When Blayne R from Boy Scout Troop 462 set out to achieve his Eagle Scout ranking, he knew he wanted to do something to benefit animals.
He asked Humanitarians of Florida what they need, and they suggested raised pet beds that would go into the kennels for pets facing surgery.
“They would help animals get up and down,” said Humanitarians clinic manager Stephanie Gunn. “We put them on towels or blankets, and they can get slippery. With these pet beds, it will make it easier for them.”
Blayne, who turns 18 on Feb. 7, researched the design, sought donations from local businesses, assembled a team of volunteers to make them, and taught them how to do it.
That’s the whole point, he explained. “It’s about leadership. I did one or two, but the Eagle Scout doesn’t do the construction; it’s all about being able to teach it. It’s all about being a leader.”
“He’s the Senior Patrol Leader of the troop, which is the top leadership position,” said Troop Leader Kevin Pappadouplos. “Blayne is very skilled and able to teach and lead, and the younger scouts look up to him.”
He added that only 4 percent of scouts make it to Eagle Scout.
“It’s not easy,” he said.
On Jan. 26, Blayne delivered 25 raised pet beds, about six large ones for big dogs and the rest for smaller animals.
The beds are made from PVC pipe, which was donated by Home Depot, and marine canvas, donated by a family friend, Kathy Coogan. The screws, PVC elbows, and flat-end pieces were donated by anonymous donors.
The next step was to submit his packet of paperwork to the Eagle board in Tampa before his birthday – once a scout turns 18 he reaches the maximum age limit.
Blayne said if he has one piece of advice for future Eagle Scouts it would be: Don’t wait.
The Crystal River High School senior plans to enter the Marines in September.