Bethany church throwing picnic for international student-workers


A group of international students pose for a photo during a past picnic at Saint Martha’s Episcopal Church in Bethany Beach.

Coastal Point • File Photo

Each summer, Bethany Beach and many neighboring towns fill the staff of local businesses with international student-workers. The students come from all over for a summer experience in the States, and Martha Fields at Saint Martha’s Episcopal Church in Bethany Beach makes sure to welcome the students with a picnic.

On June 26, starting at 5:30 p.m., Saint Martha’s Church is inviting all the international student-workers over for food, drinks and conversation to truly welcome them both to the country and to Bethany Beach.

Fields said they have been “involving them with a welcoming group of people so they come in with a good first impression of the country.” The students are welcomed by volunteers and members of the church to a picnic in the Social Hall of the church.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer can arrive at the Social Hall early to help set up and to help make it a experience memorable for the students.

Though the event truly starts at 5:30, the international students are encouraged to come over as soon as their schedule allows. If their work schedule is keeping them until later, they can feel free to come over whenever is convenient.

An exciting piece of any event is to see familiar faces, and it’s not uncommon for international students from prior years to come back to the picnic because when they left the country the prior year they had such a positive attitude about it that they wanted to come back, said Fields.

While handing out fliers to promote the event, Fields went to many local businesses and came across many people who were once international student-workers and who had attended the event during their first summer. They have come back and acquired jobs, such as bartending and even becoming a state trooper.

Martha Fields said she aims to make the international students feel a warm and positive welcome and wants them to have a place that for them to feel comfortable going if they ever need anything throughout the summer. The picnic is held at Saint Martha’s Church, at the corner of Maplewood Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Bethany Beach.

By Megan Kotelchuck
Point Intern