Things slow down a little in Rehoboth Beach around November, or so I’ve heard. That was certainly not the case this year. As most of you know by now, there were three separate incidents last month where our community fell short of truly being a place with “Room for All.” One incident involved vandalism, another, online Zoom harassment, and another, hateful language. We reached out and spoke or met with all parties involved. Incidents of hate are on the rise across the country, according to a recent FBI report, fueled in no small part by the political landscape we find ourselves in. So while it’s not surprising that we’ve witnessed incidents close to home, it’s nevertheless deeply troubling.
As usual, though, our community has come through. I am so grateful for the overwhelming community support. You made it clear that this is unacceptable in Sussex County. Addressing one of these incidents, CAMP Rehoboth was pleased to be able to bring together our friends from the Blue Moon and representatives from the Lewes Fire Department to have a difficult but necessary conversation. I also appreciate that Bill Buckaloo joined us and apologized in person for his use of derogatory language. See pages 4 and 5 for more on these disturbing incidents and reaction to them.
We’ve always been here to help Create A More Positive Rehoboth, and we always will be. It’s a core value instilled by the founders of CAMP Rehoboth, Steve Elkins and Murray Archibald. I’m personally grateful to Murray for all of the assistance and guidance he has offered to me in my first year at CAMP Rehoboth.
And speaking of Steve and Murray, I’m excited about a recent decision by our Board of Directors to honor them for everything they’ve built here at CAMP Rehoboth. Read all about the wonderful decision reached in Board President Chris Beagle’s column on page 12.
This issue of Letters marks two big changes. First, this issue contains Murray’s last CAMPMatters column. That alone would be enough for this issue to feel like the end of an era! Murray’s column has combined LGBTQ activism and a playful love of Rehoboth, Sundance, and all things glittery for many, many years. Second, it is also the last issue of Letters with Fay Jacobs as editor. I’m grateful for everything Fay has done to keep Letters a strong and vibrant voice in our community, and excited about our plans to honor Fay by establishing a scholarship in her name. See more about this exciting program on page 10.
While we owe so much gratitude to both Murray and Fay, coronavirus has robbed us of the retirement party we surely would have hosted to toast to them. Fear not, when the time is right, we will bring people together to celebrate! While both Fay and Murray are dialing back their work here at CAMP Rehoboth, they will still be around to offer guidance and support, which I truly appreciate. And I look forward to seeing Fay’s writing pop up in Letters in the future!
Finally, I’m sure you feel as I do, happy to see 2020 close up shop. And, if the past month has taught me anything, it’s that we can’t take our inclusive and welcoming community for granted—our work must continue to keep us the town with Room for All.
So happy holidays from us here at CAMP Rehoboth, and I’ll see you in these pages in the new year.