Luke Bowers of Lee's Summit Boy Scout Troop 220, Doggone Good Eagle Scout Project
June 15, 2012
Scouts attend the unveiling of the Ensler Bark Box were from left to right;
Lisa Bowers, Luke Bowers, Rodger Bowers, Vasile Wilcox (in box),
Gregory Sheets, Debbie Piatt, Jeremy Piatt,
Chris Tindall of MoSAR and K9 Gunner.
Tribune Photo/Fred Poese
“It started when my dad came home from Junior Police Academy the day a representative from MoSAR K-9 was there. He said that MoSAR was looking for people to help with training projects. I talked to Irene Korotev and we decided to build training boxes. It was a unique project and I love dogs so that’s why I decided to take on the project,” said Luke Bowers with Boy Scout Troop 220.
This was the beginning of Luke Bowers’ Eagle Scout project. A project designed to help train rescue dogs for the Missouri Search and Resuce Unit (MoSAR K-9).
The project consisted of the construction of a large Ensler Bark Box, that is used to train dogs to find live people hidden in rubble. A person sits in the box and the dog has to find a scent coming from the box. When it catches the scent, it will bark until the door raises and the dog is rewarded with a toy.
Additionally, Bowers built four small boxes, three of which are indication stations and the fourth has a tube with a tennis ball launcher. A source is placed in the box with the tennis ball launcher for the dog to find. When the dog has the right box the trainer will click a button that launches the tennis ball as a reward. Rewarding a dog is an integral part of this process.
The project required a lot of planning. From February to May, Bowers planned out details such as design changes, location, wood cuts, and supplies. He spent a lot of time talking with Irene Korotev, Vice President of MoSAR K-9 and Chris Tindall, a battalion chief with the Kansas City Fire Department and president of MoSAR K-9, on how the project would go and many more hours with Sean Ahern, Boy Scout Leader, on the designs which ended up being very well crafted. Finally the project was set for May 31st and it went very smoothly.
Korotev and Tindall gave Bowers project ideas. Ahern helped with the design changes on the boxes and supplied the wood. Brian and Shannon Wilson, owners of Camp Bow Wow Doggy Daycare, supplied the hardware needed to complete the project including latches, rope, and paint.
Bowers is 15 years old and will turn 16 during his week at summer camp, where he will be serving as Camp Senior Patrol Leader.
He comes from a large family of Eagle Scouts including his father, Rodger, three uncles, Rick, Ed and Merle, a cousin Chad and brother Spencer.
MoSAR gave a training presentation last Sunday where they demonstrated how the boxes would be used.
The large box is an Ensler Bark Box, the smaller ones are indication stations.
Scouts who helped with the project are: Gregory Sheets, Corey DeMarco, Sean, Michelle and Austin Ahern, Dayton Stull, Matthew Mason, A.J. Tippin, James Bryant, Vasile Wilcox, Jacob and Zach Meher, John and David Burre, John Dobbins, and Miles Davis.
MoSAR is a volunteer, non-profit dog/handler unit operating under the laws of the United States and the state of Missouri. It is a service group whose primary objective is to find lost or injured persons and to assist in saving lives. MoSAR K-9 can only be activated by law enforcement, fire department, or emergency management agencies.
Before being allowed to participate in an actual search operation, every dog/handler team receives a full year’s training to ensure a professional level of performance. Once added to the active roster, each handler is tested at regular intervals in the latest search techniques as well as First Aid, map and compass navigation, and even wilderness survival. Additionally, each handler and their dog must pass regular fitness qualifications.
Missouri Search and Rescue K-9 is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. There is no charge for their services.
Donations help to provide training and resources to accomplish our primary objective of finding lost or injured persons and assisting in saving lives. For more information visit missourisearchandrescue.com.