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8/18/2014 10:57:00 AM
Gathering celebrates families at Camp Howard
CYO/Camp Howard photos by Jolie Abraham/Phanton
Emma Wycoff shows her catch at the Camp Howard pond.
CYO/Camp Howard photos by Jolie Abraham/Phanton
Emma Wycoff shows her catch at the Camp Howard pond.
Dinner during family camp allows families time to get to know each other.
Dinner during family camp allows families time to get to know each other.
Jolie Abraham Phanton

CORBETT — Families gathered last month for a fun-filled weekend at Camp Howard’s annual Family Camp.

On the first night, campgoers enjoyed a meal followed by a campfire presentation from St. Mary of Oregon Sister Krista von Borstel, executive director of CYO/Camp Howard. The talk educated folks about the history of the camp, which is entering its 61st year.

The addition of an outdoor movie with fresh popcorn proved to be a hit.  Toy Story played while families sat in lawn chairs or on blankets at Horton Field.

Saturday morning was filled with activities that lasted into the evening. Camp tours started things off, showcasing the camp, its buildings, pond full of trout, heated swimming pool and garden overflowing with fresh vegetables that are served in the dining hall.  The camp includes more than 250 acres of land and trees and features views of Mount Hood and Bull Run Reservoir.

Parents were able to experience the same things as children do during their weeklong sessions at summer camp. Morning activity choices included, tie dying shirts, archery, fishing, trap shooting and several games on Horton Field. Afternoon activities including swimming in the heated pool and a Slip N’ Slide. There was also a trap-shooting tournament and five kids participated in the basketball tournament on the Christ Child Courts.

Before dinner, a Mass was held at the Wy’East campfire pit, said by Father Pat Walsh who comes up every week during summer camp to say Mass for the kids.

A hamburger barbecue was served outside under the tents, followed by another campfire.  Past Camp Howard directors Angie Raffaele Burns and Mike Raffaele put on a humorous skit with their kids. At the Serious Ice Cream social, more than three giant tubs of ice cream were served with numerous toppings. More than 40 people, including kids and parents packed the Star Deck as the camp ended the night with an astronomy lesson.   

On Sunday families packed up their belongings, visited the camp store one final time and said farewell to new friends.  

After five years of family camp, one of the best parts is seeing all the families that consistently return. Bill Fromherz travels from Yakima, Wash.  In years past his grandson Cameron joined him and this time he also brought along several other members of his family. The camp has grown to more than 100 people.

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