A letter from our Bishop


Camp Chanco will be open for 2021 season!

As our Easter season is a time of joy and rebirth, I am pleased to announce that Camp Chanco will be open for the 2021 season! After a time where so many of us have felt isolated and tied to technology, our young people will be able to gather together at Chanco away from screens, experiencing outdoor adventures, and challenging themselves in new ways. With our schools and churches mostly virtual over the last year, opportunities for our young people to be active and connect with one another in person have perhaps never been more needed than now. Our Missioner for Camp and Retreat Ministry, Gareth Kalfas, and his team have been working diligently to research all COVID safety camp guidelines to prepare for a safe and exciting camp experience. Chanco will operate at a reduced capacity this summer and registrations are already ahead of schedule. Therefore, I recommend that all interested families register your camper today. I am very much looking forward to celebrating Eucharist with our campers during their session and to experiencing Camp Chanco alive with outdoor activity, laughter, singing, and worship. May Chanco’s programs be blessed with opportunities to find God in the outdoors, in each other, and in living and learning in Christian community. Please join me in holding the Camp Chanco staff and campers in our prayers for a healthy, fun and faith-filled season ahead. 

-Bishop Susan


Update on Summer Camp

We are incredibly excited that Governor Northam has announced that overnight camps may begin operation on May 1, 2021. The Chanco staff are working diligently to prepare for an exciting summer on the banks of the James. This work is being done in communication with our Bishop and the diocesan medical advisory group. We are also receiving guidance for a safe summer from the American Camp Association and state officials. We know that Camp Chanco will need to look different this summer, but rest assured that campers can still look forward to many of their favorite activities, such as sailing, ziplines, worship, and paddle boarding.

In coordination with the diocesan medical advisory group and with consideration for CDC recommendations and Virginia state guidelines, Chanco has instituted the following policy regarding camper screening for the summer of 2021:

All campers must provide results of a negative molecular test taken within seven days prior to the beginning of camp and engage in a 2-week pre-arrival quarantine that includes physical distancing, mask-wearing when not at home, avoiding unnecessary travel, and refraining from indoor social gatherings with people outside of their households.

Thanks to additional state and CDC guidance released on March 23, we have some idea of what safety protocols will be in place this summer. 

  • Health screening: This will involve some sort of pre-camp screening or testing. Daily symptom screening during camp and a streamlined drop-off/pick-up process will also be implemented this summer.

  • Cohorts: Governor Northam announced the introduction of something called “cohort groups,” which will essentially treat each campsite group as a family unit for the duration of the camp session. This means that campers will not be in close contact with campers from other campsites, but will participate in activities, meals, etc. with members from their own campsite. We are still working to imagine what some favorite evening programs might look like in this environment.

  • Masking: We are pleased to say that your camper will not need to wear a mask when they are just with their own campsite group. On those occasions when campers and staff are in the presence of individuals outside of their cohort group, they will be required to wear masks.

  • Signage: Signs will be posted at strategic locations to provide reminders regarding physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and reporting symptoms if sick.

Click here for the latest from Bishop Haynes and the Advisory Panel for Re-Gathering the Church, and resources for congregations as Southern Virginia responds to coronavirus/COVID-19 in our communities. 

As 2021 camp plans are developed, we will be keeping our camp families informed with our Chanco Chatter newsletter, emails, and town hall Zoom meetings. Our next town hall will be at 7pm on May 20th. Click here to join. Information will be available on our website, Chanco Chatter, and social media pages.  

Our March Town Hall focused upon COVID safety protocol, Ropes Course activities, Wilderness Camp, and “what Chanco means to me” by a former camper, current counselor!

Our April Town Hall focused upon updates with COVID safety protocol, Aquatics, Archery & Tomahawk, and camp tips from an experienced camper parent.

Take a Virtual Tour of Chanco or
visit us in-person for our on-site open house May 22 from 1pm – 5pm.