Hello and Goodbye
The end of every year is the obvious time to say a quiet goodbye to the past, and an excited hello to the future. It is a time of both bittersweet memories and hopeful dreams. It is the holiday season: a time to celebrate with friends, family, and the community around us.
This holiday season really is both bittersweet and hopeful for our CAMP Rehoboth family. At the same time we say goodbye to our longtime administrative coordinator Kathy Weir, we welcome Lynda Goold to the staff. We are sad to say goodbye to Kathy, but glad to have someone ready to take over the work she has done for so many years.
When I first met Kathy Weir back in the mid ‘90s, she was working for Sussex County AIDS Committee (SCAC) and volunteering for CAMP Rehoboth at night. When the time came for us to hire an office assistant, she was our first choice. Those days were a learning process for all of us, and Kathy quickly became an indispensable part of the CAMP Rehoboth team. Over the years we have all grown together, step by step, year after year, working to grow CAMP into what it has become today.
For many years, we all worked side by side in the same office. In 2005 we moved into our current building at 37 Baltimore Avenue, and Steve [Elkins] and Sal [Seeley] and I moved into the upstairs offices, leaving Kathy to be both the face and voice of CAMP for everyone who came to call. Her knowledge of this community, her passion for helping people in need, and her infectious laugh has endeared her to both volunteers and visitors alike.
I asked Kathy about her memories of the last 11 years, and she said, “The people! I remember all the people who came in to help. It always amazed me that people would drop what they were doing and come in to help us out.”
Back in May of this year, I started this column with these words: “Most of the time when I need a quick answer I turn to Google; when that fails or I don’t even know what I’m searching for, I turn to Kathy. No, Kathy is not some new and improved secret search engine; she’s our very real, flesh and blood CAMP Rehoboth admin assistant. Kathy knows stuff. Not gossipy stuff, but fascinating bits of information I didn’t even know I needed until she finds it, or clips it out for my attention.”
Kathy’s knowledge of, not just CAMP matters, but our whole community, will be missed by all of us. She has been the visible heart of CAMP Rehoboth for a long time. Our staff will miss her, our volunteers will miss her, and our community will miss her.
Kathy started her service to CAMP Rehoboth as a volunteer and I asked her if she would still be a CAMP volunteer. From the twinkle in her eye, I took her answer to be yes.
Goodbye Kathy! We’ll miss you!
Hello Lynda! Welcome to CAMP Rehoboth!
Lynda Goold comes to CAMP with a solid background in Human Resources and many skills that will be put to good use in the unique atmosphere that is the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. She is excited about being able to work for an organization that is doing advocacy for the people of her community.
Lynda and her partner Deb already have a house here, and connections to the community; she is happy to be able to live here fulltime and give up commuting.
“Learning from all the people who have been doing this for a long time is very cool,” she says. “I’m glad to be a part of it. I’m excited to be at the beach, excited to be a part of CAMP Rehoboth, and excited to have the chance to make a difference in the community where I live.”
One of the questions we asked candidates in our job search told a lot about the nature of the position. “Are you comfortable with working on summer holidays, weekends, some nights, and never being able to take a vacation in the summertime?” Lynda’s attitude was “bring it on” and I promised her she would never be bored.
As we say hello to the 21st year of CAMP Rehoboth, our organization is facing change in more than just our personnel. The Board of Directors and the many members of our CAMP Leadership Council are committed to creating strategic plans that will carry CAMP Rehoboth into its third decade. Those plans include analysis of our programs and events, succession planning, debt retirement, facilities maintenance, and more.
CAMP Rehoboth turns 21 in 2011—does that mean we are officially grown up? No, not anymore than any 21 year old is grown up. We’re still learning, still working to discover the best way to navigate through a world where bullies use gay as a battering ram; relationship equality is non-existent except in a few isolated pockets around the country; and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is still the order of the day for our military brothers and sisters.
Even when all of these wrongs have been righted, there will still be a need to create a more positive world around us—there will still be a need for community groups who seek equality and respect for everyone.
As we say goodbye to 2010 and hello to the future of CAMP Rehoboth, none of us know what that future will be, but from our experience over the last 20 years, I believe it will be a good one.
Please stop by the CAMP office over the winter. Except for Thanksgiving and a few days around Christmas and New Year, the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center is open every day. Please join us on January 29 at 4 p.m. as we officially say goodbye to Kathy.
Happy holidays! Goodbye 2010, hello 2011!
Murray Archibald, Founder and President of the Board of Directors of CAMP Rehoboth, is an artist in Rehoboth Beach.