In recognition of CAMP Rehoboth’s 20th anniversary, we’re continuing our Volunteer Spotlight to honor many of the behind-the-scenes heroes that we’re so fortunate to have in our CAMP family. The Spotlight is an ongoing column in Letters and features recipients who’ve been selected by the volunteers themselves and you, our readers. If you know someone whose efforts are worthy of consideration, please make a nomination. We’ll be maintaining a database that will be used to help determine future recipients. Email us your suggestions.
Jane Blue: On Life in Rehoboth and Volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth
Originally from New Bruswick, New Jersey, Jane and her partner of nearly 19 years, Louisa Watrel, moved to Rehoboth in 2000 and reside in The Villages of Old Landing. Jane worked her entire career in the pharmaceutical industry and retired as an Operations Manager for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Jane and Louisa have “two furry kids,” Woody and Indy (Beamer and Tanquer R.I.P.).
Jane has served on the Board of Directors at CAMP Rehoboth since 2005, sitting on the Volunteer Development Committee and chairing the Operations Committee.
When/why did you start volunteering for CAMP?
Shortly after Louisa and I arrived in Rehoboth, I had an idea for what I thought could be a good fundraiser. Some of you will remember Liz DuFour and her amazing voice and piano skills. I really felt I had something wonderful to offer to Rehoboth with this idea. After identifying the Sea Witch B&B as the venue, with its Baby Grand, the next thing I had to do was get a temporary liquor license. A new CAMP Rehoboth friend suggested I contact Steve Elkins about this. I have to admit, the thought of calling this busy and famous person wasn’t terribly appealing, but I called Steve anyway. The rest is history as I met a very compassionate and understanding person and CAMP Rehoboth was truly introduced to me. It didn’t take long to realize that because of the ground work that CAMP had laid before I got here, I was privileged to live in this wonderful gay-friendly beach area.
What’s been your best memory volunteering here?
Definitely the cause and the people I’ve met. There is no first or second here —it’s a combined effort.
What does CAMP Rehoboth mean to you?
Having lived and worked “in the closet” and coming out in the early ‘60s, I never thought I’d live to see Domestic Partnerships (which allowed Louisa and me to retire) no less Civil Unions and Gay Marriages. This area is paradise to me because I feel so strongly that it’s a result of the strides that CAMP Rehoboth has made and the roads they paved before I got here. CAMP has provided me with this wonderful place by the sea where I can be myself every day and not have to wait for a two-week vacation to live out my dream. I can walk down the street every day and every moment of my life with my head held high.
If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you do?
Talk a walk on our beautiful boardwalk and call someone and tell them how happy I am to live in gay-friendly Rehoboth Beach.
If you could spend a full day with one person, who would it be? Why?
My partner Louisa, because I spend most of my days donating my time to CAMP Rehoboth and Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary, where I also serve on their Board.
“Wouldn’t you like to be a CAMPer too?” How would you encourage someone to get involved with us?
Read Letters and learn about the wonderful things CAMP does, then go to our website, fill out the Volunteer Form and see all the terrific things that will happen in your life plus all the wonderful new people you’ll meet. It’s a great organization that does so much good for the community.
More self-disclosure…please provide a little known fact about you, until now that is.
I love grocery store cookies as opposed to home baked, fancy ones, and I love ice cream. If it weren’t for Louisa and her wonderful cooking, I would be a complete junk foodie.
First thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “Rehoboth.”
My forever home…my ocean, my town, my streets, my everything. I wouldn’t be happy living anywhere else.
Cher’s not the only one who’d like to turn back time. If you could, what age/period would you return too? Why?
To the late ‘70s or early ‘80s because it’s the time I did a lot of growing and, boy, if I knew then what I know now I would have been a whole different woman!
We know you already love Rehoboth, where’s your next favorite get-away? Why?
Maine. It has always been a wonderful and beautiful place to visit. I have wonderful memories of the rocky coast, wonderful lobster, great art galleries and, yes, very laid back living.
Friends are coming over for a dinner party? What’s your signature dish?
Whatever Louisa is cooking! I’m responsible for the ambiance and the bar. P.S. I make reservations.
As a teenager, who was your first celebrity crush?
Tab Hunter but that didn’t last very long. I remember his pictures hanging all over my bedroom walls but, shortly thereafter, Esther Williams took his place. Does that tell you anything? LOL!
Entertainment: Favorite tv show? Movie? Entertainer?
The Good Wife. It’s one of the best written shows and I really miss it during the summer. My favorite movie of all time is The American President; a few years back when we were traveling a bit we must have watched it at least three ore four times in one year. Entertainer: I love Annette Bening!
Sustenance: Favorite food? Beverage?
I’m so spoiled by the woman I share my life with which makes this a very hard question to answer. I love everything she cooks but, if I’ve not had steak in a while, a filet mignon would be my favorite with a wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon.
Serving with you on the Board is an absolute pleasure, Jane. You’re leadership, commitment, and dedication to this wonderful organization is exemplary and we’re terribly fortunate and grateful for your contributions. Special thanks to your lovely partner, Louisa. You and I are both blessed with very supportive partners who put up with our love of CAMP and don’t get the recognition they too deserve.
To volunteer, fill out the volunteer form, stop by CAMP Rehoboth at 37 Baltimore Avenue, or call Lynda Goold at 302-227-5620.