A (Literal!) Lifetime of Volunteering
Justina lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and turned 12 years old on August 16. This fall, Justina will be going into the 7th grade at Beacon Middle School in the Cape Henlopen School District. Justina loves school and is excited to be going to Beacon because, she says, “it steps closer to high school, then college, and I am interested in becoming a civil lawyer.” Justina says that being successful in school is of the utmost importance, and that she makes school and her studies a top priority. Justina’s family understands and supports her drive for excellence in higher education.
When did you start volunteering with CAMP Rehoboth?
I started volunteering with CAMP when I was 10 months old. I volunteered with the CROP (CAMP Rehoboth Outreach Program) formerly the Volunteer on Vacation Program. That program offered volunteer opportunities to residents and vacationers. I volunteered with other youth at Burton Village and West Rehoboth Beach.
Many of the children I volunteered with were part of the 4-H after-school program held at the community center. A team of volunteers from CAMP Rehoboth coordinated the arts and crafts activities that were part of a celebration. My picture was in the Cape Gazette, where I held a sign for the Burton Village residents when I was only 10 months old.
I have done a slew of other volunteering with CAMP, from picking up trash on the beach to volunteering with the CAMP Rehoboth art shows and have participated in the Broadwalk on the Boardwalk to benefit the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition every year since I was a baby.
I love volunteering with CROP and CAMP, and when an opportunity comes up to help at the Delaware Therapeutic Riding Center, I am the first to sign up. If something interesting floats my boat, I will let my mother (Sue Goudy) know that I am interested, and the two of us sign up to volunteer. I would like to get more involved with CAMP Rehoboth by volunteering to help local animals at local farms.
Do you have any pets?
I have four cats: Kitty, Emma, Alexandra, and Alex, and one dog, Rosie.
How did you feel about life during COVID?
During COVID I went to school remotely. I have recently gone back into school. I felt that the transition from remote learning to in-person learning was challenging, but that Cape Henlopen School District was very considerate of the emotional well-being of how we were feeling and the stress of what we were going through when homebound and transitioning back.
What do you love to do in your free time?
I love to travel. I have been traveling a lot as of late. I went to Hershey Park, Frontier Land, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Trap Pond State Park (where we stayed in a yurt). I am very close to my cousin who is similar in age and he lives in New Jersey and I love hanging out with him. I also love going on bike rides and walking trails. I want to play softball and field hockey at school and this summer I went to tennis camp. I love being active in the summer and winter. In the summer I love swimming, and in the winter I love snowboarding and traveling to Colorado. I also love to spend time with my family and my cousins.
How do you think other kids can get involved in volunteering with CAMP Rehoboth?
I think that the CAMP Rehoboth publication, Letters, has been helpful. I feel it is a good way to let kids know what is out there. I also think having CAMP Rehoboth show up at school fairs or come in and do an afterschool/during school presentation would be good. How about having a CAMP Rehoboth photo booth display in the school of the different activities that kids and teachers can get involved in? Maybe having advertisements in the school newsletter/newspaper/yearbook that will interest students and teachers alike. When I was at Rehoboth Elementary school, a lot of kids were talking about LGBTQ issues and they would talk to each other for support.
During your life, what changes have you seen in the Rehoboth area?
Since Joe Biden has become president there are a lot more tourists, and people will come from all over to look at Joe’s house and it’s pretty cool. It’s also pretty cool to live in the same area as the president. As a baby I crossed paths with Dr. Jill Biden at an event. I was told that she picked me up and said that she thought that I was an adorable baby. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of me being held by the first lady.
If you celebrate holidays, which one is your favorite?
I love Christmas. I love the traditions, such as putting the star on the Christmas tree together as a family. I also love setting up the nativity scene and putting baby Jesus in the manger. I love celebrating the Christian part of this holiday.
What are you looking forward to in your future?
Getting my license, graduation, and becoming a lawyer.
Karen Laitman is a member of CAMP Rehoboth’s Volunteer Development Committee.