Marshall Leathers
Marshall Leathers
Marshall Leathers was a believer in Camp Howard decades ago when he was a camper. Now he sees how the camp nurtures his own children.

“It’s a great opportunity to develop who you are, to grow your own wings,” he said. “You learn about the values that the Catholic Church teaches, but at camp they’re instilled in you — you have a chance to live them.”

Leathers noted that camp is a great opportunity for kids to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

“You may not know anyone, but you’re in the same boat as everyone else. Whether you think you’re a cool kid or a dorky kid, you’re all going through the same thing together,” he said.

Leathers heard from his kids that they met campers from all over the Portland metro area, kids who go to various Catholic schools and kids who attend public school.

Those familiar with Camp Howard know that activities like arts and crafts and outdoor fun fill the kids’ days. The campers inhale what they’re learning about virtue along with the fresh air.

Not only that, but the kids get a much-needed break from electronics.

Stephanie Cotton Faillace said that particular benefit has made a notable impact on her son, who has carried on with archery outdoors.

He also learned self-worth and coping skills, Faillace said. “He made friends and really benefitted from the positive environment.”

She did too.

Faillace was a parent volunteer counselor in Aldergrove unit, staying overnight with 12-year-old girls.

“I enjoyed going back to camp, and when I got back home I found myself without stress for a week,” she said.

Faillace sees Camp Howard’s benefits lasting a lifetime. “It makes kids better citizens,” she said.

Leathers agrees. “The values they emphasize at Camp Howard stay with you all your life if they’re instilled when you’re young.”

Living in community, youths are face-to-face with others, making it harder to only think about oneself. They also practice habits that make living together easier, safer and more enjoyable, hearing the rules from someone other than their parents.

“They benefit from being outside and out of their comfort zone,” said Faillace.

“That’s important for my kids to experience,” added Leathers.

His two children both said their participation at Camp Howard was a great experience: “They just wished it were longer.”

Chris Storm, campus minister for Holy Trinity School in Beaverton, said the fact that Camp Howard is a trusted organization meant a lot to him and his wife. His children also take part in CYO. “There’s an influence at CYO and Camp Howard toward good sportsmanship for parents that you might not get in other settings,” he said.

Storm also appreciates that Camp Howard has strict rules that guard the campers. “They’re protective of the kids,” he said.

Storm, whose children are third-generation campers, thinks the values and experiences at camp are lasting influences. “They remember camp better than they remember school,” he said.