Christopher Dean’s Eagle Scout project is for the dogs

Sussex Tech freshman builds agility course at Lewes dog park
December 12, 2017

Just like dogs, Eagle Scout projects come in all shapes and sizes.

For his project, 14-year-old Christopher Dean built a regulation agility course for Lewes Unleashed at the Lewes dog park.

The Troop 1 Boy Scout from Milton has been working on the project since April.

"My dad has been working with me," said Dean, a freshman at Sussex Tech. "He knows a lot about construction. I had to make sure there was a lot of safety involved because dogs can't get injured."

The new course features most of the obstacles one would see in an agility competition on television, including hurdles, a tire jump, table-and-pause box, the dog walk (a narrow walkway about 3 feet off the ground), an A-frame and a seesaw.

"The members have been very enthusiastic about the course," said Paul Collins, a Lewes Unleashed vice president. "Many of them started taking their dogs into the area and getting them to work on different pieces of apparatus, and a few have been trying to get their dogs to run the complete course."

The dog park is already split into three areas - main area, small dog/old dog area and training area - but, Collins said, they will likely add another fence to separate the agility course.

"Our rules prohibit treats in the park, but it would be very difficult to train dogs to run the agility course without treats," he said. "Fencing off that area allows us to modify our rules so we can permit treats in the agility area."

He said they would like to offer training classes and competitions at the new agility course, and they are trying to find resources to help. Dean said the project is still a work in progress. While it is mostly complete, he said, there is still some tweaking to do.

To earn the level of Eagle Scout, one must complete a community service project that benefits an organization. It also requires the Boy Scout to demonstrate leadership skills. To fulfill this requirement, Dean organized friends, family and other Boy Scouts to help him throughout the process.

"It taught me a lot of skills, personal skills," he said. "I've enjoyed it throughout the whole process."

To learn more about Lewes Unleashed, go to