CYO/Camp Howard photos
Archbishop Alexander Sample presides during Mass at Camp Howard
CYO/Camp Howard photos
Archbishop Alexander Sample presides during Mass at Camp Howard
CYO Camp Howard, Oregon’s Catholic summer camp, marked its 61st year with sessions running July 6-Aug. 15.

Camp Howard began humbly in 1953 as the realization of a vision of Portland’s Catholic leadership of the time.

This year’s highlights includes near-record attendance, new programs and popular old standards, an energized camp staff and administration focus on camper health and safety and efficient operations.

This year, 1,470 campers came for a week or more. The total was just shy of the all time high of 1,523 served in 2013 and marked the fourth consecutive season of attendance exceeding 1400. Soon, the camp probably will hit capacity of 1,600 for the season, meaning new cabin construction will become a priority.

New programs included the “What’s Your Act” theatrical camp, “Tool Time” camp (do-it-yourself for campers) and a “Budding Artists” camp featuring guest artist, Gail Joseph, who taught campers acrylic painting on canvas. Traditional favorites including general camp, paintball camp, “Tour de Camp” and Spy Kids camp drew hundreds back.

During the off season after summer camp 2013 the administrative team met monthly to review, suggest, plan and implement new procedures. On the team are St. Mary Sister Krista von Borstel, executive director; Bill Fogarty, camp director; Candace Trapp, assistant camp director; and Karen von Borstel, facility manager.

The initiative resulted in several improvements: certification training for staff charged with food service and camp hygiene, pre-camp health screening, and a return to assigning cabins prior to arrival so staff can anticipate needs. There will be similar meetings this off-season.

The premier event of the year was hosting Archbishop Alexander Sample for his first official visit to Camp Howard. On Aug. 15, the archbishop celebrated a camp Mass for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the close of the camp season. The archbishop got a tour an lunched outdoors with staff.

Camp Howard came about because of the vision of the Catholic Social Council and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Portland.

The Eugene Horton family donated 160 acres in 1953. It was named Camp Howard to honor Archbishop Edward Howard.

A total of 378 boys and girls spent a week or more at Camp Howard that first summer under the guidance of the original 20-member camp staff.