SOUTH OGDEN -- Nine local Boy Scouts are working hard to earn their Eagle Scout award by placing 300 markers along the Pony Express trail in western Utah.
The boys, all from Troop 185 of the Ogden District Trapper Trails Council, will celebrate their hard work by attending a dedication of the 61st granite Pony Express monument next week. The first granite monument was dedicated in St. Joseph, Mo., on April 3, 1990, celebrating the 130th anniversary of the start of the original Pony Express.
"All nine of us have had very different leadership roles, which will give us all our Eagle Scout awards," said Scout JC Sessions. "Some of those roles have to do with preparation, like publicity and financial. Other roles will be out on the trail, like food officer and managing markers."
Beginning today, the Scouts will go to Lookout, which is just east of Simpson Springs, Sessions said. There, they will split into three teams and go to the locations of the markers. The markers will be driven into the ground with a non-electric driver, pick-axes and shovels.
Sessions said each team will drive about 300 markers.
During the weeklong project, Scout Malosi Togisala said he plans to bring along his ukulele to entertain everyone. He's also bringing games and other activities.
"It's going to be a lot of long, hard, work, so I want us to be able to have some fun at night by playing some games and singing some songs," he said. "If we do stuff like that, I think everyone will stay excited about the project."
Joining Sessions and Togisala are Scouts Sawyer Ball, Chandler Ball, Cris Johnson, Trevor Winesett, Braxton Campbell, Joel Sessions and Easton Kraaima.
The Pony Express was a mounted mail service that crossed the Great Plains, Rocky Mountains and the High Sierra from St. Joseph, Mo., to Sacramento, Calif. Between 1860 and 1861, it was the West's most direct means of east-west communications before the telegraph.
Sessions said if people have ancestors who rode the Pony Express or even settled around the area being marked by the Scouts, he thinks they would be very interested in the finished product.
"This will help them get a clear picture of what the riders had to go through and how important Utah was in that era."
Scout leader Valdean Hadfield is a member of the Pony Express Trails Association and suggested the project to the nine Scouts.
Joe Nardon, president of the association, will be at the dedication in his 1860 buckskin outfit to give a historical address.