Eagle Scout service project benefits those on four legs

Ross-and-greyhoundsNowhere in the rules does it require the beneficiary of an Eagle project to be human.

Good thing, because an Eagle candidate from Texas has completed an impressive Eagle Scout service project to benefit the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas. It was the first time the agency had partnered with a Boy Scout for a project.

Ross R. of Circle Ten Council’s Plano, Texas-based Troop 1000, organized an adoption event and raised awareness in his community about retired racing greyhounds. He also held a collection drive for dog toys, treats and towels for the dogs in foster care at this nonprofit corporation that has assisted 2,700 greyhounds to date.

This great project is another reminder that an Eagle project doesn’t have to be “permanent” to leave a permanent legacy. In other words, it doesn’t need to leave behind something physical, like a bridge, to have a lasting impact on the young man’s community.

Ross, who lacks only the Personal Management merit badge, Scoutmaster conference and Eagle board of review before he can earn the Eagle Scout award, read my blog post about nontraditional Eagle projects around the time he was starting his project.

“It was very encouraging to all of us — to my son and his family and his troop,” Ross’ mom, Karen, wrote in an email to me.”

Ross said his favorite part of the project “was spending time with the greyhounds. They are calm and sensitive dogs. At the adoption event, the foster parents commented that the dogs were happy to be with the Scouts. This helped make the event a success.”

The event didn’t just benefit the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas in the short term; it also resulted in several adoptions, including a member of Troop 1000 adopting a greyhound into his family.

That’s Uno above with Ross (left) and Uno’s new owner, Patrick.

I’m impressed by Ross’ humility. When Ross heard I wanted to feature his project on the blog, his mom told me he was worried it wasn’t “big” enough to warrant coverage. (You might say he’s no publicity hound.)

This young man has great character and strong leadership skills. And he’s only 14. Great job, Ross, and good luck as you finish the final steps toward earning Eagle!