SWANTON — Less people may have noticed the Warner cemetery than are buried in it, which is 14, for the record. But a Life Scout might change that.
“Life” is the second-highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America, directly beneath the “Eagle Scout.”
The Eagle Scout Service Project may be the most distinct requirement to bridge those ranks. The Eagle Project is basically a community service project, but one in which the potential Eagle must take charge. The may-be Eagle Scout must coordinate and rally whatever efforts are necessary to achieve the project, a project the Scout must also have designed.
Life Scout Demetrius Deering designed an unusual project.
One of his peers constructed benches for the Hard’ack recreation area for his Eagle Project. Another mapped and cleaned Hard’ack’s trails. Deering’s older brother had based his Eagle Project around an animal hospital.
Deering, however, chose to base his Eagle Project around a cemetery. He spent this past summer leading the restoration of the understandably neglected Warner cemetery.
Its neglect is understandable not just because of its size — 14 people buried, and eight headstones, although Deering’s team was only able to find seven — but mainly because of its location, between the Hudak Farmstand and Warner’s Snack Bar.
The cemetery is closer to the farm, almost directly beside it — Deering said Richard Hudak owns the land on which the cemetery is located — but shrouded in forest. If a driver blinks as they drive past, they will miss it. Even a walker or bicyclist might not see the stones until they are directly upon the opening in the woods.
All its eternal residents — ancestors of the same Warners who founded the snack bar and clothing store, Deering said — were buried before the 1870s, which Deering said is “pretty cool.”
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