Emmanuel Ramos stands by the archery target during a Camp Howard summer session this year.
Emmanuel Ramos stands by the archery target during a Camp Howard summer session this year.
CORBETT — More than 1,200 youths from around the Portland area and nearby states attended Camp Howard this summer.

Campers were treated to an entire summer of using the new Mary’s Lodge dining hall, which won approval of all as evidenced by surveys. Camp food also ranked high.

Highlights included a youth leadership group including Paige Allie as program director, Phillip Kent as Cougar Den director, Anthony Fergusson as Sparpole Unit director, Hanna Duffy as Aldergrove Unit director, Emilie Cochran as Fircrest Unit director, Madeline Parvankin as Greenwood Unit director, Nick Krautscheid as CIT director and Kay Green as mini-camp and day camp director. Nora Gravengaard, Camp Howard director, said the team was one of the best in her tenure, citing their growth in maturity and ability from last year.

Campers gave high marks to programs, especially laser tag, pedal carts, giant swing, zip line and swimming. Arts and crafts, led by Maria Wanner, were hugely popular as was archery directed by Eric Gravengaard.

Maverick, a baby calf being raised by year-round camp staff, was a feature of this year’s camp and was adored by campers and staff alike.

More than 120 campers received the coveted “Cougar Award” over the course of the summer with several others receiving second, third, fourth and fifth year beads to add to their hard-earned collections. The award is handed out to one camper in every cabin on Thursday nights. Qualifications include being helpful, other-centered, thoughtful and a good friend to all campers in the cabin. Most often, the awardee is determined by the cabin counselor or the cabin participants.

A new camp director, to be determined, will lead the camp in 2020 as Nora Gravengaard will provide backup from the CYO office. Her technical skills and assistance are her best qualities and will be put to good use supporting the new director, staff said.

Plans for the 2020 season will begin in September as the team looks over evaluations submitted by campers.

The next print issue of the Catholic Sentinel includes a special pullout section on CYO/Camp Howard.