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Josh Radke's Eagle Project

posted Jun 1, 2015, 5:06 AM by Dan Rautenkranz

A new “Welcome to Dundee” sign now greets people traveling along Nobles County 1 as they approach the small town, thanks to the efforts of a Brewster teen working to earn his Eagle Scout.

Joshua Radke, 17, enlisted the help of nearly all of his fellow Boy Scouts in Worthington’s Troop 134 on Sunday afternoon to erect the sign at the entrance to the community.

While not from Dundee, Radke said he has a fondness for the town, stemming from his childhood days of attending the Dundee Nothing Days celebrations. He laughed as he shared that, as a young kid, he pronounced it “Muffin Days.”

As he grew older and developed a love of fishing, his family made Brenda’s Gas and Grocery in Dundee a favored stop to buy their bait.

“One reason why I wanted to create a welcome sign for Dundee, was ... the town’s kind of dying — it’s a small little town that no one’s really heard of,” Radke said.

As fellow members in the Boy Scout troop have earned their Eagle Scout badge, Radke decided that he, too, should work toward the highest honor bestowed on a Boy Scout.

“I wanted to get the highest honor I can,” he said. “I’ve been working on (scouting) this long, I might as well complete it.”

Radke, who graduated a little more than a week ago from Heron Lake-Okabena High School, spent his senior year making plans and fundraising for the sign project.

“I just wanted to have that as my senior accomplishment — completing my Eagle project,” he said.

Radke worked with Harvey’s Signs and Bedford Technology, both of Worthington, to get the 5- by 8-foot sign made and the posts to erect it. He also secured donations of rock from GCC and food for his volunteers from Fareway. The total project cost was $1,000, which required him to solicit donations from businesses in Brewster, Worthington, Fulda and Dundee.

“During the whole school year I’ve been going around to local businesses trying to get the donations raised, and here I am today, with the donations all settled, and I have my sign created,” said Radke, the son of Darrell and DeAnn Radke.

While the sign is now in place, Radke hasn’t yet earned his Eagle Scout badge. He has to finish his report, complete with photographs and a log of the work he did on the project, and then appear before a panel of scouting officials at the regional headquarters in Sioux Falls, S.D., to present his project.

If the board approves his project, a pinning ceremony will be conducted at a later date.

Radke joined the Cub Scouts as a first-grader, following in the footsteps of some of his older cousins. He became a Scout because “you get to be outside all the time and you get to meet new friends.

“I thought I might try it out and here I am, (more than) 10 years down the road and I’m still in it,” he said. “My favorite part about it is meeting new people. You get to be yourself — you just have a lot of choices and different opportunities that can help prepare you for your life ahead of you.”

His mom served as a den leader when he was in Cub Scouts, and he attributes his drive toward the Eagle Scout honor to many of the leaders and fellow troop members who have been by his side through it all.

“My troop leaders were always pushing me to keep going and going,” he said, offering gratitude to Jacoba Nagel, Scott Hunt, Arnie Dwire, Scott and LaDonna Carlson, Dan Rautenkranz, Wes Kruger, and the Bah, Ailts and Ostrem families.

“A big thanks to all my family and friends and troop members who have pushed me to get this far in my project and my Boy Scout career,” Radke said.

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