Parade, Silly String to mark a rite of passage

Pandemic delays driver’s license but Nick Campbell celebrates 16th birthday
May 20, 2020

Turning 16 is a big deal in a teen's life. Becoming old enough to get a driver’s license marks a major step toward independence.

But because of the closure of schools during the COVID-19 state of emergency, many teens are stuck in limbo when it comes to getting their licenses.

Cape Henlopen High School sophomore Nick Campbell was taking drivers education and had half of his on-road driving time completed, but had not taken his final exam when schools were shut down.

On top of that, he was looking forward, like so many other spring sports athletes, to another season of Cape baseball.

His mother, Bethann Howard, said she really felt bad for him, so she and husband Jeffrey decided to cheer him up on his May 14 birthday.

They organized a birthday parade from the high school down Clay Road in Lewes where the family had planned a party at the home of his grandparents, Jay and Anna Campbell.

Led by two Lewes Fire Department trucks, friends, family and wellwishers drove down the road honking and blinking their lights as Nick watched, embarrassed but also smiling the whole time. People stopped to give him balloons and cards and some of his friends surprised him with attacks of Silly String.

“I miss school and baseball. This has really thrown me off my routine,” he said. “But spending more time with the family has been really good.”

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