If you’ve been to Chanco, you are well familiar with the term “the Spirit of Chanco”. If you are a camper, you see it in new friendships, in Eucharist on the bluff, in the adventure of trying something completely new, and you hear it in the Chanco song sung every evening as you lock arm in arm with friends old and new to close out the day. If you are a retreat guest, you have seen the Spirit of Chanco in the team building activities on a low ropes course, or the adventure of a zip line, or worship outdoors, or in the loving faces of new friends. If you’ve never been to Chanco, you may have seen the words “Spirit of Chanco” but not having had your own Chanco experience, you may wonder, “What is that all about anyway?”
The good news is that more and more friends are becoming acquainted with the Spirit of Chanco. With 574 campers this past summer (89 more than last summer!), camp numbers for 2015 were as high as any year in the last nine years. November Weekend middle school youth retreat 2015 hit maximum capacity with nearly 70 participants and was the largest November Weekend held to date. Recent Cursillo weekends have been strong in numbers of candidates and team members. And new programs such as Winter Camp and a Holiday Lock-In mean new faces and different experiences abound at Chanco. The Board and Staff of Chanco on the James is incredibly grateful to all those who make these events possible through gifts of time, talent and treasure. Volunteers, staff members, donors, and guests give the Spirit of Chanco its vibrant life and are the vessels through which God works to offer His ministry year-round at Chanco on the James.
One of our Cursillo #158 retreat participants describes this Spirit beautifully sharing, “Thanks be to God for wonderful people like you and all involved in Cursillo #158. I truly saw the rainbow of God’s hope, love and grace through the team’s infectious, generous joy, the community’s outpouring of palanca, and my sister/fellow candidates’ unfettered kindness”. If “God’s hope, love and grace” and “infectious, generous joy” sound appealing to you, find out more at www.cursillodsv.org. Cursillo weekends are held three times annually and offer an experience of learning, laughter, friendship and faith.
A 2015 camper shares her experience of the Spirit of Chanco writing, “Chanco brings a glistening happiness in my life and whenever I’m present in the Spirit of Chanco my life seems complete. Chanco is a place where you can forget all your worries and personal problems. Chanco is a huge part of my life and will never be forgotten. The memories I’ve made during my time at Chanco make me who I am today. I’ve continued coming to Chanco for seven years in a row and I hope to come here for many, many more. Not only did Chanco introduce me to a new type of happiness, but it also introduced me to my best friend, Carter. We don’t see each other out of Chanco, but each year we seem to get closer and closer and that is because of Chanco. Chanco will forever and always be my home.”
Come join us at a place many consider their “second home”. Winter Camp is around the corner, Men’s and Women’s Cursillo Weekends are this spring, Happening #64 will be in March followed by May Weekend diocesan youth retreat, to name just a few of the upcoming opportunities to experience the “Spirit of Chanco.” Camp Chanco 2016 promises to be as full of adventure, faith, friendship and fun as always and registration is in full swing here (over 120 campers already registered!) for summer camp. To visit the diocesan website click here for more information on all diocesan youth events. Don’t miss it! The “Spirit of Chanco” awaits you at one of many fantastic events ahead in 2016!