Personal Narrative: My Eagle Project

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Razor-sharp leaves and blackberry thorns scraped my exposed legs as I hiked up the short trail leading to the central field of Gleason Cemetery. I spent a moment, absorbing my surroundings and came to a sudden realization: I’m going to be buried here before I finish this project. About ten concrete stones peaked their heads above an intricate tangle of emerald vines running up their bases. Thick blackberry bushes surrounded my father and I as we attempted to explore. “We’ll take this one grave at a time,” my dad assured me. I was not completely convinced, but knew if I strived to live up to my aspirations, my lifelong goal of becoming an Eagle Scout would be within my reach.
I did not decide to build a bench or spread bark dust over a trail for my Eagle project because that is simply uninteresting and done far too often. My project was to be an uncommon venture in which I could gain real life skills. I easily embraced a suggestion I received of restoring an abandoned pioneer cemetery due to these reasons. Admittedly, I had zero prior experience in the area of yard work and a hectic Junior year of high school was in my near future. These small details aside, I began the search for a cemetery. A local historical society pointed me in the direction of Gleason Cemetery, a piece of land deserted decades ago which
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Days of constant tugging at roots of invasive ivy took a toll on me, but I kept in mind the fact that this was for a greater cause. Occasionally, I recruited friends, family, and fellow scouts to assist me in my endeavor, but for the most part, I relied on the teamwork provided to me by my father. The more land of the cemetery we reclaimed, the more I learned about the people buried. As I delved deeper into the property, it was evident that headstones ran much farther back than I originally predicted. This prompted me to construct a map of the entire cemetery based on my
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