Barbara (Babs) Butta
Barbara Butta, better known as “Babs” is a Baltimore Native. She has four cats: Francesca (who is the mama), Freska, Fresko, and Harriet. She also has two feral cats that have taken shelter on the side porch of her home. Babs attended The Catholic High School of Baltimore, graduating in the late 70s. In 1979 after graduation, Babs, along with a good friend (who later became the drummer for one of the top all girl bands, the Go-Go’s) moved to Los Angeles, and then to San Francisco. After living in California for many years Babs decided to return to the east coast. She moved to northern Virginia in 1994 and lived there until her move to Rehoboth Beach in 2011. Her work career has always been in the technology field. For many years she worked as a mainframe programmer. That role is now secondary to her main job which is working as a Help Desk Technician. In her spare time (when she isn’t volunteering), she likes to play tennis, racquetball, and golf.
When did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth?
I have been volunteering with CAMP since 2010 when I started volunteering with Volunteers on Vacation. The group is now known as CROP (CAMP Rehoboth Outreach Program). I became part of the CROP Management Team in 2012. Our motto: volunteers planting the seeds of love in the community.
What events/activities have you been involved with as a volunteer?
As part of CROP, we garden, clean the state park trails, feed International students and the homeless. We also help with the Food Bank and with Habitat for Humanity. And let’s not forget, we usher for the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus events.
What’s your best memory volunteering here?
Volunteering always gives me the good feeling of giving back. An early experience was gardening in the pouring rain at the Senior Center in Lewes. It was a tough assignment, but we all worked fast and it looked pretty good when we were done.
Of the many events held by CAMP Rehoboth, which is your favorite and why?
It would have to be when my CROP group worked with Epworth Church providing a home cooked meal to International Students. Working with the Epworth volunteers was like looking into my future. All their volunteers are much older than our group. They genuinely enjoyed their work and their comradery was a pleasure to see.
Favorite season here at the beach and why?
Fall is my favorite season. There is always something going on. However, the beaches are quiet, there are ample seats in the restaurants, and the Seawitch Festival is always a fun time for me. I also enjoy the RB Film Society Independent Film Festival.
Name a childhood mentor or someone who influenced you while growing up.
My mentor would have to be my Dad, Sal Butta (RIP). I learned a lot about “community” from him. He and a few other dads founded a civic association for the neighborhood where I grew up. They lobbied and achieved the building of an elementary school and a community playground. He was always active in politics, not for himself, but as a means to get improvements for the community where we lived. His compassion for people and his political acumen made him a natural mediator for friends and associates who came to him for his guidance.
If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you do?
I would use any extra time I had to improve myself. I work on me 24/7. An extra hour in a day would give me more time to find myself.
Favorite U.S. city and why?
Of all the places I have lived, my spirit shines the best here. So, I would have to say that Rehoboth Beach is my favorite city, and a great small town city.
Night owl or early riser and why?
I am an early riser. I am a worker bee —I start all my days at 7 a.m., I have done this my entire life.
Best year of your life and why?
To date, the best year of my life has not yet happened.
Favorite holiday and why?
Most people pick Christmas and Thanksgiving. But, my favorite holiday is Halloween. It’s spooky and fun, and dressing up like a cowgirl year after year is still very enjoyable to me.
The LGBT community has made significant progress in the fight for equality over recent years. Did you expect to see this in your lifetime?
I can’t really say if I expected in my lifetime. However, I am glad it happened sooner rather than later in my lifetime. It is a good thing for all people so acceptance of the LGBT community can, and will become mainstream.
How long have you been coming to Rehoboth?
I started coming to Rehoboth around 2000, and bought my place here in 2003. When I first moved into my home, it was close enough that we could hear the disco music (a thumping sound) from the Renegade.
Since you began coming to Rehoboth, name the biggest change you’ve seen.
Since 2000, the town has grown more than I could have ever imagined. The state park improved the trails, and a great number of people have moved here. Now, with sidewalks on Route 1 it could not get any better.
Name three events that have shaped your life to where it is today.
Losing my last parent (my Mom) in 2014, the struggle to support my older sister with M.S., she is living in a nursing home because she is wheelchair bound, and after years of working in an office with a daily commute, getting the OK to work from home.
Describe an ideal date night.
My ideal date night would be having a picnic supper under the stars with live country music, and after, a fireworks display.
What are you most thankful for?
I am thankful for many things, but mostly I am thankful for my health, my job, my cats, and my friends.
Babs, thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of, and your work with CROP. It is always a pleasure seeing you at the events. We are grateful to have the support, and dedication from people like you, not only in the CAMP Rehoboth community, but in the Rehoboth community as a whole. Thank you for all you do!