on the kids as well (a distinct advantage to coming to a conference largely made up of people who are interested in religious education!)
What kind of childcare is available?
Provided Services & Supplies for Families on Star Island
- Travel crib/playpen available in room for infants; bed rails available upon request
- Nightly child monitoring services from Pelicans (see Hall Monitoring Service below)
- High chairs and booster seats in Dining Room
- Sterilization of children’s bottles, sippy cups, and eating utensils after every meal in the Dining Room—leave items on table and they will be cleaned and placed at the front of the dining room before the next meal
- Milk available at every meal in Dining Room
- Diaper pails and large sink for bathing of infants on the second floor of Oceanic
- Children’s books, coloring supplies, and small refrigerator in the babysitting room
- Blankets for use on lawn or floor available at Front Desk
- Emergency laundry services provided upon request (please see Front Desk)
What You Should Bring
- One day’s worth of bottles, sippy cups, and eating utensils for infants/toddlers
- Enough diapers, changing supplies and formula to last at least the length of your scheduled conference; these items are not sold on island. Allow some extra in case of bad weather and possible delays in returning to the mainland.
- Comfort item and/or favorite blanket
- A few toys to amuse child between scheduled conference children’s programs
- Any prescription or over-the-counter medications you might need for your child. Medical staff and standard first aid supplies are available on island
- Sunscreen and bug spray appropriate for use on young children
What You Could Bring
- Favorite snacks to supplement between meals. Fruit juice, graham crackers, and snack crackers are usually served during conference
- children’s programs
- Insulated bag/collapsible cooler to store milk or prepared formula in room between meals
- A sling, front pack, or backpack style child carrier
- Baby monitor or low range FRS two-way radio to monitor child during naps or to leave with Pelicans during Evening Child Monitoring so you can be reached more easily. Ask Front Desk to charge rechargeable monitors.
- Camera to capture your child’s journey of discovery on Star Island
What You Should NOT Bring
- Strollers—there are no paved pathways to use them
- Excessive supplies—children’s luggage is subject to the same weight limits as adult luggage
- Loud, battery-powered toys that may disturb fellow conferees
Hall Monitoring Service
The island staff provides hall monitors every evening from 8 to 11 p.m. To facilitate this service, families with children eight years and younger will be housed together, usually in the Oceanic Hotel. All families with one or more children eight and under are charged for hall monitoring; the cost is $46 per family and is automatically added to your room and board bill.
This service is a group sitter service. Hall monitors are not expected to put children to bed, change, or entertain them. Sitters are stationed in the hallways near the children’s rooms to listen, to see that the children are safe, and to see that the parents are sent for if their child/children need them. If a child gets up for the bathroom or other needs, sitters watch in case the child needs help, and especially to make sure that no child wanders outside of the area the monitor is watching. Monitors do look into each room from time to time, and of course talk to any child who is restless, but they cannot linger in any single room. If a child becomes sick, too upset, or unmanageable, a message will be sent to the parents stating that the child needs to see a parent. Should an emergency arise, the medical staff will also be summoned.
Parents using the childcare service are responsible for their children after 11 p.m.