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For the past 150 years, the Catholic Sentinel has connected generations of parishioners to what’s happening in western Oregon and beyond with information that they trust.  CYO/Camp Howard has partnered with the Sentinel since 1952, and ever since, we’ve delivered in print the excitement of CYO programs and the achievements of our kids to families, friends, and future campers and athletes.

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The Last Thing I Did…..

In December of 1979 I was asked to make a sign commemorating the area the Oregon Trail passed through Sherman County. I had just finished student teaching and had graduated from Oregon State University. I was waiting for February 3, 1980 to enter the convent with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon in Beaverton. A women’s group in the North end of Sherman County asked me if I would make a sign for them. I told them I would be happy to do it. It would be the last thing I would do before entering the convent.

I was living at home on the farm near Kent, OR the southern most part of the county. Wasco was toward the north end of the County. Sherman is the second smallest county in Oregon, only Wheeler is smaller in both population and acreage. The Columbia River to the north, the Deschutes to the west and the John Day to the East cut out the shape of the county.

I found several good pieces of Douglas Fir in the loft of the barn. Who knows how long it had been there. It was just what I needed as it was two inches thick, almost a foot wide and 5′ long. I laminated the pieces together with pegs and clamps to get them to the size I needed. I went to work hand routering the design onto the wood. After finishing, I painted it and finished it. The whole project took about two weeks to complete. I delivered it to the ladies in Wasco and they got one of the farmers to put it up. I saw it over the course of 40 years as I traveled home from time to time.

My cousin, Carsten von Borstel who lives in the county told me the sign had been reported stolen this fall. Someone had seen it in the back of a pickup truck on its way out of the county. There was a lot of commotion on the Sherman County Facebook page over the sign. People were pretty upset by it. No one really knew the details of the sign or how it got to mark the location. My cousin, Carsten informed them. I reached out and told them I would make a new sign. I am posting a photo of the old sign on this blog and at a later date will post the new sign. I have finished routering it on a CNC machine and am in the process of paining it now. It is a different design entirely from the first one. Stay tuned!

1980 Oregon Trail sign commemorating site in Sherman County, Oregon where the trail passed through the county.

2020…Reflections on Entering a New Decade

Like many people, I like to usher the new year in by going through my calendar, making notes of the highlights and lowlights of the year, write up the highlights in my Christmas card and do a general self reflection as we turn the corner into January.

With the beginning of a new decade, it seems that deeper reflection is called for. As we look at our personal timelines, some of us are looking at the second half of the timeline, the downhill side! For me, that makes reflection as well as staying on track important!

I would like to share some questions I used from a Google search which I tweaked and made my own. I hope you might find them worthy to consider! Happy New Year!


What was one of my best decisions? How did it impact my life?

How am I thoroughly different today compared to who I was in 2010? How am I the exact same as who I was in 2010?

Which people have been the core anchors of my life over the past decade? Who have I relied on in my moments of need?

What has been my deepest suffering and what have I done to embrace it or heal it? How have I chosen to deny it or run away from it?

What have been my sources of deep wisdom, faith and intelligence?

Where have I already achieved intense excellence? Why did that happen?

What were my peak experiences of the past ten years that lead to joy and peace?

Have I found a tribe that I feel deeply aligned with? If no, what concrete things am I really seeking, and why haven’t I found them yet?

What are the most important memories of the past decade and how will I carry them with me?


What do I want to achieve in the next ten years?

Am I willing to embark on a bold adventure if life invites me on a journey?

What will I do for the first time in my life?

What will keep me grounded, mentally and physically in the years ahead?

What am I going to do to heal my traumas? How far am I willing to go to really deal with problems?

How am I going to do a better job of exploring and being my true self? (Spiritually, authentic personality, deepest talents, passions, artistic expression, inner voice.)

How do I see my relationship with God as a factor in how I will live my life the next ten years?

How am I going to fully activate in the years ahead? How am I committing to live the most dynamic, intentional, profound, authentic and aligned years of my life?


Bill Gates said, “We overestimate what we can accomplish in a year and underestimate what we can accomplish in ten years.”

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Plato

The unexamined life is not worth living, but the unlived life is not worth examining.” Andrew Klavan, The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ

Lisa Sanders Presents CYO/Camp Howard to East Portland Rotary

Thank you to Central East Portland Rotary for inviting CYO/Camp Howard to present today

Mark your calendars for our 9th annual Champions of Faith Benefit Dinner – October 15th

Photo – Lisa Sanders, our Development Director, Rotarian – Eric Johnston, a 2018 Champions of Faith sponsor and Ron Quinonez, Jr. an Executive Board Member for CYO/Camp Howard.

Why Making Friends Is One of the Most Important Things That Happens at Summer Camp|American Camping Association

Join us this summer at Camp Howard for a week of making friends, experiencing the great outdoors and fantastic fun designed just for you! Rated “Best Camp Food” by the campers! #CampHoward

Former CYO Athletes Sign to Colleges

Congratulations to the six Jesuit Seniors, former CYO athletes, who signed on February 7th to compete in sports in college.

Left to right: Evan, Joe, Will, Sara, Emily & Anna. See below for their sports and colleges they will be attending.

Emily Buchholz, Fordham University, Crew

Anna Fanelli, Colorado College, Basketball

Joseph Quillin, Air Force Academy, Football

Sara Sanders, Oregon State University, Track & Field

Will Spitznagel, University of Oregon, Baseball

Evan Wyno, Marquette University, Lacross

We invite parents of seniors from all high schools to share their school’s CYO athletic college signings photos and details with us. We would like to blog about all of our CYO seniors who will be competing in college. 

Rhonda Shelby Thoughts on CYO and Camp Howard

Spotlight on Rhonda Shelby – CYO & Camp Howard supporter and volunteer!

Portland, Oregon’s Rhonda Shelby, local weather celebrity weighs in on CYO/Camp Howard

CYO and Camp Howard programs operate due to the amazing support of over 1,500 volunteers across the Portland Metro and SW Washington area. Over 11,000 youth participate in our programs annually due to your support and volunteers like Rhonda Shelby.

A few member of the CYO team got a chance to visit with Rhonda to learn more about her family’s participation in CYO Sports and Camp Howard. Below are links to two short video clips.

Rhonda Shelby – Sports Teaser Trailer:

Rhonda Shelby – Camp Teaser Trailer:

Giving the Best of Yourself

I was thrilled to find this wonderful document about the Christian perspective on sport and the human person. I have long believed that sports are crucial to the school day, that contests help promote schools AND that occasional games on Sunday’s, outside of Mass times, are a wholesome and appropriate activity for youth. Please enjoy the following short excerpt taken from the document:

“The Church has been engaged in dialogue with sport from the earliest years of its existence. It is well known that St. Paul used sports metaphors to explain the Christian life to the Gentiles. In the medieval period, lay Catholics played games and sports on feast days, which accounted for a good deal of the year, as well as on Sundays. Such play found theological support in the writing of Thomas Aquinas who argued that there can be “a virtue about games” because virtue has to do with moderation. A virtuous person, by this account, should not be working all the time, but also needs time for play and recreation. The humanists of the Renaissance and the early Jesuits made use of Thomas Aquinas’ understanding of virtue when they decided that students needed time for play and recreation during the course of the school day. This was the original rationale for the inclusion of play and sports in educational institutions in the Western world.”

The beautiful document is worthy of a read by of us! Enjoy!