When Sean Monahan brainstormed ideas to gain the rank of Eagle Scout, he finally settled on a way to help man’s best friend.
The scout decided to incorporate new accessories for dogs at the Carolyn Meeker Dog Park in Lutz.
The member of Boy Scout Troop 12 – also in Lutz – had to tackle a project that betters his community as one of his requirements to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
Monahan said that his adoration for dogs sparked the idea to create a more fun and energetic environment for them.
“I thought adding agility equipment in both the big and small dog areas would kind of give them a little something more to do,” the 16-year-old said.
Joe Monroe is the recreation program supervisor for Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation.
The scout approached Monroe and explained the upgrade he wanted for the dog park.
“Before that, there were actually zero obstacle course pieces there,” the supervisor said.
Monahan unveiled several schematic drawings of what he had in mind.
He took a survey and found that visitors wanted new amenities for their dogs, too.
With the help of his fellow scouts, Monahan raised $3,100, pushing his agenda forward.
The team also worked together to install the equipment.
The bigger park area now has two loops for dogs to jump through, as well as an accessory to jump over. The smaller area has a tunnel for dogs to run through and a platform where dogs can learn commands from their owners.
The four new pieces of equipment were placed in the park during a span of three days.
Monahan did not take full credit for the project.
“I led it, but I did have a lot of help from a lot of other people, the Scout said.
Monroe admired the Scouts’ ability to wrap up the effort in less than a week.
“We were impressed by the timeline,” he said. “The planning took a lot longer than the actual installation of the project.”
It was a win for Hillsborough County, the Scouts and the community, Monroe added.
In his six years in Troop 12, Monahan has helped his community in other ways, too.
He has handed out cool drinks at the Lutz Fourth of July Parade, and he has picked up trash on U.S. 41.
Monahan has earned numerous merit badges. He and his fellow Scouts also have gone on camping expeditions, including out of state.
Eventually, he wants to become a Sea Scout, advancing his boating skills.
He thinks other youths should be afforded these same opportunities, and find ways to better their environment.
He believes this recent accomplishment, at the dog park, has helped to build his character.
“I feel like finishing the project really helped me more clearly define my definition of leadership,” the Scout said. “It taught me that if you’re doing something, you’ve got to be prepared for every single thing.”
Published March 18, 2020