In December of 2015, we embarked on a building project to include a new dining hall at Camp Howard. Mr. Joe Weston led the campaign with a $1 million gift, and we were all inspired and encouraged by his generosity. Others joined in the effort, which helped us construct the nearly $4 million project. It was dedicated in 2018 and proved to be an incredibly functional building serving the needs of the camp. 

Elsie Franz Finley reached out and asked what our next dream was, which we articulated to be a welcome center. Why a welcome center? Hosting the Outdoor School for nearly 20 weeks requires we turn our office and meeting space over during that time — leaving our year-round staff with no place to go. The welcome center, completed in June of 2021, includes upgraded health and wellness space, year-around offices, meeting space for the Camp Howard staff, and a new camp store. The building proved to be much needed: It became the hub of camp during the summer season this June through August, providing wonderful areas to facilitate the functions of the camp.

The capstone of the capital campaign will be a new chapel/multipurpose building, located in the space previously occupied by the original dining hall, known as Gimple Hall. One million dollars has been dedicated to this project, and we hope to complete it within the next few years. In addition to satisfying the spiritual needs of the camp, the building will also be used for meetings and gathering activities for the summer camping program, the Outdoor School, and other rental groups.

The dining hall, welcome center and chapel/multipurpose building will satisfy the needs of the camp for decades to come. We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the donors who have improved Camp Howard these past seven years of fundraising.  

— Sr. Krista von Borstel, executive director of Catholic Youth Organization/Camp Howard