One of Archbishop Alexander Sample’s first comments upon arriving in Portland as its new archbishop in 2013 was his excitement to explore the outdoor wonders of the Pacific Northwest.

“I love the outdoors,” Archbishop Sample said with his trademark grin at his introductory press conference. “In the wintertime, I’m cross-country skiing and in the summertime, I like to bike, including mountain biking. I think on that level, this is going to be a pretty good match.”

It’s no surprise, then, that the shepherd of western Oregon likes the sparkle of one of the area’s greatest jewels: Camp Howard, nestled in the foothills of Mount Hood. The camp gives young people opportunities not just to grow spiritually but to become leaders in their faith, their families and their communities.

“This is something very unique,” Archbishop Sample said in a video promoting last year’s CYO/Camp Howard Champions of Faith Dinner. “It’s something that brings young people together not just from one family or one parish or even one area, but from all over.

“This whole social aspect of human life is so important for our young people, and they've been deprived of it for so long. Now more than ever, CYO and Camp Howard are going to play an essential role in helping rebuild the lives of our young people.”

Camp Howard, which provides summer camps and youth activities with the hope that youth are encouraged to use their talents in service to others and their community, is “an incredible work of the church and our community in western Oregon.”

“Long after I finish my time here,” the archbishop said, “I would love to know that the programs of CYO and Camp Howard are continuing for the generations to come.”

“Archbishop Sample is a great example of how the CYO philosophy benefits all youth,” Sister Krista von Borstel, executive director of CYO/Camp Howard, said in 2019. “There is a place for you in CYO sports no matter how talented you are and a requirement that everyone play a minimum designated playing time” adds Sister Krista. “Team sports undoubtedly helped Archbishop Sample learn some life skills that have made him successful as a leader.”