Camp Howard Closed for Two Weeks of Maintenance Projects

Camp is over and a few staff have remained on site to help with planned maintenance projects.  Last summer we stained and trimmed Gimpl Dining Hall and two of the staff cabins.  The results were stunning!  This year we are staining and trimming the third staff cabin, main shower house, camp store, Greenwood Unit and if time permits, Fircrest Unit.  If all goes well, 16 buildings will be stained and trimmed!






Emma Wycoff Receives her Unique Bead on Her Cougar Award at Camp Howard


Emma Wycoff received her “Unique” bead this summer at Camp Howard.  It is the final and most difficult bead to acquire and puts her in the category of legends such as Joey Harrington and Rev. Paul Grubb SJ both of whom received all of the beads over the years at camp.

The beads are part of an award known as the “Cougar Award”, given weekly to generally one camper per cabin per week during the summer.  The award is given to those who best exemplify good conduct, Christian values, camper assistance and good old fashion goodness, all week at camp.

The last night of camp features the Cougar Campfire which, after the songs are sung, the Cougar Award ceremony begins with counselors talking about their award winners and why they selected the person they selected.  The camper stands with their counselor and glows with pride as as the counselor waxes on about their wonderful qualities.

Generally a new cougar award is given in each cabin (as long as a worthy candidate is identified) and later in the ceremony, a second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth bead may be given if deserved!

What is this Cougar Award?  After research, I was able to come up with the historical meaning of each of the beads as established in the early 60’s by Fr. Gimpl.  The original Cougar Award was a leather fob with a Cougar image stamped in foil on the leather.  It was later replaced in the late 80’s with a round plastic cougar stamped with foil.  In 1998, we were able to restore the award back to leather and had a stamp made to impress the image of the cougar with the words “Cougar Award” into the leather.

The first bead given today is the red bead which signifies FIRE and has it ties to the Holy Spirit and the fire the Spirit ignites in our being to example the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.

The second bead is the green bead, reminding us of the EARTH, and the value of the gift of creation which we have been charged to care for.

The third bead is the YELLOW bead, which reminds us of the SUN and the life-giving qualities produced by the sun which takes us to the

Fourth bead, BLACK in color which signifies DEATH and that through the dying process we enter into new LIFE = the fifth bead, WHITE in color.

The final bead is the UNIQUE bead which inspires us as unique individuals to be faithful to our Christian values in the way God has intended for us to live them.

So you see, the Cougar Award is filled with significant meaning. Congratulations to Emma Wycoff and her cougar accomplishments.

If YOU received a Cougar Award at Camp Howard, please respond to this post, let us know when you received it and how many beads you received! Continue reading “Emma Wycoff Receives her Unique Bead on Her Cougar Award at Camp Howard”

How Did Amanda Weddle Make the Money to Pay for Camp this Year?

Amanda Weddle

Amanda Weddle paid her way to Camp Howard this year by selling soap which her family makes from her prize winning 4-H Dairy Goats!   Not only that, she moved with her family to California so she flies to Portland for her annual week of camp at Camp Howard.  Her good friend, Emma Wycoff from Christ the King, makes plans to attend camp with Amanda as they were pals when Amanda lived in Portland.

Amanda gave me a gift of her soap this summer and I have to tell you, it is pretty special!  It smells good, it feels good and it is really special that Amanda has found a creative way to fund her summer passion!

I would like to invite you to check out the Weddle Family soaps and maybe help Amanda out by trying it!


Facebook: search Hapi Capi Soaps or click/paste this link –

Etsy: search Hapi Capi Soaps or click/paste this link –

Karen sends Spectacular Fish Story – Camp Howard & Cindy Garcia from Holy Family

To: Sr. Krista –  That photo is Cindy Garcia with Holy Family Parish Rental at Camp Howard who caught that 22 and 3/4 inch trout this morning.  I told her she might make it into the Sentinel.  I sent it to Jolie.  I told her to look on your blog and maybe it would make it there.  Here is the story, you fill in the blanks: – Thank you – Karen von Borstel

I was a sunny morning at Camp Howard today as some of the Holy Family Parish campers were fishing at the pond.  It was a very relaxing atmosphere with people sitting on chairs and benches catching some really nice 10 inch trout.  Cindy Garcia was sitting in her blue lawn chair right next to the little shed, wearing her frilly purple blouse and peddle-pushers (Cindy is a very stylish fisherwoman), fishing with her little trout pole, 6 lb. test line,  baited with a big fresh night crawler.  She had a little red and white bobber, the type usually used for little sunfish or perch, hooked on her line.   All of a sudden her pole bent half way over and that bobber disappeared.  She stood up and the fish came out of the water and we all knew she had a whopper on.  Everyone started heading toward her to help her land that fish.   That fish kept breaking through the water and it looked like a salmon.  We were all holding our breath. I knew there wasn’t any way she was going to get that thing to shore.  She had way too light of line, we didn’t have a net.  Her drag was set too tight.  I knew the line would snap and that would be that.  It would be the story about the one that got away!  Cindy brought that fish right up and onto the bank.  A huge cheer went up.  The biggest fish to my knowledge ever caught at Camp Howard.  22 and 3/4 inches long.  We got the groups photographer, the tape measure, and Cindy became a celebrity at Camp Howard.  It was so exciting.  Her husband, Alfonso, had to work this weekend.  He is going to be so jealous.  The cooks are preparing a seasoned stuffing to go into that trout and it will be cooked and served for supper, with the other fish they have caught today.  We are at 40 right now and we have one more session of fishing this afternoon.  Everyone should get a trout to eat tonight and Cindy’s will feed several.  Great day for fishing at Camp and it is all verified on film.

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Champions of Faith Making a Difference

If you attended the first Champions of Faith benefit dinner for CYO/Camp Howard  this past September, please note that thanks to YOU, we were able to accomplish a very important project at the camp.  For fifteen years, the most desired improvement to the camp at the request of the kids, has been to heat the pool.  Thanks to YOU we were able to accomplish that this year and we would like you to know about it!

A pool heater was purchased, ditch dug to connect it to the propane tank, wire cage built around the heater, filled the propane tank, covered the ditches, replanted the grass… just waiting for the kids so we can fire it up and heat the water!  Takes one hour to heat the water one degree, so I am told,  and the temperature will be around 80 to 83 degrees when “up to temp.”

Looking forward to surprising the kids with warm pool water this summer!

Thank you, Champions of Faith!

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Camp Howard…Plenty of Space…But Guess What?

Camp Howard is a great place for youth to spend time at in the summer.  The camp offers rental opportunities year around and a seven week camping season in the heart of the summer.

After adding an addition 100 bed occupancy to the camp in 2001, there is always plenty of room for campers to attend the camp EXCEPT ONE WEEK.

The last week of camp is an interesting week. Counselors are heading back to college, camper numbers are much lower, so we schedule Joe Bushman’s football camp down at the sport camp.  He and his team take over Cougar Den Unit and Greenwood Unit.  Joe and his team have been coming to camp for several years and they are a great group of guys and gals.

This lowers the number of campers we can take the last week of camp during a session that is normally low anyway.  But believe it or not, this particular session has filled for week long campers.  So check out the other 5 weeks and find the week that will work best for your schedule and get registered for what promises to be a great summer of camping at Camp Howard.

Thank You, 7&8 Graders, Blanchet Catholic School, Salem, OR

Six faculty and 94 students from Blanchet Catholic School in Salem, Oregon came to Camp Howard today to give a day of service to the camp.  They were like a miniature army accomplishing things that would have taken the camp several weeks to do!  The goal was to continue the branch and limb pick up from three places in the camp and haul the refuse to a pile where it will e recycled into chips.  The camp is looking very clean on the forest floor thanks to the efforts of the camp staff and work groups like Blanchet Catholic School who volunteer to make a day of it!  Thank you so much, Blanchet 7th and 8th graders for a job well done!

Click on photo to enlarge

CYO Portland meets CYO Seattle

We had a wonderful day at Camp Howard meeting with the leadership of the Seattle CYO and Camps programs.  We exchanged information about our organizations and learned a lot about each other. In many ways we are very similar and in many ways we are different.  We explored those similarities and differences through out the day and then ended with dinner on the way home from camp.  

I am personally looking forward to going to Seattle and visiting their camps this summer.  I am particularly interested in their horse camp and high school camp.  What do you think?



Photo by Sr. Krista: CYO/Camp Howard Staff meet with CYO and Camp staff from Seattle April 13, 2012.

Why Are there so few Accredited Camps in Oregon?

Answer:  Because it is a lot of work to go through to become accredited and stay accredited.  Why does Camp Howard go through the effort of being an accredited camp?  Answer: because it helps tremendously to maintain a level of safety at the camp.  Camp Howard holds itself to the highest standards in camping with the American Camping Association.  Camps are accredited every three years or whenever the camp has a new Camp Director.

Facility Manager, Karen von Borstel and Camp Howard Summer Program Director, Bill Fogarty, work on the preparation for the American Camping Association Accreditation which will take place this summer.