Jude Bowers, age 14, son of David and Julie Bowers, is a role model for the power of positivity, drive, and dedication. Jude is on his school’s baseball team, a member of the National Junior Honor Society and in April 2017, Jude started his own business, Pint Sized Tutoring, which caters to elementary and middle school children in math and science.
In June, Jude was selected to attend NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training), an intense week-long leadership training program, and in August he was inducted into the Order of the Arrow (Boy Scouts National Honor Society), which recognizes scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. Jude recently advanced from Star Scout rank to Life Scout status.
To achieve this advancement in rank, Jude needed to complete 3 hours of conservation work. While most choose to participate in a recycling program or plant trees, Jude opted to do something a little more interesting. For his conservation project, he chose to clean the tombstones at the old cemetery located right here at The Grove.
This project began with research on the proper way to clean a headstone without harming it. Jude reached out to historic Carnton Plantation to find out how they cleaned the tombstones in their confederate army cemetery. Armed with this information and receiving approval from all parties necessary, Jude set to work.
It took Jude 3 days to complete the project, which not only included the cleaning of the tombstones but weeding and laying pine straw.
What started as a simple conservation project, turned into something personal. Before this undertaking, none of the names and dates could be deciphered, but as years and layers of dirt were cleaned and rinsed away, it was as if these tombstones came back to life. There were names and dates and personal writings that belonged to the individuals that lay there. And Jude took great pride in giving back and providing an honorable service to them. A greater sense of pride and service was achieved, more so than conservation service hours. A final touch on the last day was to present each tombstone with fresh cut flowers.
Jude now has his eye on achieving the prestigious Eagle Scout rank by the age of 16. Only four percent of Boy Scouts achieve the Eagle Scout rank.