Chanco Chatter
Special Edition
July 20, 2020
Thank you, Nathan Hoyt
It has been a great honor to work with Nathan Hoyt at Chanco on the James. It has been a pleasure to work with him, learn from him, and to get to know him over the past eight years. It is now, with great excitement for Nathan, that we wish him luck as he moves on to the next chapter in his life. Please join me, the entire Chanco staff, and our board in thanking Nathan for all that he has done for this special place. I am sure you will find his farewell address, below, as touching a testimony to Chanco's ministry as I did. Congratulations and good luck Nathan, we will see you around the campfire!

In the Chanco spirit,
Gareth Kalfas, Executive Director
Letter from Nathan
to the Chanco Family
Dear Chanco family, 

My time here at Chanco has been transformative, to say the least. In 2006 I came to Chanco for my first time and knew that I had found something special. I came here on a youth retreat with my brand-new church St David’s. I barely knew the people at my church, let alone anyone at this retreat. Within hours of my arrival, the wild, wacky, and wonderful people in attendance had managed to pull me from my nervous shell. Since that weekend, I have been hooked on Chanco. However, at that moment, I could have never imagined the lifelong impact that this place would have on me.
In 2008 I joined the illustrious Camp Chanco staff and met some of my lifelong friends. Those early years were filled with laughter and love, as well as mistakes and setbacks. Chanco became my favorite place to make mistakes. After graduating from high school in 2009, I became lost in the world, but I found myself again every summer. During these early years at Chanco, I was able to see little glimpses of my best self. I saw him on the river teaching sailing with the wind on my face, on the smiles of our campers laughing at me in some ridiculous outfit, and in the support from a group of friends that I was lucky enough to meet. Those early years showed me the power of love, but something was missing in my life.
In 2011 I found that missing part, although it would take me another year to work up the courage to go and get it. I found it in the form of my now fiancée Ms. Emily Smith-George. Emily and I have always shared a passion for working with youth, a passion that has brought both of us to the path of education. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to work side by side with my life partner and best friend for so many years. It certainly was not always easy to work with my significant other, especially when I had filled the role of her so-called boss. But we learned from each other and figured out a way not only to make it work but also to make it enjoyable. We have weathered many storms together, and it has made our love strong. As I write this, we are finalizing the plans to reschedule our wedding for the second time. The storms we weathered together for so many summers have prepared us to make that choice without hesitation and know that it will only make us stronger.
In 2017 Chanco became my life. I accepted the interim Program Director position and then decided to stick around for a few more years.  Chanco very quickly went from my happy place to so much more. The last few years here have been impactful, to say the least. I will forever be grateful for the support and guidance I received from so many people. When I came into the full-time position here, I thought I knew it all about the camping world. My boss and good friend, Gareth Kalfas, showed me otherwise. He opened the door for me and showed me the greater camping community, where I found even more support and resources. His willingness to open the door for myself and others on our staff has made us better people and Chanco a better place. The full-time staff at Chanco are the unsung heroes. They keep our beautiful camp clean and ready for us to use. To the housekeeping/kitchen staff, Raphael, Matt, and my dear friend Marjorie THANK YOU! You put up with a whole lot of craziness and messes just so that some crazy kids can come here and find themselves.
During my time on the Chanco staff, I made many mistakes and fell down many times. Every time I fell, though, someone offered me a hand and helped me get back up. That is the spirit of Chanco. In the end, I accomplished my main goal, to end my time here with my love of this beautiful place intact and the friendships I made ready to move on into the future. For now, that future will be filled with my return to school to receive my Teaching License in History from VCU. My time on the Chanco staff will always hold a very special place in my heart, but my time as a member of this community is not over. I look forward to the future memories I will make at this special place. 

With love, friendship, and spirit, 
Nathan Hoyt 
Don't forget - you can register with confidence! If any reservation needs to be cancelled by Chanco leadership or by you because of the COVID-19 virus any registration payments, including the full, non-refundable/non-transferrable deposit will be refunded, credited toward a future program, or may be donated to Chanco as a gift in support of our mission, based on the individual’s preference. Click here for COVID-19 resources from the Diocese of Southern Virginia.