By Stacey Tinsley, email@example.com
A local Boy Scout has taken the time to restore the historic Plain Dealing area grave site of two young children dating all the way back to the Civil War.
Keaton Willes, with Troop 113 in Bossier City, worked on his Eagle Scout Service Project earlier this month by cleaning up a historical grave site of two young children from the Civil War only a few paces off the now celebrated Plain Dealing Dogwood Drive known as the Ratcliff Iris Garden.
The Eagle Scout Service Project, is the opportunity for a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified Venturer in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to demonstrate leadership while performing a project for the benefit of his community.
“I was looking for an Eagle Project and the Bossier Sheriff’s Office asked us to do it, so I chose that one,” said Willes.
Examples of Eagle Projects include constructing park benches, running a blood drive, constructing a playground, building bat houses for a local park, refurbishing a room at a church or school, resetting stones at a cemetery and planting grass for erosion control.
Willes lead a group of Boy Scouts from his Troop and together they cleaned the historical gravesite from overgrown brush, removed trash, and installed new fencing and a brick pathway to the grave site.
“It was overgrown and looked pretty bad. It felt nice to clean it up and make it pretty because it is a historical site that no one cared about. Two children ages 1 and 7 from the Cilvil War area are buried there,” said Willes.
The idea for a project may be an original one or one done by someone else. In either case, the Scout must plan, develop, and lead others in doing the project. There is no numerical minimum amount of time or requirement for time in which the project needs to be completed, but it must be enough to “demonstrate leadership.”
“This was a pretty amazing feeling. It felt really nice once I cleaned it all up and made it look really nice. This was a hard project but the other boys said they had fun. The project took us about six and a half hours to do,” said Willes.
The rigorous nature of the required service project is a major step in the completion of the Eagle rank. Very often, the Eagle Project is what highlights the full impact of the Scouting program to the community at-large.
Keaton’s mom, Danielle Willes says, “I think all Eagle Projects are great for character building and leadership skills. It’s just really great to see the growth that the boys go through. I think it is awesome that they are going to show other boys how to do this and lead others to do great things for my community.”
323 Fenceworks located in Shreveport donated all materials and demonstrated how to properly install a fence for Keaton’s Eagle Scout project.