This is the last issue of the 26th season of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth. With the reality of this year’s election still sinking in on us, it also feels like the last days of the golden age of LGBT rights. What it needs to be, however, is a wake-up call for all of us. With a conservative hold on all three branches of the Federal government for at least the next two years, it’s time to dust off our activist’s hats and be prepared for whatever comes our way. In his CAMPmatters column, Murray writes about the deep commitment that CAMP Rehoboth has to support whatever work needs to be done in the coming months and years, and reminds us that CAMP Rehoboth will continue to work to build a safe and inclusive community for all of us. For the present, which he also mentions, we are working to organize a discussion group at CAMP Rehoboth for those who may feel anxious about the future. In the days following the election, CAMP Rehoboth provided counselors for anyone in need of one, and Sal Seeley continues to be available by appointment. Equality Delaware is also discussing what might need to be done on the state level, and we will keep everyone posted on any decisions that are made.
Election statistics are always interesting, and sometimes disturbing. Donald Trump won the election with only 25% of eligible voters in this country (25.5%). Hillary Clinton had basically the same percentage (25.6%), and the third party candidate had a 1.7%. That means that close to 50% of all eligible voters in this country did not care enough about the outcome of the election to cast a vote. Hard to believe, isn’t it?
First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday, and since 2012, Giving Tuesday. Created by the 92 Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as an international day of giving, Giving Tuesday was created to stand in contrast to the consumerism and commercialization of the holiday season. Each year since it was founded, the amount of funds raised for charity, has increased—as has awareness of the day and its meaning. Like all non-profit organizations CAMP Rehoboth is asking our supporters to consider making an end-of-the-year donation to support the work we do, and there is no better time to do it than on Giving Tuesday—though, of course, we will accept it with pleasure right up until New Year’s Eve. With all the political furor in our future, the work we do at CAMP Rehoboth is more important than ever. Just look for the donation button on the CAMP Rehoboth website.
So the year comes to an end, a quick glance at the calendar reminds me that just because we don’t publish again until February, doesn’t mean that CAMP Rehoboth closes up shop for the winter season—far from it—and we will continue to be open throughout the off season. Plus there are several events to take note of in the coming weeks. First, on December 1, is our annual World AIDS Day Candlelight Walk through downtown Rehoboth, and Service of Remembrance and Hope at All Saint’s Episcopal Church. The Walk begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Rehoboth Bandstand. On December 11 and 12, director Russell Stiles will hold auditions for the CAMP Rehoboth produced play Stop Kiss by Diana Son. Information about the available roles is available on the CAMP Rehoboth website. On January 14, members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC will return to the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center with two performances of their new cabaret show, Let’s Misbehave! True Confessions of GMCW. Then, on January 27-29, our amazing CAMP Rehoboth Chorus kicks off the 2017 season with their winter concert, Come Fly With Me. Tickets for the GMCW and CAMP Chorus shows will be available on the CAMP Website beginning in late November.
With a political election that seemed to overshadow all else, this has not been the easiest year, but thank you to all who have worked to support CAMP Rehoboth. Happy Holidays.