Going For My Girl Scout Gold
In A Ghost Town Cemetery Evolved Into A Bingham High SkillsUSA Service Project
Unknown But Loved- As a Girl Scout in pursuit of my Gold, I spent 9+ years researching the burials at Bingham City Cemetery, which is owned by Jordan School District. I authored a recent cemetery book, built a webpage with my research, made my information available online and in print for genealogy seekers and Jordan School District. Next I made a self guided educational/history and service tour accessible with a QR code and mobile device. I set out to make large 30 headstones for people buried beneath unreadable, rusty metal markers. I utilized my skills in a woods class to make the headstone forms. I couldn’t bear the fact that 100 more people would be forgotten. The idea of making 130 headstones would require many volunteers and creativity. I went back to Nu-Art Memorial and negotiated scrap granite plus downsized the headstones. I visited with Stock Building Supply. They agreed to donate all the material necessary to honor all 130 burials.
As VP of Bingham High School SkillsUSA, I presented this unique opportunity to unite as Bingham Miners to honor Bingham City Cemetery. Our leadership presented it in a chapter meeting. Everyone embraced the project. It came at no cost to the school or club. We, the Bingham SkillsUSA chapter, united with Bingham High students and teachers, plus volunteers from church groups, 4-H and Girl/Boy Scouts. Together, our SkillsUSA chapter spent 160 man hours helping make and install 130 headstones for people that are unknown but loved. As Bingham students we united in service displaying true Bingham Miner pride. We used our time, talents and skills for this copper mining cemetery full of immigrants from 30 nations. Now the people that built the foundation for our community have the proper respect that they deserve. This was a win-win situation. Volunteers learned to give meaningful service for people they have never met. I completed my Girl Scout Gold Award in the process and Bingham High SkillsUSA presented the community service project and received 1st Place State in a SkillsUSA competition. In my heart, I feel that the true winners are the people who immigrated to Utah and died young. They were left without a proper burial. This project is lovingly dedicated to them. I am grateful to the following for this success. A big thanks goes to-
• Jordan School District
• Girl Scout Troop 781
• Bingham High SkillsUSA Club/Teachers and Students
• River Ridge 1st Ward
• South Jordan Utah River Ridge Stake
• Riverton North Stake
• Salt Lake County 4-H
• Nu-Art Memorial
• Stock Building Supply
More than a decade ago, my brother, Brad Jencks, published a 1500+ page cemetery book for his Eagle Scout service project. It includes evidence of burials, photographs of headstones, name of deceased, vital statistics, cause of death, GPS grave location etc. This book was donated to genealogy libraries/repositories, the Utah State Historical Society and permission was granted for use on free genealogy websites. In 2013, after my brother was run over by a forklift, I paid it forward through my Girl Scout Gold project. I continued his efforts by making an addendum cemetery book entitled Bingham City Cemetery The Next Generation - A Lasting Legacy Lives On- It includes updated information current through Feb. 2014.
Online Educational History Quiz- I rallied community support by conducting educational, & historic service tours. This great success recruited hundreds of volunteers to help me serve. I made a history quiz complete with QR code for the cemetery pavilion. Using a smart phone or mobile device, now students, historians, educators, genealogists, cemetery visitors, & tourists can enjoy a glimpse of times past, & pay it forward by serving too.
I met with Jordan School District and issued a challenge. It was agreed that if I raised $5,000,
they would install a permanent gazebo at Bingham City Cemetery.
I gave all my savings plus received private donations. Still, it wasn’t enough, so I took it on the road.
I lugged my “Unknown But Loved” headstone plus unreadable, rusty metal marker and a presentation to many businesses.
Not only, did I accomplish the original goal, I exceeded it by raising nearly $30,000. Thank you everyone for the contributions. Name recognition for all donors and businesses will be noted under the new pavilion.
Now the special people from 30 nations will receive the proper honor they deserve. The memorial is under construction with skilled professionals hired by Jordan School District. Thanks to the extra donations, I am now able to include the following and more:
1-Individualized plaques listing each deceased person by name, (Handmade by Special Education students/South Valley School)
2-GPS grave locator for every burial
3-New cemetery map
4-QR Code with self guided history and service tour
5-History of Bingham Canyon and past residents
6-Wall of honor for military veterans of 7 wars and police officers who died in the line of duty
7-Personalized life sketches
8-Artwork through the eyes of a Special Education student graduate
9-Sitting and meditation area
10-Memorial tribute for donors and businesses
Bingham City Cemetery update:
The covered pavilion is under construction. Here is a photo-
The interior plans are done. See architectural plans below:
Thank you Jordan School District, skilled professionals, and volunteers... for the work performed.
New development - Jordan School District transferred ownership of the Bingham City Cemetery to the Copperton Metro Township. I am working with the cemetery board to complete the pavilion. Please check back for the date of formal dedication.