Class of 2020 will ride boats on Occohannock Creek 

 

As the regularly scheduled school year concludes, questions continue about the culmination of a high school career that is traditionally celebrated with the annual commencement ceremony. 

Packing the high school gym full of attendees as well as seating students into rows on a stage was not possible, so an alternative was suggested that truly fits the Eastern Shore of Virginia and our water-focused existence. 

Broadwater Academy released a plan outlining the first-of-its-kind graduation boat parade up and down Occohannock Creek on Saturday, May 30th at 2:00 pm. An inclement weather date of Saturday, June 6th at 2:00 pm is also scheduled. 

“While current state and county restrictions make our traditional ceremony impossible, we believe we have created a positive, fun experience that will appropriately and safely honor our graduates and allow families and friends to celebrate,” stated Julie Badger, Interim Head of School. 

The 2020 graduation is intended as a “special opportunity that we want the whole family to experience,” according to Badger. 

Boats in the ceremonial parade will launch from Morley’s Wharf outside of Exmore and travel on the southern shore of Occohannock Creek towards Shield’s Bridge. The parade will then turn around and travel on the northern side of the creek to Camp Occohannock and then return to the Wharf. “Several locations on the creek are available for the public to view the parade and property owners on the creek are encouraged to come out and cheer on our graduates.” explained Badger. In addition, all boat owners are welcome to join the parade which is expected to last approximately an hour or so. 

Badger continued, “While our parade in no way replaces the graduation ceremony tentatively planned for August 1st, this is a unique way to recognize the end of the year and our class of 2020.” 

COVID-19 took the spring season of high school sports, the final semester of school, and now has taken the empowering and affirming graduation walk among classmates and friends. 

What was lost to the pandemic is widespread and affected all forms of life and traditions, and this event is an attempt to restore a small part of the honor bestowed on high school seniors as they finish a chapter in their book. 

“First and foremost, anybody who chooses to be in or on the parade route should practice physical distancing guidelines that are in place at the time of the event,” Badger further explained. 

The one-of-a-kind ceremony is planned by the school to provide a memorable experience for graduates and their families and friends. 

“We are truly looking forward to a fabulous celebration that captures the spirit and tradition of the end of year,” Badger continued. 

The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 2 p.m., and will be streamed live on social media. A rain date of Saturday, June 6th, 2020 at 2 pm is also scheduled. 

Broadwater Academy is a private, independent PK3-12 college-preparatory school and 501 (c)3 organization established in 1966. For additional information please visit www.broadwateracademy.org or email ckellam@broadwateracademy.org

 

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