This is issue number 14 in the 2019 volume of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth— and the next-to-last issue of the year. In 2020 CAMP Rehoboth will celebrate its 30th anniversary. I don’t have details at this time, but I’m quite sure the party will be one to remember. This is the Halloween issue of Letters, and has a monster theme. Trick or treat?▽
By the time this issue of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth is available on the streets of Rehoboth, I will have stepped down from my role as Interim Executive Director of CAMP Rehoboth. I moved from my longtime position as President of the Board of Directors, into this role when Steve got too sick to continue his work. The intervening months have been a challenge, but I am grateful for the love and support shown to me by our community throughout this time.
On Monday morning, October 7, David Mariner officially became the next Executive Director of CAMP Rehoboth. Staff, Board, and members of the Search and Transition Teams were present on that day to welcome David. All of us want CAMP Rehoboth to continue to serve the community at the same time it adapts to meet the needs of the future. Congratulations David! And welcome to CAMP Rehoboth. For more about David, check out the interview in this issue▽
CAMP Rehoboth has been a sponsor of the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival from its early days, and as we usually do, there is a preview of films in this issue of particular interest to LGBTQ viewers. The 2019 Film Festival takes place from October 31-November 10. Unbelievably to me, as it seems like yesterday, the RB Film Festival is now in its 22nd year. The Festival continues to attract visitors from all over the mid-Atlantic region. Visit their website for information and details about this year’s event. In addition to the annual fall Film Festival, the Film Society also partners with CAMP Rehoboth for the LGBTQ mini film festival CINE-brations, April 2-5, 2020.▽
I sometimes ask myself why we continue to produce the World Aids Day Candlelight Walk and Service of Remembrance and Hope every December 1. The answer comes to me in the middle of the service every year. In the act of remembering our friends and family lost to AIDS, we acknowledge the scope of that generation-defining loss. The world would be a different place if all those brilliant and talented people, taken so abruptly from us, were still alive. I’ve said it before, I’m not even sure that CAMP Rehoboth would exist if not for the lessons we learned during the height of the AIDS crisis. The Candlelight Walk begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand. Email to have a name added to the list of names read at the service.▽
In the year-and-a-hald since Steve passed away, and as I prepared for this transition, I’ve had plenty of time to remember the past and speculate about the future. I don’t in any way expect the future to mirror the past, but I do hope the foundational principles that guided us along the way will continue to shape the decision-making process of the organization. Those principles are reflected in the updated vision statement created as a part of CAMP Rehoboth’s recent strategic planning process. “We create proud and safe communities where gender identity and sexual orientation are respected.” The phrases we used to describe CAMP Rehoboth for the past 30 years continue to be a part of our story. “Room for all, heart of the community,” and of course, the one embedded in the acronym that forms the word CAMP, “create a more positive.” Anchoring them all was a deep commitment to welcome all people. There was a generosity of spirit. An easy forgiveness. And the ability to laugh at our own mistakes—and to learn from them. My role in the future of CAMP Rehoboth is not entirely clear, but I will always be Founder, and that is enough. ▼