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Hermantown Teen Marks Year of Sleeping Outside, Supporting Charity

Updated: 06/06/2014 10:51 PM
Created: 06/06/2014 10:10 PM WDIO.com

From swarms of mosquitoes to 76-straight days of subzero temperatures, 17-year-old Rudy Hummel experienced it all over the past 365 nights sleeping outside for a cause.

Dubbed “Snores Outdoors,” the Hermantown teen’s initiative came to an end Friday as Hummel and his friends gathered in his backyard to spend his 364th and final night sleeping outside.  Family and friends also joined in to celebrate, bringing Hummel a cake to commemorate his experience.

The experiment originally started as a personal challenge, but it evolved into something more when Hummel realized he was receiving widespread attention. The Boy Scout set up links on his website asking for donations to Habitat for Humanity and the Hawks Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth.  He raised more than $5,000.

Hummel admitted he experienced some pretty tough conditions. In the winter, he said he built a cave, which was a hollowed out pile of snow that kept the temperature about 10 degrees warmer than outside. Despite some difficult nights, Hummel said each moment was worth it.

“Absolutely. It was definitely worth it,” Hummel said. “I've learned a ton of life lessons from this. I've learned about how interconnected nature is and about how the birds that come to our bird feeders in our backyard, they're not really visitors. They live here, too. We just build bigger nests.”

As far as future plans to make a difference go, Hummel said it would have to be on a larger scale.

“I did it again I'd have to top myself,” Hummel said. “I would either go for two years or I would have an entirely different goal.”

Daniel Schnobrich, a junior at Hermantown High School and Hummel’s classmate, said he thought Hummel was “bananas” when he first heard of the project; however, his opinion evolved with Hummel’s mission.

“At first I still kind of thought it was kind of crazy. I mean, who would sleep outside in the winter like this? But then it turned more into, wow I can’t believe he’s doing this, and there’s a lot people that are also kind of admiring him. It’s pretty amazing,” Schnobrich said.

Hummel plans to continue accepting donations for both charities. 

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