Camden Hills Class of 2022 delights downtown Camden with annual senior march

Mon, 06/06/2022 - 7:45pm

    CAMDEN — A most favorite part of the week-long Camden Hills Regional High School graduation week is the annual march through downtown Camden, as seniors, in their caps and gowns, make their way along Main Street, cheered and applauded every step of the way to the First Congregational Church for a multi-denominational baccalaureate service.

    This year, the Class of 2022 strode boldly from the middle school complex on Knowlton Street, down Main Street (Route 1) and up Elm Street to the church, pausing traffic and delighting their families, friends and community with their graduation accomplishments.

    People lined the road on both sides, and some brought lawn chairs. Cameras were recording, and parents directed traffic to side roads until the road was closed entirely by a crowd moving with the senior class.

    Perfect June air and sunshine accompanied the seniors, and for the first time ever — or else we’ve just never noticed — there were a number of barefooted marchers taking advantage of the almost-summer weather.

    Up the hill at the Congregational Church, only a portion of the Class of 2022, with their families, attended the Baccalaureate Service. In years past, the pews had been filled to overflowing, but this year, there was extra space, upstairs and downstairs.

    The program reflected the times, with reflections on diversity, for multiplicity of skills, peace, unity and gratitude, Music was interwoven, with the Chamber Singers, choral bells, Treble Choir, the trumpet and the organ.

    Sam Brownawell delivered the Congregational Dedication: “For all the people we have known throughout our school years, for all that we learn in and out of school, for all of those who touch our lives in the future, we give thanks. As we enter a world filled with challenge and diversity, may we be tolerant and accepting of others. For the diversity which makes us one, we praise the Maker of this wonderful universe.”

    For Camden Hills, the Baccalaureate tradition has continued for decades, and is multi-denominational, with clergy representing the Chestnut Street Baptist, St. Thomas' Episcopal, First Universalist and Congregational churches, the Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, Nativity Lutheran Church, St. Brendan the Navigator Parish, and the John United Methodist Church.

    The baccalaureate is an academic and spiritual tradition with roots in the Middle Ages, and honors education and learning.

    In Camden, it takes place every June, on the Monday preceding the Friday night graduation. That ceremony begins at 6 p.m., Friday, June 10. It can be watched at