In 1956, the headline on page three of the November 15th edition of the Ashland Herald Progress newspaper read “Hanover Church Camp Is Becoming Reality.”
The Rev. John Ensign, Camp Hanover’s first Director, had just spoke at the Presbyterian Women’s family supper at Ashland Presbyterian Church. The paper reported on John’s update on the construction progress of East Hanover Presbytery’s experiment in the woods on the outskirts of Mechanicsville.
In a few short months following that supper, the first summer campers arrived on the 176-acre property. When they arrived at Camp Hanover, the dining hall and kitchen were still under construction. The first bathhouse was nearly complete. The water was on and the water heaters were working. The only thing lacking? A roof.
Those pioneer campers and camp staff cooked over a campfire, and slept under tarp-covered hogans. They were the first to experience the small group, Christ-centered community living and experiential Christian education that has become a hallmark of Camp Hanover’s ministry. That first summer in 1957 marked the start of an amazing journey.
Sixty-five years later, Camp Hanover has grown to encompass over 600 acres, a slice of God’s creation that has no rival. Generations of young people and adults have been nurtured in Christian faith. It is in this place that they have had the opportunities to spark anew and rekindle relationships with others, with God, and with creation.
As the only PCUSA summer camp in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Camp Hanover shines as a city on hill. A place where the Christian principles we talk about on Sunday morning can be put into practice, 24 hours a day. At Camp Hanover, campers have opportunities to build community, experience God’s love, and practice sharing that love with others.
You are invited to join in giving thanks and celebrating the story of this “place apart” at our annual Homecoming, held over Labor Day weekend. Here’s to sixty-five years, and many more to come!
Join us over Labor Day Weekend
Homecoming Weekend is a time of celebration for all alumni – staff, campers, parents, grandparents, volunteers – any and all who have a connection to Camp Hanover.
Reconnect with old friends and relive the “good old days.” This relaxed weekend will feature plenty of time to wander about and rekindle memories and friendships, some special events like “Decade vs. Decade” volleyball & foursquare tournaments and lowland games, storytelling, campfires, worship and other camp activities.