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Boy Scouts earn Zero Hero award

On Jan. 20, six scouts from Boy Scout Troop 460, New Richmond, received Northern Star Council's Zero Hero Award.

While attending Snow Base winter camp, located at Tomahawk Scout Reservation, Birchwood, the scouts spent 24 consecutive hours outdoors with no heat.

After arriving at camp Friday night, the scouts tried on winter clothing, inspected camping gear, loaded up two covered sleds, received winter safety instructions and spent the night sleeping indoors.

Saturday morning the Scouts, along with their Scoutmaster and camp guide, hiked several trails to their designated camping site where they spent several hours constructing temporary sleeping shelters made out of snow, sticks, tarps and an army-like parachute.

Saturday afternoon, as they cooked, cross-country skied, power-kite surfed on nearby Long Lake and played broomball, the scouts braved dropping daytime temperatures and 20 below to 40 below wind chills.

Sunday morning, the scouts awoke to star-filled skies, an eerie calm and a minus 12 degree temperature. Before breaking camp, they spent 15-30 minutes briskly walking around their camp site trying to warm their feet and hands.

"Despite the very harsh winter conditions, the scouts had fun in the outdoors, acquired some lifelong skills and came back to New Richmond with some great adventures to share with their families and friends," said Scoutmaster Jeff Kuhlman.

To earn the Zero Hero Award, during a 24-hour period of a campout, each of the following must occur: the temperature must fall below zero degrees Fahrenheit; the individual must sleep outdoors in a temporary shelter (tent, lean-to or snow shelter) from taps to reveille; no heat is allowed; the scouts must cook outdoors over a camping stove at least two meals by patrol or individually; the campout must be a scheduled activity of the unit.