A 13-year-old Boy Scout and adult volunteer are dead as a result of falling trees from yesterday’s storms in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Two other youths suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the storm. Sources in the Lake County Sheriff’s Office say it happened near Basswood Lake on the Canadian border.
Here is an official statement from the Boy Scouts of America:
“This is a very difficult time for our Scouting family. During the early morning hours of Thursday, July 21, a severe storm with strong straight-line winds unexpectedly came through Charles L Sommers Canoe Base at Northern Tier. We’re extremely saddened to confirm that falling trees resulting from this storm caused the death of two attendees – a youth member and an adult volunteer leader – as well as two injured youth members who sustained non-life threatening injuries. These two youth were transported to the nearest hospital by Canadian emergency crews, out of an abundance of caution. We are working with authorities now to notify the families of those involved and will support them in any way we can.”
“The safety and well-being of our participants is our top priority. Immediately following the radio distress call, we contacted the local authorities for support, and began making contact with all crews on-site to offer assistance and assure the safety of all involved.”
“We are also mindful of the Scouts present on the outing and the impact the incident had on them, and will be offering grief counseling to our members and volunteers. Please join us in keeping these families in your thoughts.”
Northern Tier is comprised of three wilderness canoe bases across nearly four million acres of lakes, forests and wetlands in Northern Minnesota, Northwest Ontario and Northeast Manitoba. Each year, approximately 5,000 Scouts visit Northern Tier for wilderness canoe expeditions. Typically, participants prepare for treks for more than a year before arriving, and severe weather training is part of that preparation. All trips are fully outfitted and provisioned and a highly trained staff member, called an Interpreter, accompanies all crews on their trek.