Boy Scout makes grave markersJacob Greff, a senior at Mott-Regent High School, recently completed an Eagle Scout project related to a nearby cemetery.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Jacob Greff, a senior at Mott-Regent High School, recently completed an Eagle Scout project related to a nearby cemetery.
He took an interest in the cemetery after helping mow it with his parents, Brad and Lena Greff. The family lives 24 miles north of Mott. The farmstead is half a mile south of St. Michael’s Catholic cemetery.
“It’s not a big cemetery and it’s old — some of the graves are from the 1800s,” he said.
Walking through the cemetery, he saw small plaques naming infants who had died in the 1920s. Without crosses to mark the graves, the field appeared empty.
“I thought, why not make monuments so people can see the graves — we mow there all the time and I felt kind of bad walking over the top of them,” he said.
Jacob needed a project to complete his Eagle Scout award through Troop 67. His two brothers, Lucas and Adam, had earned their Eagle Scout awards and now it was his turn. He suggested the idea to Scoutmaster Gary Greff.
“I thought it was a great idea,” Gary said. “Only one Scout in 200 ever get their Eagle Scout award.”
It was Mott-Regent School’s turn to use a computer-aided design plasma metal cutter through a consortium of schools. He met with vocational agriculture teacher Myran Schweitzer, who gave him permission to use the machine for the project. It was around Christmas time.
Jacob also met with the pastor of the St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Regent, where the cemetery map was stored. He was given permission from the Rev. Charles Zins to make the crosses and name plates.
“I did most of the designing, but I had a couple of classmates help me — I’m not supposed to do the project all by myself,” he said.
Jacob could fit three crosses on each 3-by-3 sheet of metal.
He created the designs and downloaded them into the computer. The plasma cutter read the images and cut them.
“It actually made a very clean cut — I did go over them with a grinder,” he said.
The first set of crosses were basic, but he became more creative with practice.
“It was a tough machine to run — we read a book for a good week just to get the hang of it,” he said. “It was frustrating at times, but I did make it through.”
He worked on the crosses during class hours and study halls. The machine took 30 minutes to cut out three crosses at one time, he said.
Jacob thought the project went well.
“Whenever you drive by, you know people are buried there,” he said.
Gary Greff said the project was submitted to the Board of Review. If approved, an awards ceremony will be in November.