Champions of Faith Testimonial With Michelle Garcia

Michelle Garcia and her husband Michael have been supporters of CYO/Camp Howard in a variety of roles.  Michelle has served most recently on our Capital Campaign Committee while her husband, Michael served on the Executive Board for several years including three years as Chairman.  Thank you, Michelle for stepping up and creating this testimonial for our annual fundraiser!  We are grateful to you.


Final Vows Sr. Rosina Pham


On August 15, 2017, Sr. Rosina Pham made her Final Vows with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (SSMO).  The ceremony took place in the Convent Chapel, Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  August 15, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, is the date which the Sisters generally make vows.  It is a very special time of the year for the Sisters and an extremely important occasion filled with joy!  Sister Rosina is a very special member of the community and works at Maryville Nursing Home, which is one of the ministries of the SSMO’s.

BELOW: Sister Rosina Pham responds to the call to live her life as a religious Sister of St. Mary of Oregon.


Archbishop Alexander Sample presides over the vow ceremony.


Sister Rosina answers, “Yes” to the call to live her life as a Sister of St. Mary of Oregon.


Sister Rita Watkins, Vicar of the Community, assists Sr. Rosina.


Sister Charlene Herinckx, Superior General of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and Sister Rosina sign the vow documents after the recitation of the public vows.


Priest friends of Sister Rosina take part in the ceremony.


Sister Rosina with her brother, parents and Archbishop Sample.


Why Contact Flag Football?


Modified Youth Football Game? As concerns over player safety mount, the national governing body for youth and high school football has been working on modifying versions of the youth football game that look radically different from what football fans might expect of Tackle Football for 3rd through 8th grade participants. Unlike sports like baseball – which has progression levels from T-ball up and suited to each age group – youth football has had few alternatives to flag and tackle versions. Now a new game format has been developed, we call Contact Flag, and is a modified youth football game that bridges 5 player Flag with 11 player Tackle Football. Effective Fall 2017, CYO Football in partnership with the Pacific Youth Football League (PYFL), will adopt the new Contact Flag football game format for the 3/4 grade division level.


Above: The Regis Ram CYO Youth Football Team at the 2016 Playoffs.

CYO Youth Football Progression Levels

  • Grade K-2 Flag Football
    • 5-on-5, 40 Yard Field, Shorts, Flag Belt
  • Grade 3-4 Contact Flag Football
    • 7-on-7 or 8-on-8, 40 Yard Field, Helmet, Shoulder Pads, Shorts, Flag Belt
  • Grade 5-6, 7, 8 Tackle Football
    • 11-on-11, 100 Yard Field, Helmet, Shoulder Pads, Padded Pants

Contact Flag Football Overview

  • It’s modified to be leaner, less contact-inclined football game, focused on fostering well-rounded athletes and cutting down on the kinds of high impact, open-field contact that injure players and upset parents in the bleachers.
  • Players still wear football helmets and shoulder pads. From the waist down they wear shorts, flag belt and cleats.
  • The modified game is played on a smaller football field, which dramatically shrinks the 100-yard field to a length of 40 yards. This length allows a typical field to be split in half, so that two separate games can be played on the same surface at once. Hash marks will be the side-lines.
  • Seven players on each side. In a tackle football game, 11 players for each team would be on the field at once; in the modified version that number is reduced to seven – though we have not ruled out the possibility of anywhere from six to eight.
  • Three offensive and defensive line positions. All other positions (QB, RB, WR) advance the ball or defend (LB, DB, S) against advancement.
  • Players at the line of scrimmage are not allowed to be in a “three-point stance” – a body position that allows for great leverage and more power off the line. Lineman are required to be in a two-point stance.
  • There will be no special teams. In other words, that means no kick-off, punts, etc. in an attempt to cut down on open-field contact those plays often involve that cause injury.
  • Players must rotate positions, rather than specialize in just one. All too often kids lose interest in football because they never touch the ball. This format gives everyone the chance to throw, catch and run the ball.
  • Coaches must ensure players of equal size are matched up against each other. Grade divisions, weight and size are all considered for a better and safer game.

The overall aim of the modified youth football game is to create a progression from K-2 Flag Football that will allow young athletes to have a successful and fun experience while being introduced to the fundamentals of Tackle Football at the 5-6 and 7-8 division levels


Thank you to all who contacted me this past week offering help to evacuate if needed.  That was so kind of you.  We know we have a lot of friends who would come at a moments notice and that is pretty special.  We are all touched at your thoughtfulness.

While we are grateful that we were very fortunate in this situation, there were many people who suffered great losses and our thoughts and prayers go out to them.  We also look across the country to our brothers and sisters affected by the massive hurricanes.  We pray for them as they undergo these tremendous forces of nature.

With gratitude,

Sr. Krista and the entire CYO/Camp Howard Staff

Camp Staff Tackle End of Season Projects


Several summer camp staff members stayed on with Camp Howard to tackle  projects for maintenance.  Each year one of the units of cabins is selected to work on in a scheduled sequence to keep the buildings in good repair. This year, the two original units, Fircrest and Greenwood were pressure washed, stained and trimmed.  The roofs were cleaned, boards were replaced as needed and the buildings were readied for another 6 years of service.  That is the number of years it generally takes to get back to the unit for another spruce up o the exterior.  Other projects are also taken on by the crew to get the camp ready for another year.  The staff always do a spectacular job and it is a joy to work with them.

Unfortunately this years work party was cut short due to the Gorge Fire.  Hopefully a few more days of work time will be available before everyone heads back to school.

BELOW: Emma Wycoff scrubs on the metal bowl used in the giant wok.


Anna O’Boyle learns to operate the lift for pressure washing and painting.


Emma Wycoff also learns to operate the lift as the two girls take on some major responsibilities during the summer work sessions.


Football Back to the Basics!



Above: CYO Football and Cheer Director, Scott Kneefel shows off the uniform for 3/4 flag football.

In 1999 CYO brought back the Football program with tackle for 5th through 8th grade.  The next year we added 3rd and 4th grade and dressed them in full uniform but played flag. We had no idea how cutting edge we were at the time.  We played this way for about 12 years until a few Dads demanded we change 3rd and 4th grade to tackle football.  We took a survey and found that most people wanted it to be tackle.  Biggest mistake we made in football – we changed to tackle.  The most aggressive Dads who wanted it to move to tackle couldn’t field teams because after all, Moms are in charge of who plays football in the family at that age!

With the culture shift in football over the years, CYO has made a lot of adjustments including moving away from our old “region” model and joining the PYFL football league.  Given the evidence of appropriate play for 3rd and 4th graders, CYO and the PYFL has moved back to CYO’s original model of Full uniform flag football!


Images of Camp Howard


The Gorge Fire of 2017 will be remembered for many years into the future.  Camp Howard was affected with loss of rentals, a halt to the end of season work detail and a fear that the fire would make it’s way up the Bull Run toward the camp.  A thick hazy smoke engulfed the camp and the smell of burnt wood permeated the air.

BELOW: Heavy sprinkling of water around the dining hall with the big gun sprinkler settles the dust and cools the trees.


The big gun sprinkler doubles as a first line of defense in the event of a fire at camp.  The hose and nozzle accompany the sprinkling unit.IMG_6471

Property Director, Karen von Borstel waters Camp Howard Road then back to water the rhododendrons.


Smoke lingers throughout the camp.


The hills beyond the Bull Run River are generally a crisp green blanket.  The smoke masks the view entirely.


The trail between Gimpl Dining Hall and Sparpole unit gives evidence of the lingering smoke around the camp.