2017 Program Topics

June 10 - 17
Helping Hands

Program Leaders: Steve Schreurs, Morgan L'Argent
DISCOUNT: Reduced fees this week, plus additional discounts for young adults (age 18 to 35).

 New this year are afternoon workshops on practical skills you can use at home: kitchen and bathroom plumbing repairs, electrical basics, drywall repairs, and common window and door problems. In the mornings you can use some of your new skills to help get the cabins ready for the summer season. We'll have projects for campers of all ages and abilities. A major project this year is to create a new, welcoming space for Children's Program. And there's always ample time to relax and enjoy island living.
Although there are no formal youth or children's programs, enthusiastic young workers are welcome. Fees are reduced and participants may also apply for another program week. Join the UniStar family in projects that will benefit the camp for years to come while making memories you can cherish forever!

June 17 - 24, Youth Week 1

June 24 - July 1, Youth Week 2

July 1 - 8
Capture the Moment

Program Leader: Steven Mosborg
 There have never been greater opportunities to take, edit and share your digital photographs. Join us as we embrace Camp UniStar's surroundings and explore composition, lighting and editing techniques while learning to catalogue, control and showcase your images in the world of social media.
Join Steven Mosborg, a shutterbug who learned the craft from his father and has been observing and photographing the natural world via his many travels and adventures for over 40 years. With the advent of digital photography, Steven now shares his work on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and his recently launched, Mosborg Exposures.

July 8 - 15
Guide My Feet: Justice on the Prairie

Program Leader: Karen Van Fossen
 What does it mean to be a justice-seeker in the upper Midwest? Our region, like much of the world, is a place of unique beauty and also devastating injustice. As UUs, how can we grapple with current issues and move to meaningful action as a spiritual/inspirational practice? This week we will reflect on these topics in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.
Rev. Karen Van Fossan is minister of the UU Congregation of Bismarck-Mandan and has been deeply involved with the Water Protectors at Standing Rock.

July 15 - 22
Animals & Landscapes of Star Island

Program Leaders: Karen Noyce & Art Norton
 What made the hills, lakes, rivers, and bogs of northern Minnesota and why are they where they are? How do animals use this landscape, how do they interact, and how do we know what they do? This program will explore the evolution and natural history of this part of Minnesota through stories, maps, and hands-on activities. Sessions will cover ancient geology, glacial history, forests, birds, wildlife (including all you ever wanted to know about bears!), and traditional uses of some natural materials. Weather permitting, parts of each session will be outdoors, investigating clues to the natural ecology around us.
Karen is a wildlife research biologist who spent most of her career working for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources researching the population ecology of black bears. She also has a geology and has worked on foxes and participated in research work on other species, including Andean bears in Peru. Art is a glacial geologist by training who did his graduate thesis on the glacial geology of areas south of Cass Lake. He spent his career working in conservation management of water and forest resources, first as the Itasca County Water Plan coordinator and Soil and Water District Manager and later for the Nature Conservancy.

July 22 - 29
Clean Energy Revolution

Program Leaders: J. Drake Hamilton & Patrick Hamilton
 It's high time we addressed climate change, and fortunately it has never been more possible. We are now seeing the evidence of global warming in extreme weather and negative impacts on our waters. Much less widely understood is the astonishing clean energy revolution now underway and its enormous economic and environmental promise. We all have opportunities to accelerate this exciting transformation. Through stories from cutting their own carbon footprint and their careers at Fresh Energy and the Science Museum of Minnesota, J. Drake Hamilton and Patrick Hamilton will be your hosts and guides to a collaborative exploration of how we accomplish this vital transition faster and better, together, and make clean energy available to all.
J. Drake and Patrick Hamilton have 20-plus year careers in science education with the Science Museum of Minnesota (Patrick) and as a local and global leader in climate action with Fresh Energy (J. Drake). J. was recently ranked by the Climate Reality Project as the 6th most accomplished climate leader among 11,000 people globally. In 2015, she was invited by President Obama to meet with him in the White House, and she represented Fresh Energy at the Paris Climate Summit. Together, they have cut their household energy use more than 75 percent.

July 29 - August 5
Everyday Joy: Dance, Music, and Story

Program Leaders: Maria & Parker 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, but find it hard in front of everyone? Do you love stories and to dive deep into folktales? Are you interested in connecting to yourself and community in an artistic way? Join Maria and Parker Genné for community dancing, singing and storytelling, 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 Genné is the founder and director of Karios Alive. Founded in 1999, Karios Alive empowers individuals and communities to build healthier lives through dance, music, and story. She has worked internationally in the creatives arts, engaging audiences and participants from all ages. She has a Master's in Education, with a specialization in the Arts, from University of North Dakota and has received multiple awards for her work in engaging the aging in the arts.
Parker Genné is the Co-Artistic Director and performer of Impossible Salt, a theater company dedicated to telling stories which make us thirst for the truth behind the fantastical. Her passion for singing, acting, dancing and arts education began at a young age. She is currently a teaching artist with Karios Alive. She holds a BA in Music Performance from Lawrence University.

August 5 - 12
Win, Lose, or Draw?

Program Leaders: Dave Walbridge & Denise Konen
 During this week we will explore both old and new games and the meditative practice of Zentangles Zentangles is a conscious form of doodling that allows you to intentionally facilitate a shift in focus and perspective, creating a fun and lighthearted way to relax. Come and share your favorite games with others from board games, dice games, cards games and more!
Dave Walbridge is a lover of all games and has lead previous game weeks that have included a focus on class and modern games as well as creative game design.
Denis Konen is a practitioner of Zentangles, incorporating this fun and relaxing technique into her personal art practice.

August 12 - 19
Poses & Prose: Yoga & Writing

Program Leader: Raki Kopernik
 Relax and unwind to connect with your creative spirit. Begin the morning with a holistic yoga practice including physical poses, mediation and pranayama (breathing) exercise. Once your physical body is energized, flow into the second half of the morning engaging your writing practice, incorporating prompts from the yoga practice and physical surroundings. All levels and abilities welcome.
Raki (pronounced "Rocky") Kopernik found yoga in 1997 after studying gymnastics and dance throughout her youth. Her practice has a strong focus on breath, listening to the body, and moving from the heart. She believes in the power of humility and letting go, so that we may be the best people we can be in the world. Raki has completed a number of Vipasana meditation retreats, has trained with Ana Lunaria, Joseph Le Page through Integrative Yoga Therapy, and at the Naropa Institute with various yoga and meditation practitioners. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University in addition to being a published writer.

August 19 - 26
Bread for Body & Soul

Program Leader: Kathleen Busche
 Dive into the historical, geographical and political implications of bread and learn how different cultures around the world have relied on bread for nutritional and spiritual sustenance. We will take our studies from the classroom into the kitchen to learn how to create healthy breads from around the world using natural leavens. From the Egyptian bread riots, to the use of government policy to restrict the way bread is baked and sold, to the value of naturally leaven breads, we will explore the sociopolitical landscape of bread and the value and warmth the communal oven has provided for human kind.
Kathleen Busche is a serious home baker with a love of bread. As an artisan bread baker and member of the Bread Bakers Guild of America she is passionate about sharing her curiosity of bread and all that makes it rise. She strives to help people see how bread becomes not only what we eat, but what sustains us.

August 26 - September 2
The Gospel of Mary Oliver

Program Leaders: Ted Tollefson, Thomas R. Smith
DISCOUNT: $40 discount per person for double (or more) occupancy; applies to cabin/lodge rooms and tents. We encourage you to invite friends or family members to join you for a fun week at UniStar!

This week is reserved for adults (age 18+).
 Explore the connection of Unitarian Universalism with the works of beloved Mary Oliver. Engage in discussion and reflection around this prolific writer and how her writings and poems can illuminate or sustain us through changing times. There will be opportunities each day to see the world afresh and to write poetry and prose. Bring your journal, your hiking boots and your imagination.
Rev. Ted Tollefson has served UU congregations in White Bear Lake, Minneapolis, Northfield and River Falls, WI. He is currently starting a UU congregation in Red Wing, MN and lives in Frontenac, MN.
Thomas R. Smith has been writing, editing and publishing poetry since the later 1970's. His latest book is The Glory. He lives in River Falls, WI. Tom and Ted have been friends since 1975.

Visit the Registration page for info on fees and to download a registration form.