When it comes to cleaning cemeteries, you typically wouldn’t expect to see teenagers tending the lots, but the Showblenders 4H club did just that.
On May 13, the group went to the Vernon Township Cemetery to clean up.
“Community service is an advent part of 4-H,” advisor Julie Fenton said. “The kids are learning valuable leadership skills through giving back to the community. Each year our club members choose what community service projects they want to do. You normally wouldn’t think kids would want to clean a cemetery but that’s just what they did. Our kids took time to clean up old headstones and honored those who lived before them. It was a beautiful selfless act as these were headstones of people and families they didn’t know.”
The group has 23 members between the ages of four and nineteen. Around half the group was able to attend the effort in cleaning the cemetery.
While the grounds had been recently tended, many of the headstones were covered in layers of grass clippings, pollen, bird droppings and other debris.
“I really liked it because people don’t really do that, people don’t really visit the old graves anymore,” said 13 year old club secretary Macy Skaggs.
Some of the graves dated back to the 1700’s.
“From a parents perspective, I was really impressed with the kids. You take children into a big open area with tombstones and you’re like ‘uh-oh, what’s gonna happen here?’” said Macy’s mother, Teresa Skaggs. “But they were extremely respectful. I was blown away by how respectful they were of where they were and they kept their noise levels down, they didn’t run around and they didn’t goof off. It just really got to me how they really took an interest in it.”
The club has made plans to go back a second time and clean another section of the cemetery. They will decide on a date at their next 4H meeting on June 1.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.
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