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K-9s get new tool for training through Eagle Scout project

Among the many people to help NRHS senior Jordon Lyons (center) with his Eagle Scout project were (from left) Jeff Peaslee, Rylie Peaslee, Ryan Affeldt, Officer Todd Shafer, Jeremy Lyons, Erin Geier, Rich Lyons and K-9 Officer Katie Chevrier. Submitted photo1 / 2
New Richmond Troop 464 Scouts, including Javen Holzbauer, Ryan Affeldt, Caleb Schilling and Shawn King, were among the many people to help fellow Scout Jordon Lyons with his Eagle Scout project, a series of boxes to be used for K-9 training. Submitted photo2 / 2

With both of his older brothers making the rank of Eagle Scout, New Richmond High School senior Jordon Lyons wanted nothing more than to follow in their footsteps. He joined them on campouts when he was very young and joined Tiger Cubs when he was in first grade.

So when it came time to select what he would do for his final project, Lyons was eager to get to work.

"I started working on my Eagle Project over a year ago. After a few false starts, Scout Master Ted Lapean told me about the K-9 boxes that the NRPD needed built. I thought it would be a good project," Lyons said. "I like building things out of wood and using tools. For our church workcamps I helped build wheelchair ramps for houses and decks for houses and other fix-it projects. At a summer job at a day camp I repaired a lot of things. So, I ad some experience of what to do."

According to Lyons, Officer Todd Shafer already had one of the K-9 boxes made, so he just had to follow the same dimensions to create the five boxes for his project.

"The boxes are used by having one person get in each of the six boxes. Then five people leave out of their boxes and one person stays in one of the boxes. Then they bring in the K-9 dog and it has to figure out which box the person is in. If the dog guesses right, the person hands out a treat or a toy."

Lyons had six fellow Scouts from New Richmond Troop 464 help him out with his Eagle Scout project, including Ryan Affeldt, Shawn King, Javen Holzbauer, Caleb Schilling, Jacob Stadler and Rylie Peaslee. In addition to the other Scouts, Lyons also had help from Shafer and K-9 Officer Katie Chevrier, as well as Jeremy Lyons, Erin Geier, Russell Affeldt, Josh King, Jay Holzbauer, Jeff Peaslee, Peter Schilling, Rich Lyons and Debbie Lyons.

"I thought this was a really interesting project. The construction process was fun to do. I enjoyed working with tools on a larger scale for the boxes," said fellow Scout Ryan Affeldt. "We had very specific instructions from the police department for their requirements. There are additional parts inside the boxes and different openings as well. This made building the boxes more challenging than just a box.

"This was a great opportunity to work with our police department and give back to our community. In the future we hope to assist with further projects."

The project took five hours to complete. The New Richmond City Parks Department let Lyons and his group of workers build the boxes in one of their buildings. The boxes will be used in training the New Richmond K-9 as well as other K-9s from around St. Croix County.

"It is a good feeling knowing that I am helping the community. We used a lot of screws, screw drivers, wood and the adults used the saws. It was fun working with everybody getting a big work project done. When a lot of people work together, big projects can get done fast," Lyons said. "We got them all done that Saturday and the officers were there when we got them done. Officer Katie Chevrier even let us see Storm, the K-9 dog, do a demonstration finding things in the snow."

Lyons will graduate from NRHS in May, but will also have his certification in welding after attending the WITC welding program while in high school. He will be attending either the University of Wisconsin - Platteville or the University of Minnesota Duluth to study engineering.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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