Karen (Camp Howard Facility Manager) and I took a tour of Camp Howard this past week and I have to tell you…doesn’t matter when you go up there, the scenes are always different! The Bull Run River lies between Camp Howard and the magnificent view of the Bull Run Reservoir. Mt. Hood is perched above and behind the hills where a partial view is still stunning. On this day, a thick bed of opaque clouds filled the valley between the camp and the other side of the gorge holding the Bull Run River. It was spectacular!
We toured around the camp where she and her trusty helper, Larry Wood have been cleaning up from the fuel reduction project at Camp by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry this past summer which completes 3 summers of work on fuel reduction. What is fuel reduction? It is the removal of the flammable brush under the forest that is the real culprit in the case of a fire. This flammable material helps fuel the fire and destroy the trees.
The result of this process has been a cleaner camp, made it possible to continue the process of cleaning up the forest floor, and increased the ability of the camp to fight a forest fire.
The winter improvement project this year is the renovation of the interior of the Greenwood cabins. We did the interiors of Fircrest cabins last winter so it is time for Greenwood! Little girls up to age 10 stay in Fircrest and little boys of the same age stay in the Greenwood cabins. The little boys will be happy to come to camp next summer and see the improvements made. What are we doing?
All of the walls in the cabin are being repainted and then the bunks are getting a nice enamel coat. The light fixture covers are being replaced which will give the rooms a brighter cleaner look. Mirrors will be installed on the walls. Karen is taking all of the windows out of all the cabins, removing the paint, removing the window pane, putting new windows in if necessary, glazing the windows, priming the wood then putting a coat of enamel on the windows and finally painting the interior of the door.
The Fircrest and Greenwood cabins are the original 12 cabins at Camp Howard. I expect we will get many more years out of the cabins due to the good work done by the staff on the buildings. Last year, Bill Fogarty who runs the camps summer activity programs, stayed on for a few weeks and led a paint crew in staining and trimming the exteriors of the cabins.