White Page Tear
Dr. Rod Olson is Honored with the 'Good Scout Award'
Oct 7, 2021

Dr. Rod Olson “River Doc” was honored with the Good Scout Award on October 7 at the Leaders of Character Banquet. 

Dr. Rod Olson grew up in Central Minnesota before moving to the Village of Baxter where his neighbor was a Scoutmaster. During his middle school years, he earned the First Class Scouting rank plus several merit badges. Rod was able to go on several winter camping trips and learned many new skills including compass use. He joined the Civil Air Patrol and began volunteering as a spotter for pilots looking for lost people or downed planes.

After high school, Rod relocated to California where he got a job as a draftsman at a computer company. He became an Assistant Scoutmaster and took youth on multi-day hikes, including climbing Mount Whitney.

Rod earned a college degree from St. John’s University and married his wife Carol in 1969. He spent two years with Volunteers in Service to America, working in inner city Duluth. Rod made the powerful decision to go to medical school and had many opportunities to care for the ill and injured. By 1980, Rod and Carol moved to Rice Lake with their two young boys and started a practice in Family Medicine.

Twenty years in Family Medicine gave Dr. Olson vast experiences from child-birth to trauma care. He started the full-time emergency department at Lakeview Medical Center in 2000 and had the privilege to work with great colleagues and nurses to provide the best care for Rice Lake.

Rod earned the nickname “River Doc” when he began using some of his free time to work on land and water restoration. As co-chair of the Red Cedar Watershed Conference, he was introduced to people from all over the country who were changing the way we care for the land. Methods of “Keep the soil on the land and out of the water” became Rod’s motto. Photos, chemical analysis, and reports helped bring local community awareness to the problems in the Red Cedar River and how to address them.

This year, Rod and Carol are donating the River Doc Nature Conservancy, a 55 acre lakeshore property on Desair Lake, to the Rice Lake School District as an environmental education center. The property includes 2000 feet of shoreline, detention ponds, streams, prairies, and old growth hardwood forest so that area youth can learn about the wonders of nature. The school will own an adjacent field to teach sustainable agriculture and modern forest management.

Rod credits his experience in Scouting as a youth with the many causes he has impacted throughout his life. He learned the value of the Scout Law and this philosophy has helped him to take care of land, water, and people in need.

Past recepients of the Good Scout Award:

Bill Appleyard
Paul Chase 
Edward Doyle 
Virgil Edson 
Arnold Ellison
Foster Friess
Tom Koser
Louis Muench
Chris Fitzgerald
Terry Gerber
Burnell “Bun” Hanson
Bob Marsh
John Muench
Dan Thole

Post Image

White Page Tear