Spotlight on Beautiful Rehoboth Beach – An Old-Fashioned Delaware Gem

One of Delaware’s most popular beaches, Rehoboth Beach offers visitors the chance to escape back into a simpler time amidst the soft sands of a traditional Atlantic coastal seaside town.

Historic and contemporary posters of every description show some of the beach’s most notable selling points: as a family camping destination where children fly kites and build sand castles on a sun-drenched summer day; as a paradise for surfers and cyclists; as a joyful stretch of game-filled arcades and carnival rides; and much more. 

Simply put, it’s one square mile of simple pleasures and outdoor fun in the “Nation’s Summer Capital.”

The History of Rehoboth Beach

Local historians trace the ultimate origin of the beach’s name to the Bible. The Hebrew name “Rehoboth,” found in Genesis 26:22, is often translated as “broad places.” At the beginning of the 17th century, English explorers called the local bay “Rehoboth,” likely due to its wide sweep of water.

In 1873, the Rehoboth Beach Camp Meeting Association of the Methodist Episcopal Church purchased land from local farmers and established a resort area, constructing hotels, a post office, and a series of small wooden houses it called “tents.”

The organization also built the 3,000-foot-long Rehoboth Boardwalk, now one of the central tourist attractions of the quaint small town. And in 1891, the City of Rehoboth Beach incorporated itself as a municipality in the state of Delaware after briefly using the name Henlopen City. 

Rehoboth Beach is now Delaware’s largest beach resort town. Thanks to the construction of a paved highway in 1925 that stretched from Georgetown to Rehoboth Beach, residents of Washington, DC, in particular have long loved the place. Members of the United States government workforce, as well as foreign diplomats, have spent numerous summers there. As our family demonstrates, Rehoboth Beach is easily accessible from Philadelphia as well as Baltimore. Today, visitors from all around the world come to Rehoboth throughout the year. 

On the Boardwalk

Stroll along the Boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach and find Ibach’s Candy by the Sea, offering handmade classic fudge, salt-water taffy, caramel popcorn, and other treats from the beloved century-old local brand Dolle’s Candyland. Ibach’s, a third-generation family-owned and operated company in itself, purchased Dolle’s in 1959. 

Funland Rehoboth has enchanted families visiting the Boardwalk since the 1960s. With enhanced social distancing, masking, and COVID-19 cleanliness protocols put in place for its reopening in summer 2021, this local institution offers dozens of rides and midway games, an arcade, a Skeeball area, and its signature attraction in the Haunted Mansion ride, one of the most popular adventures of its kind in the country.

The Boardwalk Plaza hotel, with its wrought-iron overhang at the entrance, recreates the look and feel of a Victorian-era seaside getaway with full suites of contemporary conveniences. Victoria’s Restaurant overlooks the sea, and even offers traditional-style high tea.

The Historic Cape Henlopen Lighthouse

In a roundabout at Rehoboth Beach stands a replica of the legendary Cape Henlopen Lighthouse. The replica, built in 1924 by a local realtor to call attention to his offices, serves as a reminder of the storied lighthouse, which collapsed in 1926.

The first foundations of the real lighthouse dated from 1764, with a lantern rising 100 feet at the entrance to Delaware Bay. The lighthouse served as a welcome sight to sea-weary travelers for centuries, and survived British bombs during the War of 1812. Local legends tell a rich variety of semi-true and completely fanciful tales about it, including that it was set on fire by the Redcoats during the American Revolution. 

Due largely to natural wearing-away processes at work amidst the disintegration of sand dunes and the constant action of the waves, the lighthouse at last fell in on itself. But its value as a symbol of the history and character of coastal Delaware lives on in countless images of the state. 

Natural Beauty

The beauty of the Atlantic coast’s natural world is a constant in and around Rehoboth Beach. Nearby Lewes has a Seaside Nature Center with a marine aquarium and extensive environmental education programming. The Rehoboth area also offers several picture-worthy city and state parks.

A walk on the trails that wind through the parks’ growths of oak and pine can yield sightings of birds, deer, and other native wildlife. The town’s wooded areas are also home to numerous sweet-scented magnolia trees. 

The nearly 3,000-acre Delaware Seashore State Park at Rehoboth Beach is filled with possibilities for camping, swimming, and surfing. Local shallow bays are perfect for boaters and windsurfers, and students of nature will find much to learn from the brackish and freshwater wetlands that provide homes for numerous varieties of plant and bird species.

Hikers will find half a dozen family-focused hiking trails through a variety of habitat areas, and easy-to-follow digital trailheads unlock the world of nature at such popular destinations as Thompson Island Nature Preserve. The Thompson Island Trailhead’s approximately three-quarters of a mile of crushed stone surface traces a route featuring memorable views of forest lands thick with conifers, as well as the characteristic tide marshes of the region. 

Featured Image courtesy Jeffrey | Flickr

How Companies Can Promote Work-Life Balance in the Remote Work Era

The year 2020 irrevocably transformed how we live and work. While increasing numbers of workplaces seem ready to continue embracing remote work—either entirely or partially—as an option, the old theme of achieving work-life balance has been again thrown into vivid relief in the emerging remote work era.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the dividing line between a person’s life on the job and their personal and family life was much more distinct than it is now for many professionals. And working from home, which in early 2020 sounded like a welcome respite for anyone fortunate enough to be able to do it, now has a burnout syndrome of its own.

Over the past year, it’s become common to hear people in a range of jobs express their struggles as work and life blur and “bleed” into one another. By now, most of us have been there for some version of the following: a barking dog, a kettle boiling over, a spouse interrupting a video conference, a child’s cry of distress from the other room shattering the focus of a Zoom meeting.

The stress for two-job work-from-home families can be particularly acute, with the activities of each partner’s job bumping up against those of the other as they try to share the duties of caring for and educating children from home. 

For many working from home, your office becomes your home and your home becomes your office, which can lead to the feeling that you can never really step away from work at all. 

A recent study conducted by Telus International discovered that more than 50 percent of remote employees surveyed had not asked for a mental health day off since they began working under pandemic conditions, even though almost all of the respondents said it’s important to take vacations while working from home. Meanwhile, another recent study found that less than a quarter of telecommuters rated their work-life balance as “very good.” 

Helping remote employees develop healthy work schedules, habits, and boundaries can make working from home easier, fairer, and less stressful—and now the onus is on employers to make sure this happens.

Experienced executives, human resources experts, and industrial psychologists have begun weighing in with insights like these:

Unplug by example

If employers don’t step in, their employees’ workdays can start stretching into expectations that they are available or “on-call” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So many major employers have started asking their team members to take sufficient time off. These companies also record the time and track the metrics to ensure that no one falls through the cracks. 

Understand that employees take their cues about what’s expected from their managers. Bosses should avoid sending anything other than the most urgent e-mails on an employee’s time off. One tech sector leader interviewed on this topic tries to lead by example, noting that no one should have to work under the impression that they need to be constantly checking in. Some managers use scheduling functions to write e-mails when it is convenient and set them to send at a later time.

A-synchronize your watches

Give employees the flexibility to discontinue trying to keep a traditional 9-to-5 schedule if it isn’t working for them. An asynchronous work schedule, as long as an employee is completing tasks properly and on time, can be in everyone’s best interest. But how to maintain the team’s momentum if everyone is working on pieces of a project at staggered times of the day? 

CEO of Ally.io Vetri Vellore told Inc. magazine that “macro-managing” is the answer. Instead of “micro-managing” every facet of an employee’s interaction with their team, keep everyone’s focus on the overall goals.[AB1]  Remind staff of their roles in a project and the trajectory of milestones that need to be achieved without getting overly caught up in procedures, lists, and timelines (unless those minutiae are integral to the project’s success). Teams can also benefit from a limited number of key milestone check-ins with the whole group. 

Build routines based on flexibility and communication 

Set aside blocks of time in each team’s daily or weekly itinerary when there will be no scheduled meetings or other time-sensitive tasks. This gives employees uninterrupted time to devote to a project and step back for short breaks to relax or take care of any family issues that may arise during the day. Scheduling these “off-peak” blocks of time by team, rather than by company, allows individual managers to determine what works best for their teams. 

It’s also imperative to communicate expectations about tasks, priorities, and job roles. Communication should flow from top leadership to front-line managers to employees and back again. Establish fair expectations for communication channels, patterns, and response times to ensure that everyone has the information they need to do their jobs. 

Create a virtual water cooler

Establish a “break room” where employees can, when they wish, hang out together informally online, just as they used to when they worked in the same physical space. Sharing regular chats and virtual breaks keeps a sense of camaraderie alive and renews bonds of connection that may have become frayed if everyone was suddenly catapulted into remote work. 

Take remote work on the road

Don’t create an atmosphere in which employees feel they are tethered to their computers and can never leave the house—this situation can quickly become a productivity-killer, not to mention a mental health problem. Instead of requiring an endless series of Zoom meetings, schedule walking meetings with individuals or teams by phone. Everyone gets a chance to stretch their legs and take a break from work, plus everyone gets more physical exercise, which in itself boosts health and well-being while sharpening memory and concentration. 

Stay human

When everyone’s face shows up as a tiny square in a Zoom meeting, it’s easy to lose track of employees as individual human beings. Focus on recognizing and rewarding achievement and finding ways to increase a sense of connectedness and morale.  Managers can also provide regular feedback in a ratio of five positives for every one negative, a proportion that promotes optimum productivity, according to Harvard Business Review.

Understand that many employees are facing previously unimagined personal, family, and professional challenges, and that many will struggle to maintain optimum levels of balance among their various responsibilities. Provide ample support for employees learning to engage with remote work. Offer opportunities for them to express concerns, fears, and challenges in a safe environment, with peers or with trusted mental health professionals. 

One simple but effective way of addressing these needs is to have a check-in period at the beginning of each meeting. Take this time to ask how everyone is feeling and give them ample opportunity to share and support one another.


The 7 Types of Philanthropists, and Why They Give

Major philanthropists may give in response to personal calls to ethics, faith, or social responsibility, or other reasons they find deeply and personally engaging. Other donors, particularly large corporations, may give in part as a component of their overall financial strategy, or to further expansion of brand recognition and public presence. 

A 1994 study by Russ Alan Prince and Karen Maru File continues to help fundraisers understand the most common motivations donors have for giving. The research and its findings offered nonprofit professionals a way to analyze the giving landscape. Its insights remain useful for anyone who wants to understand the nature and impact of philanthropy.

Communitarians

The most frequently encountered face of giving is that of the “Communitarian,” according to the study. For these givers, who anchor themselves in their local, national, or global communities, philanthropy makes sense as part of their desire to build and maintain these communities. This type of giver typically looks to support projects that benefit populations close to their hearts. 

Communitarian givers are often founders or owners of local businesses and can be frequently visible faces at local community functions.

The Devout

The “Devout” face of philanthropy refers to people who believe in their giving as an expression of religious faith or duty. Their desire to do what they believe a higher power requires of them drives them to support their chosen organizations, both financially and through personal involvement. These donors, who span the faith spectrum, see giving as an act of religious devotion. If they have the blessings of wealth, they feel they have a moral obligation to share it with others in need. 

“Devoutness” has evolved over the past few generations. Analysts point to the fact that the generation that fought World War II general supported singular institutions, such a house of worship college, or large-scale organization such as the American Cancer Society. The baby boomer generation supported multiple organizations related to an issue such as the environment or social justice. For many of today’s young donors, institutions in which they play a personal role are foremost targets of their personal sense of devotion.

Repayers

“Repayers” in this framing are donors who give back to organizations that have helped them or someone they love. They may be former beneficiaries of the generosity of the organization to which they have gone on to contribute, or they may give to a different group with a similar mission. Examples would include a person who received a live-saving kidney transplant who now gives to a kidney foundation, or adoptive parents who contribute to groups that make adoption easier.

Altruists

“Altruists” are donors who often walk among us anonymously. They give simply because it seems right to do so, making them feel their actions are in harmony with the need to bring more justice, fairness, or goodness into the world. They seldom consider whether they or their families will benefit from their generosity; they are simply compelled to reach out and help whenever and however they can.

Socialites

“Socialite” donors are attracted by the social excitement of joining in with others to further a good cause while having fun. They may do a lot of good for an organization, while still requiring considerable effort to keep them engaged: In the analysis of many experts, this group is the most challenging for an organization to maintain. Socialite donors are often highly successful at orchestrating and headlining events and can be excellent spokespeople who can draw friends and family into a cause.

Investors

“Investors” view their giving as a necessary part of doing good business. They typically focus on balance sheets to look for specific returns on their investments in charitable causes and want to see how numbers add up within their long-term financial planning. These donors also may bring strong and heartfelt personal commitments to their giving, but typically lead their charitable conversations with a search for measurable outcomes. 

Dynasts

“Dynast” donors, who are often people working with inherited wealth, have grown up accustomed to giving as a part of everyday life, and often feel expected to continue in a family tradition of support for specific causes.

“Dynasts” include great giving families whose names adorn well-known foundations today: The Rockefeller, Ford, and Carnegie foundations have funded major national efforts toward medical care, education, and culture over generations.

For those who work with nonprofit organizations, knowing how to build relationships with multiple types of donors is part of the lifeblood of day-to-day public service.

Peter Drucker’s 5 Characteristics of an Organizational Change Leader

Amid times of sweeping organizational change, good leaders understand that a major part of their job is to manage this change while still maintaining their organization’s mission and purpose.

Peter Drucker (1909-2005), often known as “the father of management thinking,” noted that the late 20th-century global economy was built on profound and permanent changes over the status quo that had been obtained in previous centuries. Drucker came up with the term “change agents” to describe individuals and organizations that consistently get out in front of change by proactively leading instead of simply reacting. 

Drucker, born in Vienna during the waning days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, came of age during a time of accelerated change on multiple fronts: economic, societal, political, and cultural. After working in journalism in Germany in the early 1930s, he escaped to the United Kingdom as the Nazis took power. He soon settled in the United States, where he taught at New York University and, for the three decades preceding his death, at Claremont Graduate University in California.

His early book Concept of the Corporation distilled his research into the nature of corporations as social institutions, based on his study of General Motors. He went on to write numerous books on management, business, entrepreneurship, and the evolving characteristics of industrial society in the modern age. During his lifetime, Drucker greatly influenced other thinkers and practitioners in business and management, and he achieved worldwide renown for the originality, incisiveness, and practical utility of his ideas and analyses.

As Drucker saw it, for an organization to survive, it must become a change leader. 

Today, the Drucker School of Management, the business school of Claremont Graduate University, continues to instruct new generations of leaders in his philosophy. Here is how the school has summarized Drucker’s five key attributes that define a change leader:

1. They question, seek information, and communicate

A change leader asks questions, digs deeper for accurate information, and assembles data to yield meaningful patterns and actionable intelligence. Change leaders cross organizational and conceptual boundaries, searching out useful information and strategies wherever they may be found. They also leverage the data-driven insights they gather as evidence for tracing likely paths the future could take.

Peter Drucker, as someone who primarily considered himself a “social ecologist,” posited a view of a change leader as someone who is an excellent listener and communicator. Change leaders are particularly adept at observing and analyzing their environments and in practicing the art of active listening when interacting with others. They look not only for what has been explicitly articulated but also for what isn’t being said. 

Drucker also offered five central questions that change-agent managers must ask about their organizations. They are:

  1. What is the organizational mission?
  2. Who are the organization’s customers?
  3. What is important to these customers?
  4. What results has the organization achieved?
  5. What is the organization’s plan?

2. They focus on marketing and innovation

According to Drucker, a change leader views all insights through the lens of marketing and innovation, the two main functions he identified as being central to any business. 

This focus means that change leaders have built up a broad and deep understanding of exactly who their primary customers are and what these customers value most. Using this understanding, a change leader filters out the noise to hone in on the essentials of how to solve customers’ problems better and how to offer even greater value to customers.

Drucker recommended that an executive also needs to understand how to balance the need for leading change with the need to maintain an adequate level of continuity. He believed that an appropriate measurement for achieving this balance was to devote about 10 percent to 20 percent of time and resources to strategizing for the future. 

3. They emphasize boldness, strategy, and calculated risk

Drucker also believed that part of a change leader’s job is to use a bold approach where needed, putting calculated bets on the best available strategic options. In other words, a change leader knows when and how to show moral courage and take a chance.

Drucker once elaborated on this idea by saying that whenever a business becomes successful, there is a leader behind it who acted bravely and decisively. In his assessment, a risk-avoidant leader and one who embraces risk make about the same number of major mistakes in any given year anyway. So, the risk-taker ultimately comes out ahead simply through the value of action over inaction.

4. They are constantly moving forward

A true change leader knows when to move on from traditional ways of doing things, even as they continue to look for opportunities to improve an organization in the future. It may sound simple, but Drucker’s insight is quite profound. To achieve new success, a change leader needs to first stop doing something old that is no longer effective. 

Drucker noted the common tendency of humans in organizations to remain committed to outmoded policies and procedures, things that once may have worked and been successful, but have either outlived their usefulness or been shown as less effective than previously believed. 

5. They practice good management 

Despite their full embrace of innovation, strategy, and decisiveness, change leaders are also at their core skillful managers. Their ability to orchestrate the delicate balance between continuity and change plays out across three spheres: the business of the organization itself, the work of their fellow leaders, and the efforts of front-line employees. 

Again, “balance” is a key word for understanding Drucker’s perspective. An exceptional manager/change leader understands how to recalibrate the organization’s operations and responses according to the changes being imposed upon it from outside while also seizing opportune moments to shape the future in line with organizational goals.

This requires the ability to grasp the significance of trends happening at the moment, as well as the capacity to see beyond what may be the present moment’s chaos to identify new possibilities for positive change and growth.