Rev. Meg Barnhouse
Theme Speaker, Leader for the Morning Celebration and a workshop in the afternoon Meg Barnhouse

Meg Barnhouse grew up in North Carolina and Philadelphia, and she has lived in Spartanburg, SC since 1981. After graduating from Duke University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she worked as Chaplain to Converse College for six years, teaching Public Speaking, Human Sexuality, and World Religions, trying not to get them mixed up. Meg has been active in the community, helping to found the SAFE Homes Network for battered women. Credentialed as a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, she retains a small private pastoral counseling practice while serving as the full time minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg. She travels nationwide as a speaker, singer/songwriter and humorist. Meg is the mother of two wise, funny and handsome sons, ages 18 and 21. She has a second-degree black belt in karate, and is a commentator for NC Public Radio on a segment called “Radio Free Bubba.” She has also been heard on National Public Radio’s “Weekend All Things Considered.” Her books, “Rock of Ages at the Taj Mahal,” “The Best of Radio Free Bubba,” “Waking Up the Karma Fairy,” “Return of Radio Free Bubba” and “Did I Say That Out Loud?” are compilations of stories from the radio. Her CD, “July Blue,” is a mix of 12 original songs and 3 stories. The newest CD, “Mango Thoughts in a Meatloaf Town,” contains more original songs, including “All Will Be Well.”

For additional information about Meg see her website

Read Meg’s article Who says Unitarian Universalism’s Principles are easy? from the UU World.

Mark Stringer

Rev. Mark Stringer
Chaplain and Evening Vespers leader

Mark has served as minister of the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, Iowa, since August 2001 and is delighted to return to Camp StarTrail for a second season. He has been an active leader in the central-Iowa Industrial Areas Foundation affiliate AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy) and has served as a board member of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, an organization he chaired from 2004-2006. On August 31, 2007, in the front yard of his Des Moines home, Mark had the honor of officiating Iowa’s first (and for 15 months, only) legally recognized same-sex wedding. He received the UUA’s 2007 Westwood Grant, an award that “goes to a UU minister who has shown an exceptional entrepreneurial spirit in congregational leadership over a period of five years.” Mark and his wife Susan are proud parents of their daughter, Leah.

Kiya Heartwood
Music Director working with the Morning Celebration, the Children’s Choir, and other musical eventsKiya Heartwood

Songwriter/ composer Kiya Heartwood is half of the folk duo Wishing Chair. Kiya’s larger works include song cycles for Women's Chorus, operettas for young people, soundtracks for independent films and The Gaia Psalms, an earth-based mass for Unitarian Universalist congregations with narration by Rev. Meg Barnhouse. Kiya is currently a Graduate student in Music Composition at Westminster Choir College in Princeton.

For additional information about Kiya see her web site

Bruce VanBronkhorst
Accompanist working on the Morning Celebration, the Children’s Choir, and other musical events

Bruce has been the music director at Michael Servetus Unitarian Society in Fridley, Minnesota (a suburb of the Twin Cities) for 27 years. He directs the choir, the wind ensemble, leads and performs in the Delphi Jazz Trio, Class Act Quartet, MSUS Vocal Quartet, and occasional drumming groups. The church also has a fun bluegrass group. Not bad for a church of less than 100 members!

You will quickly find out that Bruce loves to share his joy of music in many ways.

Susan Stringer

Susan Stringer
Children’s Program Coordinator

Susan brings a variety of teaching experience to work at Camp StarTrail. She has taught public school, as well as theater workshops in Chicago, Illinois, and created and taught nature programs for the City of Des Moines, and the Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, Iowa. She has a B.F.A. in Musical Theater and is in the middle of a Master’s at Drake University in Des Moines, in Elementary Education.

Ginny Malcomson
Children’s Program Naturalist

Ginny is returning for a second year.

Liz VanBronkhurst

Elizabeth VanBronkhorst
Children’s Counselor

Liz, a student at University of Wisconsin-Stout, is returning for a second year as a Children’s Counselor.


Morgan Watters
Children’s Counselor

Morgan is returning for a second year.

Sherry WarrenSherry Warren
Youth Coordinator

Sherry is the PSD Youth and Young Adult Specialist. She also has served the Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence as their half-time Director of Religious Education since 2002. Sherry has worked with youth across PSD and is always looking for ways to bring relevance to the lives of young people while having fun and growing relationships. She taught a combined adult and young adult Our Whole Lives class at last year’s Camp StarTrail, spent time at Camp UniStar during Youth Week 1 the past two summers, and is faculty at MidWest Leadership School for Youth. She is looking forward to the relaxed and fun week that she is sure is waiting at Camp StarTrail and hopes there will be lots of facepainting opportunities so she can work on her art skills.

Beth ChronisterBeth Chronister
Youth Advisor

Beth Chronister

Beth grew up in Topeka, KS and has been a lifelong participant at the UU Fellowship of Topeka. She graduated from Kansas University with her degree in Social Work before moving to Paraguay for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in education. Her next big plans are seminary at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado where she plans to prepare for UU parish ministry.


Activity Leaders

Brian EslingerRev. Brian Eslinger
Afternoon Workshop Leader

While spending 13 years as the minster at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames, Rev. Dr. Brian Eslinger fostered his passion for story telling both in the congregation and in his academic pursuits. His Doctorate of Ministry focused on using storytelling and folklore in all aspects of ministry. Along with teaching a class about storytelling and the oral traditions at Meadville Lombard Theological School, Brian also teaches in the Religious Studies Department at Iowa State University.


Kendyl Gibbons

Rev. Kendyl Gibbons
Salmagundi! Activity Leader

Rev. Kendyl Gibbons is a spare time fabric artist, who has led baby showers to create a quilt in an afternoon, and helped her two pre-teen nieces make a quilt together. She is a life-long Unitarian Universalist, who currently serves as senior minister of the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis. She creates liturgical stoles for her congregation’s graduating interns, of which there have been 19 to date.

Fritz HudsonRev. Fritz Hudson
Afternoon Workshop Leader

Rev. Fritz Hudson is minister of the Unitarian Church of Lincoln, Nebraska. His ministerial career has spanned 32 years in five parish settlements. He’s been a summer camp participant in three UU Districts.

District Staff Members at Camp StarTrail

Nancy HeegeNancy Heege
District Executive

Nancy Heege loves to go to camp with other Unitarian Universalists. She enjoys the program, the music, and the community of campers of all ages that develops over several days together. She’s been District Executive since 1995 and is happy that the dream of having a camp to serve UUs in the southern part of the District has been realized and is now in its second year.


Rev. Phillip Lund
Lifespan Program Director


Camp StarTrail Planning Committee

Chris Bremer, Coordinator of Camp and Retreat Program Area for Prairie Star District, Minneapolis MN
Barb Gutsch, Salina KS
Rev. Fritz Hudson, Lincoln NE
Bob Miller, Kansas City MO
Rev. Mark Stringer, Des Moines IA
Susan Stringer, Des Moines IA
Julie Enersen, Lincoln NE
Rev. Phillip Lund, Prairie Star District
Nancy Heege, Prairie Star District

Retrieved from PSD pmwiki/CampStarTrail2010/Staff Page last modified on April 13, 2010, at 04:15 PM