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River Falls brothers awarded $1,000 Eagle Scout scholarships

Life Scout Ryan Gemilere, left, presents Benjamin Wurdell with a $1,000 Eagle Scout scholarship March 18 during the Northern Star Council Recognition Dinner at the Golden Valley Country Club. Submitted photo1 / 2
Eagle Scout Dominic Wolters, left, presents Gabriel Wurdell with a $1,000 Eagle Scout scholarship March 18 during the Northern Star Council Recognition Dinner at the Golden Valley Country Club. Submitted photo2 / 2

Benjamin and Gabriel Wurdell, seniors at River Falls High School, were recently presented with $1,000 Eagle Scout scholarships by the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America. This is the first time in the 27-year history of the program that brothers received Eagle scholarships in the same year. The ceremony took place March 18 at the Council Recognition Dinner at the Golden Valley Country Club.

The Eagle Scout scholarship program recognizes Scouts who have displayed extraordinary achievement in academics, athletics, troop leadership and overall service to their community. The program has awarded more than $490,000 in scholarships since its inception in 1990. Benjamin and Gabriel were two of 25 recipients for 2017 selected from a pool of more than 100 Eagle Scout scholarship applicants completing their senior year in high school.

"Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout demonstrates the culmination and mastery of all the morals, values, skills and failures that went into working for the achievement," said Benjamin. "Scouting for me was very heavily based on integrating the ideals of Scouting into my everyday life. Reaching for the rank of Eagle for so many years allowed me to do just that."

"Everyone's story is different," added Gabriel, "and every Eagle tells it in his own way. I'm coming to know just how special this honor is and how hard it is to achieve."

Eagle Scout is the highest rank in the BSA, attained by approximately 6 percent of those who join. Benjamin and Gabriel earned the rank of Eagle Scout as members of Troop 54 chartered to Moose Lodge 594 in River Falls in the Eagle River District.

Outside of Scouting, the brothers are accomplished musicians. Benjamin plays the mellophone, a middle-voiced brass instrument used in place of the French horn. He has performed at the Bands of America Super Regional competition and will march with the 2017 Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. Gabriel will also march in the Drum and Bugle Corps this summer, playing the baritone and trombone. He was a member of the state marching band champions in 2013 and 2016.

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