Building homes for shelter dogs as part of Eagle Scout Project

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Becoming an Eagle Scout is no easy feat. It requires time, dedication, and a passion for bettering the community. For 15-year-old Gavin Walker, this was an ideal task.

The Ponte Vedra High School student gained recognition in his community last fall for his business, Flocking Flamingo PVB, where customers could contact Walker to place dozens of pink, plastic flamingos in friend’s/family’s yards for their birthday or other celebration surprises.

It was in this same time frame that Walker was working on becoming an Eagle Scout, which required completing his Eagle Scout Project. According to The National Eagle Scout Association website, Requirement #5 (which is the Project) is the toughest requirement in the bunch, which is why they encourage young Scouts to pick a project they are passionate about.

Walker chose to hand-build six dog houses for animals in need at the Animal Care & Protective Services of Jacksonville. After adopting a family dog just two years ago, Walker knew that he wanted his Eagle Scout Project to revolve around helping less fortunate animals.

“[This project] will raise awareness of how much they are in need, and how much of a problem it can be – dogs not having homes,” said Walker.

ACPS provided the blueprints and Walker, along with twenty of his fellow Scouts, got to work constructing the doghouses. Once they were finished, they gave the houses to ACPS, who then distributed them to dogs in need.

The process of completing the Eagle Scout Project is a lot of paperwork, according to Walker. It involves writing a proposal for a project, getting approval, writing a project plan and carrying it out, then writing a follow-up report on the project. After the follow-up, the Scout must take the report in front of a chairman of the troop, and eventually submit it for review to the North Florida council. Once council review is finished, the project is then reviewed again by an Eagle Board Review team with three Scout Masters who conduct a post-interview to learn more details of the project. Finally, after approval in all respects, a Scout can earn their badge.

Walker completed this arduous task while simultaneously running his Flocking Flamingo PVB business.

“It took a lot of coordination,” he said.

As for the future, Walker said that the Eagle Scouts only really require completing one, big task to become an official Scout, but there are always opportunities to help fellow Scouts complete their projects.

“I try to help out with almost all the Eagle Scout Projects that I can,” Walker said.

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