Drive into any small town (and some large towns) in this great country of ours, and on your way in, you’re likely to see a welcome sign greeting you. The welcome sign is part of the charm of the small town, and it’s the first impression many towns have to make on visitors and new residents.
Seeing that sign after a long road trip is also the way town residents know they’ve finally come home.
The welcome sign is a comforting part of Americana, which is why the loss of the town sign during the valley fire of 2015 in Middletown, California, made such an impact.
The devastating fire, which was one of the largest in state history, tore through major swaths of the community in Middletown, and, while some of that damage has since been repaired, the town welcome sign was, quite understandably, not high on the priority list of repairs.
Scout Jordan G., from the nearby community of Santa Rosa in the Boy Scouts of America Redwood Empire Council, saw the damage his neighbors in Middletown had suffered, and he knew that he wanted to help them. After reaching out about possible projects, he settled on the reconstruction of the town’s welcome sign.
“I was looking at doing a project for the park service,” Jordan said. “But then the fire in Middletown happened, and I thought I could really help them out by doing something there.”
Jordan and a crew of volunteers helped construct the new welcome sign, which features details on the town’s population of 1,323 and elevation of 1,099 ft. It also lets people know about the school mascot with it’s announcement of “Welcome to Middletown, Home of the Mustangs.”
While a simple gesture like the restoration of a welcome sign might not fix all of the ills caused by the wildfire, Jordan’s Eagle Scout project has provided a bit of healing for his neighbors.
“I’ll feel something great in me whenever I drive by, just to think I helped out the community,” he said.
To learn more about Jordan’s Eagle Scout project, be sure to read the full article in The Press Democrat.