By Brandon Kathman
Special to the Clarkston News
METAMORA —A prospective Eagle Scout has built and installed a new canine agility course on behalf of the Great Lakes Dog Rescue in Lapeer County.
Evan Savoie, a junior at Clarkston High School, identified the shelter’s need while deciding where to complete his Eagle Scout Service Project, one of the final requirements to earn the Eagle rank. The rescue takes in adoptable canines from animal control facilities and owner-surrenders, then works to find their forever homes. While their stay in the shelter is only temporary, regular activity is critical to the health and wellness of the dogs. In addition, Savoie’s course will help them form healthier relationships with humans.
“Many of the dogs at GLDR have been abused or neglected,” Savoie said. “The agility equipment gives them exercise and helps build their confidence. This will help the dogs adjust to normal surroundings and get them ready for adoption.”
Savoie led a team of fellow Scouts from Clarkston Troop 189 in constructing the ramps, jumps, and obstacles for the course on the shelter’s property.
Furthermore, Savoie directed the Scouts in clearing and mulching a 150-yard path around the property’s perimeter, providing the dogs with additional opportunities for outdoor recreation.
According to the Boy Scouts of America, the Eagle Project requires the Scout to do more than complete a service project. The youth must demonstrate complete ownership of the undertaking from ideation to execution, leading their peers throughout the process.
“We’re very proud of what Evan has put together,” said Paul Hardy, Scouting’s local district executive. “Developing leadership skills in our youth is one of the most important elements of our Scouting program.”
With his project completed, Savoie will soon be eligible to go before a Board of Review, which determines whether to recommend him for the rank of Eagle, Scouting’s highest honor.
On approval, Savoie will join an exclusive fellowship, as only 6% of the youth who join Scouting achieve the Eagle rank.
PHOTO: Clarkston junior Evan Savoie, right, instructs his workforce as they assemble agility course components. Photo: Provided by Brandon Kathman