By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
To obtain the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank, a local teen has helped Yukon’s animal welfare group by cleaning a creek bed next to the dog park north of Main Street.
Mason Gill, a member of Boy Scout Troop 553, was joined by an army of helpers on Saturday, Aug. 3 just west of the Yukon animal shelter at 701 Inla. Mason’s Eagle Scout service project demonstrated his leadership while benefitting Pets & People Humane Society.
Fallen trees and branches had created two natural dams in the creek as a result of ice storms during the winter of 2016.
“Anytime we had heavy rains, the water wouldn’t flow through and it would flood the small dog park,” Pets & People Board Member Peggy Nichols said.
“Mason, with help from about 20 other volunteers, came last Saturday and cleaned up all the fallen trees and broken limbs. It was a huge amount of debris.”
The clean-up effort took about 3-1/2 hours and was finished before noon.
“They did above and beyond what I expected them to do,” Nichols said.
Mason’s mother is Christine Gill, the committee chair for Boy Scout Troop 553 and Cub Scout Pack 196. His father is Marshall Gill.
Boy Scouts must complete their Eagle Project before their 18th birthday to attain the Eagle Scout rank, and Mason made it with just a few days to spare.
“I called Troop 553 and asked if they had anyone who needed to do an Eagle Scout project,” Nichols said.
Pets & People representatives knew they’d need more than a few volunteers to collect the copious quantity of debris that had piled up.
“I’ve been trying to get a large group of volunteers to clean up the creek bed,” Nichols said.
“But it was a daunting project and so labor intensive. I couldn’t get enough volunteers.
“I wanted to see if this would qualify as an Eagle Scout project.”
Lowe’s of Yukon donated supplies and tools for the Eagle Project benefiting Pets & People.
An Eagle Project is the culmination of a Boy Scout’s leadership training and requires a significant effort on his part, according to the National Eagle Scout Association.
Nichols was impressed with the extensive preparation Mason did for this Eagle Project, including taking measurements and photographs.
Along with his troop leader, he made a detailed presentation to the Last Frontier Boy Scout Council in Oklahoma City.
In his presentation, Mason explained why we was undertaking this project and its importance to Pets & People.
Boy Scout Troop 553 meets at St. Marks United Methodist Church in Bethany. Scoutmaster is Brent Tevebaugh.