Strategic Planning Update
Intentionally charting the future for CAMP Rehoboth
Successful retreats start with successful staging, including a five-star meeting room and five-star refreshments. That’s why this column starts with heartfelt gratitude for our two Strategic Planning Retreat sponsors, the Bellmoor Inn and Spa and Downtown Blues.
Thanks to the Bellmoor Inn and Spa on Christian Street in downtown Rehoboth Beach, we had an airy and well-appointed room in which to meet as a group, with plenty of space for breakout sessions. And thanks to Jody with Downtown Blues on N 1st Street (the newest in the Bethany Blues restaurant group), we were well nourished with a bountiful array of signature wraps, a delicious salad, and a tray of assorted cookies and desserts.
We owe a huge thank you to both the Bellmoor Inn and Spa and Downtown Blues for providing the underpinnings for a successful Retreat and encourage our readers to patronize both establishments often!
My biggest takeaway from the Retreat was gaining a new appreciation for the level of sincere support, enthusiasm, and dedication that CAMP Rehoboth Community Center enjoys. Our Board is engaged. Our staff and volunteers are dedicated. Our donors and members are generous and supportive. Such passion is not something that can be manufactured; it’s organic. Most nonprofits can only hope for such passion and commitment; without it, there is no “why” behind an organization’s existence.
My next takeaway from the Retreat is that we have a need for greater and more intentional focus. Joan Garry of the Nonprofit Leadership Lab compares nonprofit leaders to jugglers who are constantly being tossed balls from all different directions with the expectation that all of those balls, including the incoming ones, be juggled all at once! Given that that is a setup for failure and burnout, Garry suggests that a better approach is to first intentionally select which balls to juggle and which to set aside, and only then, start juggling. Selecting the balls to juggle should be guided by the mission, vision, and priorities of the organization. Being intentional about which balls to juggle leads to focus, and focus leads to a thriving, well guided, and therefore successful organization.
With focus in mind, the Board and staff used the Retreat to engage in intense strategic thinking around four priorities identified by the Board’s Strategic Planning Task Force: Programs; Community Outreach; Long-Term Financial Strength; and Leadership and Governance. The Task Force selected these four areas based on an Organizational Scan conducted by the Task Force from November 2022 through August 2023. The Organizational Scan included:
• Six focus group discussions with: CAMP Rehoboth Board of Directors’ former and current members; CAMP Rehoboth staff; CAMP Rehoboth volunteers; CAMP Rehoboth arts and health program leaders; CAMP Rehoboth youth program leaders; and CAMP Rehoboth wellness program leaders;
• One-on-one interviews with: past leaders at CAMP Rehoboth; donors; and community influencers;
• A Community Feedback Survey of community members and others familiar with the organization about CAMP Rehoboth's current operations;
• Online research on relevant demographic data and trends; and
• A landscape analysis of other organizations which have similar missions, provide outreach to a similar community, and/or provide similar services as CAMP Rehoboth, to better understand potential partners and collaborators.
To continue the juggling analogy, the Board is now in the process of choosing a select number of goals to juggle within the next five years, and identifying select strategies for achieving those goals. Together, the goals and accompanying strategies will form the basis of the Strategic Plan, which the Board aims to adopt at its November Board meeting. Our Executive Director and staff will then map out the “hows” and “by whens” those goals will be achieved over the months following adoption.
My final takeaway from the Retreat is that it is abundantly clear that CAMP Rehoboth has a well-established, 33-year track record built on love and community nurturing, and it continues to enjoy a reputable brand within the community. Because of that legacy, we continue to be the “heart” of our community.
That said, we need to ensure that our organization offers programs and services that best meet the community’s ever-changing needs. With strong leadership and governance, and the continued engagement and commitment of our staff, volunteers, and community, we will be able to implement a Strategic Plan that ensures we will continue to be able to Create a More Positive Rehoboth, where there is room for all, for years to come. ▼
Leslie Ledogar is CAMP Rehoboth Board Vice-President.