CAMP Rehoboth “Big Room” Joyously Renamed Elkins-Archibald Atrium
While COVID-19 robbed us of hosting CAMP Rehoboth’s 30th anniversary last year, at least in the manner we intended, we remain hopeful to host a 30+ celebration at some point in the year ahead. Time will tell.
As announced in the last issue, a major part of those 30th anniversary plans was dedicated to honoring the legacies of CAMP Rehoboth’s founders, Steve Elkins and Murray Archibald. Not wanting to delay this action further, the Board of Directors unanimously approved the formal naming of the Elkins-Archibald Atrium at its November meeting.
“Your passion, dedication, and career-long efforts to build and Create A More Positive Rehoboth played a major role in why so many of us chose to make this wonderful, inclusive community our home,” wrote Chris Beagle, Board President. “In large part, this is due to your selfless and visionary leadership. A grateful CAMP Rehoboth community thanks you for being our mentors, our teachers, and especially our friends. We will carry on your legacy in all of our work in the years ahead,” he continued.
The staff and Board held a “surprise” Zoom meeting on December 7 to personally share the decision with Murray. Former Secretary Glen Pruitt read the Board Proclamation that will be permanently installed as a plaque at the entrance to the center. Afterwards, Murray said, “Thank you all. It is a lovely thing to do for us. Steve has got to be smiling!”
In contemplating the appropriate name, the Board felt strongly that the symbolism of “atrium” was especially meaningful, given its references to chambers of the heart and being the central room of the facility. Since its completion in 2009, it has been commonly referred to as the “big room” and has hosted the countless meetings, weddings, art shows, plays, and even the signing of Delaware’s non-discrimination law on July 2, 2009. In the truest sense, it has served as the “heart” of the Community Center.
Now, for as long as the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center stands as the ‘Heart of the Home’ to so many in the local LGBTQ community and beyond, it will be forever commemorated with Steve and Murray’s names on the marquee.
A formal dedication ceremony will be planned as part of the eventual 30+ anniversary, whenever conditions allow large gatherings to occur. We welcome those days with open arms and smiling faces, and we look forward to seeing and celebrating with you!
Experienced Journalist Beth Shockley Named Letters Editor
Letters has a new editor. Beth Shockley, longtime Rehoboth Beach visitor and CAMP Rehoboth fan, has been tapped to be at the helm of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth as it begins its 31st year of publication.
Born and raised in Salisbury, Maryland, Beth has spent 40 years in the news and communications business. She worked in New York City for ABC News and in Washington, DC at Voice of America; spent a decade as a speechwriter for presidents, directors, and executives at national organizations; and did a stint in media relations for elected officials.
For the last 13 years, Beth was Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning Delaware conservation magazine, Outdoor Delaware; she currently still serves as writer/production coordinator for Outdoor Delaware’s online magazine.
Beth received her degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina and is experienced at the keyboard, writing and editing, on air as an anchor and reporter, and as a media spokesperson.
“I’m thrilled and honored to have been chosen to be the new editor of Letters,” Beth says, “I’m a longtime and avid reader. So it’s exciting to be part of LGBTQ journalism at last. Of course, I’m no Fay Jacobs—she’s left me a pair of huge shoes to fill. But I’ll do my very best to make Letters the best it can be. I hope to become as big a part of the community as Letters is.”
Beth lives in Dover with her wife of 11 years, their two German shepherds, and three kitties. Pre-COVID, Beth spent lots of time in the Rehoboth Beach area and is looking forward to getting back to town, CAMP Rehoboth events, and the Rehoboth dining and entertainment scene. She can be reached at email@example.com.
CAMP Rehoboth Golf League Gears Up for Spring
Swinging into Spring better and stronger than ever before, the CAMP Rehoboth Women’s Golf League 2021 is getting ready for its next season. The league is being organized and run by Jo Picone.
Membership dues include a league-branded member gift and special prizes for the End of Season Tournament. A portion of the proceeds go to support the health and wellness programs at CAMP Rehoboth.
What: CAMP Rehoboth Women’s Golf League 2021 Season. $35 annual membership dues. (Specially priced weekly greens and cart fees are additional.)
Where: American Classic Golf Course (behind the Acme on Rt 1 South)
When: Thursday afternoons, May 6 through September 16
Why: To have fun! This is a nine-hole social league with a few twists. If you enjoy a friendly round and making new friends, this is the league for you. All CDC and state COVID-related guidelines in effect during the season will be observed.
How: Send an email to Jo Picone: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, preferred email, your mailing address, and cell number. You will be included in future email announcements, and receive details on how to pay your league fee and instructions as the season opener gets closer. There are a limited number of spaces, so early sign-up is important. This is a great way to see and meet friends in an outdoor and socially-distanced setting. If you have additional questions, contact CAMP Rehoboth at 302-227-5620 or email@example.com.
Are You a Member? CAMP Rehoboth Membership Campaign Is Ready for Kick-Off
A new CAMP Rehoboth Membership Visibility Campaign is launching for 2021.
It includes a new “heart of the community” removable window cling. All 2021 members will receive one to display in car windows, a business door, or at home.
CAMP Rehoboth Board Member Jane Blue is Membership Committee Chairperson; she has led a successful and consistently innovative series of annual campaigns. In an effort to keep membership numbers rising, Jane has set the bar even higher than past years. The new longer-term goal by 2023 is: 2,023 members!
Currently, CAMP REHOBOTH has almost 1,700 members. If you have not joined the team yet, please consider doing so at camprehoboth.com. Members help sustain our many life-improving health and wellness programs, classes, free health testing and counseling. They also support art, music, and theatre offerings, the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus, advocacy efforts, and youth groups. And don’t forget the many fun annual events like Sundance, Women’s FEST, the Broadwalk on the Boardwalk, and the Baltimore Avenue Block Party!
Please join or renew today at camprehoboth.com, or email Anita at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 302-227-5620 and ask to speak with Jane or Anita about membership.
As announced last November, due to the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Women’s FEST will not take place in its usual live format, with dances and many in-person events.
But excitingly, there are new plans for activities everyone can still enjoy, in lieu of the dance parties, in-person performers, speakers, and various gatherings of the past. Women’s FEST will still host the two golf tournaments, an 18-hole event at the Rookery and a nine-hole Tournament at American Classic. Broadwalk on the Boardwalk will occur virtually in April. A panel of women speakers, some performers, and a Crafts and Arts Show with an on-line auction are all in-the-works for varying dates throughout 2021.
It takes a village to produce all of the new programming. If you would like to be a part of the process and aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and join a dynamic group of fun women who are making things happen, contact: email@example.com.
CAMP Rehoboth and Partners Support Historical Markers in Rehoboth Beach
CAMP Rehoboth joined the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice and West Side New Beginnings in expressing support for two historical markers in Rehoboth Beach. The first is a planned marker for Poodle Beach. During years when there were few safe spaces for the LGBTQ community, Poodle Beach was a welcoming oasis for our community. And of course, it has been the home of the celebrated Labor Day Weekend Drag Volleyball event for the past 30 years.
The second is a proposed historical marker for West Rehoboth. West Rehoboth, a historically black community, came into being in response to the segregation, discrimination, and violence African Americans experienced in Sussex County. Charles Mills, a farmer and devout Quaker, divided up parcels of his land and sold them to his workers for $100 each in the 1940s.
Currently in the state, there are no historical markers that celebrate LGBTQ history and only two historical markers that celebrate Black history. The letter of support was presented to the Mayor and Rehoboth Beach Commissioners. It can be read online at camprehoboth.com/advocacy.
Still Marching: Youth Plan Bridge Walk
Local students are planning a walk across the Indian River Bridge to commemorate the 1965 walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge led by John Lewis that led to the passage of the 1966 Voting Rights Act. Participants will gather on March 7 at 3:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the Indian River Bridge. The walk is supported by CAMP Rehoboth and a broad coalition of social justice organizations.
The idea for the walk came about after a group of multi-faith teens viewed the documentary Good Trouble and discussed John Lewis’s life and the Selma walk. They wanted to do something to commemorate Lewis, who recently passed away. The march will be webcast live and will be videotaped for future publicity and use during the virtual rally to take place on Tuesday, March 9, on Zoom. For more information visit the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice website at sdarj.org. Be sure to sign up for their email broadcast list.
CAMP Weighs in on Improving Delaware Healthcare
If you are a recent transplant to Delaware, you may know first-hand that finding a primary care provider can be challenging. A new report created by the Delaware Department of Insurance (An Integrated Approach to Improve Access, Quality and Value) confirms that access to primary care in our state is limited and things are likely to get worse unless we take action.
CAMP Rehoboth was proud to submit comments on the new report. CAMP Rehoboth encouraged the department to have a special focus on healthcare access and affordability for LGTBQ Delawareans, noting that LGBTQ folks, and specifically, transgender and nonbinary individuals, can face overwhelming—and at times insurmountable—challenges to accessing appropriate care.
The full report from the Delaware Department of Insurance, along with the comments submitted by CAMP Rehoboth, can be found at camprehoboth.com/advocacy.