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Dave Olson, Published August 16 2012

Fargo scouting center holds dedication

FARGO – Scout law states that a Scout, among other things, is thrifty.

Todd and Jennifer West put the law to the test when their family checked out the Jorgenson Scout Store in the new Jon L. Wanzek Center for Scouting in Fargo, which held a dedication ceremony Thursday morning.

“This is awesome,” said Todd West, an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 242 in Fargo. His sons Sam and Michael are Cub and Boy Scouts, respectively.

West said it’s one thing to see something in a catalog, it’s another to be able to pick it up and feel it.

Jennifer West said she is glad the store is open, adding that it would have been nice if it had opened sooner so her family could have picked up items for a summer Scout hike.

The store is the 163rd Boy Scouts of America shop in the country, said Marlene Gerdts, territory manager for the Boy Scouts of America out of the Twin Cities. She was on hand Thursday morning for dedication ceremonies for the new Scout center at 42nd Street South and 19th Avenue, across from the Schlossman branch of the YMCA.

She had a warm smile and a thank-you for brothers John and Rick Stern, whose family business, Straus Clothing, provided uniforms and other Scouting paraphernalia in the Fargo-Moorhead area for more than 80 years.

The new store will now take on that role, Gerdts said.

While the availability of Scouting items was limited in the past, the new store will offer “the whole catalog” of what is available for Scouts, she said.

Al Lambert, regional director of the Boy Scouts of America’s central region, urged those attending the dedication to take full advantage of the beautiful new building to “serve as many youth as you can.

“The Northern Lights Council is a leader in our region. You have a tremendously powerful program,” he said.

Doug Restemayer, chairman of the building committee, thanked those whose resources and efforts made the new center possible.

He also stressed the value Scouting brings to the lives of young people and their communities.

Scouting, like the compass motif set into the floor that greets visitors to the center, “can point a person to true North,” Restemayer said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555