The week’s leader-facilitated programming runs each day from 10 a.m. to noon. A children’s program for ages 3 to 11 is provided during this time. Parents are responsible for their children at all other times.

Programming for youth ages 12 to 18 is planned each week to meet the interests of those attending. Activities may include games, evening campfires, baking, canoe/kayak, a trip to Cedar Island or overnight excursions, and more. > Download the 2018 Program Brochure

June 9 – 16 Helping Hands Week

Program Leaders: Katherine Little, Sonja Blackstone, Steve Schreurs, Morgan L’Argent, Bob Friedman

We’ll kick off the week with an introduction to our 2018 projects, project teams, and team leaders. No experience needed since afternoon workshops will be offered on practical skills you may find useful at home. In the mornings you can use some of your new skills helping to get our buildings and grounds ready for the summer season. Project teams may include carpentry, plumbing, painting, electrical, grounds keeping, waterfront, and more. We’ll have projects for campers of all ages and abilities. A major work week task this year is to put a new metal roof on the recently renovated StarHouse, home to our Children’s Program in the old bunkhouse building.

Although there are no formal youth or children’s programs, enthusiastic young workers are welcome. Camper fees are reduced for Helping Hands Week and participants may also apply for a regular UniStar program week as well. Join the UniStar family for Helping Hands 2018 to participate in projects that will benefit the camp for years to come while making memories you can cherish forever!

June 30 – July 7 Right of Passage: Immigration Then and Now

Program Leaders: Cory Caouette and Mick Caouette

Of all the issues currently facing our county, immigration is one of the most debated and divisive. PBS filmmaker Mick Caouette, and immigration attorney Cory Caouette will take campers beyond the headlines to explore the powerful and dramatic personal journeys of courage and heroism of those longing for a better life. Through the perilous passage of our earliest immigrants to the current plight of undocumented workers, Mick and Cory will use film, interviews and personal experience to illuminate and discuss the past and present stories of those coming to America.

Cory Caouette practices family-based and employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant law in California. He is a visiting professor speaking on immigration issues and has chaired several national committees for the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association. Mick Caouette has taught at Hamline University, lectured at many colleges and produced films for PBS and other organizations. Mick is currently producing a biography of Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, who combined immigration and naturalization into one department during the Roosevelt administration.

July 7 – 14 Games Inside and Out

Program Leaders: Jackie and Dave Smith

Come play community games for all ages and abilities for this fun week at UniStar. Inside we will play traditional community games as well as learn new games from one another. Outside we will play kubb, frisbee golf, bocce, croquet and other games. Both inside and outside games will be played daily, and campers will be encouraged to initiate their own games all day long!

Dave and Jackie Smith are teachers in St. Paul, Minnesota. They play games with their children, friends, and anyone who will join them. While they are generally not very competitive, Dave refuses to play Bananagrams with Jackie.

July 14 – 21 Kick Up Your Heels

Program Leader: Caren Grantz Keljik

Drawing on village and celebration dances from around the world and the U.S. we will spend the week learning a variety of line, circle, and set dances. The emphasis will be on upbeat, beginner-friendly dances. No dance experience is required, but we will work on a few challenge dances. From the Virginia Reel to Greek Miserlou to Albanian Pogonishte, we will learn a variety of steps and dance to music from many lands. Get ready to experience the community and camaraderie of folk dance!

Caren teaches and leads folk dancing at Tapestry Folkdance Center in Minneapolis and the Northland Recreation Lab near Amery Wisconsin, as well as at community events and private parties. She spent two weeks this year dancing in Albania and has done the same in Turkey in the past.

July 21 – 28 Pattern and Form: Mosaics and Yoga

Program Leaders: Ann Klefstad, Sheryl Furness

Mosaics are the slow and deliberate accumulation of parts, creating patterns, lines, movement and form. Participants will learn about the long history of mosaic art, and then try their hand at creating original mosaics using tile, stone, glass, and found materials if desired. Daily yoga classes, including breathing exercises, yoga postures, mediation and relaxation techniques will also be offered. Yoga can help us become more aware of our holistic nature and the realization that we are made of mind, body and more.

Ann Klefstad is a sculptor who does public art commissions. Lately she's been fascinated with mosaic and has been working in the medium. She is excited to share her interest with you, and help you start making mosaics too!

Sheryl is a certified Yoga Teacher in the Viniyoga tradition. She completed a 200 hour, two year, training program led by Maggie Kessell with her training in the tradition of T.K.V. Desikachar from India. This tradition provides unique tools that are adapted to fit a person’s individual needs, conditions and life stage. She has taught for over 20 years in various settings including corporations, YWCA's, community education and hospitals.

July 28 – August 4 Triangles and Squares: Sailing and Stitching

Program Leaders: Sean Brown, Reverend Laurie Bushbaum

Let the summer wind blow away your worries and cares. Whether you are a veteran sailor or a beginner, Sean’s patience and enthusiasm for sailing will help you reach your sailing goals. Enjoy the beauty of Cass Lake from a whole new viewpoint. If you prefer land-based fun, join us to make tiny quilts (12 inches or smaller). Whether you have made several quilts or want to try quilting for the first time, this will be a relaxed and creative time with fabric. Each day will begin with a meditation as we prepare to put together scraps to make a new creation of beauty.

Sean has been sailing competitively each summer for the last 10 years. He has taught sailing at Camp UniStar and with the Twin Cities Sailing Club. Sean has also coached youth athletics, lead wilderness trips, and competed in national regattas.

Rev. Laurie Bushbaum is a UU minister who has been serving in the Upper Midwest for more than 30 years. She started quilting when she was 13 years old by inheriting an unfinished quilt from her great grandmother. She received a grant from the UU Women's Federation to create a show of 12 quilts about the spiritual journey which traveled to congregations for 3 years. She has taught quilting to inner city kids, in UU congregations, and women’s groups among others.

August 4 – 11 Into the Woods: Walden as a Spiritual Guidebook

Program Leader: Rev. Bruce Johnson
While Henry David Thoreau’s Walden has long been considered a literary classic, it can also be read as a spiritual guidebook that deals with issues and questions as current and important as to us as they were to Thoreau and his contemporaries. Walden invites us to consider, among other things, the practices of simplicity and right livelihood; mindfulness and meditation; community and solitude. A pioneer of environmental spirituality, Thoreau was also among the first to introduce the American public to ideas from Buddhism, Hinduism, and other eastern religions. We will take our time with Thoreau’s dense text, using it as a starting point for our own dialogue on living deliberately.

Rev. Bruce Johnson has been a UU minister for 35 years, with a focus on adult religious education. He currently ministers to the UU Congregation of Duluth.

August 11 – 18 Eyes on the Island: Drawing, Painting and Photography

Program Leaders: Araby Kelley and Diana Grandy

Using the natural beauty of Star Island and Camp UniStar as an artistic muse, campers will explore composition and color theory. We will experiment with techniques including drawing with graphite and charcoal, painting with acrylics, and digital photography, to create artworks representing the beauty of camp. The content this week will come from camper’s engagement with the world around them as they explore the island.

Araby Kelley is a Documentary video journalist, experimental filmmaker, avid photographer and Rhode Island School of Design graduate. Araby also loves drawing and painting in her free time. She grew up going to Camp UniStar, and still dreams about camp regularly.

Diana is a long-time Camp UniStar camper. Having grown up in Cass Lake, she has a good knowledge of the history of the island and the surrounding area. She has taught painting at Pinote's Palate in Edina MN and has made watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings for over 25 years, taking many classes and professional workshops.

August 18 – 25 The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe: Presentations and Conversations

Program Host: Bernadine Joselyn, with local Guest Presenters

This week will feature presentations and conversation led by native and non-native local people with special knowledge and experience about the history and culture of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, including the history and impact of treaties on the band’s relationship to the land and to the White Europeans who arrived beginning in the 18th century. In a seminar-like format, each day will feature a different presenter, including Elaine Fleming (Leech Lake Tribal College and former mayor of Cass Lake); Frank Bibeau (attorney working with Chippewa treaties and civil rights); Doug Thompson (Tribal Relations Specialist); Sean Dunham (Heritage Program Manager, Chippewa National Forest); Molly Thompson (Executive Director of the North Shore Stewardship Association); and other guests.

August 25 Sept. 1 (Adults only week) UUs and Public Policy

Program Leader: Dane Smith

We will explore our faith’s connection to politics and public policy throughout our history, with special emphasis on Minnesota. Each day’s program will address different themes, including racial equity, foreign affairs, the environment, gender issues, and labor rights, considering how UUs have participated as leaders, organizers, and citizens.

Program leader Dane Smith has served as president of Growth & Justice, a progressive research and advocacy organization, for over 10 years. Previously he was a newspaper journalist, covering politics and public policy at the federal, state, and local levels for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.