New Meaning to Dog Days!
For a guy with the last name of Beagle who also lives at the beach, the “dog days of summer” can take on at least a couple different meanings. Combine that with the variety of work that CAMP Rehoboth traditionally takes on during this season, and add a couple more.
Once the sun sets on the summer of 2019, however, I will look back at these dog days and reflect on some rarities that may have lasting and hopefully positive outcomes, both for me and for this organization that I, and so many others, am so deeply passionate about.
For those who know me fairly well, I’ve avoided a second foot surgery for far too long. Increasingly worse arthritis has been the root of the issue for nearly three years, and after an initial surgery in March of 2017, suffice to say it did not provide improvement.
And despite the encouragement, dare I say prodding, of my husband, mother, stepfather, and many dear and well-meaning friends (I’d list them but you know who you are), I begrudgingly conceded and on June 19 a titanium plate and screws were implanted in my right foot to fuse the bones where my big toe joint used to be. Ouch!
While this has meant six weeks of no driving and limited weight bearing activity, the pain I once felt is greatly reduced and a slow but steady year-long path to recovery continues. I’m hopeful. Of course, this has occurred at one of the longest runs of hot and sunny weather that Rehoboth has seen in years. Dog days!
These last six weeks have also seen the work of CAMP Rehoboth’s Succession Team and Search and Transition Committees go into over-drive, as we near the point of presenting an offer to the top candidate to become the next Executive Director (ED). It has been a thorough, professionally guided, and thoughtful process, involving the Interim ED and co-founder, Murray Archibald, staff, community members, and the Board.
Transitions in executive leadership present challenges for non-profits and when it combines the loss of a founder and upcoming retirement of a co-founder, those challenges are even greater. While notoriously rare, non-profit succession planning is essential towards ensuring an effective change in leadership.
In a 2017 study conducted by BoardSource (a recognized worldwide leader in nonprofit board leadership), just under one-third of non-profits surveyed indicated their organizations had a written succession plan.
Here at CAMP Rehoboth, the Board identified six members to form the current Succession Team late last year. In concert with our consultants, we recognized that while change can be daunting, it can also provide new opportunities. That premise helped guide our work to establish the current succession plan, one that is guiding our efforts at this critical juncture. We are hopeful and excited for the next chapter.
Throughout this process, many have noted that for CAMP Rehoboth’s new ED, the shoes to be filled are big! Carl Schramm, President and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kaufman Foundation, and successor to a founder, offered this insight, “Even if the shoes fit, don’t wear them. Rather than mimic the founder, look closely at the path already paved, then choose your own stride. Make your own footprints.”
Sound advice! ▼
Chris Beagle is President of the CAMP Rehoboth Board of Directors and is a realtor at Berkshire-Hathaway-Gallo Realty in Rehoboth Beach.