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Our view: Outside-sleeping teen gave us much to consider

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Consider what he just did. A full year,

365 straight nights, sleeping outdoors. In the subzero cold. In blinding snowstorms. And even when the weather was nice. And they say young people don’t commit to things anymore, don’t see things through like they used to, that the coming generation is plagued by selfishness and a sense of entitlement.

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Rudy Hummel, a 17-year-old Boy Scout from Hermantown, turned those notions on their ears during the past 12 months. For all the Northland and the world to see after he gained worldwide mass-media and social-media attention.

Consider what he learned from the experience. He realized pretty quickly, from his treehouse seven feet off the ground, that others who sleep outdoors often don’t have a choice about it. They aren’t doing it for fun. Or to meet a challenge they gave themselves. He realized there are too many people out there without a warm bed a backyard away as another option.

Consider, too, a mother’s faith in her son. She only checked on him once during his 12-month quest. It was 27 below zero that night. Some mornings, she admitted, “I didn’t breathe right” until he was back inside. Hard to blame her.

And consider a son’s respect for his mother. “We had an agreement. If he started to shiver he would come in,” his mother said in a story in Saturday’s News Tribune. “He never did.”

Consider how he and his journey affected others. “I can’t recall the last time I’ve felt as good about the example a teenager was providing to the adult world about accepting challenge and making it more than just about you,” family friend Rob Karwath, whose North Coast Communications helped with the media frenzy, told the News Tribune Opinion page Monday. The teen’s father said in Saturday’s story: “I want to be like Rudy when I grow up.” Don’t we all?

And consider the good that was done. About $6,000 was raised for the Western Lake Superior Habitat for Humanity and for the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.

Now consider being part of Hummel’s achievement by upping that $6,000 with a donation of your own. Just go to snoreoutdoors.com and look for the donation buttons at the top of the home page. You have through the end of the month to commit to helping. And then following through. You’ve certainly seen how.

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