Camp Howard officials are seeking to cover the camp's basketball courts so children can play in the rain.
Set northeast of Sandy on the slopes of Mount Hood's foothills, Camp Howard gets twice as much annual rainfall as Portland. For most of the summer camp season, all is dry, but there's an occasional wet week. Campers have a great time anyway, but getting soaked or staying inside is not the aim of a week in the mountains.
And in fall and spring, schools who send their students to Camp Howard for outdoor school often need to make it indoor school instead because of precipitation.
Sister Krista von Borstel, executive director of CYO and Camp Howard, has a plan. She's trying to raise funds to build a cover over the camp's 20,000 square feet of basketball courts. That would allow campers to get outside even in rain to shoot hoops, invent camp games, take part in archery and riflery, do arts and crafts and perform skits.
"One of the greatest needs up there is a place for kids to play on rainy days," says Sister Krista. "A cover would allow us to continue with a variety of activities." On summer days, the roof will protect campers from excessive sun and will prolong the lifespan of the courts.
In 2007, the Christ Child Society continued decades of support for Camp Howard by paying for the courts to be built. Campers love them. Workers set in the foundation for a cover, which was to be funded later. But in 2009, the Portland Christ Child chapter disbanded.
The cover project will cost about $400,000. Plans call for metal roofing, designed to bear and shed snowfall.