Dear friends,

Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Chanco’s mission is to promote the spiritual and physical wellness of God’s people. So we wanted to reach out during these challenging times to let you know how much we care about each of you – our diocese, campers, retreat guests, volunteers, donors, and staff – all who make up our vibrant Chanco family.

The health and safety of everyone in our Chanco community comes first, and we wanted to share a few updates as they stand now in this rapidly evolving situation. This is most certainly a time for concern, but not for panic and rash actions. Rather, we should take our Bishop’s advice to err on the side of caution. To safeguard our people and those in our communities, Bishop Haynes has called for all church activity including worship to be suspended for a period of two weeks in the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Chanco on the James is following these protocols as well, which includes the Spring Work Weekend (March 20-22) and March Open House (March 21). We will be working with groups that have retreats scheduled during this time to find an alternative date or another solution. The current suspension of activity lasts through March 26, and updated information will be issued by that date. To read Bishop Haynes’ full message, click here.

We take great pride in maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene. At this critical time, we are taking the following measures to maintain these standards:

  • We have increased the frequency of cleaning our public areas (including door handles, public bathrooms, etc.) and have continued the use of commercial-grade disinfectants, listed on the EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Cause of COVID-19
  • We have increased the deployment of antibacterial hand sanitizers
  • We are cautioning our staff to stay home when sick in order to prioritize the health and safety of our guests and staff.

The most important thing for all of us to do is to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health officials to minimize the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. CDC guidelines can be found here.

We hear from our friends that Chanco is their happy place, their destination for respite even when things aren’t so sunny elsewhere. We feel the same way. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience as we work together for the health and safety of all our guests and staff. We look forward to seeing you soon, back on the banks of the James!

Until then, let us all keep the spirit of Chanco glowing brightly in our hearts and through the care, love and support we show towards one another.

In the Chanco spirit,
Gareth Kalfas
Executive Director, and the entire Chanco team