“Many hands make light work,” is a familiar quote that captures the essence of the volunteer spirit.
Since its beginning almost a quarter of a century ago, CAMP Rehoboth (like other non-profit organizations) has depended on volunteers to accomplish much of its work. From key staff positions to taking tickets at the door of our events, CAMP Rehoboth has an amazing roster of volunteers. Over the past year alone, 426 people pitched in to make the CAMP Rehoboth vision possible!
During the years of the recession, CAMP Rehoboth, like other businesses and non-profits, cut costs by not hiring additional employees, and volunteers became even more crucial to our daily operations.
In what has become a great CAMP volunteer success story, in 2011 the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Committee sought out several new volunteers to join its planning team. Out of that reenergized team grew a deep commitment to provide a means to develop and train volunteers. Eventually that led to the creation of the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Orientation Program.
The Orientation Program, though ostensibly developed for new volunteers, has proven to be equally effective for long-time CAMP Rehoboth volunteers, and we now encourage everyone to sign up for one of the six annual sessions. The next Volunteer Orientation is scheduled for May 12 from 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m., at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. The four remaining sessions will be June 9, July 14, August 11, and November 10. Registration for the session is encouraged, but walk-ins are always welcome.
Over the past two years, the Letters from CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Spotlight by Chris Beagle has featured CAMP volunteers—sometimes as individuals and sometimes as couples. Their words sum up the CAMP Rehoboth volunteer experience better than anything else. Here are some of their stories:
“As a relative newcomer at CAMP Rehoboth, volunteering as a new ‘CAMPcierge’ is right up my alley. After attending the first Volunteer Orientation (in August, 2011), I knew my skills could be put to good use at the front desk. I began in mid October, 2011. I wanted to support CAMP in a personal way after losing my brother, Al Bulliner, in January 2011. Al was a big supporter of CAMP (as well as an original member of the Development Advisory Board) and this is one way I can honor him and continue his legacy here.” Ann Evans
“In the spring of 2008, I was recruited by Ward Ellinger to help break down the decor after the Black and White Beach Ball. I was chatting with Ward at the event and he told me how much Murray would appreciate an extra set of hands to help out the following morning. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.” Adam Linder
“I started volunteering in May 2010 with Chris Beagle, working to establish the Summer CAMP Beach House Challenge. I wanted to get involved with CAMP to help maintain Rehoboth as a safe and fun place where LGBT individuals and couples come to vacation, live, and work. I also wanted to help ensure that people (especially those in house shares) don’t take for granted all that CAMP has done, and continues to do, to help make Rehoboth Beach what it is today. All of us need to continue to work to improve and progress upon it in the future.” Josh Levie
“CAMP published a “Wish List” in 1992 for a Bookkeeper and I signed up. I was elected to the Board and became Treasurer soon after and have been ever since.” Natalie Moss
“I’ve met so many wonderful people, worked on so many different events and projects, and have always felt like I was helping to make a positive impact in our community. Not only that, but I’ve always felt that my efforts were greatly appreciated by staff, other volunteers, and all the participants of the various events. So thanks back to one and all who have helped make my experience at and with CAMP so fantastic!” Barb Ralph
“I’ve always supported CAMP by attending their events. Then last winter, I saw the Facebook notice looking for maintenance help and thought, ‘I can do that.’” Eric Korpon
“My younger brother, Peter, died of AIDS in 1985, so the Candlelight AIDS Walk is special to me. After we moved to Rehoboth, I went to CAMP and asked if I could provide red ribbons for the Walk—the answer was “yes,” so I ran with it…” Kathy Wiz
“We started volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth about five years ago. We moved here from New Jersey and our friends, who also do volunteer work here, told us about the positive things CAMP does for the entire community and the surrounding area. We’ve been involved ever since.” Ken Reilly and Tony Ghigi
On Saturday, April 21 the Volunteer Committee of CAMP Rehoboth will attempt to thank our volunteers at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party. I say attempt, because words are inadequate in the face of the huge contributions of time and talent that so many of our volunteers give over and over again throughout the year.
Volunteers may be the heart and soul of CAMP Rehoboth, but they are also its hands, which is why our new volunteer logo incorporates both the CAMP Rehoboth house and heart logo and a pair of hands.
Every time someone steps up and takes responsibility for a single task, no matter the size of that task, the work load of others is reduced. From CAMPcierge, to Rainbow Thumb Club; from Women’s FEST to Sundance and Starburst Gayla, the many hands of our CAMP Rehoboth volunteers make light work for us all.
For information or to volunteer, email CAMP Rehoboth Volunteers.
Murray Archibald, Founder and President of the Board of Directors of CAMP Rehoboth, is an artist in Rehoboth Beach. Photo: March 2012 Volunteer Orientation at CAMP Rehoboth.