Charles & Stephen Campbell-King
Born and raised in Georgetown, DE, Charles (CCK) recently went back to school and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Public Policy. He’s currently pursuing his MPA (Masters in Public Administration) at Wilmington University, where he serves on the Advisory Council for the school’s Government and Public Policy program.
Charles has been employed with the State of DE since 1999 and currently works as Project Manager for the Department of Technology and Information. He is active within the local and gay communities, mentoring for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2009 and advising for the Appoquinimink High School’s gay-straight-everyone alliance, “SPECTRUM.” Charles is also serving as a Board member for Equality Delaware and for the United Way Pride Council.
Stephen (SCK) was born and raised in Townsend, DE. He also went back to school recently and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management at Wilmington University. He is employed as an Associate VP Business Analyst for Bank of America, where he has worked since 2003.
As hobbies, he enjoys music, keeping up with friends, family, and trying to stay active with volunteer events in the local and gay communities. Stephen currently serves on the planning committee for the “Imagine” fundraiser for AIDS Delaware. At Bank of America, he is the Volunteer Event Coordinator for the company’s LGBT Pride Network for the Delaware Valley.
Charles and Stephen first met on match.com 12 years ago. They talked for several weeks before meeting in person, in Rehoboth Beach, at the Purple Parrot. A year and a half later they bought their first home together. With the changing legal landscape for same-sex relationships, like many other gay couples, they have several anniversaries…the day they met, the day they were ‘officially a couple’ in 2003, the day of their commitment ceremony with friends and family in 2005, the day of their civil union in 2012, and finally the day of our marriage in 2013.”
The couple reside in Middletown, DE, along with their dog, Izzy (Isabelle).
When did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth and what events/activities have you been involved with?
We began volunteering at CAMP in 2011 shortly after the Civil Union bill was passed, though we were very familiar with the organization and all its good-doings prior to our involvement. We’ve volunteered at several events, most notably the Bachelor Auctions, Sundance, Love, beach clean-up, and the 4th of July Pool Parties.
What’s your best memory volunteering here?
CCK: By volunteering for CAMP, you contribute to such an important pillar of the community. Gaining a better appreciation for all of the blood, sweat and (sometimes) tears behind the scenes that go into making the day to day operations and special events put on by CAMP Rehoboth go smoothly. SCK: My best memory wouldn’t be one specific thing, but just of how many people are so excited to help volunteer for the organization. At every event, there are always a group of motivated and excited volunteers not afraid to roll up their sleeves!
Of the many events held by CAMP Rehoboth, which is your favorite and why?
CCK: All of them—each is uniquely different and draws a different crowd; and it’s always a pleasure to see familiar faces and meet new friends. SCK: My favorite event would probably be Sundance. It marks the end of the season and is definitely a requisite event of the summer.
Favorite season at the beach?
CCK: From Memorial Day to Labor Day. It’s great to see Rehoboth businesses, restaurants, and hotels filled with such a diverse group of locals and tourists. SCK: Toss-up between spring and fall. It’s not crowded, parking is a breeze, and the weather is gorgeous.
Name a childhood crush or idol.
CCK: I’ve been a big fan of President John F. Kennedy. He wasn’t perfect, but he wasn’t afraid to dream big and announce those dreams. SCK: My childhood crush would have to be Tiffany. Yes, “I Think We’re Alone Now!”
Most inspiring moment?
CCK: Seeing Governor Markell sign the Marriage Equality bill in 2013, within minutes of its passage. Also, after volunteering on his campaign team, seeing Governor Markell win the Democratic Primary for Governor of Delaware in 2008. Until then, he had been considered the underdog and, while I’d volunteered on other campaigns, this was my first true “taste” of Delaware politics.
Favorite U.S. city and why?
CCK: After Rehoboth Beach (of course), San Francisco. SCK: Washington, D.C. It’s so full of history and diversity; it’s fascinating to be able to walk the same streets as some of the founding fathers.
Best year of your life and why?
CCK: 2003. I met Steve and finally felt comfortable in my own skin. SCK: 2003. Not only was it the year that I met Charles, but it was also the year that I truly accepted myself for who I was.
Favorite holiday and why?
Both: Christmas. We love the time spent with friends and family.
Name the biggest change you’ve seen in Rehoboth and how long have you been coming here?
CCK: The biggest change for me was when the Renegade closed in 2003! Born and raised in Georgetown DE, I’ve been visiting Rehoboth since a young child. SCK: How diverse the city has become and how everyone commingles seamlessly. My family and I have been coming to Rehoboth since the 80s.
Name three events that have shaped your life to where it is today.
CCK: 1. Meeting and falling in love with my husband, Steve; 2. Being a part of Business Professionals of America in high school, which opened the door for me to get an entry-level State job, from which I have worked my way up and earned the position and reputation I have today; 3. Becoming involved with the Equality for ALL group, which became Equality Delaware. SCK: 1. Coming out as gay; 2. Meeting Charles; 3. Being laid-off from a previous job which pushed me to my current education and career.
Your best vacation ever was to?
CCK: San Francisco, California. SCK: New Orleans, Louisiana. The architecture is beautiful and the streets are haunted! We had to go four years in a row!
What are you most thankful for?
CCK: Loving supporting friends and family. SCK: I am most thankful for living in the changing times we’re in now. I would never have guessed in 1999 that I would be able to be in a legal same-sex marriage. Exciting times!
It’s with great pride that I write this feature on my dear friends, the Campbell-Kings. Since our meeting during the Civil Union proceedings, we’ve become family, and I can finally, and publicly, thank you both for never saying “no” and for all the support you’ve given CAMP Rehoboth these last several years. I love you boys!
Know someone whose efforts should be considered for the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Spotlight? Email your suggestion.