Boy Scouts design plot-finding kiosks for St. George’s cemeteries

ST. GEORGE — A pair of Boy Scouts has created plot-finding kiosks to help visitors at St. George’s cemeteries find their loved ones.

The project was completed as part of an Eagle Scout project by Jaxson Allen and Trevor Whitney of Troop 558 in St. George. The boys, both 16, say they wanted to fill a need in the community that has been prevalent for years.

The kiosks are permanent fixtures that include a book with the name, birthday, date of death and plot number for each person buried in the cemetery. It also includes a large map, and smaller free maps, so that visitors can easily find people buried in the cemetery.

Tonaquint Cemetery Sexton Brad Rollins said he anticipates that the kiosk will mainly help those who are coming from out of town, as they receive many visitors who are doing genealogy work and don’t know where in the cemetery their relatives are buried.

“It’s huge to have this where it’s out 24/7 for people, and that we don’t have to be here in the evenings, especially, so they can come and look up graves,” Rollins said. “It’s very beneficial to the cemetery; it really is.”

Plot-finding kiosk and maps at Tonaquint Cemetery, St. George, Utah, May 25, 2019 | Photo by Mikayla Shoup, St. George News

The kiosk for the downtown St. George City Cemetery has not been placed yet because the city is in the process of doing work on the buildings there, so both kiosks are currently located at the Tonaquint Cemetery.

The scouts were at Tonaquint Cemetery Saturday morning to help people visiting for Memorial Day weekend use the kiosks.

“People have told us that this is a really great idea and that there needs to be stuff like this over at all the cemeteries,” Allen said.

The boys started the project in August 2018, working alongside Rollins on the vision for the kiosks and gathering information regarding those buried in the nearly 2,400 graves in the Tonaquint Cemetery and 9,000 graves in the St. George City Cemetery.  

The scouts performed all the work in fundraising, creating design sketches for the kiosks and putting them all together.

“The kids did everything on their own. It was amazing the job these kids did,” Rollins said. “It’s very professional looking. And for what it’s going to do for the cemetery, it was a great Eagle Scout project.”

Boy Scouts from Troop 558 help visitors locate graves at the Tonaquint Cemetery, St. George, Utah, May 25, 2019 | Photo by Mikayla Shoup, St. George News

The boys chose the project after visiting the mayor’s office and asking if the city had any projects for them to do. They then wrote letters reaching out to service clubs and mortuaries for donations for the project.

“Just starting it, it was hard to plan everything and get the money for it,” Whitney said.

Another scout from the troop, 14-year-old Zacharie Williams, completed his Eagle Scout project by collecting 427 pairs of shoes to donate to the nonprofit Soles4Souls to be shipped to developing nations in Central America.

Scout Master Clint Jarvis said Eagle Scout projects are a great way for the troops to give back to the community.

“It gives the boys an opportunity to show their leadership skills that they develop while they’re in scouts,” Jarvis said. “They have a lot of opportunities to do things that are challenging, and the Eagle Scout project is one of those opportunities to help them to grow as young men.”

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Email: mshoup@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @MikaylaShoup

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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