This is the August 11 issue of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth and the next to last issue of our Rehoboth summer season. After Labor Day, we will return to our monthly publishing schedule. Be sure to check out our CAMP Arts and CAMP Dates columns to find out what’s happening around town now—and throughout the fall season.
Only hours before we uploaded the previous issue of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth to the printer, news arrived that President Trump had announced a ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the military. At the time I was only able to get a quick comment into this column, and we didn’t have much more than a tweet about it anyway. Now, The Blade has reported that the new policy (A Guidance Policy for Open Transgender Service Phase Out) has been approved by Trump and is about to be delivered to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. A Blade source is quoted as saying, “the administration wants to get rid of transgender servicemembers as fast as they can.” Bullies always go after the most vulnerable among us, and it seems obvious that Trump, who I seriously doubt cares one way or another about the issue, is looking for an easy target—and to provide a distraction from his own political troubles and a win for his base. Human rights should never be used as political bargaining chips, but here we go again. No matter one’s political perspective, this is not right, and we as a community need to stand up and fight against this kind of oppression at every opportunity.
Here in Delaware we have successfully added gender identity rights to laws governing employment, housing, public accommodations, and hate crimes, and no one has worked harder to make that happen than our friend Sarah McBride. I was very happy to see the recent news from ACLU of Delaware that they are recognizing Sarah, along with her parents Sally and David McBride, and Theo K. Gregory, at the 32nd Annual Kandler Memorial Awards Dinner in October, for their contributions to civil rights in Delaware.
For the staff and the volunteers of CAMP Rehoboth, this time of year continues to be all about Sundance. Please take a look at the amazing list of Sundance 2017 Sponsors, Supporters, and Hosts in this issue. Sundance is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and the people and businesses on that list are the ones who make it all possible. The big push now continues to be on picking up the close to 500 items to be included in the auction. To make an auction donation, drop it by CAMP Rehoboth or email Sandra Skidmore, and one of our volunteers will arrange a time to pick it up and deliver it for you. All Sundance tickets, and Host, Supporter, and Sponsor level packages continue to be available on the CAMP Rehoboth website at camprehoboth.com. Don’t miss this special 30th Anniversary Sundance!
With the end of the summer approaching, many of us turn our attention to the beautiful post-summer season in Rehoboth Beach. Early fall is one of my favorite times to be in Rehoboth, and for more reasons than we’re no longer publishing Letters every two weeks! September 21-24 Rehoboth gets wild with the Rehoboth Beach Bears 2017 Bear Weekend. The bear facts about the event can be found at rehobothbeachbears.com. CAMP Rehoboth is a sponsor, a beneficiary, and the location for several bear activities during the weekend. On October 16, from noon until 4 p.m., the popular CAMP Rehoboth Block Party returns for the third time to the second block of Baltimore Avenue—and it’s always great fun! At this time there are still a few vendor spots available. Call CAMP Rehoboth for information or to sign-up. Block Party admission is free, though donations are very much appreciated.