SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- John Dazzo, a Life Scout in Boy Scout Troop 33 in Fanwood, recently completed the work stage of his Eagle project, which consisted of building nine dog beds for St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, located in Madison, NJ.

"I noticed on their website that they were requesting donations of dog beds. Out of the 40 beds that they were requesting, only 3 had been donated. So, I decided that I would build nine beds of three different sizes," Dazzo said. "I based the dimensions of my beds on the dimensions of the beds that were available requested on the website."

The Scout built the beds out of PVC pipe and vinyl fabric. For each bed, fabric was wrapped around a rectangular PVC frame which was held in the air by four legs to create a hammock/trampoline-like resting place for the dogs.

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"This design proved to be very comfortable for my 50 lb. dog at home when my family would frequently find him sprawled out on my prototype bed," said Dazzo, who organized Scout volunteers and friends, who worked in four shifts throughout the month of July.

"I was able to drop off all nine beds at St. Hubert’s on July 26. St. Hubert’s is where my family adopted my dog from, which made this experience extremely rewarding for me," Dazzo said. "The people at St. Hubert’s were very flexible with my project, and I am happy to be able to repay them by providing a cozy place to sleep for the rescued dogs at the shelter. If you are considering adopting a dog, this is a great place to go, and maybe you will see one of my beds in action!"

Eagle is the highest rank in Scouting, requiring the honorees to work their way up through the lower ranks, each one requiring leadership, community service, practical skills and a quota of merit badges. Their final project requires candidates to be project managers covering the planning, fundraising, staffing, execution and documentation of a service project to benefit the community. At each rank advancement they must also show that they live their lives to the Scout Oath and Law, which requires them to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. 

To earn the rank, a Scout must progress through the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life Scout and earn 21 merit badges or more. Only about 7% of Scouts attain the rank of Eagle. Famous Eagle Scouts include astronauts Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, and James Lovell of Apollo 13 fame, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, former NJ Senator Bill Bradley, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg, and President Gerald R. Ford.

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