The Camp Howard Dining Hall was built in 1953 after the Horton Family made a land donation to St. Vincent de Paul for the purpose of a Catholic youth camp. Archbishop Howard accepted the gift and the Hortons encouraged the naming of the camp after the Archbishop. The camp was first known as Camp Howard of Oregon.
The deed was signed, turning the tree farm property over to Camp Howard of Oregon in January of 1953. In April, the dining hall, a unit of 6 cabins, a showerhouse, staff cabins, a facility manager’s home and a water system were built and installed.
The first camping session began in June of 1953.
CYO/Camp Howard is working on a capital campaign to raise funds to replace the dining hall at the camp. 2.8 million has been raised with a goal of 3.5 million.
The dining hall has served over 100,000 campers over the years and has proved to be the heart of the camp as any kitchen tends to be. The time has come, however, to replace the aged building. The new building will include a foundation and restrooms among other modern conveniences. Due to structural issues that would cost a great deal of money to repair, the old building will be eventually removed.
The dining hall was named “Gimple Hall” in 2002 to honor Father Carl Gimpl, the second camp director at the camp with a record 25 years of service at the camp.
HISTORY IN PHOTOS:
ABOVE: 1953 newly finished Camp Dining Hall. First campers line up for meal time.
ABOVE: 1953 Camp Howard Dining Hall meal time! Half the dining hall used as chapel in early years.
ABOVE 1999 Camp Howard Dining Hall
ABOVE 1999 Camp Howard Dining Hall. the covered wings were added in 1978.
ABOVE 1999 Camp Howard Dining Hall – Note, no windows in the lower part. These would be added in 2001.
ABOVE 1999 Camp Howard Dining Hall – Note the ramp added for wheel chair access. The old stairs are still visible.
ABOVE 1999 Camp Howard Dining Hall – the building is perched on pier blocks
ABOVE 1999 Camp Howard Dining Hall – Front View
ABOVE 2001 Camp Howard Dining Hall – Windows are added at the ends of the building greatly improving the light inside. (Dick Weigel in pink shirt – Board President at the time.)
ABOVE: Windows are in and now a little trim paint to be introduced!
ABOVE: Camp Howard Dining Hall front view 2008
ABOVE: Camp Howard Dining Hall 3/4 view 2008
ABOVE: Camp Howard Dining Hall freshly stained and trimmed 2011. Looks pretty good doesn’t it?
ABOVE: Camp Howard Dining Hall freshly stained and trimmed 2011 front and side
ABOVE: Camp Howard Dining Hall 2015.