Moving Forward by Giving Back
November is one of my favorite months of the year. When the weather turns chilly, I get to break out my favorite sweaters and snuggle by the fire with a good book. I also appreciate that November is a month of transition as we wind down from the summer/fall and begin to prepare for the coming winter season. The weather in November can be unpredictably warm and sunny one day and cold and blustery the next.
Much like the month of November, CAMP Rehoboth is in transition as we move forward, preparing for our future. We have had our share of unforeseeable events like the global pandemic and the realignment of staff after the departure of our former Executive Director. Both events have presented the Board of Directors with an opportunity to redefine how we want to serve the LGBTQ+ community by embarking on a strategic plan.
Since arriving in July as the new Development Manager, I have witnessed a thriving organization that hosted SUNFESTIVAL and the Block Party, both sold-out events. We created an awarding-winning float and marched in the Sea Witch parade and will partner with All Saints’ Church in Rehoboth Beach to gather in the community to acknowledge World AIDS Day.
We are a community center in downtown Rehoboth Beach that offers many things, including health and wellness programs. When the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health reached out to CAMP Rehoboth about offering the monkeypox vaccine, we offered the Elkins-Archibald Atrium as a clinic site. Not just one, but two vaccinations were administered at the site, to more than 200 people. Just a few weeks later, we partnered with Beebe Healthcare to administer over 100 flu shots at no cost.
CAMP Rehoboth coordinates the YouthUP! program that connects LGBTQ+ youth and families with resources and educational programs. We host discussion groups that offer a nurturing space where youth can feel safe and are encouraged to celebrate who they are.
A quick glance at our website reveals a flourishing events calendar filled with monthly programs like Men’s Yoga, Morning Meditation, Women in Circle, and the Flaming Knitters—just to name a few.
We also have an active arts and culture program that includes visual arts, theatre productions, and our very own CAMP Rehoboth Chorus. Our in-house art gallery hosts new artists each month. This past August, we hosted the Delaware Division of the Arts’ exhibit that highlighted more than a dozen award-winning artists from across Delaware. We hosted two fabulous sold-out theater productions, the most recent, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche.
The talented CAMP Rehoboth Chorus consists of a diverse 84-member community choir that is a mix of LGBTQ+, straight, young, old, single, and married singers who all share a common love of music. This past year they performed three community concerts and sold over 1,000 tickets.
CAMP Rehoboth has a long history of promoting human and civil rights and in June, several of our Board members were invited to witness Governor John Carney sign this year’s Pride Month proclamation.
I share all this because as the new Development Manager, I have witnessed a generous and vibrant community center—one that has been made possible through the generous support of donors at CAMP Rehoboth and the wider community.
Like so many organizations reemerging after the pandemic, CAMP is in transition and our Board of Directors is actively searching for a permanent Executive Director. It also is moving forward with hiring a firm to work with us on a new strategic plan that will serve as our roadmap for the next three to five years. According to Leslie Ledogar, CAMP Board Vice President, we will reach out to our constituents and conduct interviews and gather data. We will use that valuable information to figure out where we best fit and with whom to best partner moving forward so that we may continue to provide vital services to our community.
Creating a new strategic plan will be exciting as we imagine the possibilities for CAMP’s future. Throughout this process we will look to many of you to offer your time, talent, and financial support. If you are asked, please consider serving on a task force or committee, or volunteering your time where needed, or writing a check to help fund the creation of a new strategic plan. Give as you are able and recognize that by giving back you are moving CAMP Rehoboth forward to ensure that we will continue to be an integral part of the LGBTQ+ community now and well into the future. ▼
Laurie Thompson is CAMP Rehoboth’s Development Manager, overseeing all development, fundraising, and donor relations. If you are interested in becoming a member, sponsor, and/or a donor, or would like to meet with Laurie to discuss giving opportunities or planned giving, please call her at 302-227-5620 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.