William Johnston, 10, didnt like what he saw at the Roy Cemetery.
The graveyards flag pole had been stolen about a year ago, and the makeshift one that replaced it wasnt up to the standards of William and the rest of Cub Scout Pack 643.
If theres no big flag pole, people will just think its an old cemetery, William said. When they see flag poles in there, they think that that place is important.
The group of about eight boys helped replace the pole with a new one Monday night that William said was up to par.
Kim Johnston said the boys in the troop have been helping the elderly caretaker at the cemetery since Veterans Day, and that they became worried when they saw the condition of the pole during a cleanup in May.
"The kids were getting upset thinking the flag pole was going to fall," Kim Johnston said.
Someone involved with the pack posted an ad online looking for donations to help replace the pole, she said, though she doesnt know who. That led to a call from a man who ended up anonymously donating to the troops project in honor of a specific veteran.
Thats what brought Pack 643 to the cemetery Monday night, where Scouts helped pour and mix concrete and install the new pole.
The volunteering is unusual for Scouts their age, Kim Johnston said.
"Cub Scouts are generally not supposed to do much community service, but the kids have kind of taken over the cemetery," she said. "The boys just decided that thats what they wanted to do."
The boys earn one Scouting participation patch for working at the cemetery, which houses more than 50 graves. Those include two for Civil War soldiers and one for a Spanish-American War solider, Kim Johnston said.
She said the pack goes above and beyond to accommodate special-needs kids, which she thinks motivates the boys.
A highlight of the evening was a visit from Karen Yates, the mayor of the city of about 800 residents.
"There was chatter, Oh my gosh, its the mayor, its the mayor, Kim Johnston said, adding that to people the boys ages, the mayor is like the president.
The local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter helped oversee the installation and showed the boys how to properly retire a flag. It plans to work with the pack in the future.
With several other projects already in the works, such as possibly cleaning the grave markers, William and crew plan to keep a close eye on the cemetery.