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Eagle Scout Update




Yeah. I'm a boy scout. Feel free to poke fun; I know how to play with fire safely.


So I really began working towards my Eagle Scout rank when I was ten and first became a boy scout. All I could really do at that point was earn merit badges (I needed to earn a minimum total of 21), so that's all I focused on towards the beginning, while my friends were all advancing in rank, I was learning new things before they were. Sure I was considered being a "lower level" scout because I didn't have a fancy badge on my pocket, but my decisions back then helped me figure out what I like to do and how I work the best.


So flash forward six years and I'm finally working on what many consider the largest part of earning the Eagle rank: the project. I'm only missing three required merit badges (all of which I'm extremely close to finishing), and I've been hitting the project hard since I started it in April. I figured I should start keeping a semi-regular log of my activities and the planning process, so here we go.


On April 1st (this isn't a joke), I presented my project proposal. For those of you who don't know, the proposal is the very first part of the project. This is where you have an idea, and begin refining it so you can accomplish it. My idea was refurbishing some parts of a local park (Carney Park, which is located inside of a caldera). The project consisted of refurbishing signs that had fallen into disrepair, and revamping a dog park. The approval committee liked my project, but they thought it was too large to accomplish. They said I could keep the idea, but it needed to be more refined before they gave me the final okay.


So a month went by and I worked on refining it, I also met with the park director and my project counselor. The park director said that it was okay if I ditched the sign portion of the project and focused the materials, money, and work towards the dog park. My counselor agreed, and I had simplified my project enough to work out the details. Now I only had to focus on one thing: a dog park.


Right now the dog park is just a huge, fenced-in, grassy area where the only thing to do is throw a ball or play tug. The dog park doesn't get a lot of usage because there's really nothing to do there if you don't bring anything and it's out in town. There's also a dog park similar to it on the main navy base where most of the Americans live, so why would anybody drive half an hour to go to a dog park that they get the same experience from near home?


So I developed a plan to answer that question. Since there's nothing at the dog park right now, it gives me a lot of opportunities to make it fantastic. My final proposal said that I would install concrete tunnels (6 feet long, 3.5 feet high), ramps, platforms, a shade structure (like a gazebo), and a working water system. This proposal was approved, so I moved onto my final plan.


I met with the park director again, and he said that putting in a water system wouldn't be possible. Public Works said that the only water that could be redirected into the dog park was irrigation water, and in Italy (at least in Naples), any water that isn't filtered for consumption can make you really, really sick. I also began looking at how much money I would need to raise, I proposed $7,500 (when the water system was still going to be a thing). That's a lot of money to raise. So I kept simplifying it.


The dog park actually has a fence bisecting it with not one, but three separate gates for travel between the two mini-parks. My plan has one labeled as "small dog park" and the other "big dog park". This was in an effort to give the smaller breeds an opportunity to have fun safely without running the risk of a larger breed trampling them in the process. Two of the gates are going to be locked off, and the middle one will be left unlocked if an owner is confident in their dog's good behavior.


My original plan had a concrete tunnel, a ramp, and a platform in each dog park. This required a lot of materials, money, and logistics (mostly for the concrete). So I began looking at alternatives. Instead of a concrete tube, I'm looking at using tractor tires. These are not only cheaper, but they require a lot less logistically. I merged the ramps and platforms together, so now there is one ramp/platform combo in each park. The small dog park is going to have a square platform with four ramps extending from it, and the large dog park will have a bigger, rectangular platform with two ramps.


So now that leaves me with the shade structure. There is only one outdoor/home improvement store near enough to get stuff from, so that makes shopping a little bit easier. It also makes it harder because it all depends on what's available. Right now I'm looking at getting them to truck in a pre-built gazebo that can be installed. But again, that requires that specific store having it. I'm planning on going to check out what they've got sometime next week, so hopefully I can find something that works.


These aren't the only things that would be put in the dog park. I'm going to plant some trees inside it, install coat hooks for leashes, and install a pet station so that owners don't have an excuse to not clean up after their dogs. So far I know I can get one pet station donated (a $350 value), but I'm going to try for two.


The project is scheduled to start in late August/early Spetember, with fundraising beginning as early as June. I'm going to be using gofundme.com as a source of funds, so when that gets started I'll post about it.



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Cool, best of luck on your project!


And I have to ask, since this is how I judge all Eagle scouts: Hiking, Cycling, or Swimming?  ;)



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And I have to ask, since this is how I judge all Eagle scouts: Hiking, Cycling, or Swimming?  ;)


Hiking FTW.


Except nevermind because I actually got swimming. Man this was way too long ago...


Your project sounds super cool, and much wider in scope than mine. Good luck in seeing it through! I'm sure the local dog owners will appreciate it.

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Good luck in seeing it through! I'm sure the local dog owners will appreciate it.

They've been continually offering to help with funds, donations, and actually working on it. So I'm sure they will. :D

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