Session Four families will pick up their campers August 12th and thus mark the end of our 2016 traditional residential camp season. It has been a spectacular summer of fun and faith in God’s great outdoors. Camper numbers soared with several sessions full with wait lists and we are thankful for the great number of families who chose Chanco as their summer activity. We recognize there are many choices for youth these days – academic camps, sports camps, day camps, swim team, family vacations, visits to grandparents and more. So the fact that our families choose to send their children to us for one or two weeks speaks volumes. Thank you.
Our summer camp could not run without the enormous hard work, care, love and effort that our summer camp and full-time staff give each and every day. Chanco was blessed with a wealth of camping experience in our leadership team. A special thank you to our new Director of Programs Molly Williams, Camp Director John Gulick and Program Director Nathan Hoyt for their leadership this summer. Molly joined our year-round team this year and has been involved in some form of Christian camping since fourth grade. Her BA in Religion and Philosophy: Outdoor Ministries plus her extensive professional experience in summer camp programs was an enormous asset to Camp Chanco this summer. John returned to Chanco for his second summer as camp director and his past experience as a camper and camp staff, his experience as an educator and as a father plus his love and passion for the ministry of Chanco were all evident in his leadership. Nathan has been with us for many years and continues to demonstrate outstanding leadership, hard work, love and loyalty to Chanco. Molly, John and Nathan together along with each of our summer camp staff were not just co-workers, but a family. Thank you, dedicated 2016 camp staff, for giving up higher paying jobs, vacations, and air conditioning to be at Chanco for the summer. Whether it was a ropes course instructor encouraging an anxious camper to complete a high element or cheering a camper who made a bulls-eye for the first time in archery, God was there. Whether it was seeing the campsite counselors expertly guiding their campers through each activity all day long and not ending their job until after chalet meetings and lights out, God was there. Whether it was a band-aid on a boo-boo or a talk to help a camper deal with friend issues or homesickness, God was there. Whether it was seeing tears at drop off or tears at pick up, God was there. Whether it was a chaplain serving both the campers and camp staff with God’s grace on a daily basis, or Eucharist on the bluff officiated by a visiting priest, or a million and one other instances of compassion, love, and care – God was there. Thank you for being vessels of God’s work, giving our campers your full selves and allowing God to work through you to create what many call the “magic” of Chanco.
Perhaps two of our campers sum it up best with “I can’t imagine my life without Chanco in it” and “I am a better me at camp.” Thank you campers, camp families and staff for making 2016 one of our best camp seasons yet. As the old adage goes, “Without you, Chanco would just be a bunch of sticks.”
We can’t wait to see you back next year in Chanco’s magical forests. In the meantime, have a stellar school year ahead and may your warm summer memories and all you learned at Chanco about yourself and God remain with you in your activities, academics, sports, and friendships throughout the coming year. WE are Chanco!