See below for commonly asked questions about Camp UniStar. Don't see the answer to your question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm coming to camp this summer. What do I need to know?
Please visit our 2021 Information page for all the details you need to know and answers to questions you may have.
How is COVID-19 impacting Camp UniStar?
After several months following a deliberative process, the Camp Unistar Foundation Management Committee and Board of Directors has announced that we will open camp for our camper weeks during the summer of 2021, but with modifications to protect the health and safety of our campers, our staff, and the local community.. You can read more about this decision on our COVID-19 information page or visit our 2021 Information page to understand how camp will look a little different this year.
How do I get to Camp UniStar?
Camp UniStar is located on Star Island and is only accessible via boat. UniStar's chartered boat service disembarks from Sail Star Marina, in Cass Lake, MN.
Each Saturday, boat trips are scheduled to leave at approximately 2:30 pm, 3:45 pm & 5 pm. Campers gather at the Sail Star Marina prior to departure and help to load the boat as a group (don't forget to bring large garbage bags to protect your belongings from rain or potential lake spray!) If you are traveling from the Twin Cities or Northern Minnesota please try to take the earlier trips and leave the later trips for people traveling further distances.
Camp UniStar is located on the NorthEast point of Star Island. The mailing address is 25816 Star Island SE, Cass Lake, MN 56633. Do not use this address to navigate to camp. Please use the Sail Star Marina address for navigational purposes.
What do I do with my car?
Covered weekly parking is available for purchase and uncovered free parking spots are provided at the Sail Star Marina.
When you arrive at Camp UniStar the camp staff will meet you at the dock and everyone helps to unload the boat. The camp director will meet you on the waterfront and there you will receive your cabin assignment for the week. If you would like to arrange a carpool please email the registrar email@example.com or visit the Facebook event for your camper week (click on the "events" section) on the Camp UniStar Facebook Page.
What the heck is Happy Hour?
Happy Hour is a camper initiated social hour that takes place before the evening meal. Many campers bring up a small snack to share each evening with each other. If you choose to participate please be sure to bring enough food for each night and be conscious of the plastic packaging of whatever you chose to bring.
What should I bring to camp?
It's can be a delicate balance between being prepared for your week at camp and packing everything but the kitchen sink. We recommend that you prepare for all weather (including rain, extreme cold or extreme heat) as the weather can change quickly within a week. A few things to highlight; ensure you are bringing enough bedding for your whole party (sheets, pillowcases and mattress pads are NOT provided), enough towels for your whole party, including hand towels and bath mats- with a mind that you may need to bring more than one per a person (in the event that a towel does not dry within a day of use) and to pack supplies that adequately prepare you for our natural setting (long pants, sock and boots for hiking, swim suits and sunscreen for the beach etc.)
A full suggesting packing list can be found here.
What should I NOT bring to camp?
The following are prohibited at Camp UniStar:
- Jet skis or motorized boats
- Fireworks or other explosive materials
- Illegal drugs
- Firearms or other weapons
We also encourage you to leave the following at home:
- Video Systems
- Bottled water
- Single serve plastic items
- Environmentally harsh chemicals
- Aerosol cans
What days does the camp week run?
Starting this year in 2021 campers will arrive Saturday afternoon and depart Friday morning, allowing for additional sanitation procedures to take place between camper weeks.
Is there Internet or WiFi at Camp?
Camp does not provide internet access to campers. Many people find that depending on their cell phone carrier they have cell phone service or data coverage at some parts of camp although we encourage our campers to embrace our rustic location and put their cell phones away for the week and "unplug." A landline is located in the Director's office in the event that a camper needs to be contacted in an emergency or urgent situation. That number is 218-335-2692.
What programming is offered at camp?
Programing will look different in 2021. Please visit our 2021 Information page for more details.
Most years, Adult programming corresponding to the weekly topic is offered each day from 10 am - noon.
Children's programing (for ages 3-11) is also offered 10 am - noon daily. Parents are responsible for children at all other times.
Youth programming is facilitated each week and is scheduled by the youth based on their interests. Typical activities include, bonfires, volleyball games, and overnight camping trips on another part of the island.
What is there to do at camp?
Many of our campers embrace the beautiful location and natural beauty of Star Island and Cass Lake. Hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, bird watching and stargazing are all popular activities. Many books, puzzles and a variety of card and board games are available for use while at camp (Be sure to pack your favorites!) There are also porch swings and hammocks for those looking for a slower paced activity.
Canoes, sailboats and kayaks (including life jackets) are available for camper use at no cost. Campers may also bring their own human powered boats with advance arrangement. If you would like to bring a human powered boat to camp please contact the camp director at firstname.lastname@example.org
How are medical situations handled?
Basic first aid is available at camp. A range of basic supplies to treat burns, cuts, pain relief and stomach upset are available. (be sure to pack any personal medications) Medical emergencies are taken to the Cass Lake Clinic or North County Regional Hospital in Bemidji.
How do I pay my remaining bill?
You can pay for your week by check or credit card directly to the Camp Director during your week at camp.
Is smoking allowed at camp?
Smoking is permitted outside. We ask that you are conscious of other campers and be sure to dispose of your cigarette butts appropriately.
How rustic is rustic?
Indoor plumbing, electricity and beds are included in each cabin. The mattresses are vinyl covered spring mattresses- some campers like to bring a mattress topper or pad to supplement. Cabins are not equipped with heat or air conditioning although many of the rooms have ceiling fans and box fans are available for warm days. In cool weather there is a central fire place in the main lodge. We encourage campers to pack for a variety of weather conditions including, hot, cold and rainy. For more information about what you might want to bring, please see the suggested packing list. Laundry facilities are not provided and many campers find it helpful to bring items to rotate, including towels.
Many of our camp structures are over 100 years old and are simple wood frame buildings with plenty of character. Due to the island location we coexist peacefully with the island inhabitants including bugs and sand!
How are meals handled at Camp UniStar?
Meals are served communally in the dining hall three times a day. Menus vary from week to week. Generally each meal will include a protein, starch and fruit or vegetable side. A sample daily menu could be:
Breakfast (8 am)
Pancakes, sausage (with a vegetarian alternative), banana or orange piece. Oatmeal and breakfast cereal options are available at every breakfast. Beverages available include coffee, milk, and orange juice.
Lunch (12:30 pm)
Baked potato bar, salad with various dressing options, grapes. Beverages available include lemonade or iced tea and milk.
Supper (6 pm)
Stir Fry with chicken (tofu option for vegetarians), rice and apple crisp. Beverages available include lemonade or iced tea and milk.
Always available in the dining hall (during meals and through the day from 7 am - 7 pm)
Bread (for toast or plain)
cold filtered water
Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free alternatives are available at every meal for the individuals who have pre-requested these diets at least three weeks in advance of their camp attendance.
What diets, food allergies, or food sensitivies are accomodated at Camp UniStar?
Camp UniStar will accommodate the following diets when requested at least three weeks in advance:
vegetarian (no meat products)
vegan (no animal products)
no pork or no beef
When it comes to food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities we strive to do our best to accommodate food allergies and sensitivities that we have been informed of at least three weeks in advance. However, we do not have the capacity to regularly cook customized meals for individuals. If you have complex food needs please understand there may be simple substitutes over the course of the week and/or you may have repeats or leftovers from previous meals prepared for you. We recommend you bring enough supplemental food to ensure your comfort and enjoyment throughout the week. As a reminder each cabin is equipped with a microwave and simple food preparation space and tools.
Please reach out to the Food Service Director, Carrie Rice, at email@example.com at least three weeks prior to your camp attendance for any dietary needs or questions.
How do I let Camp UniStar know about my dietary needs?
Indicate dietary needs on your camp registration form;
If you have already submitted your registration form, notify Carrie Rice, Food Service Director at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible and at least three weeks in advance of your week at camp. Camp UniStar can no longer accept dietary requests made after this time frame.
- If someone in your party experiences anaphylaxis if a certain food is contacted please inform the registrar in advance AND tell camp staff upon arrival. Please bring any prescribed medications including an epinephrine auto-injector.
How does food get to Camp UniStar?
Camp UniStar is on an island that has no commercial enterprise or roads which means- no grocery stores. Additionally the nearest stores on the mainland have limited supplies. Therefore, most of the food for Camp is ordered one to two weeks in advance, using a variety of vendors. Orders are either delivered to the marina or retrieved from stores by staff on a scheduled basis. The staff then load the food into a boat and transport it to the island. It is then moved in cartloads to the kitchen. We continue to make an effort to work with local vendors, suppliers, and farmers in our food ordering.
Any additional or supplemental food you require or might want while at camp must be purchased and packed by you before you arrive on the island, (this includes any Happy Hour snacks or contributions.) We recommend bringing enough supplemental food to ensure the comfort and health of you and your family, understanding that food cannot be purchased for you once you arrive on the island.
Should I bring my own food to Camp?
We recommend bringing supplemental food…
if you need to maintain a diet other than those listed above (e.g. high-protein diet or more frequent meals);
if you have complex food needs and would like different accommodations than camp will provide;
if you have a food preference that would impact your stay.
If one or more of these applies to you, we suggest bringing enough supplemental food to ensure the comfort and health of you and your family for the entirety of your week. Food can not be purchased for you once you arrive on the island.
Where can I keep and prepare food?
Each cabin, the lodge, and the tenting area has a sink, fridge (including freezer), microwave, mouse-proof storage cabinet, plates, bowls, cutlery, knives, and cutting board. A toaster is available in the concourse area of the lodge for camper use.
What if I am a pescatarian?
Fish is usually only served once a week for Friday lunch. Many pescatarians choose to indicate that they are vegetarians on their registration forms. Contact Carrie Rice, Food Service Director at email@example.com, as soon as possible at least three weeks in advance of your stay if you did not indicate a vegetarian diet on your registration form and you wish to do so.
Was there a change in accommodating diets?
Yes. The number of requested diet accommodations, particularly made upon arrival and during each week, has increased quite a bit over time. This has become challenging for staff and campers. In order to ensure the health and safety of campers by ordering and preparing food to meet their needs, Camp UniStar now requires notice of dietary needs on camp registrations or to the Food Service Director at firstname.lastname@example.org at least three weeks in advance of a camper’s arrival.