In years past, the people of Camden, Maine would look to the top of Mt. Battie to see a large glowing star during the holiday season. For 54-years the star would take its place from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, acting as a symbol of hope to the community. Those who are involved with the project thought that people could use a little bit extra hope this year, so they decided to leave the star past the holidays, until the pandemic is over.
“I have always felt the Mt. Battie star to be a symbol of hope and community spirit. We could all get a boost from that symbolism right now,” said Camden resident Tom Jackson, who has been involved with the star project for nearly 30 years.
The large star is comprised of over 100 LED bulbs and can be seen from many miles away - a resident that lives on a remote island 20-miles from Mt. Battie said that they could see it clear as day from their house!
It was taken down at after the New Year’s celebrations were over last year and resurrected once again over the summer – the first time the great star has been seen outside of the holiday season. Since that day, the star has been lit every night at 7 p.m. and will be until the global pandemic ends.
Voices of the Community
Camden is a very community-minded town, so when Peter Rollins of Lincolnville, a gentleman who has been involved with the project for 25-years, suggested to put the star back up last summer the community listened.
He initially voiced his opinion on the Camden resident’s local Facebook page – a page that was created for community members to come together and support one another during these troubling times. Rollins’ suggestion was well-received, so they took it to the decision-makers of the town.
Mt Battie is located within the Camden Hills State Park, so Rollins and his supporters needed permission from the state to carry out the idea. They were happy to receive permission not long after their inquiry, but due to social distancing regulations it ended up taking longer than they had hoped.
Still, Rollins was able to gather a group of mask and glove-wearing people together to assist in getting the star back into position. The star is a symbol of hope; a reminder to never give up even when things doing go according to plan.
“It’s hope. It’s a shining light. We’re all here together, the star is shining down on all of us. It’s like today when it’s nice and sunny out, you feel better,” Rollins said. “If it makes one person’s day a little brighter it’s worth all the work.”
Once the volunteers got the glowing star back into position, some communities members took to the Facebook page and expressed their gratitude.
“Oh I’m all teared up! Yay! Thank you! Thank you, to everyone involved with making this happen! So amazing! I hope it brings hope and happiness to so many,” said Heather Spencer, a Camden resident, in the Facebook group.
The star acts as a reminder that the Camden residents are all in this (the pandemic) together. It will all end one day, but for today Camden, ME has a shining light overtop of them that will glow for as long as they need it to.