1,000 Nights Sleeping Outside
Duluth, Minn. — This was not a bad dream, especially for Isaac Ortman and the people who know him. When he was just 12, the pandemic began, and as lark he decided that he would spend ten nights sleeping outside. That was in April of 2020. When the first challenge was met, he decided he could go longer and he did.
Through rain, wind, hail, snow, the heat and humidity of summer and the dead of winter.
There was one particular winter night that stands out in Isaac Ortman’s memory.
“It was 38 degrees below and I was in my hammock which is up by Pecan Lake, But I was in my hammock which has two under quilts, two over quilts and a down sleeping bag.
Were you cold? Not really I was warm.”
Thursday night Isaac along with his mom and dad worked together to build an igloo- like structure where he would sleep for his one thousandth night.
We asked Melissa Ortman about her son. “This is your son? Yes. What were you thinking? He’s an adventurous kid hat just wants to be outside, and he’s always been that way and I support him in what he’s trying to do.””
Isaac is a boy scout and his dad is the scout leader. His troop has about 30 members in it. Early on, Isaac challenged the other scouts to stay outside with him for as long as he was planning to do it. but none of the other scouts accepted his challenge.
The district Director of the Voyageurs Area Council for the Boy Scouts, Clark Garthwait is very proud of Isaac. “He set a goal and that’s part of scouting. He’s reached outside his comfort zone and set that goal and he has kept going. That’s what scouting does.”
Isaac’s dad Andrew says his son is very determined to succeed at whatever he does. “He has he ability and the grit, direction and determination to do just about anything he wants to in life. So this is just one of the many examples he does.” His dad says Isaac has grown about eight inches and has matured.
So it appeared that all involved were okay with this thousand nights spent outside. But it took another boy scout, Joshua Christensen, to voice what many people were likely thinking.”
I think its insane, but I respect it, kind of ridiculous, 1,000 days outdoors in the dead of winter or super hot and humid, no matter the temps, he’s outside.”
This is not the end of Isaac Ortman sleeping under the stars, he plans to go at least until he goes to the Boy Scout Jamboree