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Scouts honor Ruesch for service

Larry Ruesch (third from left) was honored with two plaques from Boy Scouts Troop 134 for his 18 years of service to the local organization. He is joined by Assistant Scout Master Scott Hunt, Scout Master Michael Bah and Boy Scout Eric Fletcher during a presentation at Scout Sunday at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- Today marks the 103th birthday of the Boy Scouts of America, and to kick off Scout Week in Worthington, Boy Scout Troop 134 honored Larry Ruesch earlier this week for his 18 years of leadership and guidance to the local organization.

As members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, which sponsors the Scout Troop, Ruesch and the late Dale Behrens were instrumental in getting the local group organized.

Following Behrens' death, Ruesch became the chartered organization representative from the church, and continued to serve in that role until last November, when Bryon Spittle was named his successor.

"(The church) helps us with a meeting place a lot of times, and they let us keep equipment in their garage," said Michael Bah, Scout Master for Troop 134.

Over the course of the last 18 years, Ruesch attended the Scouts' Court of Honor program, where he led the group in prayer. He also was the man behind the grill during the Scouts' annual pork chop fundraisers.

"I've been involved in that all the time," Ruesch said, adding that each fundraiser had him grilling about 500 pork chops. The fundraiser helped pay for Boy Scouts to attend camp.

Oftentimes, Ruesch would join them at camp, leading the group in devotions or conducting the sermon.

"I enjoyed it," he said of the volunteer role.

During the Christmas season, Ruesch would take on the role of Santa Claus, dressing up in his Santa suit to visit with each of the Cub and Boy Scouts during their Christmas party.

As part of Scout Week, local Cub and Boy Scouts were asked to wear their Scout uniform to school one day this week. They also made posters to place throughout the community to promote the organization, said Bah.

The Cub Scout program teaches young boys outdoor skills and things in nature. They learn to tie knots and cook, and gain first aid skills.

"Later on, then they usually start on different merit badges," said Bah, who registered as a troop leader in 2002. He's been Scout Master of Troop 134 for the past eight years.

"There's over 120 merit badges that are different. Merit badges are nice because (the boys) can learn a little bit about something they can continue on later in life," he added. "There's definitely a fun aspect to it too."

Boy Scout Troop 134 meets weekly in Worthington, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every Monday, at the Scout Cabin in Chautauqua Park. Boys ages 11 to 17 can join the Boy Scouts at any time during the year. Younger boys, those in kindergarten through fifth grade, may join the Cub Scouts, which meet every other Tuesday at St. Matthew Lutheran Church.

For more information about joining the Scouts, contact Bah at (507) 945-0016.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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