Kevin Haley with the building project that earned him his Eagle Scout rank.

Kevin Haley, 18, of Boy Scout Troop 333 in Fincastle completed his Eagle Project to benefit the Roanoke St. Francis Service Dogs, located in Hollins.

The project was a three-sided mobile building that will protect the dog trainers from the elements while they are in the field working with the dogs.

St. Francis Service Dogs staff said this was a great need they have had, and the trainers will benefit greatly by being able to get in out of the hot sun or cold rains while working with the dogs.

All the materials were procured from the Bonsack Lowe’s including the stain. The work was completed by Haley and his fellow Scouts at Troop 333. They logged over 150 man-hours over five workdays to complete the project.

Haley’s interest in St. Francis Service Dogs stems from his pet sitting responsibilities, looking after some very pampered pooches locally. His own dog helped him to overcome a speech disability when he was very young.

Haley started Cub Scouts as a “Scout buddy,” a sibling when his older brother joined Scouts. As his brother Kyle was a “charter member” of Pack 82, Kevin had “sibling privileges.” By the time he was old enough to be proper “official” Tiger Cub himself, he knew a thing or two about the Pack and all of the fun activities available to him.

He has sold popcorn in the fall and camped-out at Spookoree. He marched in the Christmas Parade, and camped-in at the Science Museum. He raced regatta boats, and had lock-ins at the church. He looked forward to the Blue and Gold Banquets and Pinewood Derby each year.

He finished achievements and electives; he earned belt loops and pins. He participated in space derbies and go-see-its. He went on outings and bus trips and camped at Gold Rush and resident camps.

Den 3, 11 boys strong, then crossed over to three different Boy Scout Troops. Nate Brinkley, Cabell Rakes, Kevin Haley, Benton Hunsicker, Jake DaVolio and Sean DeHaven are still active seventh year Scouts with their Boy Scout troops in 2016. Benton, Nate, Sean and Jake have also completed their Eagle Projects and rank.

Haley crossed over to Boy Scouts with all his Cub ranks and his Arrow of Light. He joined the troop and began earning ranks and working on merit badges. He has earned 43, enough to earn all his palms.

His first merit badges were the centennial Pathfinding, Tracking and Woodworking badges. The Snow Sports merit badge was one he worked on each time the weather allowed him to attend Scouts on Skis, from early Cubs throughout his scouting path. His most recent was white water rafting; earned his last summer at New River Adventure, and Disability Awareness, where the troop placed first at the Fall District Camporee.

Haley had held several leadership positions in the troop— from six-month commitments of Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader to a two-year service as Den Chief for Pack 82.

He was elected to the Order of the Arrow (OA) and attained his Brotherhood in scouting’s honor program. Haley has more than 75 nights of camping and 80 hours of service. He did summer camp at Powhatan and Ottari, he earned his scuba certification at Claytor Lake Aquatics Base and went back the following summer to do many more water-centric merit badges.

He traveled to the 2013 National Jamboree with Blue Ridge Mountains Council’s troop and was an ambassador at the Greenbrier Resort for the Opening Jamboree Fundraising Dinner.

He was also a Sharktopus Crew member for Florida Keys Sea Base Live Aboard Adventure Scuba diving program with the troop this past summer.

Haley had his Eagle Court of Honor in May, and his Council Eagle Dinner November 11. He is currently attending Virginia Western Community College.

The holidays are always a demanding time and helping St. Francis Service Dogs with a donation, volunteering time, or helping to fulfill their online Wishlist is greatly appreciated. When making a donation to St. Francis Service Dogs, the contribution is applied directly to the cost of: obtaining, raising, training and placing a service dog with a child or an adult with a disability.

It takes nearly $25,000 to obtain, raise, train, and place a single service dog and St. Francis absorbs this cost so that the many deserving children and adults with disabilities are able to better experience the world through partnership with a service dog.

Donations are tax deductible.

To donate by check or money order, make it payable to St. Francis Service Dogs and mail to St. Francis Service Dogs, P.O. Box 19538, Roanoke, 24019. For questions or additional information about how to help, contact Niki Voudren at nvoudren@saintfrancisdogs.org or call 342-3647.

Boy Scout Troop 333 meets every Monday at 7 p.m. at Fincastle Baptist Church in Fincastle. Sixth to 12th grade boys are invited to visit the troop and see what scouting offers. For more information on joining scouting contact Suzanne D’Angelico, committee chairperson at (540) 537-7869 or Scoutmaster Larry Etzler at 520-4522.

Inco-Check