September 24, 2017
School & Youth
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  • For his Eagle scout project, Brian Tinkler focused on a fenced grassy area by Anne Arundel County Animal Control in Millersville, making it a safe place for dogs and volunteers to walk.
    For his Eagle scout project, Brian Tinkler focused on a fenced grassy area by Anne Arundel County Animal Control in Millersville, making it a safe place for dogs and volunteers to walk.
  • For his Eagle scout project, Brian Tinkler focused on a fenced grassy area by Anne Arundel County Animal Control in Millersville, making it a safe place for dogs and volunteers to walk.
    For his Eagle scout project, Brian Tinkler focused on a fenced grassy area by Anne Arundel County Animal Control in Millersville, making it a safe place for dogs and volunteers to walk.
  • Tinkler’s Eagle project at the Anne Arundel County Animal Control building helps with proper drainage, reduces mud and creates an easy-to-clear path for dogs and humans.
    Tinkler’s Eagle project at the Anne Arundel County Animal Control building helps with proper drainage, reduces mud and creates an easy-to-clear path for dogs and humans.

Brian Tinkler’s Eagle Scout Project Is Something To Bark About

Judy Tacyn
Judy Tacyn's picture
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June 27, 2017

After his family adopted a dog from Anne Arundel County Animal Control, Brian Tinkler felt a strong appreciation for the shelter staff and volunteers who lovingly care for animals as if they were their own. When the longtime Boy Scout began to contemplate an Eagle Scout project, he unsurprisingly wanted to give back.

Adjacent to the brick animal control building in Millersville is a fenced grassy area where dedicated volunteers walk the shelter dogs or let them romp together in play yards. The walkways between the outdoor kennels had been uneven, grass-worn paths.

“The unlevel ground was a hazard for the volunteers,” said Tinkler, “and when it rained, the water would pool in the low spots, which would create slippery, muddy walkways for people and the dogs.”

Tinkler came up with a flagstone paver design in a T-shape, approximately 30-by-30 feet with 5-foot walkways, requiring 6.5 tons of crushed gravel and more than 200 pavers in 12-inch squares and 12-by-24-inch rectangles.

From June 2 through 4, Tinkler, five scouts and three adults worked to first level the area by removing topsoil, then level with gravel before placing the pavers. The work was labor-intensive but made for a beautiful and safe place for the dogs and volunteers to walk.

“The staff and volunteers are thrilled with the work Brian and his support group did,” said Robin Catlett, top administrator for Anne Arundel County Animal Control in Millersville. “Laying out the paver walkway in our play yards not only beautifies the area but helps with proper drainage, reduces mud, creates an easy-to-clear path in the winter months so we can continue to use those areas in the snow, and hopefully will make the area more welcoming for visitors.

“This walkway also will reduce the amount of dirt re-entering the shelter area each time an animal goes outdoors,” added Catlett. “This will reduce workload on staff and volunteers to keep our indoor areas clean and up to our standards.”

Anne Arundel County Animal Control operates on a tight budget, so allocating funds for any property improvements remains a lower priority over the immediate needs and care of the animals.

“Without Brian and the scouts, this project would have stayed on our wish list for who knows how long,” added Catlett.

Catlett said her facility’s dog gallery is currently the fullest it has been in a while. The staff and volunteers use the play yards at least six days per week, and about 30 dogs use the yards at least once a day, if not more.

“The project will make a difference in the lives of thousands of dogs over the next few years,” said Catlett.

Tinkler was proud that his Eagle Scout project improved his leadership and organizational skills. A scout’s project workbook must be highly detailed so that if another scout were to pick up the project, he could do so with little or no input.

“The workbook and planning components are very detailed and take much longer than the project itself,” said Tinkler. “My advice to all scouts is to be prepared for a lot of paperwork and get the workbook done!”

Assistant Scoutmaster John Haines has known Tinkler since 2010 when the young man bridged from Cub Scouts. “Watching Brian mature over the years has been a pleasure to see. His project required a lot of communication with the county and his contractors,” said Haines. “He exhibited tremendous maturity, and strong project management and leadership skills.”

Tinkler, a junior at Severna Park High School, will be conferred the distinguished Eagle rank at the Troop’s Court of Honor in September 2017.

At SPHS, he is in the Navy Junior ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) program. He hopes to attend the United States Naval Academy and study aerospace engineering or astrophysics. He’s academic team commander of the Annapolis NJROTC Unit, leading petty officer of Annapolis Sea Cadets, on Principal’s Honor Roll, a National Honor Society member, and he is on the SPHS sailing team.

According the Boy Scouts of America, only 5 percent of scouts earn the ultimate rank of Eagle, which amounts to just more than 15,000 scouts annually. Boy Scout Troop 993, sponsored by Severna Park United Methodist Church, has advanced 160 young men to the rank of Eagle Scout since the troop began in 1970.


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