May 7, 2020 at 5:49 am EDT | by Joshua Keller
CAMP Rehoboth boosts online programming during COVID crisis
CAMP Rehoboth, National HIV Testing Day, gay news, Washington Blade
CAMP Rehoboth’s offices may be closed, but much of its programming continues online. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

CAMP Rehoboth, the LGBT community services organization in Rehoboth Beach, Del., continues to run programming and services online during the COVID-19 crisis, including exercise classes, a book club, and grief support groups.

Among this programming are the LGBTQA+ Youth Circle Meetings that build on the connections made between young people at the March summit CAMP Rehoboth led for Gender and Sexuality Alliances at Sussex County schools.

Sal Seeley, director of CAMP Rehoboth’s health and wellness programming, explained the importance of continuing to provide services during the pandemic.

“One thing we said we really needed was a way to keep our community together instead of being isolated because we know with isolation comes a whole host of mental health issues, which lead to physical health problems,” said Seeley. “We really wanted to get our programs going to build a virtual community.”

Many CAMP Rehoboth services are more popular now than ever. Moving programming online has allowed CAMP Rehoboth to expand its reach to more Delawareans who may otherwise not have an LGBTQ community center near them.

Seeley says “it’s been amazing how all the programs have exploded, and it’s just been nonstop.”

With this increase in programming, CAMP Rehoboth’s biggest challenge now “is having funds to maintain them,” says Seeley.

Although many services can transition online, CAMP Rehoboth shut down its five HIV testing sites across the state. Despite this, people can get tested for HIV by making a direct appointment through Seeley or by calling CAMP Rehoboth.

“We want to make sure people are still being tested because HIV infections don’t stop because COVID-19 has started,” explains Seeley.
Seeley also hosts an online sexual health counseling session every other week.

People can sign up for this service and all programming by registering through the CAMP Rehoboth online calendar or by emailing Seeley.

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