Camp Howard photos
Bill Fogarty, Camp Howard director, speaks with a camper.
Camp Howard photos
Bill Fogarty, Camp Howard director, speaks with a camper.
CORBETT — Camp Howard celebrated its 60th anniversary with self-guided tours, a pulled-pork barbecue in Gimpl Dining Hall, Camp Howard Coffee Club gift bags, and the “Countryfied” band to entertain guests.

The day began with a special thank-you event for major donors called Champions of Faith and other individual donors. Then the camp opened for the general public. More than 350 people attended.

Guests could hear “Countryfied” all over camp. Mark and Ron Mobley from Kent in north-central Oregon, the band's leaders, were classmates of Sister Krista and grounds manager Karen von Borstel. The Mobleys were excited to add Camp Howard onto their Pacific Northwest tour.

Camp Howard has already had a successful season, judging by camper registrations. As of July 25, registrations had reached 1,450, the second highest since the record-breaking year in 2011 when enrollment hit 1,513.

Campers have been pleasantly surprised this summer with the renovation of the Star Deck. The original Star Deck was built in 1988 by the Knights of Columbus from Gresham. The self-standing elevated wooden patio, set on a nearby hillside, was a treasured feature of the camp for many years, but had to be taken down in 2009.

Camp Howard raised the funds to rebuild it almost immediately, with the help of an anonymous donor and others. Earlier this spring, Schommer and Sons came up to the camp and assembled the platform. Campers have been wild about it.

As Bill Fogarty begins his second season as camp director, he could not be happier with Camp Howard’s success. Fogarty, a parishioner at St. Juan Diego in Northwest Portland, has assembled what he calls a "first class" staff to work with youth and provide an extraordinary summer of fun for the campers.

Camp Howard is experiencing some of the best days in its history under the steady hand of leaders working to present the most positive possible experience for campers. In addition to Fogarty, Karen von Borstel keeps the grounds and facilities in shape and operates a pool and kitchen that have received exceptional reviews from the Clackamas County Health Inspector. The inspector recently mentioned that Camp Howard is the most well kept camp she inspects. She sent her own child to camp there.

The Camp Howard mission is to facilitate a camping experience for youth from all walks of life to provide a week of recreational fun based on Christian values. The goal was originally established by the founders of the camp back in 1952 and has been adhered to ever since. From the looks of the evaluations and responses from campers and parents, the ideals are succeeding.

Camp Howard would like to thank all of those who have contributed to the improvement of the camp through the Champions of Faith Benefit Dinner, individual donors, especially Joseph Weston, and the Christ Child Society for their support over the years.

The writer is executive director of CYO/Camp Howard.