Steve and Niki Gourley have been Directors at Camp Piankatank since 2006. They both have a long history at the camp, and have a passion for camp ministry. They understand the impact that camp can and does have on a child’s life, and that’s why they continue to serve here.
Steve grew up in Newport News, and attended Tabernacle Baptist Church where he was in the Royal Ambassador (RA) program. As an RA Steve started attending Camp Piankatank when he was just 9 years old. As a camper, he said that he wanted to work at camp when he got old enough. When he turned 15, he started working at Camp Piankatank as an Assistant Counselor. Steve graduated from Old Dominion University in 2004, and went to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary that fall. In June 2005 Steven and Niki got married. Since that first year he attended Camp Piankatank, Steve has only missed two summers. One of those summers he worked at another camp, and one of those he got married.
Niki grew up in Jupiter, FL where she attended Calvary Chapel. After she graduated high school she attended Asbury College (now Asbury University), where she graduated from in 2006. After her first year in college, she wanted to work at a summer camp in 2003. It wasn’t until just a couple weeks before the summer that she was interviewed and hired at Camp Piankatank by Jeremy Jackson. It was during this summer that Steve and Niki first met, and right after the summer that they started dating. In 2004 they both returned to work at Camp Piankatank. They married in 2005. A few months after they were married Jeremy Jackson called and told Steve that he was taking another job and asked Steve if he would consider applying for the opening at Camp Piankatank. After much thought and prayer, Steve and Niki decided that this is where God was leading them. They began working in January 2006.
After the summer of 2007, Steve and Niki decided they wanted to start trying to have children. On October 19, 2008 Elijah Robert Gourley was born. Steve and Niki are again expanded their family. In 2011 God lead them to adopt a son from Ethiopia. Yoseph James Gourley was born 1/22/11 and came home forever on 12/1/11. Who knows… maybe there will be more little Gourley’s running around in our future.
Steve and Niki have always had a passion for children, and camp ministry. That passion is seen everyday in the work that they do at Camp Piankatank.
Matt Hunt is the newest full-time addition to Camp Piankatank. Originally from Charleston, SC, he was hired in May of 2011 as Director of the Summer Camp Program. Matt began working with Piankatank as a counselor in 2007, in 2008 he fulfilled the role of Water Adventure Director and returned in 2009 as the Ropes Course Director. In January of 2011, Matt came to camp for an internship until the end of April. In May, he graduated from North Greenville University with a Bachelors Degree in Outdoor Experiential Leadership.
Matt married his wife Beth in May 2011 and they are both excited to see how God will use them at the camp.