Hello 2014! This is the first issue of the 24th volume of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth—and the 24th anniversary of CAMP Rehoboth, for that matter! Since we published our last issue of 2013 just before Thanksgiving, a lot has happened, as can be seen in the ten pages of holiday CAMPshots: Thanksgiving, World AIDS Day, the Christmas Parade, Starburst Gayla, GMCW Cabaret, A Christmas Memory, and more holiday parties than I could ever manage to keep track of—thank goodness we have Tony Burns!
As we head into the second month of the new year, the busy pace continues, beginning with the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus concert on February 8. Though the concert takes place the day after this issue hits the stands, and will have been completely sold out by the time anyone reads these words, I have to take a moment to congratulate them—not just for this wonderful new concert, but for their spirit, and the joy they share with one another and this community. We are very proud of our CAMP Rehoboth Chorus, they are ambassadors of good will for us.
Like most of us involved with CAMP Rehoboth, our Health Services director Sal Seeley wears many hats. Though his HIV/AIDS education, testing, and counseling through our state funded CAMPsafe program, and our CAMP-Mautner Project, among others, keeps him busy, he still finds time to handle our CAMP Rehoboth Gallery shows, and take the lead on organizing the occasional out-of-town bus trip. On March 29, Sal will once again be in the host seat, when CAMP Rehoboth sponsors another day trip to New York City. The bus will depart at 7 a.m. and return that evening. Seats are $45. Please sign up before March 7. For information or to register, call 302-227-5620.
In many ways it may seem that the work of Equality Delaware has been accomplished—coming as we are off the quite remarkable year that was 2013—but there is still work to be done. In early February, the Board of Equality Delaware will gather for an annual retreat, and to plot a course for the future. Last year, of course, along with marriage equality, we were successful at adding transgender to the Delaware hate crime and non-discrimination laws. We are very interested in following up on how those bills have been implemented across the state. I still get a little rush of excitement when I think about our successes here in Delaware last year!
Though LGBT Equality issues have made great strides in recent years—or perhaps because we have made great strides—the voice of the opposition seems be have grown even harsher. I’m often surprised by the vitriol still being tweeted or posted by our opponents. With Russia’s harsh treatment of LGBT people constantly in the news because of the approaching Olympics, we seem to be bombarded of late with words and images of hate. It makes me even more grateful to live in place where my marriage to Murray is celebrated!
A few quick CAMP notes as we head into the new year: a big welcome back to CAMP Rehoboth staff member Barb Ralph after her hip surgery earlier this year—and to Kathy Weir for stepping in to help us out in her absence! A big welcome, as well, to Wayne Knaub and Rex Rogosch on opening rSquared Design this spring in the CAMP Courtyard space formerly occupied by Boxwood. While I’m on the welcome wagon: greetings to our new Rehoboth Beach City Manager Sharon Lynn who comes to us by way of Provincetown—from one gay resort to another! And finally, to all our members, sponsors, volunteers, and donors, thank you for your support and enthusiasm for CAMP Rehoboth. As we head into a new season (and countdown the months to our CAMP Rehoboth 25th Anniversary), I look forward to working with all of you!