Friday, March 21, 2014
When Boy Scout Matthew Threatt of Troop 759 had to decide what to do for his Eagle Scout service project, he found the answer in his love for animals.
Matthew’s diligent planning and organization will come to fruition this Saturday when he hosts a rabies clinic for domestic animals in Dorchester County, his Eagle Scout project.
On March 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., dog and cat owners can bring their animals to Boone Hill United Methodist Church, where Troop 759 is sponsored, to update their pets’ rabies vaccinations. Dr. Brock Sauls of Southside Animal Hospital will be providing the vaccinations.
The service will cost $7 per animal.
All Boy Scouts must complete an Eagle Scout service project in order to obtain the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest within the Boy Scouts of America. “The Eagle project is a way to show leadership and that you know how to communicate with your community,” Matthew said.
Completing the project is just one part of becoming an Eagle Scout; a candidate must also have letters of recommendation, submit his own “letter of ambition,” have a conference with the Scout Master and earn his Eagle Scout merit badges before meeting with the Eagle Scout Board of Review.
Matthew said he hopes to go before the board two weeks after his project is completed. But before hosting the event, the prospective Eagle Scout had to put in a lot of work.
His first step was to get the proposal approved by the troop’s Scout Master, Matthew said. Then he had to find a location for the event and a veterinarian who would donate time and services. Matthew recruited fellow Boy Scouts as helpers to volunteer with traffic control, leash check and clean up.
Throughout the process he had to check in with an Eagle Advisor to make sure the project stayed on track. He also arranged for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to sponsor the event. DHEC donated posters and flyers to advertise the event, which will be posted in Newington and Knightsville area gas stations, grocery stores and schools this week, he said.
Although the process wasn’t without challenges, the scout said he was surprised how much fun the planning process was.
“My only goal is to have everything run smoothly and go as planned,” he said. The overall purpose of the event is to prevent the spread of rabies and to make the community safer.
Matthew has been in the Boy Scouts for four years, but he’s participated in scouting programs since the first grade. He said reaching Eagle Scout would be the biggest honor of his scouting career. “It’s a really big achievement. Mostly I want to set an example for the boys. I want to show them it’s possible to get it before 18.”
Although most boys in his troop reach Eagle Scout when they’re 18 years old, Matthew is only 14.