CAMDEN — Downtown Camden was full of joy this evening, June 12, as the Camden Hills Regional High School Class of 2020 came marching down Main Street from the top of the hill. To say the graduating seniors were happy is an understatement — they were exuberant, as they strode past their friends, neighbors and the community. It was an historic march, given this was a rare moment when the class was actually together again, after enduring a pandemic that closed the school from March through till graduation.
But the smiles were broad, and the Class of 2020 joined all the other CHRHS graduating classes that have marched through town, a tradition that was not going to be undone by a virus.
Likewise, the cheers from families and friends were loud and long, as they raised big placards, banners and balloons from their stations along the streets. Some brought lawn chairs, others opened their tail gates, a fire truck from Union even joined the celebration.
While the logistics of this march differed from all other years, there would be no baccalaureate at the Elm Street Congregational church, there would nonetheless be a celebration outside the church, with bells ringing and bagpipes.
And instead of marking the full week of graduation festivities and ceremonies, as traditionally is the case with Camden Hills, this march signaled the end of an unorthodox graduation week, when the school split a graduation over two days, in order to keep the number of people gathering to a minimum. Students this year received their diploma from a family member on the stage of the Strom Auditorium. A video of each student receiving a diploma was then compiled into a final electronic document.
Students had already graduated, and this march wound up graduation week for CHRHS, one for the annals of history, when the world struggled through a pandemic. But the graduates of the Class of 2020 remained strong and healthy, and showed the world that they are ready to take it by storm, with a smile.