As this issue goes to print, our 4th annual Block Party will have come and gone and with any luck, along with some help from Mother Nature, it will have been a gorgeous fall day on Baltimore Ave. Created in celebration of CAMP Rehoboth’s 25th anniversary in 2015, the Block Party has expanded from 45 vendors that first year to just over 100 vendors and two stages of entertainment this year.
It has quickly evolved into a major event not only for CAMP Rehoboth, but also for the city and region, while personifying the true meaning of “community” and creating “room for all.” Special thanks to all who attended, participated, supported, and volunteered!
Staying on the topic of community, and as an update to my last column, the staff and Board of Directors continues its strategic planning initiative here at CAMP Rehoboth. After a series of four Focus Groups, we hosted a Community Conversation on Saturday September 29 to gather input, ideas, and feedback from anyone who wanted to attend.
Coordinated by our contracted consulting organization, DANA (Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement), and led by its President and CEO, Sheila Bravo, a productive and tremendously helpful session resulted.
Throughout the morning, I was struck by the level of passion and thoughtful contributions expressed by so many of the nearly 40 people who attended. Several statements particularly resonated and left me feeling optimistic and confident that our efforts to conduct an inclusive and collaborative effort were paying off.
One such statement expressed the importance of “generational engagement,” essential for our organization to remain relevant into the future and to be able to address the needs of all segments of our diverse LGTBQ community.
Another comment was shared during the segment when attendees were asked “Five years from now, what do you hope CAMP Rehoboth will be?” A long-time member and major contributor to CAMP Rehoboth replied, “I hope we will have had a profound impact on fostering a strong confident community where labels do not denigrate and where you are okay, just the way you are.” While there were many notables from the event, that single comment will undoubtedly influence this overall process. That simple and eloquent sentence spoke volumes and was a takeaway not to be forgotten.
The qualitative input from this phase of the initiative will help to produce a quantitative survey that soon will be extended to the broader CAMP Rehoboth community.
More information will be forthcoming shortly here in Letters, on Facebook, through email, and on the website.
In the next phase of the initiative, during our annual Fall Retreat in late October, DANA will facilitate a full-day strategy session with the Board of Directors. A work plan addressing accountabilities and establishing timelines will be developed on this day to help create the strategic operating plan.
With clarity around where the organization wishes to focus its resources, our long range planning team will then work with DANA to develop a strategic operating plan to support our Mission and Vision.
In this critical time for the organization, we are committed to seeing this process through and welcoming the resultant recommendations. I am more confident than ever that the end result will produce the plan we need to ensure organizational sustainability and a smooth and efficient transition to the next phase of leadership and staffing for CAMP Rehoboth. ▼
Chris Beagle is President of the CAMP Rehoboth Board of Directors and is a realtor at Berkshire Hathaway - Gallo Realty in Rehoboth Beach.