This is the Memorial Day weekend issue of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth. it is also the 25th time we have published a Memorial Weekend issue, so this too is another milestone in our continuing celebration of CAMP Rehoboth’s 25th Anniversary year! I haven’t written a column for all of those 25 years, but I have for most of them, and I’m quite sure I’ve written multiple versions of my same Memorial Day weekend words of caution. Distilled to their essence, they go something like this: There are no nude beaches in Delaware (dress accordingly); don’t drink and drive; don’t have sex in public places (and when in private, wear a condom—we have plenty here at CAMP Rehoboth); don’t drink too much, stumble, and head butt a basketball size dent in my car on the way out of the Blue Moon (actually happened one summer); don’t drink too much and throw up on my front door steps (also actually happened one summer—and on more than one occasion); don’t ride bikes on sidewalks—or park them in the CAMP Courtyard. Most of all, do remember to have fun and enjoy another beautiful summer at the beach.
For 18 years, CAMPsafe, our HIV/AIDS program, has provided testing, education, and outreach to our community—and continues to do so. CAMP Rehoboth Health Program Director Sal Seeley has directed the CAMPsafe program for 16 years, but that’s far from all he does. From coordinating CAMP-Mautner Project volunteers to overseeing our CAMP Rehoboth support groups, and providing counseling services, Sal is always a busy man. Currently, we’re working to expand CAMP Rehoboth partnerships with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center of Delaware, Delaware Division on Aging, and Delaware Health and Social Services, and we are now a partner member of the Engaging Men Project of the Delaware Coalition against Domestic Violence. We are also working with Delaware Renaissance and transgendered members of our community to start a Transgender Discussion/Support group in the fall. So much of all this happens in the background, but the importance of all our connections becomes apparent every time someone calls or comes by CAMP Rehoboth looking for guidance. Thanks Sal!
Thanks to the efforts of a group of volunteers called the Rainbow Thumb Club, the grounds and gardens of the CAMP Rehoboth CAMPus are kept in good shape. That includes the CAMP Rehoboth Courtyard and the areas in front of rSquared and the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. Keeping the plants watered, the gardens weeded, and the sidewalk swept is a daily chore, and we’re grateful to all the Rainbow Thumbs for their faithful service. In an effort to ensure that the work is never too much of a load on any one person, we are looking for additional volunteers to sign up as substitutes or as assistants on certain days or special occasions throughout the summer and fall season. If interested in becoming a Rainbow Thumb, contact Monica Parr at CAMP Rehoboth.
That reminds me that I haven’t officially welcomed Monica Parr to the staff of CAMP Rehoboth. Monica has been a volunteer and supporter of CAMP Rehoboth for years, and this spring was hired as the CAMP Rehoboth Administrative Assistant. Monica’s first day was slightly less than two weeks before Women’s FEST, one of our biggest events of the year! That didn’t faze Monica in the least, and she survived with glowing reviews. In the short time she has been here, we have already come to depend on her organizational skills to keep things running smoothly. Monica’s wife Emilie Paternoster, by the way, was one of the original 21 Sundance Hosts 28 years ago.
Speaking of Sundance: Sundance Host and Sponsorship packages, and tickets will be available online to members beginning May 29, and to the public on June 5. This year’s theme The Super Magic Rainbow Glitter Ball is perfect for our year-long CAMP Rehoboth Silver Anniversary celebration! Have a great summer!