I remember when Keith Hopkins first walked into CAMP Rehoboth in early 2004. He told me he was interested in finding out what CAMP Rehoboth was all about. I’m proud to say that he has been an active volunteer since that first visit.
Born and raised in Sussex County, Delaware, Keith graduated from Caesar Rodney High School and now lives in Lincoln, Delaware with his sister, her three daughters, and his father. Until recently, Keith was employed as a playground attendant at the Morris Early Learning Center in Lincoln. Keith loved his job and most importantly, his kids. Unfortunately, the job was eliminated due to funding cuts.
Since then, Keith has become a professional volunteer, spending much of his week helping out at God’s Way Thrift Store and the soup kitchen in Milford, Delaware, before heading to Rehoboth to help out at Epworth United Methodist Church and CAMP Rehoboth.
According to CAMP Rehoboth President Murray Archibald, “When I need help with a project, Keith is on my list of people to call.”
When did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth?
I started volunteering more than 10 years ago. I remember walking into CAMP Rehoboth asking what was going on, and the next thing I remember is that I was volunteering to help out.
What events have you been involved with as a volunteer at CAMP Rehoboth?
Over the years at CAMP Rehoboth, I have helped with Sundance—set-up, tear-down, and security; the Black & White Ball, the 25th Anniversary Gala, with various mailings, and with general office needs at the Community Center.
What’s your best memory of volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth?
My favorite has to be Sundance. We start out in the convention center with nothing, and after a lot of hard work decorating, it’s show time!
Of the many events held by CAMP Rehoboth, which is your favorite, and why?
Again, it has to be Sundance. I love seeing all the people having so much fun. Next favorite was CAMP Rehoboth’s 25th Anniversary Gala. I especially loved the music, the food, and having Christopher Peterson entertain us!
What other volunteer projects do you enjoy?
I help out a lot at Epworth Methodist Church in Rehoboth. The most fun is helping the pastors when it’s time to get the kids together for the pastor’s children’s sermon and then get them off to Sunday school. On Sunday afternoons, I often help with Epworth’s Soup Kitchen.
What’s your favorite season at the beach, and why?
Most definitely summer! I know it is summer when I can hear Pamala Stanley singing every afternoon at the Blue Moon. Plus, my birthday is in July. That’s a great way to celebrate summer!
Name a mentor or someone who has had an influence on your life.
Rev. Pat (Loughlin) at Epworth Methodist Church has been one of the biggest influences in my life. She always takes the time to listen to me, and she is the one who helped me figure out how to get involved.
What are you most thankful for?
I’m thankful for this beautiful beach, for the sunrise, and for knowing that God is in control!
If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you do?
Volunteer at CAMP Rehoboth!
What’s your favorite U.S. city, and why?
New York City followed closely by Philadelphia. The first time I went to New York City was on a PFLAG bus trip sponsored by Epworth. I remember walking around the city and seeing Times Square. Wow! And recently, I went to Philadelphia for the Mummer’s Parade. What a great time and a great city!
What was the best year of your life, and why?
In 1996 when I graduated from Caesar Rodney High School, because I was finally on my own!
What’s your favorite holiday?
It has to be Christmas. I love the decorations and the time with family—my real family and my friends who are my new family!
Describe an ideal date night.
I would love to spend cocktail hour listening to Pamala Stanley, followed by a great dinner at the Blue Moon, and then a moonlight walk on the boardwalk. The night would end with a romantic soak in a hot-tub. (Editor’s note: Keith blushed and giggled as he answered this question.)
The LGBT community has made significant progress in the fight for equality over recent years. Did you expect to see this in your lifetime? Why or why not?
I’m not really surprised. I have watched everything going on at CAMP Rehoboth and around me. I am glad to see the changes!
How long have you been coming to Rehoboth Beach?
It was probably 30 years ago. I remember coming to the beach when I was about 10 years old, and sitting with my mother as we played in the sand at the edge of the water. That was a long time ago, but I still remember it.
Since you began coming to Rehoboth, name the biggest change you’ve seen.
Lots more shopping places, and lots more traffic!
Name two events that have shaped your life to where it is today.
My church activities at Epworth, where I can be myself, and my volunteer work all over the place!
Thank you, Keith, for your willingness to help out wherever and whenever you are needed. You help us make sure CAMP Rehoboth has room for all.