HONEYVILLE – By Ellen Cook – May 28, 2021
Service is a key element of the 4-H program and a certain number of service projects are required within any club.
But the young members of the Bacon Bits 4-H Club in the Bear River Valley went above and beyond the challenge to serve last week with a spontaneous and timely service project at the Calls Fort Cemetery in Honeyville.
Club leader Amanda John organized the project after receiving a text from her mother who had heard concerns that the grounds would not be ready for Memorial Day. Honeyville has two cemeteries to maintain and just two employees to get it all done.
John said her group of 32 (31 who are raising hogs for the fair and one who has a steer) had already decided on two other service projects for the year. Grooming the Call’s Fort Cemetery was not on the list.
“But you never pass up a chance to serve,” John said.
Last week, John put out a call, not only to the Bacon Bits, but also on Facebook. The note said: “I’m inviting all my family and friends to do a little service project. Going to the Calls Fort Cemetery…I would love for it to be looking topnotch for Memorial Day. If you are willing to help me out, show up Wednesday with gloves, shovels, rakes, wheelbarrow, leaf blower, anything else you can think of that would be helpful.”
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Amanda said 15 4-Hers showed up, each with at least one parent in tow. There were also family and friends of some buried there who jumped into to help, as well as others who just saw the post and wanted to do their part.
“Actually, the cemetery looked pretty good when we arrived,” John admitted. The Honeyville crew had been hard at work the day before. “We just trimmed around every headstone, cleaned away dirt and put flags out.”
Even at that, the Bacon Bits and helpers hauled off two truckloads of debris in the two hours the group worked.
“Many hands make light work,” John said. “It made my heart so happy to see them all there that night.”
John said these yearly service projects, although mandatory, have really helped keep her 4-H club focused in a positive way.
“The kids seem to love them,” she said. “They are so happy to be serving. They may not recognize the importance of this now, but it will kick in later in life.”
She will be the first to admit that such a level of unselfishness is not coming out of her 4-H meetings. “Without the parents I couldn’t do this, and the kids couldn’t either,” she said. “Those parents could easily drop kids off and walk away, but they didn’t. They were there working, too.”
The efforts of the entire group did not go unnoticed. One grateful fan posted, “To all the ladies, gents and kiddos that made tonight possible, YOU ALL ROCK!!!”
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Another with family buried in the cemetery noted, “I could not get over how good everything looked. It is beautiful and I am so grateful.”
Sally May Wood, who also has loved ones buried there, added, “It was pretty incredible seeing that many people come together and all of those kids working so hard on something that means so much to my family and so many other families in our community.”
With the cemetery now properly groomed for the upcoming holiday, John is still working on the original two service projects.
She said the Bacon Bits will soon be collecting teddy bears for the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Department and have plans to make Icolet blankets for babies in Newborn Intensive Care Units, blankets that will go home with the newborns when they are released. Fleece pieces, size 48x60 inches, will be used and the group is asking for donations of material for that project.
Anyone who would like to donate either bears, fleece or monetarily can call John at 435-230-0013, Saige Murray, 435-230-5582, or Cambree Anderson, 435-279-5527.