WHAT IS CAMP UNISTAR?
Think rustic beauty and simplicity.
Think village community.
Think water and forest recreation.
"My children (now 14 and 18) have grown up experiencing the magic of UniStar—the peaceful retreat, a sense of freedom, the opportunity to challenge themselves to learn new skills, and the tremendous sense of community that builds across the week. It is easily and always the highlight of our year.”
Located on a peninsula on Star Island near Bemidji in northern Minnesota, the island has its own Lake Windigo, which is referred to as ‘the lake in the island in the lake’ in Ripley’s Believe It or Not series. Its only immediate neighbors are the Chippewa National Forest and the waters of Cass Lake.
A set number of individuals, couples and families are accommodated on the island for a week (Saturday to Saturday) in the lodge, five shared cabins and a tenting area.
Campers play games, read, listen to guest speakers in the beautiful pine-paneled Anderson Lodge, with its large porch (Ping-Pong!) and double fireplace. Everyone joins for three wholesome, delicious meals a day (prepared by skilled staff and volunteers in the modern kitchen), beckoned to Clagett Dining Hall by conch shell. Staff lead children in scheduled programs. Dancing, music-making and nightly happy hour potlucks are a regular way to socialize. For those who are seeking more solitude, the hammock, boats, and forest trails provide plenty of opportunities to center.
The five cabins and the upper floor of the Lodge each have three to four simple bedrooms, a bathroom with a tub, and a basic kitchen with sink, refrigerator, and microwave. Most cabins have a screen porch as well. Showers are available in two shower houses, one near the cabins, and one near the tent area. Bedrooms include waterproof mattresses and vary in size to sleep 2-6 people. Campers are asked to bring their own towels and personal bedding (sheets, mattress pad if desired, quilts, sleeping bags). Pillows are provided; some extra blankets available on request. Campers clean their rooms and cabins at the end of their week prior to departure with camp-provided cleaning supplies. Accommodations are assigned by the camp registrar and director.
The camp has about 700 feet of shoreline along a sandy-bottomed stretch of Cass Lake. The large swimming area includes water shallow enough for small kids to play in and deep enough for lap swimmers. The large dock and anchored rafts allow room for sunning and conversation. The camp owns numerous watercraft for camper use, including sailboats, trimarans, canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and windsurfers. The waterfront area also includes a fire pit, a volleyball court, and a children's playground. Motorized boats are for staff operation only and are used to transport goods, staff members, and campers to and from the island.
The camp is owned by the Camp UniStar Foundation, affiliated with the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The camp is a member of CU2C2, the Council of Unitarian Universalist Camps and Conferences.
For directions to the camp, please see the map & directions page.