9/17/2013 2:06:00 PM Help! It's Raining and there's No Place to Go!
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
Sister Krista von Borstel tells a group at family camp about the need for a cover on basketball courts at Camp Howard.
Sr. Krista von Borstel Executive Director, CYO/Camp Howard
Camp Howard has programs and facilities to delight campers during the summer. One thing the camp is missing, though, is a covered area for rainy days.
Let’s put this in perspective. Karen von Borstel, facility manager at Camp Howard, is a pretty humorous individual. She knows what the weather is like at camp year round, especially during the rainy season. Consider the fact that the camp is located in a rain forest and receives twice as much rain as the Portland area. Hard to imagine? It’s true. Karen lightheartedly suggests that when you watch the weather report on the TV news, be sure to pay attention to the little yellow dot that indicates high quantity rainfall. It’s usually located right over the camp she says, laughing.
“When it rains it pours” was one of the lines that was first spoken by someone at Camp Howard back in 1952. If you look up the source of that saying, I am sure it originated at Camp Howard.
While July and August are generally dry, September through June provide much of the area’s 200+ inches of annual rainfall. The rain pours off of the buildings, overflows out of the gutters and in a very short time will drench you unless you are wearing rain gear.
Don’t get me wrong, we love that rain. The forest depends on it. The growth each year is phenomenal thanks to the fall and winter rains we experience. The Camp is located above the Bull Run Reservoir overlooking a spectacular view of Douglas firs, Oregon’s number one cash crop tree.
But what do you do with 250 kids on a gully washer of a day? The counselors are very creative with fun projects and things to do. Some programs, however, are difficult to carry on in the rainy weather. Imagine a covering over our basketball courts and the possibilities this could offer the camp in inclement weather.
A covered area for kids to play is a very reasonable and needed structure for the camp to ensure that even in July and August there will be a place for 200+ campers to enjoy the outdoors and have fun. Cabins are very small on rainy days, as you can probably imagine. Among the needs at Camp Howard, a covered play area for kids rank is at the top.