Fifth Anniversary Year!
Ashland, Nebraska
July 28 to August 2, 2013

Camp StarTrail has been cancelled for 2013 due to low registration.

Theme: Poetry and Justice

Adrienne Rich wrote, in her book of prose, What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics,

A revolutionary poem is written out of one individual's confrontation with his/her longings…any truly revolutionary art is an alchemy through which waste, greed, brutality, frozen indifference, 'blind sorrow,' and anger are transmitted into some drenching recognition of the What If?  -- the possible.  What if?  The first revolutionary question, the question the dying forces don't know how to ask.

What if the poets, not the policy makers, are the ones we need to save the polar bears, the quality of life for humanity, our own souls?  What trail of bread crumbs are they leaving for us to follow to freedom?

Camp StarTrail theme presentation will be an exploration of poetry old and new, explored with the intention of touching our sense of drenching recognition of the What If?

Featured Speakers

Theme Speaker: Rev. Meg Riley, Senior Minister Church of the Larger Fellowship

Chaplain and Vespers Leader: Rev. Kelli Clement, Executive Director Minnesota Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

For our camp, we are renting Carol Joy Holling Conference and Retreat Center from the Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. CJH is located on 317 acres, just off I-80, west of the Platte River between Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska. Look at http://www.nlom.org to see more photos of the camp’s features.

canoes

Directions

CJH is located at the end of Ranch Road off Highway 66 between Interstate 80 and Ashland, Nebraska.

If you are coming on I-80, take Exit 426 off I-80. Turn toward Ashland and go 2.5 miles past Mahoney State Park to the Ranch Road access road. Watch for the “Carol Joy Holling Center” directional sign.If you are coming from north of Ashland on Highway 66, come through Ashland, cross Highway 6, and continue 1.25 miles, then turn onto the Ranch Road access road. Watch for the “Carol Joy Holling Center” directional sign.

Map

Need a ride to camp? Or would you like a passenger to share the cost of gas? Use our carpool map! Arrival Schedule

Camp StarTrail begins on Sunday, July 28, 2013
Plan to arrive between 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. for sign in and directions to your housing. We’ll offer tours of the camp and an orientation session before Trail Head [outdoor activity for all ages] at 5:30 and supper at 6:00 p.m.

Departure Schedule

Camp StarTrail ends at noon on Friday, August 2, 2013. Box lunches will be available for those who would like to take them for the trip home or lunch will be available on site.

MealsStarTrail meal service

Meals will be served in the dining hall (located in Sjogren), a new and accessible building.Breakfast is at 7:30 a.m.Lunch is at noon.Dinner is at 6:00 p.m.Food, served buffet style, is delicious and plentiful.Vegetarian meals are an option; indicate your preference on the registration form.The kitchen staff are willing to work to accommodate special needs.Snacks for youth and adults are NOT available between meals unless you bring your own. Children will be provided a snack during the Children’s Program in the morning.

Participants are invited to list on the registration form workshops or activities they’d be willing to lead at camp. The Program Committee will contact them.

playing game

Alcohol use

Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries has a strict alcohol use policy. Because of the policies of the camp we are renting, these procedures for the use of alcohol must be followed:

Adults may bring alcohol for their own consumption to Camp StarTrail.All alcohol must be signed in at the time of arrival. All bottles and cans will be marked with the owner’s name.Alcohol will be stored in a secured area at Swanson Center.Alcohol will be made available to the owners between 5:30 and 6 p.m. each afternoon, and between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m. each evening, and must be consumed during that time, in one designated Social Room at Swanson Center.No children or youth may be present during the consumption of alcohol.Volunteers will be needed to rinse containers and take them home for recycling. Non-smoking Policy

Smoking is not allowed in buildings at Camp. There are smoking towers outside some of the buildings. Fire is a hazard at camp. Use the receptacles provided.

Quiet Hours

Quiet hours begin at 10 p.m. Be respectful of families with children asleep before 10. Quiet hours are in effect in all buildings and public spaces, including outdoors.

Age Requirements

StarTrail welcomes adult singles and couples and families of all ages. High School age and younger participants are welcome as part of a family group.

Special Needs

There is ADA accessibility and an elevator in Swanson Center. There is a paved walk between Swanson Center and the dining hall (located in Sjogren). Most camp activities will take place in or near those buildings. Most other locations accessible by car on gravel roads, and the CJH staff will transport people in golf carts or a van, if needed.

Please let us know your needs on the housing form. That information will help us decide on housing assignments.

Medical Personnel

A meeting of participants with medical training will be held early in the week. As needs arise, those people may be called on for first aid or assistance in assessing emergency situations.

Questions?

If you have questions, call or email the District Office.

meg Riley 2009 184x196Rev. Meg Riley

Theme Speaker and leader for a workshop

Rev. Meg A. Riley has been Senior Minister of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, a 3,500 member Unitarian Universalist Church Without Walls since August 2010. She has worked in the intersection of religion and culture in a variety of contexts, including serving as Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association's Advocacy and Witness staff group, Office of Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay Concerns, Washington Office for Advocacy, Youth Programs, and as a religious educator in several Unitarian Universalist congregations. Meg is a Huffington Post blogger and is currently President of the Board of Faith in Public Life: A Resource Center for Justice and the Common Good.

Rev. Kelli ClementRev. Kelli Clement

Chaplain and Evening Vespers leader and leader for a workshop

Rev. Kelli Clement is the Executive Director of the MN Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. A Unitarian Universalist Community Minister, she is affiliated with First Universalist Church, Minneapolis. At United Theological Seminary she was the coordinator of the UU Student Group as well as Seminarians for Choice and is currently a member of the national speakers bureau of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project. Kelli has a particular interest in the intersection of pastoral care and social justice. With a background in theatre, her worship leadership experience is informed by the need to make meaning from human stories. When her family was living in the Netherlands last year, Kelli was privileged to speak at UU congregations in Amsterdam, Basel, Brussels, Paris, & rural Germany. Kelli lives with husband Mike (whom she met at a pro-choice rally!), daughter Fia, & poodle Memphis near Lake Nokomis in south Minneapolis.

Ginny MalcomsonGinny Malcomson

Children’s Program Coordinator

Ginny has been a naturalist since 1996. Working with Polk County Conservation, she has provided countless opportunities for all ages to engage in nature through field trips, public programs, and nature-related trips, but the accomplishments she is most proud of were providing parents and teachers opportunities to engage in environmental education with their young children. She co-created Toddling on the Wildside, an environmental education program for toddlers and their parents through E Resources Group, co-founded KinderNature, an environmental education resource website and presented ICN workshops for early childhood educators through Story County Conservation and Iowa Public Television. Her favorite 'jobs' are mom to daughter, Lauren and wife to husband, Rob.

This is Ginny’s fifth year working with children at Camp StarTrail.

Wendy Sullivan

Assistant Children's Program Coordinator

Leslie MillsLeslie Mills

Youth Program Coordinator

Leslie Mills grew up as a UU youth in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After graduating from Beloit College with a degree in Creative Writing and Museum Studies, she moved to Rockford, Illinois to teach science to kids of all ages at Discovery Center Museum. While there, she ran the youth volunteer program, training local teenagers to run special activities in the museum. After that, she moved to Minnesota in 2009 to begin seminary. While she was diligently studying and doing all her homework, she discovered a local shamanic drumming group, and so she has been training with them as well, learning indigenous practices that she incorporates into her ministry. Leslie was the ministerial intern at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka from 2011-2012, and during that time she worked closely with the youth group. Together, they raised funds and made a Pilgrimage to Phoenix, a 15-day roadtrip to attend General Assembly 2012. After that, Leslie came to Camp StarTrail for the first time and had such a great week with the youth that she couldn't stay away! She is absolutely delighted to be joining us again for 2013.

Ben StallingsBen Stallings

Assistant Youth Program Coordinator

Ben Stallings grew up UU at All Souls Church in Tulsa, where he got hooked on youth conferences and Southwest District's SWUUSI summer camp. After leading the UU group at Grinnell College, he became a youth adviser at First Universalist Church of Minneapolis, serving in that role for 6 years. He loves the enthusiasm and fresh perspective that our UU youth bring to every activity.

 

Jessie StallingsJessie Stallings

Coordinator of Salmagundi

This year will be Jessie’s fourth year facilitating Salmagundi art activities. Salmagundi means “a mixture” and in our activities, we encourage a mixture of all ages. Jessie is an art therapist and has facilitated art activities with individuals from 2 ½ to 90 years old. She has facilitated art at elementary schools, summer camps, treatment facilities, nursing homes, among other places. Last year art activities enjoyed by all ages included recycled bag shopping bags, altered books, and upcycled hotel soap.

JJulie Enersenulie Enersen

Coordinator of Evening Programming

Julie Enersen is the Worship Arts Director at the Unitarian Church of Lincoln (NE) where she conducts a variety of choral ensembles, performs with the contemporary house band and organizes the Drama Club for youth. Julie also serves on the conference planning committees for the UU Musicians Network and the Prairie Star District Annual Conference.She is a musical theatre performer and singer with the women’s trio, Broad Appeal.

Julie, her husband Steve, and their kids Alex and Meredith have been attending Camp StarTrail from the beginning. They look forward to it every year!

Bruce VanBronkhorstBruce Van Bronkhorst

Accompanist working on the Morning Celebration, children's rhythm band, 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. This year at Camp StarTrail Bruce will lead a music workshop for older elementary-aged children, using rhythm instruments.This is his fourth year at Camp StarTrail.

 

Barb Gutsch

Camp StarTrail Coordinator

works part-time, year around to make plans for Camp StarTrail

Activity Leaders

  • Steve Enersen
  • Rev. Kendyl Gibbons, minister All Souls UU Church, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Bob Miller
  • Sondra Smalley
  • Pam Beall Vincent

Additional leaders to be announced

District Staff Members at Camp StarTrail

Nancy 2002 cropped 150x229Nancy 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.

 

PhilLund smRev. Phillip Lund

Director of Faith Development and Congregational Growth

A graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School, Phil Lund has been part of the Prairie Star District staff since 2002. As Director of Faith Development and Congregational Growth, he coordinates the delivery of lifespan religious education and faith development services to congregations in Prairie Star. He also supports District youth programming, provides resources for young adult programming and campus ministries, and works with congregations on growth.

Camp StarTrail Planning Committee

Julie Enersen, Unitarian Church of Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
Barb Gutsch, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Salina, Salina, KS
Ginny Malcomson, First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, Des Moines, IA
Bob Miller, All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, Kansas City, MO
Nyla Romeiser, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Salina, Salina, KS
Ben Wallace, First Unitarian Church of Omaha, Omaha, NE

PSD Staff StarTrail Planners

Rev. Phillip Lund, Prairie Star District
tNancy Heege, Prairie Star District

Note: Most of the planned programs will be multigenerational.

Early Morning Activities

Before 7:30 AM

Sleep in or participate in early morning activities which could include yoga, bird watching, hiking, labyrinth, etc.

Breakfast

7:30 to 8:30 AM

Morning Celebration

8:45 to 9:00 AM

After breakfast each morning, the whole community will gather for an multigenerational worship service with music.

Theme Presentation

9:00 to 10:00 AM

The theme for the week is “Poetry and Justice” presented by Rev. Meg Riley, our theme speaker.

Workshops and Activities

10:15 to 11:45 AM

Adults and youth can choose from a variety of workshops, some of which will last through the week, others of which might be offered just once.

We expect participants, too, will want to offer workshop choices. We’ll add these as we hear about them and will have a complete list ready when people arrive at camp.

Challenge Courses

Ropes courses for almost everyone – the camp has three different ropes courses, at different heights and for people with different skill levels. The rope course activities will be facilitated by the host camp’s professional staff.

Monday through Wednesday the option of a Challenge or Ropes couse will be available with pre-registration and additional fee.

Workshops

Book Discussion Group

Led by Bob Miller

The book for an afternoon discussion group is by Chet Raymo titled Skeptics and True Believers – The Exhilarating Connection Between Science and Religion.

We’ll start each session by reading a passage that captures the main points of a particular chapter and then opening up a discussion about it.  Those who have read the book will have a deeper context for the discussion but anyone can come and join in and anyone can come to any session, each will be an independent discussion.

Here’s an except from the jacket: “Acknowledging that the scientific and the spiritual communities are increasingly split, Raymo builds strong bridges between them.  He illustrates his argument with an array of thought provoking stories such as the remarkable migratory flight of a small bird called the red knot and the long glorious glide of the comet Hyatutake across the night sky.  Together, they are compelling evidence that religion should embrace the reliable knowledge of the world that science provides, while at the same time science should respect and nourish humankind’s need for spiritual sustenance.  “ Miracles are explainable”, Raymo paraphrases the writer Tim Robinson, “it is the explanations that are miraculous”.

Writers' Group

Conveners: Steve Enersen and Sondra Smalley

An informal group of writers will gather together at Camp StarTrail again this year. Writers are encouraged with prompts to write something each day to bring the next day to share. Could be a poem, an essay, a short play, a dialog, fiction, non-fiction—whatever the writer chooses. Each writer has the option of requesting feedback from the rest of the group or not.

 

Alternatives

Adult participants have the option to use the workshops times to socialize, read, explore the camp, practice their talent show presentation, etc.

Lunch

12:00 to 12:45 PM

Free Time

1:00 to 1:30 PM

Salmagundi!

1:30 to 3:00 PMA time for multigenerational camp activities

Salmagundi means a mixture of otherwise unrelated ingredients. We will meet after lunch every day for our own Salmagundi: a mixture of people, a mixture of ages, doing a mixture of activities. Folks may choose where they would like to mix.

The Commitment Trail will be an option on Wednesday with pre-registration and additional fee required for adults.Afternoon Free Time

3:30 to 5:15 PM

Water ActivitiesThe camp has a swimming pool and a small lake with canoes.

Hiking and Trail RidesThe camp has hiking trails.

There are guided horseback trail rides at nearby Platte River State Park.

Field TripsThere are other opportunities within a few miles, including the Strategic Air and Space Museum, Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, and Mahoney State Park with an Aquatic Center and an Activity Center with indoor playground. There are also several golf courses.

Trail Head

5:30 to 6:00 PM

Activity for all ages: gathering outside the dining hall for sidewalk chalk, face painting, bubbles, and other fun things.

Social Hour for Adults

5:30 to 6:00 PM

All adults are welcome to gather in Swanson Center for conversation with snacks and beverages (including alcoholic beverages) you provide. Children cannot be present.

Dinner

6:00 to 6:45 AM

Vespers

7:00 to 7:30 PM

After supper each evening, we will gather for 30 minutes of storytelling and song, meditation, reflection, or prayer. Led by Rev. Kelli Clement, this participatory, multigenerational worship service will be designed to connect us to our shared camp experiences of the day and to welcome our evening together.

Evening Program

7:30 to 8:30 PM

A variety of multigenerational activities including a hootenanny/sing-a-long, campfire, dance, talent show, and more.

Gathering Time for Adults

8:30 to ??

Camp StarTrail Logo

Campers can choose from a variety of workshops and activities, some of which will last through the week, others of which might be offered just once.

We expect participants, too, will want to offer workshop choices. We’ll add these as we hear about them.

Workshops will be offered during the following times:

10:15 to 11:45 AM and1:30 to 3:00 PM and3:00 to 5:15 PM

A compl

ete schedule with all workshops will be ready when people arrive at camp.

Workshops and Interest Groups

Book Discussion Group

Led by Bob Miller

The book for a discussion group is Skeptics and True Believers – The Exhilarating Connection Between Science and Religion by Chet Raymo.

We’ll start each session by reading a passage that captures the main points of a particular chapter and then opening up a discussion about it.  Those who have read the book will have a deeper context for the discussion but anyone can come and join in and anyone can come to any session, each will be an independent discussion.

Here’s an except from the jacket: “Acknowledging that the scientific and the spiritual communities are increasingly split, Raymo builds strong bridges between them.  He illustrates his argument with an array of thought provoking stories such as the remarkable migratory flight of a small bird called the red knot and the long glorious glide of the comet Hyatutake across the night sky.  Together, they are compelling evidence that religion should embrace the reliable knowledge of the world that science provides, while at the same time science should respect and nourish humankind’s need for spiritual sustenance.  “ Miracles are explainable”, Raymo paraphrases the writer Tim Robinson, “it is the explanations that are miraculous”.

Writers' Group

Convened by Steve Enersen and Sondra Smalley

An informal group of writers will gather together at Camp StarTrail again this year. Writers are encouraged with prompts to write something each day to bring the next day to share. Could be a poem, an essay, a short play, a dialog, fiction, non-fiction—whatever the writer chooses. Each writer has the option of requesting feedback from the rest of the group or not.

Worship

Led by Rev. Kelli Clement and Pam Beall Vincent

A 2-session workshop on worship.

Topic to be a

nnounced

Led by Rev. Kendyl Gibbons

 

Strike Up the Band!

Led by Bruce Van Bronkhorst

Older elementary kids are invited to join Bruce in an exploration of rhythm instruments in an afternoon workshop. Let’s make some NOISE!

 

Challenge Courses

Ropes courses for almost everyone – the camp has three different ropes courses, at different heights and for people with different skill levels. The rope course activities will be facilitated by the host camp’s professional staff.

Monday through Wednesday the option of a Challenge or Ropes couse will be available with pre-registration and additional fee. More information available soon.Alternatives

Participants have the option to use the workshop times to socialize, read, explore the camp, practice their talent show presentation, etc.

­