Camp Rosenbaum Celebrates 41 Years of Success
By Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing
/ Published August 03, 2011
July 27, 2011 -- Each summer, Camp Rosenbaum has been a place where children get to break away from the real world for a week and just be kids. Now in its 41st year, 157 of those kids ages 9 to 11 who are from underprivileged homes learn citizenship skills while enjoying activities such as horseback riding, fishing and arts and crafts.
"Making good choices and learning to be good citizens make this camp what it is today," said Lt. Col. Donna Prigmore. As the camp director she spends most the week making sure the staff and kids have everything they need. She also hosts Very Important Guest Day on July 27 when many corporate sponsors and special guests get to visit the camp.
"What camp does for these kids is awesome," said Glynda Brockhoff, of the Fred Meyer Philanthropic Trust; the trust donated 10,000 dollars to the camp this year. "The first time I came to camp and felt this support and the love here for the children was really an experience beyond belief."
The camp was founded by former Brig. Gen. Fred Rosenbaum while he was a member of the Oregon Air National Guard. The staff at the camp consists of Oregon Air National Guardsmen, Portland Police Officers, Portland and Salem Housing Authority Volunteers and other citizens who are committed to helping teach the kids new life skills. Rosenbaum passed away in 2010, but his legacy lives on as other family members volunteer at the camp as well as help raise money each year to keep the camp going.
"My dad's message of making a positive change in kid's lives is still alive here at camp," said Mark Rosenbaum.
While speaking to the kids and donors on V.I.G. Day, Rosenbaum told the story of how his father, at about the same age of the kids at camp, had to leave Austria during the rise of the Nazis in the 1930's. "There were some pretty bad things happening then and he had to leave his home and family and almost everything he owned to eventually come to the United States, the greatest country in world."
Jim Linkous, the Regional Vice President of Viawest, has been involved with Camp Rosenbaum and the Oregon National Guard for the past three years. "I first got involved with the Oregon National Guard right here at camp and was so impressed with the Guard when I saw what this camp was all about."
Finding creative ways to keep Fred's dream alive and the camp running through challenging financial times has been difficult. Two years ago a Garden of Gratitude was named in Rosenbaum's honor for his many years of service to Camp Rosenbaum. Now to finish the garden's retaining wall, engraved bricks are being sold to help raise money for the future growth of the camp.
More information about Camp Rosenbaum and how to volunteer or support the camp can be found at www.camprosenbaum.org.