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Eagle project adding meditation space at cemetery

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ALAN FROMAN/THISWEEKNEWS
Eagle Scout candidate Eli Warner (center) works to site his planned meditation space at St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery with the help of (from left) his father Nate Warner, Troop 275 Assistant Scoutmaster Jerry Rouch and Troop 275 Scoutmaster Larry Buehler.

A Grove City Boy Scout is leading an effort to convert a barren area at St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery into a peaceful and pleasant site for meditation.

Eli Warner of Grove City Boy Scout Troop 275 is coordinating the effort for his Eagle Scout project.

Warner, other members of the troop and adult scout masters and volunteers are expected to complete the project Saturday, Aug. 23.

The work, completed over two weekends, includes moving a portion of a fence, mulching, planting bushes and installing a bench by the cemetery's columbarium, a structure with vaults for cinerary urns.

"I'm a member of St. John's and I went to the church and asked if they had any project they needed doing," Warner said. "They had a couple suggestions, but this one seemed like it would be the most useful and one that would really benefit the community."

St. John's Cemetery is located behind the Grove City Cemetery along the south side of Grove City Road, west of Broadway.

"It's a nice cemetery," Warner said, but the area by the columbarium "is kind of ugly, to be honest. It's not really a setting that inspires reflection."

When his project is completed, "I hope this will be an area where people can come to sit and think about their loved ones," he said.

The church is providing the money to buy all the materials for the project, Warner said.

"That really helped, because it meant I didn't have to do fundraising," he said.

He's particularly pleased to be doing a project that benefits his church, Warner said.

"The nice thing about this project is that it connects two things that are really important to Eli," said his father, Nate Warner. "Scouting and his church are very important parts of Eli's life, so I think the project is really meaningful for him."

"It's another example of members of our troop doing a project that benefits the community," said Jerry Rouch, who serves as an assistant leader for Troop 275.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank a Boy Scout can attain, and coordinating the capstone public service project provides an important leadership experience, Rouch said.

"They are responsible for making sure all the details get worked out," Rouch said.

Warner, a sophomore at Grove City High School, has been in scouting for seven years.

"I started in the Cub Scouts and it's been a lot of fun," he said. "It's also helped me learn a lot about leadership."

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