HISTORY OF CYO/CAMP HOWARD

Camp Howard is named for Archbishop Edward D. Howard, the 5th Archbishop of Portland who served from 1926-1966.

Camp Howard was established in 1952 as a residential youth camp in response to the wishes of the property donors who desired to do something for the youth of the church.  The Catholic Youth Organization operates the camp.

The Horton Family, upon reading an article in the Catholic Sentinel about the desire of the Catholic Charities to have a Catholic youth camp, donated their property east of Portland, Oregon for just that purpose.

The camp is made up of 245 acres, 70 of which are used for camping and the other 170 is planted with Douglas Firs for the purpose of harvesting, to sustain the camp.  All current forest practices are followed in the management of the camp.  Camp Howard received the Clackamas County Tree Farmers of the Year Award in 2006.

Recreational summer camping is offered for youth during the months of July and August.  Opportunities for youth, ages 6-17, exist in the programs.  Approximately 1400-1500 youth enjoy Camp Howard each summer.  Camp Howard also has the longest running relationship with the Multnomah County Outdoor School program, which runs several weeks at Camp Howard each fall and spring.

The camp is available for rental from September through June, and several groups use the camp to facilitate their own camping programs.

Located 35 miles east of Portland, Camp Howard is readily accessible via I-84 through Corbett or Hwy 26 through Sandy.  The Mt. Hood Ski and Recreation area is only 30 minutes away.

Camp Howard can accommodate group sizes of 30-325 people, and facilities include:

  • 28 Heated Cabins
  • 5 Separate Cabin Units
  • 3 Campfire Pits
  • 2 Meeting spaces (A-Frame and Champions Hall)
  • Dining Hall and Kitchen
  • St. Virginia Chapel
  • Pond
  • 3 Basketball Courts
  • Football and Soccer Field
  • Volleyball Courts
  • Showers
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Hiking Trails

The “CYO” in CYO/Camp Howard stands for Catholic Youth Organization.   CYO and Camp Howard were originally two separate organizations, and merged in the early 1980s to form one organization, with the goal of serving the youth of the Archdiocese of Portland.

CYO is the athletic arm of nearly 50 Catholic schools in the greater Portland area.

In the fall, CYO facilitates 12 football regions and 36 teams ranging from 3rd through 8th grade.  Nearly 900 youth play in the CYO football program.

Volleyball, is another fall sport designed for girls in grades 3-8 with 1200 participants.

Hot Shot Basketball is designed for 1st and 2nd graders. They do not attend practices throughout the week, but attend one half-hour session directly before their game on Saturday.  This popular program entices nearly 250 youngsters to participate.

Swimming begins in October with some 700 boys and girls grades K-8 participating.

The largest program is winter basketball with 4500 youth grades 3-12 participating.

 The final program for the year is the track and field, in which 1500 youth participate. It is one of the largest Track & Field programs in Oregon.

All of the sports include regular season play and tournament play.  They are designed to introduce the youth to the sports, rules, competition, tournaments, and to teach the values of participation.

Over 1200 volunteer coaches facilitate the youth sport program.