For the four oldest children of Natalie and Jeff Duffy, a weeklong adventure at Camp Howard seemed a dream beyond grasp.

Quinn, the oldest of the Duffys’ six sons, had attended the camp last summer and was eager to return. Three of his younger brothers were charged up for the same high-energy week in the outdoors. But costs appeared prohibitive for the Southeast Portland family, so the kids abandoned their plan to sell lemonade to pay for camp.

When the Duffy parents learned about a Camp Howard scholarship program, they decided to apply even though they doubted they could get help for all four boys. But when Camp Howard offered partial scholarships for the boys, who are between ages 7 to 13, their dreams for summer came true.

“That was kind of beyond our imagination,” said their mother Natalie, owner of Gifts of the Spirit, an online Catholic bookstore. “We were overcome with gratitude that we could send all four.”

Those scholarships are among the hundreds made possible through the CYO/Camp Howard Champions of Faith scholarship fund. The fund provides assistance to about a quarter of Camp Howard campers. Camp officials say that all who have applied receive at least a partial scholarship.

The Duffy campers were Quinn, 13; Teagan, 11; Shae, 10; and Emmet 7. In a phone conversation, the boys say what they liked most at Camp Howard were time around the campfire, playing tag, shooting BB guns and archery.

Quinn and Shea each won Cougar awards. The awards recognize attributes such as helping with cleanup after every meal, showing excellent behavior in a cabin, and helping others.

The Duffy family includes Rónán, a five-year old who has Down Syndrome, and Niall age 3. A baby girl is due Sept. 27. The busy family recently moved to a new home in outer Southeast Portland, and last year Natalie began home schooling her children. Husband Jeff works as a recruiter for Hewlett-Packard.

With the glow of Camp Howard still strong, the older children are already selling lemonade to help cover next year’s costs.

“We’re doing it to go back to Camp Howard next year,” Quinn said.