The IA Family Conference has a unique, exciting, well-staffed, fun program for youth from 18 month olds to 18 year olds. Youth take part in their own groups while their significant adults attend conference activities.
Each year the Youth Program staff begins meeting in the spring to plan themes and activities for the IA Youth Program. The program is run much like a day camp, with activities ranging from walks exploring tidal pools to art projects, plays, games, songs and more. The program is scheduled to coincide with the adult activity schedule, allowing parents/guardians the freedom to enjoy lectures and workshops knowing that their kids are well-supervised, building bonds with each other, exploring the island, creating, and — most of all — having fun!
IA Youth Staff are selected for their experience with children. In addition, many of them have a long-time connection to the IA Conference or to Star Island in general.
A strong effort is made to develop a sense of community. Children who are new to the program quickly feel like “old shoalers” (Star Island lingo for people who have been to Star before), because of the welcoming atmosphere of the program.
The program is divided into groups determined by age. Sometimes, two or more groups gather together for interage activities. Final age groupings are determined each year based on the demographics of the program as a whole. A general idea of the groupings, starting with the youngest, is as follows:
- Toddlers: 18 mos–3 years
- Barners: 4–6 years
- Larries: grades 2–3
- Brookies: grades 4–5
- Marshmans: grades 6–9
- Seniors: grades 10–12
During scheduled meeting times, youth are under the direct supervision of the group leaders. If a child will not be attending a session, the parent/guardian MUST inform the staffer before the session begins. In this case, the parent/guardian will be responsible for the youth. During all other times of the day parents/guardians are directly responsible for the supervision of their youth, even if youth staff are present.
What about bedtime?
Each evening the Island Staff (not the IA Youth Program) provide hall monitoring in Oceanic (the main Hotel building) from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. There is a fee of $46 per family for this service, which is added to room and board bills. Please keep in mind that hall monitors leave at 11 p.m. whether parents are around or not. Those parent/guardians who desire childcare at other times may make arrangements with one of the older youth or with a Pelican (college-aged island staff). In these cases, all financial arrangements are made between the parent/guardian and the care provider.