For Natalie and Jeff Duffy’s four oldest children, a week-long adventure at Camp Howard seemed like an unimaginable dream.

Quinn, the eldest of the Duffys’ six sons, had attended camp last summer and was looking forward to returning. Three of his younger brothers were loaded up for the same week of high energy outdoors. But the costs seemed prohibitive for the southeast Portland family, so the kids scrapped their plan to sell lemonade to pay for camp.

When Duffy’s parents heard about a Camp Howard scholarship program, they decided to apply even though they doubted they could get help for the four boys. But when Camp Howard offered partial scholarships to boys ages 7 to 13, their summer dreams came true.

“It was a little beyond our imagination,” said their mother Natalie, owner of Gifts of the Spirit, an online Catholic bookstore. “We were overwhelmed with gratitude that we were able to send all four.”

These scholarships are among hundreds made possible through the CYO/Camp Howard Champions of Faith Scholarship Fund. The fund provides assistance to about a quarter of campers at Camp Howard. Camp officials say everyone who applied receives at least a partial scholarship.

Duffy’s campers were Quinn, 13; Tagan, 11; Shae, 10; and Emmet 7. In a phone conversation, the boys say their favorite things about Camp Howard were hanging out around the campfire, playing tag, shooting BB guns, and shooting. bow.

Quinn and Shea have each won Cougar awards. The awards recognize attributes such as helping clean up after each meal, excellent behavior in a cabin, and helping others.

The Duffy family includes Rónán, a five-year-old with Down syndrome, and 3-year-old Niall. A baby girl is due September 27. The busy family recently moved to a new home in Southeast Portland, and last year Natalie started sending her children to school. Husband Jeff works as a recruiter for Hewlett-Packard.

With the Camp Howard glow still strong, the older kids are already selling lemonade to help cover next year’s costs.

“We’re doing it to go back to Camp Howard next year,” Quinn said.