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.


Camp Howard and the Columbia Gorge Fire


I know many of you are wondering about Camp Howard and how we are faring in light of the fire in the Columbia River Gorge.  Thank you for your care and concern.  It means a great deal to us and we realize the camp is a treasure of the children and those who have been campers and staff in the past!

The fire is burning further North of Camp Howard and we have fortunately not been in the path as of yet.  The direction and power of the wind is the big factor in where the fire goes.  We have put together a contingency plan in the event we needed to evacuate the camp.  As you can imagine it would involve removing all of our vehicles and as much of our camp supplies as possible.

            You may be interested to know that in 2011, the Oregon Dept. of Forestry offered to remove the flammable material under the trees and create a 100’ defensible corridor above the Bull Run on camp property.  We accepted their invitation and they worked on it for four years to create this space.  We have worked to maintain this area over the past several years.  We have also created green spaces around our buildings to help in the defense of fire.  Additionally, we have set up a fire line through the camp that allows us to hook a large water gun for watering vast areas.  God willing, these measures might pay off!  We will prepare for the worst and pray for the best!

Please pray for our year around camp staff as some have evacuated from the Corbett area where they live.

I have attached a map for you to see the location of Camp Howard in regard to the Columbia River and the Gorge.  You can see we are South of the fire area at this point and the fire has been burning West from Cascade Locks.  East Corbett and Springdale have evacuated.

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      Again, we greatly appreciate your outpouring of concern around the camp.  It is heartening to say the least!  Follow my blog to stay posted with what is going on at Camp Howard.

The entire CYO/Camp Howard Staff and I thank you for your prayers!  We will keep you posted.

Sr. Krista