Cemetery has been abandoned and found again several times over the generations. Now, a local group fights to keep its memory alive.
WAKEMAN, Ohio - The old photograph stares back at me. I can remember every face in the picture even though decades have passed since the photographer snapped the shutter and froze all of us in place.
When I look in the mirror, I can see how I have aged since I was 17 when the photograph at Boy Scout camp was taken. All the boys in the picture have long stepped away from their teenaged and pre-teen years. Still, the picture draws me in because it is filled with so many memories of camp.
It was enough to prompt me to visit the Firelands Boy Scout camp in Wakeman, Ohio, where Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts spend summer days swimming, hiking, pitching tents and learning all the lessons the Scouts try to teach them.
"Say you get lost in the woods and if you don't know what to do," said Anthony Gardin, a scout from Sandusky, who posed a hypothetical problem. With the knowledge of surviving in the woods, Anthony said "you might be able to live and you might get saved."
I remember those lessons, too, although they were taught to me during the 1960s when I was a member of Boy Scout Troop 392, based at Cory United Methodist Church in Cleveland. The lessons still ring true for boys in the program. However, there is a lot more the Scout program tries to teach as it has done since 1910 when Baden Powell formed the boys organization.
As it celebrates 102nd anniversary, the Boy Scouts are still teaching positives, which are especially important in the 21st century when so many youngsters go astray from the positive principles of life.
"That old fashioned stuff still works," said Dan Thomas, ranger of the Firelands Boy Scout camp. "I'm old-fashioned myself," he added, his face in a broad smile.
So am I, Dan.
Among the goals of the Boy Scouts is the push to show youngsters the pathways to leadership and service. There are heaping helpings of fun spooned out along the way, but through all of the fun, the boys are learning positive roadways into adulthood. They are taught to think for themselves, although adult leaders are there to guide them with their thoughts and actions.
"We try to get the boys to learn for themselves, to do for themselves and not have the adults do everything for them," said Kevin Fox, director of the Firelands Scout reservation.
Firelands is nestled in a wooded area set aside specifically for Boy and Cub Scout camping. The boys who go to summer camp often stay a week. There is learning to build camp fires for cooking, tent pitching, water safety classes, and zip-lining.
Since I was a Scout, the zipline has become popular. It is a long wire that is attached to a high tower. The other end of the wire usually is tied to a tree or another tower in the woods. The rider is placed in a strong harness and the harness is hooked to the strong wire. All the rider need do is step off from the high platform. Gravity will do the rest.
And so I tried it at Boy Scout camp, decades after I had been a scout. From the tower I moved at about 25 miles an hour, riding the wire. Through a skyway path through the trees I went until the contraption stopped. Wow! What a ride. But even on the zipline, there are lessons to be taught.
"It teaches decision-making and trust," said Tom Witkowski, the zipline safety officer. "You have to trust the zipline and trust your equipment," he said. Their safety officers keep them safely hooked until they are back on the ground.
I left my all-day visit to Boy Scout camp just as I had left my times in camp when I was a young scout. I felt thrilled to have been in the woods with good boys and strong men in leadership. The Boy Scouts began with all of that in mind. It is still true.
My Ohio Stories
Hours before each Cleveland Browns football game, a group of tailgate party fans gathers with an entourage of wild vehicles which celebrate the team, its history, and themselves.
Twenty years after the filming of the "Shawshank Redemption" in Mansfield, tourists still visit some of the movie's locations.
Students offer their services for funerals for families who have no one to carry the caskets to final resting places.
After 50 years as a newsman who distinguished himself in television, radio, newspaper, and magazines, Dick Feagler retires.
Slyman's corned beef sandwiches have been hailed for their size. Part of the reason Lebanese immigrants made the sandwiches so big is to show their appreciation for the size of freedoms in America.
Since 1967, a museum dedicated to preserving vintage streetcars and trolleys works to bring them back to life.
The Schoepfle Garden, a part of the Lorain County Metro Parks, is not only a wonderful place where beauty abounds for 70 acres, but it is also one man's gift to the public.
Passenger car from 1943 train wreck is haunted. Workers who are preparing the old car for sale contend there ar voices and images which regularly appear in the car.
The Lincoln Highway, named in memory of President Abraham Lincoln, was built 1913 to 1915. It was the first coast-to-coast road linking New York City with San Francisco.