The students spilled out of their cars on the causeway in Naples, greeting each other with hugs and squeals of excitement. It was Prom Night for the kids from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris – one of the last of the season in Maine – and they wanted pictures together with Long Lake as their backdrop.

Prom is all about the anticipation, said Abbie Taber, a junior at the regional school of 1,100 students from eight towns in western Maine. “Getting ready, seeing your friends, taking photos,” she said. “That is a lot of the fun.

The event itself would take place a five-minute drive away, at the large wooden lodge at Camp Takajo in Naples, overlooking the lake. In addition to the constellations of white twinkle lights hanging from the rafters, courtesy of the prom committee, a stuffed moose head presided over the scene at the lodge. Tuxes with sneakers were a noticeable trend; for the girls, it was a mix of floor-length ball gowns and short dresses with combat boots. Prom Night gives the diverse student body here a chance for a shared experience.

“I think we all go because you don’t want to miss out on the experience,” Taber said. “It is something you’ll look back on.”

Then came a song the kids have heard a few times this school year, the track the football team plays after a big win: Pitbull’s “Hotel Room Service.” The promgoers formed circles on the dance floor and, together, belted out the words.

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