Spring Again! A CAMP Update
One of my favorite possessions is a ragged little book of poetry that I’ve writing in for close to 25 years. It’s written in pencil (so I can edit at will), and its well-worn pages have grown faded and blurred with time and use. At this point in my life I don’t even care if the work is good or not, it’s just me, and it gives me comfort and joy. Buried within the penciled pages of that book is a short verse I wrote a long time ago. I always think of it in the springtime.
you may ask what I am
and I may answer
a fairy queen
or a knight in black leather
or only a small child
upon my mother’s knee
or a twig
but suddenly surging
with tiny new life
and fall for a time
into winter dreams
and spring again
Spring is a hopeful time of the year, especially after a winter as hard as this one, and it gives us new energy and inspiration to face the coming busy months of summer. From what I’ve witnessed in the CAMP Rehoboth courtyard, warmer temperatures and a few days of sunshine and everybody’s happy, except the allergy sufferers.
Here at CAMP Rehoboth we’re excited about the new season—and our new space. Now that we’ve been in our new building for a year, we’re really beginning to understand how to use it—and how to develop programs for it.
Over the last two years, the committee structure of CAMP Rehoboth was expanded to include a number of community members, each with a seat on the Leadership Council. At the recent spring meeting of the CAMP Council we were delighted to hear about the progress being made in many different areas. Here are some highlights from the Council reports and a few updates on the coming season.
Program Committee — The CAMP Program Committee is in the final days of their online needs assessment survey for CAMP Rehoboth, and preliminary results from that survey lead us believe it will be a great planning tool—both now and in the future. Looking briefly over the data, it seems apparent that we will be working to add things like: dance classes, a walking club, cooking and travel groups, first aid classes and much more.
The key to program development here at the Community Center is finding a passionate and committed leader or team of leaders, for each group. Over the next few years, program development will be one of our highest priorities—especially now that we have the space to house a wide variety of activities.
Artists' Committee — The CAMP Artists' Committee is open to all artists. Currently the group is working on developing art guidelines and schedules for the Community Center, including: juried shows, art exhibitions, HeART of the Community, and LottoHEART.
Volunteer Committee — The Volunteer Development Committee is another team determined to make a difference. They were responsible for the beautiful volunteer appreciation party on March 21 at CAMP Rehoboth (celebrating the work of almost 350 volunteers!) and have created the new Volunteer Spotlight feature for Letters from CAMP Rehoboth and for our Web site. To vote for a volunteer for the Spotlight, send the name of the volunteer to firstname.lastname@example.org with “volunteer vote” in the message line.
Volunteer Committee Chair Claire Ippoliti was also the developer of the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer on Vacation (VOV) program, which connects local visitors and residents with a way to help out in the local community. This year the VOV will continue to partner with Westside New Beginnings in West Rehoboth by offering a variety of events and activities including: a golf clinic, job interviewing and dressing for success, a photography/art event, and more.
Development Advisory Board (DAB) and Membership Committee — Last year the DAB launched our new CAMP Rehoboth Membership Program and a Membership Committee was created to handle it. The membership drive has been a big success and the Membership team is pleased to report that renewals are going very well.
This year we’re launching a new Business Partnership that will allow businesses to link to (and eventually advertise on) our online Rehoboth Beach Guide, and other benefits. Also, the Membership Committee is offering a challenge to beach houses to see who can sign up the most members. The Prize? A photoshoot, and the cover of the August 13 issue of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth.
CAMPsafe — Under the leadership of our Health Services Director, Sal Seeley, the CAMPsafe program continues to provide ongoing HIV education and prevention services. Sal Reports: work on the new summer media campaign is well under way; CAMP Rehoboth is now offering Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) testing as well as AIDS testing; the men’s and women’s support groups are flourishing; CAMP Rehoboth will continue to offer HEP A/B shots through DPH; a new cross-dressing/trans group is now meeting once a month.
Communication — The launch of our new web site last fall has made a huge difference in our ability to communicate in a timely manner, and the site continues to improve. A new e-commerce component will be added in the coming months, making all our transactions easier. If you’re not a Facebook fan yet, go to our web site at camprehoboth.com to join. It’s a great way to keep up with what’s happening here at CAMP Rehoboth and in our community.
The Communications team is also working with Comcast to produce a five minute spot that will run periodically throughout the day on Channel 8 (the vacation video guide).
Long Range Planning — Over the next few months, a CAMP Rehoboth Long Range Planning Committee will be activated to work on a number of issues. At the top of everyone’s list—secession planning. How and at what point do we pass the operation of this organization on to others? They’re hard questions, yes, but ones that must be faced for the sake of our organization.
So here we are in the springtime of a new year. I’ve only touched on our ongoing work, but it gives us a clue to what the rest of the year has in store for us. This is an amazing community and whether we know you as a member, as a long-time supporter and friend, as a donor, or from one of our events, support groups or other activities, we value your opinion and your contribution—be it time, talent or money.
As we continue to celebrate this 20th Anniversary year for CAMP Rehoboth, we are seeking talented people whose creativity, energy, and commitment will carry us into the next decade.
Murray Archibald, Founder and President of the Board of Directors of CAMP Rehoboth, is an artist in Rehoboth Beach.