All In The Family... Life in Christian County, Kentucky... The Rural Life...
Isaac's been working on the service project that's required for the rank of Eagle Scout. We've been meditating on it for about six months, and now he's finally getting everything pulled together so he can finish it up. It has to be done before his 18th birthday, so it's now (this school year) or never!
The requirement is to "plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community." To fulfill this, Isaac's going to restore an old cemetery in our neighborhood. The community groups that will benefit are the elderly neighbors who have ancestors buried there and the Christian County Genealogical Society.
The gentleman who used to oversee an annual cleaning of the cemetery has passed away. Other folks whose ancestors are buried there are elderly themselves. In fact, Isaac chose this project because our 80-year-old neighbor lady is distressed about the condition of this cemetery. Her grandparents were buried there in 1929.
Tomorrow night, Isaac's going to describe the project to the Christian County Genealogical Society. After the cemetery is cleaned, he'll report all the data from the gravestones to them. Maybe this will be a "new" cemetery to them -- but probably not.
This cemetery is located about 1/4 mile off a backroad in a neighbor's pasture. No one has been buried there for about 35 years, and there are about 40 graves there in all (we think). Most of the graves are from 1850 to 1930 and have one of three family names. Our elderly neighbor lady remembers that when she was a little girl, she and her mother walked several miles on a little path through the woods to bring flowers for her grandparents' graves.
Last spring we counted seventeen tombstones that have fallen over and four more that have fallen and broken. A few more may be hidden in the tangle of grass. Isaac's plans include clearing the overgrowth, standing up the fallen stones, and repairing and standing up the broken stones (if possible). A couple of dead trees will be removed, minor repairs will be made to the fence, and the gate will be painted.
One part of the project's requirements is that the Scout has to raise the money needed. Fortunately we don't think that will be a problem. Several of the neighbors have already offered donations, and the elderly lady I mentioned above has offered to take up a collection from family members.
It shouldn't cost much money, anyway. Most of what is needed is work, and that will be provided by the Scouts in Isaac's troop and other volunteers. The biggest expense will probably be feeding the boys on their three workdays.
After Isaac gets an OK from the Genealogical Society (hopefully, tomorrow night), he has to present his project to the Eagle Scout Board of Review at the end of October and get their seal of approval. Then, the Scouts can begin the work. It will be a good time of year for it, because the snakes should be hibernating (or at least feeling sluggish) in November's cooler weather!
After the work is done, Isaac has to report back to the Genealogical Society and ask for a statement that he has successfully completed his plan. Then he goes back to the Board of Review and presents his application for Eagle Scout rank. We'll be proud when he gets it all done. Well, we're proud of him already, but you know what I mean.