Archive for Thursday, June 15, 2006

Scout earns rank of Eagle

June 15, 2006

Dexter Chase, 15, the son of Maj. David and Starla Chase of Fort Leavenworth, was recognized in an Eagle Court of Honor on May 23 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Leavenworth.

Chase is the 81st Eagle Scout who has earned his rank in Boy Scout units sponsored by the local church since 1972.

Col. (Ret.) Richard Everett, an Eagle Scout, former Scout leader, and longtime member of the church, was the guest speaker.

Everett's speech focused on the significance of achieving the Eagle rank and the expectations of Eagle Scouts.

Chase's grandparents traveled from Nevada to attend. His grandfather, Kenneth Chase, participated in the program by reading the Trail to Eagle, which discusses the many arduous tasks a Boy Scout must perform to achieve his Eagle rank.

Chase is a second generation Eagle Scout. His father earned his rank at age 14.

For his Eagle project in October, Chase and his Scout troop renovated the Sparks Family Cemetery in rural Easton, Kansas. The Sparks family donated the land in the middle 1800s, however, since 1949 the road to this cemetery has been closed.

It was a major undertaking for Chase and 25 scouts with adult leaders of Troop 3 to clear the isolated road and cemetery located on private property, which was overgrown with trees and brush; they continued on and hiked into the area where the cemetery was located. Once there, groups were organized with heavy brush cutters, weed eaters, mowers and tree trimmers.

Younger Scouts cleaned the headstones with soap and water.

The cemetery contains the graves of many area pioneer Latter-day Saint families and a Civil War veteran, although many graves are unmarked. The oldest record is of Essenith Sparks, who died in 1858. There were five Indians buried in the southwest corner and many infant graves marked only with long stones stuck out of the ground or rocks with no inscriptions.

One of the larger headstones is that belonging to the Harrison family.

The epitaph for Mary Harrison tells of the pain her husband Elijah felt when she died. "A precious one from us has gone. A voice we loved is stilled. A place is vacant in our home, which never can be filled."

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