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 2019 Program Brochure

June 8 – 15 Helping Hands Week

Program Leaders: JoAnne Berkenkamp, Bob Friedman, Katherine Little, Steve Schreurs

DISCOUNT: Reduced fees this week, plus additional discounts for young adults (age 18 to 35).

Mornings are spent on projects that help rejuvenate UniStar’s facilities while afternoons provide time for hiking, swimming, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and relaxing. Team leaders will ofer workshops on skills that are useful at home. Join a project team such as carpentry, plumbing, painting, electrical, grounds keeping, waterfront or more. No experience needed. We’ll have projects for campers of all ages and abilities. Major goals this year are painting the camp kitchen and making electrical upgrades to the Lodge and Cabin 5.

There are no formal youth or children’s programs, but enthusiastic young workers are welcome. Join the UniStar family and participate in projects that will beneft UniStar for years to come while making memories you can cherish forever!


June 29 – July 6 Chocolate: Beans to Bars


Program Leaders: Steve Sternberg, Margaret Sternberg

In a UniStar frst, this week will be dedicated to the joys of chocolate. Working with raw cocoa beans obtained by direct trade from the tropics, we will create chocolate by roasting the beans to bring out the chocolate favors, grinding and winnowing to sort the nibs from the shells, and refning by mixing the nibs with cocoa butter and sugar. Finally, the chocolate is tempered and molded. We can add spices, herbs, nuts, or other items to make a chocolate your way, all while learning the science and art of this favorite food..

Steve teaches chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth and Margaret is a nurse and artist (pottery and dying textiles). They enjoy visiting national parks, mountain biking, and backpacking. They have developed a deep appreciation for good chocolate and love sharing it with others..


July 6 – 13 Games Inside and Out

Program Leaders: Richard Lau, Heather Farber-Lau

Get ready to laugh, learn, build community, and relax. We are excited to play our favorite indoor and outdoor games each day with you, including backgammon, Carcassone, kubb, Molkky, cornhole and more. We’ll play traditional favorites and share newer games too, and we’ll end the week with an all-camp game. We’re planning games for both enthusiasts and those who enjoy playing games from their hammock. Let’s play! Heather has directed and led a resident camp, which included teaching others how to play games. She also trains people as part of her current day job, in addition to volunteer roles in Unity-Unitarian’s religious education (RE) program. She serves as a Battle of the Books coach for her daughter’s team in school.Rich was a teacher for several years in Japan, teaching English to middle-schoolers and adults. He currently teaches in Unity-Unitarian’s RE program.

July 13 – 20 Bending the Arc: Deconstructing Race & Practicing Yoga


Program Leaders: George Thompson, Ray PhelpsBowman, Kirsten Lakso

The journey to race equity begins with ourselves, and like physical health, requires practice. Program leaders George Thompson and Ray Phelps-Bowman will use personal experience, film, and discussion to illuminate and refect on the construct ofrace, structural racism, and how to talk about and respond to race and racial injustice in our own families, workplaces and communities.

George is a self-described “Black man from the South,” who has lived in a majority white community for most of his adult life, including as an industrial engineer for IBM and executive director of the Diversity Council in Rochester, MN. Ray is a White man who was raised in Nigeria, spent two years in Liberia in the Peace Corps and worked as a nurse at Mayo Clinic for 34 years. Over the last 20 years, Ray has worked in multiple roles promoting racial justice in Rochester and has led Rochester’s Racial Justice Task Force.

Kirsten Lakso, a certifed yoga instructor since 1992, is passionate about yoga and has been teaching it for over 25 years. Her class combines inspirational readings, soothing music, stretching, strengthening and balancing poses, chakra alignment, laughter and more in a relaxed, light-hearted spirit. Folks of all levels of experience are welcome.

July 20 – 27 If I Had a Song


Program Leaders: Dave Welo, Gail O’Kane

Do you love to play music and sing? Have an instrument you love to play--even one you haven’t played in a while? Do you love to sing--even if you don’t think you sing very well? Or do you just like to listen? Come join us for a fun week of playing and singing in a group and maybe singing aroundthe campfre at night,performing at happy hour and/or the talent show. The program will be appropriate for all experience levels, and the emphasis will be on making music and having fun! We will primarily use the Rise Up Singing and Rise Again songbooks available at camp or any music you wish to bring.

Dave is a retired RN and lives in Madison WI where he is a member of the First Unitarian Society. He has been playing the guitar and leading group sing-a-longs for many years in Madison and at UniStar. Gail took up the ukulele just two years ago. She is looking forward to making sure all music-lovers feel welcome during the program, whatever their experience level.


July 27 – August 3 Family Ties: Unpacking the Myths that Bind Us


Program Leader: Rev. Karen Gustafson

Whether or not you are or have ever been a parent, the myths of the Good Mother, the Good Father, the Good Son or Daughter have shaped who you are in the world. These myths are cultural and come at us through personal example, advertising, fiction, and news stories. As parents and as children we either consciously or unconsciously react to the expectations and subsequent disappointments that these myths carry. This week ofers an invitation to unpack these myths and open up the possibility for greater authenticity in our relationships to both our children and our parents, living or dead.

Karen is Minister Emerita of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth, MN. She also served the First Unitarian Society of Madison, WI and the Michael Servetus UU Fellowship of Fridley, MN. Karen has been ofering some form of this workshop for the past 35 years. It has expanded and evolved through her experience as a mother of two sons and a daughter, a single parent, a stepmother, a mother of adult children, a grandmother and the daughter of deeply infuential parents now long dead. She is presently in a humble and committed relationship of over 30 years with the children’s father and their stepfather.

August 3 – 10 This Lens is Made by You & Me


Program Leaders: Jerry Nagel, Kathy Jourdain

Each of us has a worldview that strongly affects how we see and interact with events, situations and other people. When long-held ideas or opinions are challenged, conversations that begin as friendly or well-meaning can quickly go awry as our worldviews collide. Jerry and Kathy will share a framework for understanding how this happens and strategies for improving the outcome of predictably challenging conversations or relationships using the Worldview Intelligence™ model they’ve developed and used with private, public and not for proft organizations; in rural, urban and suburban settings; and in culturally specifc circumstances, including work with adjacent White and Native American communities wanting to bridge cultural worldviews and change the nature of their relationship.

Jerry Nagel, PhD, is president of the Meadowlark Institute. Kathy Jourdain, MBA, leads Shape Shift Strategies Inc. and is the author of two books. Both are practitioners of the Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter, and they have partnered on consulting and training work since 2011.

August 10 – 17 Everyday Joy: Dance, Music & Story


Program Leaders: Maria Genné, Elinor AndersonGenné, Parker Anderson-Genné

Do you love to move and dance or are you afraid to bust a move because you don’t know the right step? Do you love to sing with people, or in the shower? Do you love stories and to dive deep into folktales? Are you interested in connecting to yourself and others in an artistic way? Join Maria, Elinor and Parker Genné for community dancing, singing, storytelling and yoga, designed for all ages and abilities. We will explore many ways of dancing together as we weave in song and stories to create a week of community art-making!

Maria is a dancer and educator and founder/director of Kairos Alive, which transforms lives through dance, music and story. Parker is a dancer, singer, actor and educator, and an Artistic Director of the musical storytelling troupe Impossible Salt. Elinor is a dancer, visual artist, and yoga/pilates teacher.


August 17 – 24 Light, Likenesses & Leaves

light.jpgProgram Leaders: Dan Zimmerman, Kim Christensen

At its core, photography is all about capturing light. We’ll explore taking pictures from this perspective, using the portrait as our framework. We will focus on photography basics and how to take better pictures with your camera, phone, or tablet. This week will help you develop your understanding of how to translate what you see into a captured image and make the most of your photography.

Another way to capture the beauty and variety of UniStar is to use the natural tannins and colors present in the leaves and plants on the island. Bring fabric or clothing you would like to dye. Linen, wool, cotton, and silk all work well.

Dan is a technologist, artist and photographer in Minneapolis. Kim is a fiber artist in Minneapolis. She has been exploring the nuances of plants in the dye pot and will guide you in collecting dye stuff on the island to permanently dye fabric. She will bring the dye pots; the island will supply the plants.



August 24 – 31 (Adults only week) Natural Balance


Program Leaders: Dianne Rowse, Velma Wagner

DISCOUNT: $40 discount per person for double (or more) occupancy; applies to cabin/lodge rooms and tents.

This week is reserved for adults (age 18+).

Join Dianne for guided nature walks and Shinrin-yoku, a Japanese health practice featuring restful, stressreducing strolls in the woods. Shinrin-yoku is a sensory and mindful experience. Dress for the weather, and plan to meander about a mile on uneven trails for each walk. Dianne Rowse is a retired professional naturalist who worked for Three Rivers Park District. She enjoys botanizing, birding, wilderness canoeing, and playing the Celtic harp. Dianne has led many nature weeks at UniStar over the years.

Join Velma for fun, fantastic, familiar and foreign yoga poses. Our focus will be on stability, stretch, balance and integration. Sessions will be geared to all levels of ability and experience, as well as to all body types. Bring your yoga mat if you have one, or use one of UniStar’s. Weather permitting, we will do yoga outdoors, so a hat and sunglasses are recommended. Velma is a certifed IyengarYoga Instructor who has taught for over 30 years and studied in India at the B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Institute. Velma loves sharing her passion and enthusiasm for yoga, fitness and well-being.