The Star-Herald

Baptist Park reinvents itself

Grade 5 steps up

Taking a page out of the Presque Isle High School graduation playbook, Mapleton Elementary School held a fifth-grade graduation parade. 

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the school was unable to hold its regular program, but school staff and parents planned a special parade with a drive-thru presentation of awards and graduation certificates.

Mapleton Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Valerie Black congratulates a student on her graduation as she hands the student her bag with her diploma and awards.
(Courtesy of Terry Sandusky)

Each student rode with family members starting at 6 p.m. at the Mapleton Fire Department, where all the vehicles were assembled.  The parade, led by the fire department, proceeded to the school.  School staff met and directed the parade through a winding route starting at the lower driveway and up through the lower parking lot before stopping in front of the school.  All along this winding route, there were individual placards for every student, which they could take home.  

In front of the school, each vehicle was greeted by the Principal Dan Duprey, assistant principal Ralph Michaud and fifth-grade teachers Valerie Black and Angela Bernier. Since passengers were required to stay in their vehicles, awards and certificates were presented through the vehicle window to each student, along with best wishes for the coming year at Presque Isle Middle School.

As students and their families left, they passed signs telling them they are awesome and they rocked the fifth grade.  Parents expressed their thankfulness for the special evening.

Mapleton Elementary School held a special fifth-grade graduation parade that started at the Mapleton Fire Department and went to the school, where the parade wound through the parking lot and then stopped in front of the school where students received their awards and certificates. This sign greeted all of the students on the grounds.
(Courtesy of Terry Sandusky)

Baptist Park reinvents camp

COVID-19 disrupted many events and activities here in Aroostook County.  Baptist Park was no exception, but the campground’s leadership saw opportunities to continue Christian camping and education work.  While disappointed the overnight camping program had to be cancelled this year, they came up with new programs.

This summer Baptist Park will hold five camping weeks, which will be a little different from the traditional overnight camps.  New camp director Josh Duncan has devised virtual camping experiences that are being called “Camp @ Home Box.” 

Registered campers will receive a box with camp “swag,” like a T-shirt, devotions and access to the Camp @ Home portal, which will give the campers exclusive video content so they can experience camp. Each camper will be able to post responses and interact with a camp counselor and each other via Facebook and Instagram. Each night of camp, there will be an evening service. 

There will be five camp sessions starting with a Leadership Camp scheduled for June 29-July 3. This five-day virtual camp is for 15-18 year-olds who would like to be staff at the camp in the 2021 camping year.  Sessions will last 1-2 hours per day.  

“Flight Camp,” July 5-10, is for campers ages 14-17.  Flight Camp provides instruction on how airplanes fly and how pilots/mechanics provide mission aviation throughout the world.  

“Jumpstart Adventures” camp week will be for campers ages 8-10 and will use the “Camp @ Home” portal.  

For campers ages 10-12, “Outdoor Adventure” week will again use the camp portal to share virtually an active week of hiking, mountain biking, outdoor cooking and maybe a night under the stars.  

Digital Arts/Theater Week, for campers ages 11-14, and will be held July 26-31. This camp will involve outdoor activities with emphasis on creating videos, taking digital photos and the sharing of Baptist Park virtually.   

For more information and camp registration, contact Baptist Park online at: ; or by phone (207) 764-1832.

Chicken barbecue

Though the Mapleton Lions Club and the Mapleton Daze Committee had to cancel their major spring events due to the coronavirus, the Lions have rescheduled their traditional Mapleton Daze chicken barbecue to Saturday, July 11, at 4 p.m.

The dinner will be a drive-thru meal, just as the May bean supper. Each meal will be $10. The club will grill chicken and add potato salad, coleslaw, a roll and a drink, while the Mapleton Daze Committee will add strawberry shortcake as a treat to show their appreciation for the Lions’ support.

Customers will drive thru and order the number of meals they wish to purchase, as well as select their drinks.  The club asks folks to follow these simple rules:  1. Enter the serving line on the west side of the Mapleton Lions Hall;  2.  No one is to exit their vehicle; 3. a choice of beverage will be allowed; 4.  Meals will be handed in through car windows; 5. Vehicles will exit on the east side of the hall on to Main Street. 

No walk-ups or eating on the premises will be allowed.  Meals will be prepared by the lions, sealed, bundled and passed through the window of the customers’ vehicle windows.  The club will deliver to individuals who are either home bound or would have difficulty picking up meals.

Town office update

Summer recreation program dates will be July 6 to Aug. 14. Registration is open for various programs for children ages 3-16, including soccer fundamentals, biking, hiking, baseball fundamentals, tennis, dance, yoga, corn hole, running and horse shoes. 

Visit for registration forms, which must be dropped off at the Mapleton Town office along with payment of recreation fees.  

For more information, call 764-3754.

Ryan Goding
(Courtesy of Terry Sandusky)

Apologetics conference  

Baptist Park will host the Northern Maine Apologetics Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15, with featured presenter Ryan Goding.

Goding is on the board of directors for AIIA, which is the major apologetics organization in Maine. The conference is designed to encourage believers to intelligently share the Christian faith and wisely respond to questions.  

The event is open to pastors, clergy, lay people and teens.  Lunch will be provided.   The cost of the conference is $25.  Conference organizers request that a deposit of $5.00 be sent to Baptist Park, P.O. Box 498, Mapleton, Maine 04757 by July 1. 

For additional information, contact conference coordinator Ken Phelps at 540-5660.

Terry Sandusky is the Star-Herald correspondent for Mapleton, Chapman and Castle Hill and can be reached at 764-4916 or at

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